FBI harassment of Muslims in the US

Empowering Weak & Oppressed

Crescent International

Rabi' al-Thani 23, 1419 1998-08-16

World

by Crescent International (World, Crescent International Vol. 27, No. 12, Rabi' al-Thani, 1419)

America is a land of contradictions. It calls itself ‘the land of the free and the brave’ but the reality is very different, as far as Muslims are concerned. They have been targeted as the ‘new enemy’ and harassed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the US internal security agency, in a manner reminiscent of the McCarthy era. Its tactics border on the scandalous. The FBI behaves in much the same way as the overzealous Russian secret service agents used to do when dealing with dissidents under communism.

Since the demise of communism, America has been searching for new enemies. The FBI and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), too, needed to justify their hefty budgets now that the ghost of communism had vanished into thin air. This gelled in with the Zionists’ anti-Muslim campaign as well. The Zionists not only torture and kill Palestinians under their occupation, they also want to deprive them of any support - moral or financial - from abroad. Because of the Zionist lobby’s influence, Muslim activists in the US have been targeted. Funds legally collected and sent to support widows and orphans or hospitals have been branded as supporting ‘terrorism.’

This hysterical campaign, launched by the Zionists (Steve Emerson et al, who have close links with Israeli intelligence) has been taken with great eagerness by the FBI. At a meeting in Washington DC on June 26, Muslims - men and women - narrated a litany of FBI misdeeds. Agents storm into Muslim doctors’ clinics in the presence of patients and insist on interrogating them as if they are criminals. Similar tales have been narrated by Muslims who were visited by FBI agents at their workplace. Fellow workers were left with the impression that the Muslim had done something illegal. The average American may bristle at the suggestion that US law enforcement agents are acting like thugs of a totalitarian regime but for Muslims it is all too common.

At the June 26 meeting, two senior FBI officials were also present. Both were from the agency’s public relations department and had hoped to smooth-talk their way. FBI director Louis Freeh, who was scheduled to appear, cancelled at the last minute without adequate explanation. In any case, Muslims gave the two officials an ear full. One African-American Muslim put it quite bluntly: ‘We do not want an apology in 20 years’ time. We want you to stop your harassment right now.’ He also narrated how the African-American community together with a number of other groups, had been subjected to FBI’s Counterintelligence Program (COINTELPRO) in the past. Details of that program were revealed in Spying on America by James Kirkpatrick Davis (1992).

The FBI used illegal methods, violated their victims’ constitutional rights and in several instances caused the death of innocent people. The program would have continued had it not been for the 1971 break-in at FBI offices in Philadelphia which led to the exposure of its criminal activities. Similar tactics are being employed today against Muslims, especially of Middle Eastern origin.

During US president Bill Clinton’s visit to China (June 24-July 2), his aides criticised Beijing for rounding up and imprisoning dissidents. US national security advisor Sandy Berger was especially vocal. The FBI has been using similar tactics with Muslims in America. Innocent people like Dr Mazen al-Najjar, Anuour Haddam and Shaikh Omar Abdel Rahman have been rounded up and thrown into prisons.

The first two have not even been charged with anything. Haddam was allowed entry several years ago pending his application for political asylum. The US now wants to throw him out; he has no place to go to so he must spend his life in prison among criminals and rapists. He holds a PhD in Physics and was elected member of parliament in Algeria until the junta struck and annulled the results. Dr Najjar’s story is equally tragic. He is also not charged with any specific crime. His fault is that he is of Palestinian origin and the Zionist cabal wants him locked up. By August 16, he would have spent 454 days in jail.

America is not a land of the free as the television commercials claim. It is a police State where the FBI and other intrusive agencies act above the law breaking it with impunity. Their primary purpose seems to be to disrupt perfectly legitimate activities by Muslims. Even mosques are targeted and put under surveillance to intimidate Muslims. This results in denying Muslims the right to pray, a right guaranteed in the US constitution but not available in practice.

Muslimedia: August 16-31, 1998

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