Tag Archives: Islamist

A Story of Islamophobia: Bias, Fear, and Injustice

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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

If Anwar Al-Awlaki were Oliver North, he’d still be alive & chillin’!!!

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A popular Muslim Cleric/Lecturer, who was also an American-Citizen by birth, Anwar Al-Awlaki was murdered, via a C.I.A. operated spy-drone missile, without due process of law, without confirmation of any direct acts of terror or treason against the U.S. Yet, it was made justifiable to make an example of him, to tell the world that the U.S. doesn’t mind punking & murdering its own citizens, in order to perpetuate a lie that started on 9/11. For educational purposes, I’ll take the liberty of comparing the lives & careers of both Anwar Al-Awalki & Oliver North respectively, just for you who are reading this to get a clear picture of how hypocritical the United States of America really is.

Anwar Al-Awlaki:
The short intro.-
Anwar Al-Awlaki was a U.S. citizen of Arab/Yemeni descent, who lived primarily in the United States, was an academic in the fields of  Civil-Engineering, and Education-Leadership, earning a B.S. degree in the former, from Colorado State University & an M.A. degree in the latter, from the University of San Diego. In addition, he was very well-versed in Islamic-Sciences, despite not having an extensive formal Islamic religious education, and served as a religious leader/advisor at several mosques in the U.S. before permanently relocating to Yemen, as well as several successful & popular audio lecture serials on various Islamic topics & subject to boot.

Now, on to the gritty stuff-
He did in fact have some far-right/extreme religious views, which ended up surfacing later on in his life through many of his teachings. But, this didn’t in any way, mean that he personally or actively participated in any confirmed act of terror, either against civilians of any nation, or military personnel of any nation or coalition. Up until his recent death, the U.S. kept the opinion, though unfounded, that Anwar Al-Awlaki was an active Al-Qaeda operative & recruiter in both the U.S. and in the Arabian-Peninsula. Now, to be honest, he did in fact put himself out there in a lot of respects, and placed himself in unnecessary situations & conditions. But, this doesn’t make him an active terrorist. And, in addition to the shady ways that the U.S. government classified Anwar Al-Awlaki, it would’ve made a lot more sense to either question, indict, or even detain him for his alleged terrorist activities and/or terrorist recruitment. But, while in the U.S., he was never officially charged with any such crime, nor questioned, arrested, indicted, arraigned, prosecuted or convicted for anything even remotely related to terror or terrorism. In fact, the only known jail time that he had ever served was in Yemen.

Oliver North:
The short intro.-
Oliver Laurence North, like Anwar Al-Awlaki, was born & raised in the U.S., is a forty-year military veteran, of the U.S. Marine Corps., attaining the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, with military awards ranging from a Silver & Bronze Star, to a Purple Heart Medal, twice received, during his military tours during the Vietnam War. He was also a commanding officer & strategist, during the hunt for the assailants responsible for the Beirut bombings in Lebanon as well as the U.S.-led invasion of Grenada, in the 1980’s.

Now, on to the gritty stuff-
His main claim to fame, or infamy to be more accurate was the fact that he was officially indicted by a Congressional committee, of 16 separate Federal felonies, regarding his direct involvement in the infamous Iran-Contra Affair. The Iran-Contra Affair was one of the greatest examples of intelligence, military, diplomatic & political corruption in the history of the United States.

This is basically what happened in regards to the Iran Contra Affair:
North, being a high-ranking military man, having connections to every major U.S. military branch, intelligence agency, and also in the U.S. Congress & the White House, was able to use his influence via his important military position, to commit open treason against the people of the United States & our government. Basically, at that time, Iran was just recently considered a rogue state, as a result of the Islamic-Revolution that took place during the late seventies, coupled with the fact that nearly a hundred U.S. citizens were held for ransom against their will while in Iran, during the waning months of the Carter Presidential administration, also in that same decade.

So, Ollie got the bright idea to not only openly deal with a known, newly declared rogue state, that took U.S. citizens as hostages,  but, he also chose to deal with a group of known terrorists, commonly known as the Contras. The Contras were then in bloody opposition against the legitimate government of Nicaragua of that time, the Sandinistas. However, because the Sandinistas were Pro-Communists, Oliver North decided that the best way to deal with rogue states in the Mid-East & terrorists groups in Central America was to make business deals with them, of course, all in the good name of spread freedom, justice, equality, and Democracy throughout the world, via deception, usurpation, and backroom cut-throat dirty arms & drug deals.

So, here’s where it really gets good:
Oliver North began smuggling arms to several terrorists groups, with ties to Iran, in Lebanon (keep in mind that the U.S. has always held an official policy since like forever which states the following, “We don’t negotiate with Terrorists” & I’ve heard that in movies & real-life for as long as I could possibly remember), in exchange for U.S. nationals, captured in the Mid-East. But, it didn’t stop there, check this out: On the other side of the world, deep down in Central America, there was another thing going on, the U.S. deliberately turned a blind-eye & allowed the Contras, who eventually ousted the legitimate government of the Sandinistas, to traffic drugs (Cocaine to be more accurate & specific), with the exclusive permission & transportation support of the U.S. military, under direct supervision of Ollie North, which he later admitted while being questioned at his own Congressional hearings in D.C. after he was busted and exposed publicly) into the United States itself, which by default helped fuel our already drug-dependent economy during the 1980’s, which resulted in the largest mass use of Cocaine & Crack-Cocaine drug-dealing in the history of our nation, which has contributed to countless acts of street/gang violence, drug-addiction, and basically represented one of the perfect examples of domestic-terrorism ever. The U.S. purposely gave corrupt CIA/U.S. military personnel the green-light to very graciously supply drug dealing thugs across our nation, via the narcotic connections established with the Contras in Central America, with lethal/life-destroying narcotics, for personal profit, contributing to domestic chemical-warfare against their fellow citizens of the U.S. (just in case you didn’t know or realize, drugs/narcotics are in fact chemically-based & are therefore chemicals by definition, also, the effects that are caused by consuming these drugs/narcotics casually has many dangerous/life-threatening/fatal results).

How does all of this fit together, concerning Al-Awlaki & North?
Great question, now here’s the answer: Al-Awlaki just happened to be a Muslim, with a few radical ideas, and he was automatically considered fair-game to kill although there were never any established proofs against him, nor was he allowed his day in court, the right of any U.S. citizen. Hell, even John Walker-Lindh was at least extradited to U.S. custody. Meanwhile, someone like North, who was one of the top players of this corruption food-chain, known as the Iran-Contra Affair, was not only given a bullshit sentence, but was eventually vacated of all charges against him, received an officially Presidential pardon, retired from the U.S. Armed forces without court-martial & with full honors, rank & pension, got his own television show, when I was a lil’ kid during the 1980’s naturally named “War Stories With Oliver North” (I actually remember watching this damned show). And, to date, this guy is a regular commentator/reporter for FOX News.

Now, what does all of these really mean?
Well I could tell you, but I’d really let you use your own intellect, integrity, and objectivity to decide for yourselves what this means. I’m willing to leave this post the way that it is. What I would appreciate greatly though is for anyone and/or everyone who so chooses to read this be very object, simply look at the facts that I’ve presented, and decide for yourselves what all of this means.

Gareth Bryant/2012