This top half is from a Brother Muslim who lives in America he is from Pakistan but he's is a American Citizen now and he wrote this blog on the People of Color Organize! So I will post his part and then respond to his statement! The title of his Blog is
"Why I am not Protesting at Occupy"
One morning about 9:30am, approximately seven to ten days after 9/11, I received a phone call on my mobile phone. I was a part time college student at the University of Massachusetts Boston and was having a slow morning at home catching up with my reading for class. It was an FBI agent. He asked me if I was at home because he was driving in a car on his way to talk to me. Quite naturally, my insides melted. I had absolutely no idea what this meant, nor why he wanted to speak to me of all people. I told him I was at home studying and that he could stop by. He told me to expect him in about 15 minutes. I was at home alone and wished at that moment my parents had mobile phones so that I could call them home to be present when the FBI showed up to question me.
I got up from my desk and tried to make myself look as presentable and friendly as possible. I even put a kettle of water on the stove so that I could offer him a cup of tea or coffee then got out a plate of biscuits and put it on the living room table.
The knock on my front door was not a minute too late or too soon. There were four agents gathered. All four walked into my house and up the stairs. I brought them into the living room where I sat them down like guests and offered them coffee. They all agreed. While I went into the kitchen, two of them began to walk around my house searching for something, up and down my walls, around corners, in the bathroom, behind the shower curtains. To this day, I’m not exactly sure what they were looking for or expected to find.
I brought coffee for four on a large tray and proceeded to ask around how much sugar each agent would like in their coffee. Once each had their coffee, the questioning began. First they took out a series of photos and asked me if I was able to identify a series of Arab and Muslim looking men. It was all quite bizarre. Why on earth would I know these people, and what on earth would connect me to them? So I asked questions back. “Who were these men?” and “Were these men suspecting of carrying further attacks against the United States?” 9/11 was a very fresh memory for us all.
Then came the question that still shocks me to this day: “Do you know Mohammad Atta?” I am pretty sure I screwed my face and gave the FBI agents my “lolwut?!” response.
I had a question of my own: why on earth did these FBI agents show up at my house? Weren’t they supposed to be finding the terrorists that had attacked us? To which I was told that the FBI had been receiving daily leads from various individuals and organisations. By that point, I was told that the leads database had reached in the 10s of thousands and that as protocol, agents were following up on each lead. So, it appears, someone had snitched on me. And for what? To this day, I have no idea.
What I do know is that as the events on 9/11 were happening, I sat in a university classroom when multiple students got up and began to hysterically address the class that Arabs and Muslims were an uncontrollable cancer on this earth and that they finally needed to be put in their place. One student stared me down as she ranted in a panicked state. Two days later, at work I was singled out when one of my colleagues asked me in front of 20-30 people what my background was. When I told him that I was born and raised in America, he was dismissive and told me not to be evasive. So I told him that my parents were Pakistani. To which his follow up question was “And they are Muslim in Pakistan, right?” to which I nodded my head, to which he sounded out an assured “Mmhmmm.” One month later, I was called into my supervisors office and blamed for an incident that I was not present at work the day of the incident in question. Nevertheless, I was subsequently fired anyway.
The 9/11 Muslim narratives like mine are not novel. If anything, these stories have gone on to make it into the mainstream consciousness in the United States. However, the reason it is extremely critical to recall these stories at this particular point in time into the American consciousness, is so that Occupy protesters, previously part of the American mainstream who have only recently joined the rank and file of the criminalised Americans, fully grasp the fact that millions of Americans not only distrust the police forces, but are frightened of them and for good reason – even mouthy activists like myself. One only has to look as far as the recently leaked “Moroccan Initiative” to know that the police are no friends of minority communities.
For more than a decade, American Muslims have been well aware their communities have been infiltrated with FBI spies looking to entrap people. Multiple members of my family have encountered a mysterious never before seen loud mouthed persons at Muslim community centres, mosques, and events using unusually politicised and extreme language that, I can surely attest, one would not normally find at an average Muslim gathering.
Over the past decade, the very system that has been used to stir up fear and suspicion against Muslims, Muslims, on the other side of the coin, have had their fears and suspicions stirred up against that same system.
I don’t protest at Occupy because I know that my name has long existed on some intelligence database and I do not know what on earth it will be used for and how I will be targeted because of it – especially if I begin to show my face more regularly protesting at my local encampment.
Police target minorities in a disproportionately heavy handed manner than they do our white counterparts, be us all part of the 99% or not.
Just this past August, an Eid-ul-Fitr celebration at an amusement park in upstate New York ended when police beat up 3 and arrested 15 during a scuffle over whether or not a woman’s headscarf was a health and safety risk on an amusement park ride.
Kareem Meawad, 17, went to try to protect the woman and was beaten by cops and also arrested, she added. Her brother, Issam Meawad, 20, was pushed to the ground and taken into custody when he tried to help his cousin, she said.
“She just wanted to get on a ride. That was it,” Dena Meawad said of the initial confrontation. “It’s clear, this all happened because we’re Muslim.”
It is also pretty clear to me that the heavy handed nature of this incident was due to the fact that police forces are trained to view American Muslims as a potential security threat – sadly, even when they’re at an amusement park amusing themselves with hotdogs and popcorn.
This is precisely why when Hannah, a headscarf wearing Muslim woman, attended the October OWS march in which 800 protesters were kettled and arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge, she found herself in a distinctive position during the mass arrest:
Before the handcuffs were put on me a man came up to me, clamped his hand down on my shoulder, and led me away from everyone else. He was wearing a long black trench coat. This detail sounds comically villainous, but I specifically recall it because it worried me that he was not wearing a police uniform. The first thing he said to me was that he was “not a cop”. I knew immediately that these were not reassuring words to hear, and later my suspicions were confirmed when my lawyers told me that this likely meant he was an FBI agent. This man isolated me from my friends to interrogate me, threaten me, and attempt to intimidate me into answering his questions, which were all along the lines of, “Who are you and what are you doing on the Bridge?” His manner made it clear he assumed that I was on the Bridge for a reason other than participating in a peaceful protest. I told him several times that I was exercising my right to remain silent, and he became more aggressive. He finally shouted to the other cops, “This one’s a keeper!”
Now with the passing of the National Defense Authorisation Act, Muslim Americans are more afraid than ever. Just this past Friday, mosques all throughout the city of Boston made announcements at their Jumma prayer services about the passing of this bill that extends indefinite military detention to include US citizens. American Muslims have been threatened to be thrown into concentration camps since the early days of the War on Terror should there be another terrorist attack on US soil. It is no exaggeration to say that American Muslims currently feel like the US has just declared war on US soil in which they know they will be targeted first.
If Occupy protesters are wondering why they are not attracting enough minorities to their causes, this may help to explain things a little bit. Some of you may be reading this and might be tempted to call me chicken shit – and that’s fair. At least on the sidelines, while I warn people about the police, I feel a little bit like I am doing something rather than nothing at all.
In the meantime, one way to make an impact on American minority communities is for movements to engage with minority concerns by taking them out of fringe politics and universalising their concerns as Philip Brennan did in his recent piece suggesting Occupy create a civil rights angle as one of its central components.
As tempted as many white Occupy protesters are to proclaim “we are all one and the same!”, you cannot expect minorities, whose communities have been subjected to intimidation and abuse, to suddenly throw away the race card and jump on the bandwagon. These are critical times, and as such, it is important for Occupy to get it right. We are all part of the 99% – and the concerns of some should fast transform into the concern for all.
- Ayesha Kazmi, AmericanPaki
I'm sorry this is so long but please continue to here is my response:
As Salaam Aliakum Brother as a black Man I can understand your thinking but during the civil rights movement days they use to sing a song called this maybe the last time that we see each other.
Because they knew they were walking into hell with a gasoline jacket and they didn't know who would come back alive or not! That's real but they believed in a principal more than the life they had. Dr. King said he wanted to live a long life like the next man but he wasn't concerned about that now he just wanted to do God's will and if that means his death so be it! Listen to his speech called the Knock at Midnight every body will get that knock dear brother and we must find Allah (GOD) for ourselves and know our life is for his glory! So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand Isaiah (41-10). I must say as a Muslim you have just made the police a god other than Allah we must never fear the enemy as you should fear Allah. That's the enemy's job to make you afraid they must make a punk out of you so they can rule you through fear! We must seek refuge with Allah from Satan. O you who believe, be maintainers of justice, bearers of witness for Allah, even though it
be against your own selves or (your) parents or near relatives — whether he be rich or poor, Allah has a better right over them both. So follow not (your) low desires, lest you deviate. And if you distort or turn away from (truth), surely Allah is ever Aware of what you do. We must say and do right because Allah is ever aware of what we do and he hates cowards!. Muslims are required to fight in the way of Allah, but we can fight only against those who waged war on us. Exactly the same limitation is placed on what was in all probability the first revelation permitting fighting: “Permission (to fight) is given to those on whom war is made because they are oppressed”. It is clear that us. Muslims are allowed to take up the sword only as a measure of self-defence. The enemies of Islam, being unable to suppress Islam by persecution, and seeing that Islam was now safe at Madinah and gaining strength, took up the sword to annihilate it. They knew that we Muslims were very few in number and they thought they could extirpate Islam, by resorting to the sword. Their war against Islam was a war for the annihilation of Islam, as stated further on: “They will not cease fighting you until they turn you back from your religion, if they can” (v. 217). No course was left for the Muslims but either to be swept off the face of the earth or take up the sword in defence against an enemy which was a thousand times stronger.
So Brother that is why Allah says in the Quran "And fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you but be not aggressive. Surely Allah loves not the aggressors. And kill them wherever you find them,and drive them out from where they drove you out,and persecution is worse than slaughter. And fight not with them at the Sacred Mosque until they fight with you in it;so if they fight you (in it),slay them. Such is the recompense of the disbelievers.
But if they desist, then surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. And fight them until there is no persecution, and religion is only for Allah.But if they desist, then there should be no hostility except against the oppressors. The sacred month for the sacred month, and retaliation (is allowed) in sacred things. Whoever then acts aggressively against you, inflict injury on him according to the injury he has inflicted on you and keep your duty to Allah, and know that Allah is with those who keep their duty. And spend in the way of Allah and cast not yourselves to perdition with your own hands and do good (to others). Surely Allah loves the doers of good.
So if your not going to be in the occupy movement then make that stand based on disagreement with the movement. And not because your afraid of the enemy Allah hates cowards! I shall close with this "Hast thou not seen those to whom it was said: Withhold your hands, and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate. But when fighting is prescribed for them, lo! a party of them fear men as they ought to fear Allah, or with a greater fear, and say: Our Lord, why hast Thou ordained fighting for us? Wouldst Thou not grant us respite to a near term? Say: The enjoyment of this world is short, and the Hereafter is better for him who keeps his duty. And you shall not be wronged a whit." And this means The injunction to fight was distasteful, and more particularly so to those who were weak in faith. Had there been any hope of plunder to animate the ranks of Muslims, those who loved this world most (who are here called the hypocrites) would have been foremost in fighting; but as they knew that they were fighting against odds, they considered the execution of this order as equivalent to courting death, and requested to be granted a respite until they died a natural death.
Don't punk out be a Muslim not just in Name but in deed! As Salaam Aliakum! Enjoy the video!