Archive for October, 2010

News and Analysis (10/15/10)

Friday, October 15th, 2010

The State of Israel should take heed to the fact that its policies play a key role in bringing together Hezbollah and Ahmadinejad:

The Israeli army told the villagers to clear out of Al Arakib “temporarily in 1951,” but the state then declared the village “abandoned and expropriated it” and now “have razed the village five times since late July, sparking cries of ethnic cleansing”:

O’Reilly’s reluctant apology for equating the terrorists of the 9/11 with the Muslims of the Park51 project:

France’s recent moves against the Roma and the burqa in France are a case of too much fraternité and not enough liberté:

Imports and exports, two sides of the same coin, are both necessary to a prospering economy; with more imports now open to Gaza for “humanitarian” reasons, the tunnels are adapting to exports:

On Early Translations of Qur’an into English

Friday, October 15th, 2010

Regarding the discovery of an 18th century English translation of the Qur’an by a Massachusetts church, The Islamic Society of North America has distributed the following e-mail advisory:

“Now and then we get news about ancient copies of the ‘Quran’ being discovered. We proudly announced that first Muslim congressman had used one from Jefferson’s collection. However, most of the ancient copies are really George Sale translation which most of us knows is a terrible product. I would suggest that we add this information when we report such discoveries.”

My response is that while I agree that Sale’s translation is unacceptably poor, we should also point out hat it was the only scholarly translation available at the time and that no Muslim translated the complete text into English until Mirza Abul Fazl‘s chronological arrangement in 1910. Not until Muhammad Ali’s 1917 translation was there a Muslim translation into English in canonical order.

Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad, Ph.D.
Minaret of Freedom Institute

News and Analysis (10/14/10)

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

“If the allegations prove true, they could tarnish the push for detention reform by President Barack Obama. His administration has ushered in improvements in detainee conditions in Afghanistan”:

A move by the Egyptian regime to clamp down on text messages months before the presidential election should be interpreted as nothing but an attempt to clamp down on political speech:

“I have confidence the international court and the prosecutor will take this case” — father of the American citizen killed by the Israeli soldiers:

The social forces that eroded the Jim Crow laws in the U.S. can be seen in France; while politicians cultivate antagonism against minorities, businesses seek to meet needs:

If the Texas State Board of Education wants “textbook companies to provide less information about Islam and the Arab world” it is up to the r4est of us to warn that “we can’t afford ignorance”:

Is the madness about to end? As the government asks the judge to deny Sami Al-Arian’s right to defend himself, his lawyers call for a dismissal of all charges:

Court rules that “that trial judges must respect their religious rights by allowing witnesses to testify about their religious beliefs and compelling them to remove a niqab in as few cases as possible.”:

Authorities did not offer any evidence to back up their allegations:

News and Analysis (10/13/10)

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

“The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled last summer that it was legal for federal authorities to secretly plant GPS devices on a car, even if it is parked in a private driveway”:

According to a “recent poll … 50 per cent of Jewish teenagers do not want Arabs in their classes” and “59 per cent are fine with” the fact “that Palestinian citizens of Israel do not have equal rights” …

… Meanwhile, the charges atmosphere poses “a challenge to Israeli security forces posted to secure the [olive] harvest”:

The Israeli occupation of Palestine, both directly in its discrimination against Christians and indirectly by fueling antagonism between Muslims and Christians spurs the exodus of Christians form the Middle East:

“‘[W]e will stand with the people and government of Lebanon – and with all elements in the Lebanese nation – until they achieve all their goals,’ Ahmadinejad said, adding that both countries oppose Israeli aggression”:

“I guess I came to say that I believe what I said before was wrong,” says Yousef al-Khattab (f/k/a Joseph Cohen) about leaving the hate group he helped to found:

“[S]urveys show that 40 percent of those with Turkish origins who have earned degrees here in Germany return to Turkey because they don’t feel at home here,” says Vural Öger, a Turkish immigrant to Germany:

“[G]iven Germany’s history, any attempt to strengthen the powers of the police or the intelligence services is sure to spark opposition”:

News and Analysis (10/12/10)

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

“NATO said initially [Linda] Norgrove was killed by her captors. On Monday, however, alliance officials said new information indicated Norgrove may have been killed by a U.S. grenade”:

“The government is targeting an American citizen for death without any legal process whatsoever, while at the same time impeding lawyers from challenging that death sentence and the government’s sweeping claim of authority to issue it,” says Anthony Romero, ACLU Executive Director:

Chastised by Muslims for testing the limits of free speech in America with his support of terrorism, Samir Khan moved out to edit an online magazine (in English) from al-Qaida’s arm in Yemen:

Islamophobe Geert Wilders’ attempt to pretend his opinions are factual statements are slapped down by the court; the fact that a million people voted for him doesn’t make his statements true:

“It is still unclear whether the elder Mubarak is ready to retire. The presidential election is scheduled for 2012, and it is not inconceivable that Hosni Mubarak will announce that he is game for another term in office”:

News and Analysis (10/11/10)

Monday, October 11th, 2010

The banned party’s decision to run is called “a slap in the face” to their former ally Mohammed Baradei, who had called for a boycott:

“Many investigations in Europe have centered on mosques where extremist preachers incite hatred of non-Muslims, intelligence officials said”:

“One of the world’s most prolific thinkers and a professor of Islamic Studies at Oxford University, Ramadan has been named 49th among Foreign Policy magazine’s list of the world’s top 100 contemporary individuals”:

“The way to win the war against Islamist extremism is to isolate the fundamentalists from the main streams of Islam. Pamela Geller, on the other hand, would radicalize moderate Muslims”:

Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin: An Update

Sunday, October 10th, 2010

[When Jamil Al-Amin who had been transformed from the fiery proponent of violence into the man credited with cleaning up Atlanta’s crime-ridden West End by his conversion to Islam was arrested for “cop-killing” the Muslim community was stunned and suspicious of a frame-up. Recent shocking developments in the handling of his incarceration outlined by human rights activist Mauri Saalakhan below suggest that we must continue to press for the truth in this matter to emerge.]

Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin:  An  Update

On Thursday, August 2, 2007, the public learned that  Jamil Al-Amin, formerly known as H. Rap Brown, no longer was in the custody of  the State of Georgia; he had  been moved, without notification to his attorneys or family members, from the  Georgia State Prison at Reidsville, Georgia into the custody of the  Federal Bureau of Prisons.  Information provided to the press indicated that Mr. Al-Amin was moved to  Oklahoma City and then within a day to the ADMAX  federal prison in Florence,  Colorado.  It was only on August 15, 2007 that he  was able to inform his attorneys that he was moved from Reidsville State Prison  to the Atlanta Medical Center, in Atlanta, for two days of exploratory tests for  chest pains.  He then was moved to  Georgia’s Jackson State  Prison before Georgia handed him over to the  Federal Bureau of Prisons.  Once in  federal custody, Mr. Al-Amin was moved to Oklahoma  City and then moved to his final destination—the “Supermax” federal  prison in Florence,  Colorado, to be held in 23-hour  lockdown.

Mr. Al-Amin has three legal actions pending.  The transfer to federal custody in a  facility over 1,400 miles away removes him from the Georgia area  where family and friends would be able to visit on a regular basis.  The move continues to isolate him from  other inmates and the opportunity to worship with others, and it further imposes  harsh conditions which Mr. Al-Amin challenged while incarcerated in the  Georgia prison system.

Attorneys questioned the Georgia Department of  Corrections as to the reason for Mr. Al-Amin’s transfer to federal custody, even  though he has not been charged or convicted of a federal crime.  Devon Orland, Department of Law, State  of Georgia, responded:“The decision to transfer Mr. Al-Amin was made in conjunction with  the federal government and was based upon legitimate security concerns.  As for the specific events that led to his transfer I am not at  liberty to discuss those but can tell you that there were legitimate security  concerns. Neither I, nor anyone with the Department of Corrections  has control over where Mr. Al-Amin will be housed within the federal  system.  He will be subject to  the same rules for transfer as any other prisoner within that  system and you will need to check with them as to his current status,  likelihood of his being housed within Georgia and rules regarding attorney  contact and legal mail.  Mr.  Al-Amin is in the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons but is  under a State of Georgia prison sentence so “responsibility” is hard to define out  of context. The Bureau of Prisons is responsible for the care and incarceration  of Mr. Al-Amin if that  is the question you are asking…”

Pending Litigation

Habeas  Corpus:  Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin v. Hugh  Smith. On November 14, 2005, counsel for Mr. Al-Amin filed a  Habeas Corpus in the Superior Court of Tattnall County, State of Georgia.  The habeas corpus action cited 14  grounds for reversal of Mr. Al-Amin’s conviction and sentence of life without  parole. Grounds presented included  ineffective assistance of counsel based on the failure of trial counsel to:  request a change of venue due to negative publicity; permit Mr. Al-Amin to  testify in his own defense; investigate the confession of an individual;  challenge the issue of the prosecution striking all persons from the jury who  indicated an affiliation to Muslims; failure of the prosecution to provide  discovery to the defense; inappropriate statements made by the prosecution  regarding the failure of Mr. Al-Amin to testify, and his courtroom conduct by  not standing for the jury as members entered the courtroom. Other grounds included error on the part of the judge by  denying Mr. Al-Amin the right to counsel of his choice by eliminating all but  one of his four trial lawyers from participating in voir dire of the jury; the  opportunity to present favorable evidence and testimony; and the opportunity to  raise prior misconduct of an FBI agent.

The habeas also challenges the government sponsored oath  taken by the grand and petit jurors and witnesses which resulted in a conflict  between religious practices and state function in violation of the Establishment  Clause and the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.  Counsel also addressed the issue of  violation of the 6th and 14th Amendments based on jury  selection procedures. Attorneys and investigators worked during 2006 to  identify witnesses and obtain documents to present during a scheduled February  27, 2007 habeas hearing.   The  hearing was held and attorneys currently continue to take depositions and to  supplement the habeas brief before the judge assigned to the case renders a  decision.  The attorneys received  the habeas hearing transcript and trial record free of charge after the judge  approved pauper status requested by Mr. Al-Amin.  After depositions are taken and  presented to the Court, the judge is expected to make a decision whether Mr.  Al-Amin is entitled to a new trial based on evidence presented.

From a cell at the Florence, Colorado ADMAX federal prison, Mr. Al-Amin  continues to challenge the State of Georgia’s prison system through the filing of two § 1983 actions.

Opening Legal  Mail: Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin v. Hugh  Smith and Sanchez-Martin: This action was filed to challenge the warden and staff  of the Georgia  State Prison at Reidsville for opening legal mail outside  of Mr. Al-Amin’s presence sent from Attorney Karima Al-Amin.  In November 2004, the Department of  Corrections ruled that Reidsville violated standard operating procedures by  opening mail clearly marked “legal” from Mr. Al-Amin’s wife who is an attorney  licensed to practice law in Georgia.  Opening legal mail outside of an inmate’s presence is a First Amendment  violation as well as a violation of the attorney-client privilege. The District Court ruled that Georgia  continued to open Mr. Al-Amin’s legal  mail from Attorney Karima Al-Amin in violation of its  standard operating procedures.  The  State of Georgia appealed the decision to the  11th Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Court appointed counsel from  the law firm of Kilpatrick Stockton, LLP, to argue Mr. Al-Amin’s case.  Argument was held on September 20, 2007  resulting in the 11th Circuit ruling, on January 7, 2008, that the  Reidsville warden and staff violated Mr. Al-Amin’s First Amendment rights by  opening legal mail from Attorney Karima Al-Amin outside of his presence.  The State appealed to the  11th Circuit for a rehearing, and the Court denied the appeal.  The State subsequently filed its writ to  the U.S. Supreme Court, which was denied on October 6, 2008.  The pro bono attorneys from Kilpatrick  Stockton are preparing for trial and will explore challenging the Prison  Litigation Reform Act, which prevents Mr. Al-Amin from receiving punitive  damages.  Attorneys further are  exploring filing a separate action challenging Reidsville’s effort to infringe  on Mr. Al-Amin’s right to practice his religion while incarcerated.  This action would be a RLUIPA claim.

Retaliation  Lawsuit: This action addressed Reidsville’s past 23-hour lockdown  confinement of Mr. Al-Amin, retaliatory actions, and the transfer to the ADMAX  federal prison in Florence,  Colorado.  The State of Georgia  transferred Mr. Al-Amin based on a March 1990 Agreement between the Georgia  Department of Corrections and the Federal Bureau of Prisons to house a state  inmate upon request.

This transfer more than 1,400 miles  from his legal counsel at a time when lawsuits are pending in Georgia took place without notification to Mr. Al-Amin’s attorneys or family members,  even though his habeas and lawsuits were pending.  The retaliation lawsuit also addressed  efforts to prevent Mr. Al-Amin from freely exercising his right to practice his  religion in the Georgia prison system. A new retaliation lawsuit will be filed now that all  administrative remedies have been exhausted.  The new legal action will present the  same challenges as the previous retaliation lawsuit.

Although the Federal Bureau of Prisons  maintains it will return Mr. Al-Amin to Georgia upon Georgia’s request, Georgia is  refusing to seek his return.  We see the  transfer out of the State of Georgia to a federal institution that operates a  behavior modification program is seen as a punitive action on the part of the  government and welcome assistance to petition for a change  to a neighboring federal facility or Georgia prison, and out of the SUPERMAX conditions.

El-Hajj Mauri’ Saalakhan
Director of Operations
The Peace And Justice Foundation

News and Analysis (10/8/10)

Friday, October 8th, 2010

“Evidence? Explanations? Common sense? No need. They, after all, are paid a salary by the Israeli taxpayer in order to invent new kinds of punishment and torture”:

Notwithstanding the threat of assassination, a TV pblic service announcement shows the reclusive Nasrallah “emerging from hiding to plant a tree”:

“I hope [the national conversation] continues in our mosques, churches, synagogues and other holy places, with Americans of all faiths talking face to face about differences and about our shared humanity — free of the stereotypes”:

News and Analysis (10/7/10)

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

In a debate in New York, Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan to writer Christopher Hitchens:  “He has more of a problem with religion than with Islam”:

“”Everyone has their opinion, ‘Oh no that’s haram [forbidden], you can’t do that. But for me, it’s always about finding that balance and still looking good,” Alaa Ellaboudy, who runs the blog Hijabulous (“A hijabi’s guide to staying fabulous”):

With Turkish defense expenditures to a nascent Turkish defense industry approaching $3 billion, should Turkey be concerned with the problems of a “military-industrial-complex”?

“Weighing in on the controversy surrounding an Islamic Center being built in New York two blocks from the Sept. 11 attacks, Clinton suggested dedicating the proposed building to the 60 Muslim victims of the attacks”:

News and Analysis (10/6/10)

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

“[F]aced with dwindling buying power, many Iranians are reconsidering their faith in the currency, a shift that could prove to be more significant than the sanctions”:

“With the advent of easy-to-use media like YouTube, the truth is coming to light about a culture of humiliation of the Palestinians,” said a report by Salam Fayyad, the Palestinian prime minister:

“Rabbi Menachem Froman, who went to Beit Fajjar to show solidarity with the Palestinians, said: “This visit is to say that although there are people who oppose peace, he who opposes peace is opposed to God”:

A “growing trend in contemporary Muslim communities in the United States in terms of that fusion of traditional cultures with the American culture, while maintaining a pride in their Islamic identity”:

“The design was meant to show “hints of tradition,” while the use of modern materials and glass panels would give an impression of translucence and “moving toward the future,” said Sharif el-Gamal, the project’s developer:

Wilders fails in his bid to remove a judge he accused of bias from his case: