This is the second part of the previous article that was on the use of the immigration courts to essentially re-try immigrants for a charge they might have been previously found innocent. For such victims of American “justice” the penalty is deportation, but what happens to Muslim American citizens? Take a look
“Malik,” an American citizen, engineer, and Houston area community leader dedicates his spare time as an organizer for a major political party and participates in roundtable discussions with senior U.S. government officials on outreach to Muslim Americans. During a return trip home from Canada, (he was) taken to a small, private room by an armed, federal border agent and repeatedly asked such questions as, “What is your religion?” and “What mosque do you attend?” as well as questions about the membership in (his) mosque. While (he was) answering question after question, (his) laptop and flash drives containing (his) tax returns and other personal information, (were) searched. Business cards with Muslim names (were) removed from sight and presumably copied.
“Munir,” a well-respected Arab-American community leader from the Detroit area driving home from Connecticut with his wife and two young daughters when he passed through Canada to re-enter the U.S. at the Port Huron land crossing 40 miles north of Detroit. He and his wife were forcefully dragged from and thrown against their car, handcuffed, and separated from each other and their children and detained for over four hours while being aggressively interrogated. They asked to call their lawyer, but the federal agent guarding them denied their request for counsel. Munir’s wife was separated from their daughters for nearly 40 minutes. Although they possessed no weapons, to their colleagues, agents described Munir as “armed and dangerous”.
Zakariya Reed, a Toledo, OH firefighter, Gulf War veteran and 20-year
veteran of the National Guard has endured extensive interrogations on over 10
occasions since 2006 after visiting family members in Ontario, Canada. CBP
agents at the Detroit Ambassador Bridge have searched him both physically
and electronically; asked questions about his political views, his financial
transactions, and his personal associations; and even challenged the basis for
his religious beliefs.
Fairuz Abdullah, a San Francisco Bay Area lawyer and civic leader was
interrogated by CBP agents upon arriving at Miami International Airport in
June 2007 after returning from vacation travel in Peru. Agents questioned Ms.
Abdullah, about her prior travels, the identities and locations of her family
members around the world, her marriage, her profession and educationalhistory. Agents at times challenged her responses and initially prevented her from re-entering the country. Federal agents denied her legal counsel, detained and moved her to immigration processing where she was aggressively approached repeatedly by federal agents, who not only addressed her in Spanish but continued to do so even after she had repeatedly identified
herself as a native English speaker.
Yasir Qadhi, a graduate student at Yale University, who has been consulted
by federal counterterrorism and State Department officials for his expertise on
extremist religious movements and ideology, has faced aggressive and
intrusive border scrutiny on several occasions since 2005 at Newark
International Airport, Houston Intercontinental Airport and the Niagara Falls
(NY) border crossing. He faces recurring questions from armed federal agents
about his religious beliefs. Agents have also copied data from his cell phone,
and interrogated him about his associates and acquaintances, the contents of
his lectures, and even the mosques in which he has prayed.
These are just some of the examples where Muslims had their right disregarded and trounced on by officials for no reason other than their religious identity. This type of racism is not uncommon in America; ours is a history replete with examples like this directed towards every group that has settled on the shores of this country. What’s sad is enlightenment, information, time and a knowledge of history have not prevented us from making the same mistakes today and that means organizations like Muslim Advocates are being formed to inform us of government’s delinquent behavior as well as help those who need help with keeping big government from its inherent brutality of individuals. As far as Muslims and Islam in the west are concerned it doesn’t take much to arouse the suspicions of a government in the throes of Islamophobia and treacherous congressmen and women. The latter group using the old misdirection play to keep people diligent about a non existing threat while stealing state secrets and government coffers blind.
Hussam Ayoush has compiled a pretty good list of those things Muslim should not do to avoid government scrutiny and even prosecution. Joining the NRA and hunting are some of those all American activities that are off limits to Muslims, unless they like living under a blaring spotlight that gets switched off when the same past times are indulged by those who get the likes of George Bush and Dick Cheney elected to office.
One thing I hope these trials and tribulations do for the Muslims in America and ostensibly all of North America is make them more aware, attune and commited to combating government oppression when government strikes the next group seen as easy pickings in the high stakes game of pitting one group against the next, keeping its citizens off balance and in fear and suspicion of their neighbors while continues its blitzkreig towards power and control. I hope Muslim Americans will come away with a greater appreciation of the struggles of their fellow Americans who preceded them and will be better in joining the fight.