Dr Kaukab Siddique | Editor-in-Chief ---------------------------------------------------------
Ramadan 12, 1426/October 16, 2005 #77
October 15, 2005: New Trend Exclusive.

Minister Farrakhan Calls for Autonomous People's Ministries. Addresses Historic "Millions More Movement." All Day Rally Condemns War, Racism

It was a great day in the history of Black America. It was a miracle of organization and the human spirit as masses of people from across America gathered on the national Mall in Washington, DC. Some Observers say, this was the most important gathering of African Americans in U.S. history. Ten years after the 1995 Million Man March, countless women, Native Americans and thousands of Muslims joined huge crowds of African-American men, many of them very young.

Speaker after speak lambasted the policies of George W. Bush. The suffering inflicted by hurricane Katrina on the people of New Orleans owing to institutional racism energized the people. Christians and Muslims, nationalists and Pan-Africanists united as never before.

Minister Farrakhan obtained the consent of the masses to set up peoples' ministries for Relief activity akin to that for Katrina disaster, for Information, for Defense, and other activities. The details are not clear but he seemed to be calling for a Government or Mass Organization of the people, independent of both the Democratic and the Republican parties. He accused the Bush administration of criminal neglect in the aftermath of Katrina and threatened a Class Action suit against Homeland Security and FEMA.

Among the numerous statements and testimony against the war, the most effective came from Wyclef Jean and Elaine Johnson. Wyclef sang reggae and touched the souls of the crowd, firing the people up against the war. He used Islamic terminology. The word "jihad" is proudly used by grassroots people in America.

Elaine is the mother of a soldier killed in Iraq. Like Cindy Sheehan, she was passionate in her condemnation of Bush's war.
New Trend Exclusive.

Moblization in Support of Imam Jamil Abdullah al-Amin.
Imam Musa Urges Muslims to Seek Allah's Help.

On October 14, 2005 Juma' prayers were held on the National Mall in Washington, DC to mobilize support for Imam Jamil al-Amin who is being held in solitary confinement in a little Georgia town after being sentenced to life in prison.

The event was well organized by Masjid al-Islam in Washington, DC. The masjid's security force was impressive around the dais. The biggest expression of support for Imam Jamil till now, the gathering was attended by numerous distinguished Muslims who are troubled by the railroading of Imam Jamil. Among them were Imam Asim from Philadelphia, Imam Talib from New York, Br. Hodari Abdul Ali [organizer of an international committee to safeguard the rights of Imam Jamil], Br. Bilal Sunni Ali [activist radio producer from Atlanta], Dr. Abdul Alim Shabazz [famous intellectual from Lincoln University] and many others.

The Adhan was given by Shaikh Tijani, from Ghana, Africa. His adhan is said to be one of the best in the world. He also livened up the speeches after Juma' by leading the congregation in chants of "Allahu Akbar."

Imam Musa's khutba was supported by verses from the Qur'an urging Muslims to stand firm and seek Allah's help against the forces of oppression, however powerful they might be. Imam Musa condemned George W. Bush's war against Muslim countries. He pointed out that this war is undoubtedly against Islam and is facing defeat. He said that America went into Iraq with "Shock and Awe" but is now facing the steady return of American troops in body bags.

Imam Musa recounted his own experiences with the racist power structure in America. Before accepting Islam, he said, he saw "up close and personal" the ravages of the drug culture being spread across the Black communities.

During a wide ranging critique of George W. Bush's war, Imam Musa said that the more Bush tries to destroy Islam, the more Islam flourishes. In fact, he said, Islam is spreading in America faster than ever before. He ridiculed Bush's attempts to hunt down and crush Muslims, particularly the deportation of Muslims to their home countries. He said, Bush is now facing African-American Muslims who cannot be deported anywhere. Are you going to deport me back to California, he asked the Bush administration?

Imam Musa urged Muslims to study the case of Imam Jamil. It is a clear cut case of railroading, he said, in which weak and tainted evidence was used to rush through a conviction.

Stand Up for the Rights of Imam Jamil: We Must Mobilize Nationally and Internationally for the Freedom of the Imam.

Dr. Kaukab Siddique [Ameer, Jamaat al-Muslimeen] was invited by the International Committee supporting Imam Jamil's cause to speak following the Juma Khutba by Imam Musa and prayers led by Imam Talib. Here are the main points Dr. Siddique made: [Following the gathering, Br. Hodari Ali and other organizers working to defend Imam Jamil urged the congregation to pick up and distribute fact sheets about the case of the Imam so that they may know the legalities of the case.]
Jamaat al-Muslimeen News [2 items]
P.O. Box 10881
Baltimore, MD 21234


GREENSBORO, NC - Islamic leader Badi Ali of Greensboro has issued a call for physically well Americans of all religious beliefs to observe a single day of fasting on Friday, October 21, in the interest of universal justice and our struggling and suffering humanity.
Sheikh Badi Ali pointed out that the date is one of Ramadan's 29 holy days of annual focus on God/Allah, meditation, special sacrifice, adoration and fasting by Muslims throughout the world.
"It is a good time for Christians, Jews, Muslims, and people of other faiths to renew their spiritual commitments to God/Allah and to each other as believers in His mercy, love, forgiveness, goodness, wisdom and justness."
In other words, this is a special time for human solidarity as workers for peace, truth, generosity, charity and compassion, the Islamic leader stressed.
"The enormous tragedies of Pakistan's earthquake, Persian Gulf war, Sri Lankan/Indonesian tsunami, Gulf of Mexico hurricanes should remind us all of our duty to God/Allah and each other in this respect. By fasting on that Friday, (October 21), I mean total abstinence from food, tobacco, drink and intimacy from dawn to dusk. By observing this single contemplative day during Ramadan, I believe people of all faiths can, together, help to make real God/Allah's holy plan for His creation."
"In the Divine spirit of God/Allah and the secular spirit of the late Martin Luther King, Jr., we should figuratively sing 'We shall overcome' and think of ourselves as overcomers" the 44-year old Palestine-born North Carolinian urged.

Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib, Falluja Stir Humanity.
Meet Lynne Stewart, Ramsey Clark, George Galloway, Brian Becker, the "Raging Grannies" and Masses of America Opposed to the War.

Behind the Scenes on September 24
By Nadrat Siddique

Having spent years as an activist in the Washington, DC area, I’ve been fortunate enough to participate in dozens of protests in my time. I decided it was time to experience the protest from a new angle: that of volunteer. And so, I volunteered to help out for 12 hours at the anti-war demonstration in Washington, DC, on September 24.

I was one of the lazy ones. Other volunteers had been up for 72 hours straight, setting up for the protest. Some volunteers had traveled from as far away as Alaska; others came from little known towns with bizarre-sounding names I’d never encountered.

I arrived for my volunteer duties at what seemed to me, a hideously early hour. At Freedom Plaza, buses were unloading protestors from many cities. The Plaza was already teaming with people. From here, the White House and the Washington Monument grounds-the focal points of the protest--were only a stone’s throw away.

As I walked from Freedom Plaza to the Ellipse, I was pleased to see the creative side of the anti-war movement in full swing: four activists were dressed in orange prison jumpsuits with Bush, Cheney, Rice, and Rumsfeld masks donned; two more activists posed as "Billionaires for Bush" (a man wearing a tuxedo and a woman wearing an evening gown and carrying a Saks-Jandel shopping bag); several people wearing Halliburton uniforms, and carrying a sign saying "Enough war, little man," (no theatrics here, I think they actually worked for Halliburton, but were fed up with the lies); and a wise guy carrying a graphic placard juxtaposing "Good Bush/Bad Bush" (use your imagination).

Finally, I was at the volunteer booth for the ANSWER Coalition (one of two major coalitions organizing the march). There I was outfitted with a yellow security jacket, a badge identifying me as an official march volunteer, and a bright red bucket to carry through the crowd, collecting funds to defray the costs of the march.

I traversed the crowd, red bucket in tow, making mental notes to myself. The place was packed; the march was clearly a success. A young black sister, wearing head wrap, her fist in the air, responding to a speaker. A tall black brother, moving closer to the stage to hear Lynne Stewart when she spoke. A contingent of brothers dressed in striking African garb, walking proudly as a contingent toward the stage. A small group of young men in kaffiyas, having themselves photographed near the stage, while chanting "Allah hu-Akhbar" just quietly enough not to disturb the speaker on the stage. Americans wearing tee-shirts that say "We are all Palestinian;" one of ANSWER’s young black woman leaders on stage in another unique tee (my favorite): "Palestine will be free" (in English and Spanish).

All this in a sea of middle class white Americans.

As a person of color, I could not help but be struck by how few Black people and how few Muslims were at the march.

Cindy Sheehan was one of the first speakers to address the rally. She spoke in a voice permanently marked with longing for a son who would never return home to her. But, she seemed very relaxed, perhaps sensing the support of the people. She even made a few jokes.

Cindy’s immense sacrifice and courage had made their mark, and at least some of the turnout at the protest might be attributed to her. Cindy had single-handedly made it okay for the average, middle class white American to be anti-war. The tide had turned against Bush. But was this another anti-war movement disturbed only when it was American boys coming home in body bags, I thought to myself. Where were they when the Lancet reported that 100,000 Iraqi civilians had been kileld in the war? Or when the horrors of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo surfaced? Or when an entire Iraqi town, Falluja, was destroyed?

Eldridge Cleaver did not lie when he said "Racism is as American as apple pie." An anti-war movement which doesn’t work hard to disassociate itself from racism, will inevitably be afflicted with it. (The same may be said of many Muslim communities and organizations in the U.S./U.K.) That racism is present in the anti-war movement was evident in the negotiations between ANSWER and United for Peace and Justice--the two major coalitions organizing the September 24 protest.

ANSWER—which stands for "Act Now to Stop War and End Racism"--views the issues of war and racism as inextricably linked. In the days leading up to the protest, ANSWER had to fight to keep the issue of racism as one of the major demands of the demonstration.


ANSWER-which stands for "Act Now to Stop War and End Racism"--views the issues of war and racism as inextricably linked. In the days leading up to the protest, ANSWER had to fight to keep the issue of racism as one of the major demands of the demonstration.

ANSWER’S Brian Becker speaks softly but firmly. He does not back down from an issue he views as just. The war, he said, is a racist war in the following ways: 1) It is racist against the Arabs; 2) It is racist in terms of how Iraqis are presented; and 3) It is racist in terms of who is fighting. ANSWER was very consistent in its stance against racism, whether in New Orleans or in Iraq.

United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ) wanted to focus strictly on the war itself, and wanted to eliminate "racism" from the march agenda altogether. Becker and ANSWER, to their credit, stood firm in their demand that racism be included in the agenda, and eventually UFPJ capitulated.

I walked by multiple rows of crosses, symbolizing graves of fallen servicemen, and realized that I have stumbled upon Camp Casey. It has been transplanted from Texas to the Washington Monument grounds. A group of women were busily preparing a long line of picket signs they would carry, each bearing the black-and-white photograph of a young fallen soldier.

There was an element of race, even the success of Camp Casey. What if a black woman had been camped out in close proximity to Bush’s ranch? How long would she have been allowed to stay there before being tasered into submission? Or shot outright, like Sr. Assata? Because that is the treatment reserved for Afrikans in this country.

My thoughts were interrupted by the thunderous voice of British MP George Galloway. With his delightful accent, he blasted Bush’s illegal war. Exhibiting none of the preoccupations of American politicians, Galloway openly expressed support for the Palestinians.

Galloway was followed by former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark. In his characteristic incisive and yet non-rhetorical manner, Ramsey Clark reminded the audience about the Iraqi dead, and the war crimes of the Bush administration. He repeated his call for impeachment.

Then Lynne Stewart took the dais to talk about attacks on civil liberties. She cited her own case as evidence of the clamp down on the rights of the accused, as well as on lawyers who chose to defend unpopular clients. I walked over to the stage area and met Lynne after her speech. I hugged her, marveling that she had not changed in appearance or manner, despite years of government prosecution and harassment. Always concerned about others before herself, she mentioned not a word of her own personal suffering, instead asking me about Sami Al-Arian’s case.

MAS Freedom Foundation’s Mahdi Bray spoke. Oddly, Bray started his speech by informing the audience that he had no interest in being invited to the White House. "How dare they speak of bringing democracy to places like Iraq while clamping down on our democratic rights here at home," he thundered. He did not mention that his MAS Freedom Foundation had volunteered in a press conference (See NT dated July 27, 2005) to help DHS clamp down on those rights by turning in Muslims "extremists". He did not mention the case of Lynne Stewart, who sat a few feet away from him, nor that of her co-defendant U.S. political prisoner 'Ahmed AbdelSattar.

Other speakers of note were Brian Becker, ANSWER’s National Coordinator; Etan Thomas, Washington Wizards Basketball player; and Jessica Lange, actress.

Then it was time to march.

ANSWER had prepared signs to give to march participants who hadn’t brought their own. One of the volunteers handing out signs told me that people were vying for the "Impeach Bush.org" sign over the others on offer.

For the first time in my life, I was at a major, national protest-and not marching. My fundraising duties complete, I was busy taking down banners, boxing up materials, picking up components of the security fence and covers from the outdoor audio system. In my spare moments, I distributed "Boycott Major Supporters of Zionism" fliers. The fliers were well received.

I found I had done well to stay at the ANSWER volunteer booth (instead of marching), as the streets were flooded with so many people that the march was immobilized for two and a half hours. Some people became impatient and jumped in front of other protestors who were already lined up to march. Brian Becker, said that the front of the march, where he and other ANSWER leaders were located, was left behind. The "front of the march" soon became "the middle of the march"--a first for him, he said with a smile.

The march under way, the Raging Grannies started singing, "Georgy Porgy, You’re all wrong..." http://www.raginggrannies.com

Meanwhile, I attained proficiency at hand truck operation, loading boxes, and crates of fliers and brochures onto the truck.

The march was-miraculously--permitted to pass right by the White House-something which had not been allowed since 9-11. The wrath of the protestors at the Bush regime was particularly evident as they passed this point.

The volunteers were under orders from Park Police to finish removing all the equipment by 10:00 pm. Around 8:00 pm, we were down to removing the last of the equipment from around the stage area, but everyone was starting to feel the long hours. We finished just before 9:00 pm. For me, it was an extraordinary and inspiring day, working alongside activists- many of them very young-dedicated to the cause of justice. It also made me realize the enormous amount of work involved in organizing a protest of this magnitude.

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2005-10-16 Sun 13:54ct