Tag Archives: Civil Liberties

Stuck in the Matrix

Standard

Zeshan Raja

Did y’all really expect Obama to make promises he could keep?

All this talk about change but still the masses are just a bunch of sheep
Freedom is solely a justification for tyranny when the NSA bugs your phone
Democracy is just a facade when the skies are covered in drones
And how is capitalism acceptable when it benefits the %1 and them alone?
People without homes freezing in the cold
Covered in tarp to stay warm,
“For the People by the People” but you neglecting the weak and the old
Don’t even get me started on “Muslim” rulers, buncha greedy fiends
Deceived by The White American Dream
bowing down to Israel the Western Machine
Now riddle me this, explain this shit
By feeding the homeless, you get on 10 government watch lists
But drop chemical bombs on your own people and get a slap on the wrist?
Your moneys riddled with the masonic eye
Your television feeds you celebrity gossip and poorly thought out lies
Your politicians are a bunch of wolves in a sheeps’ disguise
A word to the wise, get out of the Matrix and open your eyes
So rise up and let errybody know
better wake up and reap what you sow!
Zeeshan Raja/2014
Advertisements

A Story of Islamophobia: Bias, Fear, and Injustice

Standard

Author’s note:
This is the story of someone whom I know personally, whom was a victim of malicious, immoral, unethical, and illegal, Islamophobia, just because they were Muslim, had an Arabic name, came from, ancestrally, from a part of the Muslim-World, and, because they were neither a U.S.-citizen, nor a citizen of their respective native-land.

This is what was told to me:

“I was traveling to visit one of my relatives; I really don’t like to take for granted the freedom and the respect I have been enjoying since I came to America. But this weekend, I have felt very humiliated and mistreated by authorities in both the nation in which I was in, as well as the US. When I arrived in the country my relative lives, the authorities denied entry in the country: they said that I did not have a passport. I’ve used American travel-documents, which is issued for refugees without citizenship, on more than one occasion, and had no previous issues, traveling to places outside of the U.S., prior to this incident; likewise, I had went to this particular country, last year, using these same travel-documents, without any problems.

They took seized my travel-documents, and also my green-card, after they denied me entry. I told them that if they are not going to allow me in, then at least just allow me to return to the U.S.. But, these guys weren’t trying to listen to me, at all-they really started treating me like I was nothing but piece of garbage, which disturbed me greatly. They thought I had no government that defends my rights, which is true-I do not have citizenship to any country yet. I am holding neither US passport nor any other national-passport. The authorities had told me that, if I had at least had a passport along with my U.S. travel-documents, then I could’ve been allowed to stay.

So, here I am, on a plane going directly back to where I had came from, heading back to America. However, there’s a lot more this-it does not just end, here. When I had boarded my flight back to the U.S.,  my green-card and travel-documents weren’t even returned to me, they were given, instead, to the airline & I was told that I’ll get everything back once I land in the U.S., and this is where frustration & anger started to really kick-in: I had told them that they had no right to keep my documents & property away from me and that I’m leaving this country. They said no, you can’t have it back. I felt so humiliated and realized how weak and unfortunate I am.

When I arrived back into the U.S., the airline gave me back my documents. When I checked in, a U.S. Customs & Border Protection officer took my fingerprints, and then, forwarded me to another officer who then further inspected me. He started to ask me why I went to the country I had just came from, where did I get travel-money from…he started an argument, with me, about my recent trip. He said, ‘You were re-admitted last January and now, again, you are traveling?’…’Who helps you?’. I told him I that I have jobs to support myself. He then asked how much I am paid an hour…he then took away my wallet and checked everything it, asking me about how I got my credit cards. He asked me to open my suitcase and to take everything I had out of it. He then took away my backpack and opened my iPad, a binder, and some letters in it, this was a blatant invasion of my privacy. When I asked why is this even necessary, he told me I am not a US citizen, so I am subjected inspection.

After that, then in the checking area, two guys took me away to a room, after I was fully checked with an x-ray machine. They did a full pat-down on me, touching every part of my body. Then, another guy took my backpacks and coat for further inspection, itt was so stressful. I just wish that I did not have to undergo all of these troubles simply that I have a name which starts ‘Abu’ or that I am an immigrant, or tourist from a country that’s viewed negatively, by the U.S., and her allies. This year, I had about 4 trips on my schedule, but I am going to call off all of them. I just don’t want to undergo what I have went through this weekend.”

Anonymous

So, upon learning of this, I had immediately, told the person who told me their story, to inform CAIR/Council on American Islamic Relations, and I specifically gave them the contact-info. of the CAIR-NY Director, Muneer Awad. Sadly, this person was just too afraid to come forward & share their story. I even assured this person that the details of their story would be honored as anonymous, that they wouldn’t be required to give their name, rather, just their statement. But, alas, they even refused that, because they were so shaken-up & fearful that if they were to say anything that they wouldn’t be able to stay/live here (in the U.S.), any longer, that they’d lose their financial-aid status & may even get kicked-out of school, get deported to their respective land of origin (even though they either never grew-up there, never been there & were only born there), detained, tortured, killed, etc.

All of this is so deeply disturbing, how our government, as well as governments like ours deems it okay to intimidate persons, just because they’re Muslims, immigrants, residents/illegals, as opposed to full-fledged citizens, etc. But, at the end of the day, these are still the lives of Human beings, and as such we all, regardless of subjective national, state, or local, religious or secular, laws, are entitled to basic Human-Rights of the following: life, dignity, property. And, unfortunately, at least two out of these three were severely violated, to the extent that this person was made to feel as though their status as a Human being had absolutely no value.

This is not how things are supposed to be: I should never have to walk the streets in fear (of being detained, deported, arrested, beaten-up/having to beat someone up, being killed/having to kill someone, etc.), just because I’m a Muslim, or an undocumented-immigrant, a resident, a Non-English speaker, Non-European/White person. This story really affected my heart, mainly because I know how it feels to be harassed by authorities; but, also because at least with me (someone who was born here/a U.S.-citizen), I know certain important elements of the law, which can protect me from most things, pretty much; but, with people like this person, by virtue of the fact that they are not at least citizens, they’re made to be “easy-pickin’s”, or “fair-game”, of predatorial Islamophobes & Xenophobes, whether they’re as micro as a Dunkin’ Donuts employee/Manager, refusing to serve you, or as macro as the President of the United States of America, who orders/co-signs drone-strikes, or religious/ethnic round-ups against its own citizenry.

Gareth Bryant/2013

Aside

Mustapha Ndanusa pic

Author’s note:

Mustapha Ndanusa, Esq. is an Attorney, practicing in NYC, where he grew-up. He’s very well-versed in social-issues plaguing the Muslim, minority, and immigrant communities, all across the United States. As a result of 9/11, there have been multiple cases of individuals, both Muslim & Non-Muslim alike, whom have been killed, deported, detained, etc. & all based upon baseless pretences, exclusively conjured by the whimsical policies/agendas of the U.S. government, with the direct assistance of local, state and Federal Law-Enforcement agencies & departments. What Mustapha has written about is how to look for potential governmental red-flag, entrapping tactics, which we all need to be intelligently aware of.

Not long ago, before President Obama had him killed, Anwar Al-Awlaki was the darling of fear-mongers. Videos of him defiant against the US and US interest were played often at the height of the Awlaki hysteria. I waited anxiously for the elephant in the room to ultimately be discussed by Fox News and other even more supposedly liberal news outlets. But it never happened. The elephant went undiscussed, and now I think it was because the world simply did not know, is that Anwar Awlaki was very very popular in the Muslim households with his series on the Lives of the Prophets, the Life of the Prophets and many others.

It is unlikely, even today, that you can ask three Muslims about Awlaki’s audio classes and not find one that possesses a copy in his/her home – or at least did so at one point. I still have cassettes of his series. I mentioned Anwar Al Awlaki’s series because if one was tested with being charged with terrorism charges, no matter how minor, better pray to God that you don’t still have a dust covered copy of any Anwar Awlaki contraband in your closet.  If you do, be sure that you will be found guilty, or at least your chances of being found guilty is increased significantly.

If you doubt what I have just said about your changes of  being “gitmoed,” consider the evidentiary value of something so innocuous as “Bulugh Al-Maram” or “Riyadus Saalihin”. Bulugh Al-Maram, a book well known in the Muslim world, is a collection of Ahaadith (sing. Hadith) on Fiqh/Islamic-Jurisprudence. Another book, Riyadus Saalihin, gives samplings of Islamic beliefs, drawing from selections of Ahaadith and Quranic-verses. Having either one of these books, particularly the latter, might be dangerous contraband used to confirm a mind bent on destruction.  Contained in Riyadus Saalihin is the book of Jihad and several Ahaadith exclaiming the virtues of archery, horse riding and other acts.

In 2007, Dr. Rafeeq Sabir was convicted providing material support to terrorists. While there were many other things that were used to convict Dr. Sabir, one piece of evidence was his possession of one of the two books mentioned above.  In particular, one of the books, more than likely Riyadus Saalihin, contained passages encouraging the riding of horses and the practice of archery – the passages having been highlighted by Dr. Sabir himself. As fate would have it, Dr. Sabir owned a cross-bow and had learned to ride horse while in Saudi Arabia. Well, there you have it, if you legally own a cross-bow and dare learn to ride a horse and you are a Muslim, you are likely a terrorist in training or a terrorist already. So, what should one do?

There is no law that says you cannot own a copy of either of these two great books or that if you bought a copy of Mein Kampf you are a Nazi waiting to be awoken. One should not be worried about buying such books.  However, be smart, read the book and for God’s sake, don’t highlight anything.

Mustapha Ndanusa/2013

Literary Legal-Advice & Awareness: What you read may get you locked-up!!!