By Saeed Shabazz
Freelance journalist ~
The Southern Poverty Law Center reports that the number of ant-Muslim groups tripled in 2011, jumping from 10 in 2010 to 30. The SPLC said the FBI reported a 50 percent jump in anti-Muslim hate crimes in 2010.
And now we learn from the Associated Press that the New York Police Department’s secretive Demographics Unit in 2007 spied on Muslims in Newark, New Jersey and spied on Muslim college students in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey.
“Why?” you ask.
Jeff Siddiqui, a Muslim activist out in Seattle, Washington: “Entire segments of governance are being trained to believe Muslims are the greatest threat to the U.S. and to the ‘Judeo-Christian Civilization’. The police, FBI, CIA, ATF, ICE and even the military are being steeped with the knowledge that Islam is the machine that turns normal people into monolithic, single-minded, murderous animals.”
The Hon. Minister Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam has another take on why: “The American people, I believe, are being deceived by a government that was absolutely afraid of the growth of Islam in America,” Min. Farrakhan has stated on more than one occasion. On Sept. 2, 2011 at the National Press Club in Washington, DC he had this to say: “This world is not ignorant to the beauty of Islam. The fear is that Islam will change the religion of the slave that they took it from and make him a bright light of a brand new civilization.”
The Muslim leader, not one to mince his words said: “The leadership of the ‘Religious Right’ with their symbolic partnership with conservative elected officials makes no exceptions for any particular nuances or unique belief systems. To these Apostles of Hate, Islam is the enemy.”
Again, Jeff Siddiqui: “There are strong, well-funded right wing organizations that live to promote hate against us and trade in images of an existential threat to them from us, to create fear and hate against Islam and Muslims.”
On Sept. 10, 2010, Min. Farrakhan during an interview with Al-Jazeera TV said, since 9-11, Muslims in America have been the victims of FBI watching, FBI arresting Muslims, FBI breaking into Muslim homes, to paraphrase, if I may.
“No, this is an active sentiment and the knowledge embedded against Islam and Muslims creates the foundation for actions against us; actions that limit our freedoms, actions that target Muslims as the suspects, actions that profile us as terrorists and provide the excuses needed to target and attack us …. actions that limit our growth in the country of our choice,” argues Jeff Siddiqui.
And you may say -- look 9-11 was a bad thing all of those innocent people dead – for what!
I won’t argue with you, that was a dastardly act; as a reporter I spent a month, maybe more in the downtown area – I lost a friend in one of the towers – know quite a few people who were there that day, and they still have trouble getting that day out of their minds. But, long before Sept. 11, 2001, Muslims were harassed by law enforcement in America.
Remember in the early 1960s, police were attacking members of the NOI across the country. Spike Lee caught such a moment in his movie “Malcolm X”, the scene outside of the Harlem police station, where Min. Malcolm X made that gesture for the Fruit of Islam to ‘move-out’; that happened because of police harassment of members of the FOI.
I am not going to belabor the point, but hopefully you can see where I am headed. The unfortunate assassination of Min. Malcolm X became a tool for those who hate Black unity to push our people away from the “Black Muslims”. However, today we have 78-year-old Min. Farrakhan, and he is breathing fire and uniting Black people with his words of inspiration.
Why do I bring up the issue of divide-and-conquer in relationship to how the death of Min. Malcolm X is used?
On March 6, about 20 Muslims and Cong. Peter King (R-LI) had the audacity to stand in front of NYPD headquarters with banners saying they support the NYPD spying on Muslims. I will let Min. Farrakhan explain this one too, as he said, the powers-that-be, under Zionist influence to stop the spread of Islam, need to frighten the immigrant Muslims in America so that they would not speak up.
That is akin to Black folks tired of gun violence on our streets, agreeing to allow the police to enter their homes without a warrant, to see if their children have guns under their beds.
Getting back to the NYPD spying regime, as told by the AP. The wire service revealed a 60-page report that had been compiled by the NYPD, detailing the location of mosques, masjids and Muslim businesses. To say that this was an unsettling revelation is putting it mildly. One Newark Imam, who found that his masjid had been profiled, told this reporter that the hardest part of the whole fiasco; is just how far did the spying go. “Did they tap my phone, follow my children to school; and are they still doing it,” he said.
The Imam admitted that after attending meetings with the New Jersey attorney general, FBI, Homeland Security, no one will say if it is still going on. “No answers to any of our questions,” he said.
Oh, by the way, the NYPD 60-page report stated that they didn’t uncover any terrorists or criminal activity.
To be continued….