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.
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.
Imam Musa Urges Muslims to Seek Allah's Help.
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.]
Imam Jamil is a worthy successor to the line of Malcolm X
[Al-Hajj Malik Shabazz]. He is truthful and uncompromising.
The case against Imam Jamil is bogus.
Imam Jamil, Dr. Omar 'Abdel Rahman [the blind Shaikh] and
all other political prisoners belong to the family of Islam
in America. We must never forget them or ignore them.
Imam Jamil is a living example of the Sunnah of the
Prophet Muhammad [pbuh]. When the oppressors accuse him
and torment him, he answers with verses from the
Qur'an and Hadith from the Prophet, pbuh.
Till now we have not done enough to focus attention on
Imam Jamil and other political prisoners. As a result,
the government became so bold that it started working
within Muslim communities to get Muslims to spy on each
other, and some Muslims became 'snitches.'
Muslims must rise up nationally and internationally to
free Imam Jamil. Muslims overseas should realize that here
is a worthy son of Islam, a truly great Muslim leader
being imprisoned unjustly, mistreated and
humiliated by the oppressors.
Allah is re-shaping the world. Katrina and the
gigantic Pakistan earthquake have uncovered the
degradation of the people by Bush and by General Musharraf.
We must change ourselves, otherwise Allah will destroy us.
Jamaat al-Muslimeen News [2 items]
P.O. Box 10881
Baltimore, MD 21234
AMERICANS SHOULD FAST TOGETHER, MUSLIM CLERIC URGES
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
Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib, Falluja Stir Humanity.
Behind the Scenes on September 24
Meet Lynne Stewart, Ramsey Clark, George Galloway,
Brian Becker, the "Raging Grannies" and
Masses of America Opposed to the War.
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
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
Other speakers of note were Brian Becker, ANSWER’s National Coordinator;
Etan Thomas, Washington Wizards Basketball player; and Jessica Lange,
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
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
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..."
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
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