Muslims in America remain under pressure, despite court victory over ‘secret evidence’

Empowering Weak & Oppressed

Tahir Mahmoud

Ramadan 08, 1420 1999-12-16


by Tahir Mahmoud (World, Crescent International Vol. 28, No. 20, Ramadan, 1420)

America’s war on Islam suffered a setback on November 29, when Nasser Ahmed, an Egyptian asylum seeker, walked free after spending three-and-a-half years in a US prison. Nasser Ahmed’s ‘crime’ was that he was the court-appointed interpreter for Shaikh Omar Abdel Rahman, who was sentenced to life imprisonment in January 1996 after a kangaroo trial. Shaikh Omar was accused of involvement in the World Trade Centre bombing, and is currently incarcerated in Minnesota. Nasser was assumed to be guilty by association, and jailed on the basis of ‘secret evidence’ which neither he nor his lawyers were permitted to know.

There is a clear pattern to US harassment of Muslims. The plight of Muslims in America, however, cannot be separated from the US’s global war on Islam. The starvation of millions of innocent people ï mostly children ï in Iraq, and trade embargoes and sanctions against Iran, Sudan, Libya and Afghanistan are all part of this policy. The US also supports Christian terrorists like the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA). The west and its allies, as well as several church groups, including the Swedish-based slave-traders Christian Solidarity International (CSA), for example.

In the US, the campaign of defamation is also actively supported by the Zionist cabal whose hatred of Muslims knows no bounds. That Nasser Ahmed should never have been imprisoned is evident from the fact that the US Immigration and Naturalisation Service (INS) has suffered repeated rebuffs in American courts over the use of “secret evidence” against him.

Last July, an immigration judge found that the secret evidence against Nasser was unconvincing and that he should be permitted to seek asylum in the US. When some of the evidence was disclosed after strenuous efforts by defence lawyers, they were able to demolish it. “Armed with a better understanding of the government’s case,” Judge Donn Livingston ruled in July, “the respondent was successful in rebutting most of the factual allegations.”

Nor is Nasser Ahmed the only Muslim targeted in this way. Late in October, Hany Kiareldeen, a Palestinian immigrant imprisoned for 19 months on secret evidence, was freed after judges challenged the credibility of the evidence against him and ruled that detaining him violated the US constitution. The INS’s use of secret evidence allows the incarceration of immigrants without their having any opportunity to see or rebut the ‘evidence’. At least 20 more immigrants remain incarcerated on the basis of such ‘secret’ evidence.

The US has used real or imagined threats to its security to pass legislation giving sweeping powers to various arms of the government to intimidate and terrorise peaceful resident aliens (foreign nationals). The specific targets of the current campaign are Muslims. How this has affected ordinary lives was illustrated last month by the arrest and interrogation of two Saudi students on an American West airline flight. Flight attendants ï not necessarily the smartest of people, admittedly ï called security men because the two were talking in a foreign language (Arabic) and were acting “suspiciously.” They were taken off the plane and interrogated for four hours before being released.

Such gangsterism gains respectability when self-styled Middle East experts like Daniel Pipes, a staunch Zionist, pitch in with their prejudiced comments. Pipes said that the airline was right in acting the way it did because it “keeps terrorists on the run!” What terrorists? How many planes have been hijacked or blown up in the US, by Muslims or anyone else?

It is important to understand the mindset that currently pervades America, and indeed much of the western world. Passenger-profiling started after the TWA plane-crash in July 1996. A number of Zionist commentators, the most notorious being Steve Emerson (who has close links with the Israeli spy agency, Mossad) immediately accused Muslims. The White House set up a commission on airport security based on this totally erroneous assumption, which has given airport personnel vast new powers to target passengers.

After intensive investigation, the US Air Transportation Safety Board and the Civil Aviation Authority ruled that the accident was probably caused by faulty wiring in the plane’s empty fuel-tank. Another strong theory, despite vigorous denials from the authorities, is that the plane was destroyed by a missile fired by the US coast guard or the navy. A similar cause has been suggested for the crash of EgyptAir Flight 990 on October 31 near Nantucket Island, theories about a suicidal pilot notwithstanding. The EgyptAir plane, like the ill-fated TWA, had taken off from Kennedy airport in New York.

The climate of hysteria created in the US has led to vicious assaults on Muslims. In the aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing in April 1995, more than 200 Muslims were attacked; a Muslimah suffered a miscarriage when her house came under attack. The attacks on Muslims came after Emerson alleged, on CBS television on April 19, 1995, that the Oklahoma bombing had all the hallmarks of “Middle Eastern terrorists.” Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nicholls, two white Americans, were later convicted of the bombing.

The crash of EgyptAir 990 has led to similar speculation; the US media has even suggested that the co-pilot, Gamil El-Batouty, may have crashed the plane to “commit suicide.” That theory was based on the fact that he uttered a prayer as he took control of the aircraft shortly before it went into its fatal dive. The stunning lack of awareness of other cultures is one of the hallmarks of Americans. There was nothing unusual about El-Batouty’s prayer; but in the west, it appears that the act of uttering a prayer, even in such a serious situation, is regarded as evidence of irrationality, even madness! Perhaps aware of the stupidity of their speculation, that the media added their own phrase, which El-Batouty never used: “I have made up my mind.”

There could be other reasons for the plane crash. It may have been hit by an external object, such as a missile. Is it not too much of a coincidence that two planes ï TWA in July 1996 and EgyptAir in October 1999 ï should suddenly drop from the sky in the same general locality? It may also have been the manufacturer’s fault or a maintenance error. In the midst of such paranoia and misinformation, the truth may never be known.

What is certain is that US authorities will continue to blame Muslims whenever such incidents occur; and pro-Zionist and Islamophobic commentators will continue to demonise Muslims whenever possible.

A good starting point to relieving the problems faced by Muslims suffering as a consequence of US paranoia would be to end the airport ‘profiling’ system and to repeal the law which allows innocent people to be imprisoned on the basis of secret evidence provided to the court by the intelligence services. Neither is likely to happen.

Muslimedia: December 16-31, 1999

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