Tag Archives: oppression

“A DRONE OVER THE SKIES OF MADINAH….”

Ask yourself: If the Prophet was with us today,
If he spoke the same words and lived the same way,
If he returned with the same message to relay,
How long would the forces of the world let him stay?

Back then, he taught humankind to: ‘Bow down to none,
No idol, no tyrant, no oppressive nation,
Keep your heart and mind free from their domination,
True power is with God, so don’t fear anyone!’

Quraysh let him be so long as he was benign,
And to his message, they thought that few would incline,
But when he preached openly, would not bend his spine,
The state turned against him, for he had crossed the line;

At first, they rushed to him seeking some compromise,
They’d give him the mic if he just ceased to chastise,
The ills around him they feared he would neutralize,
But he would not clothe his words in any disguise;

And he persisted in making more minds aware,
Of society’s false gods of which to beware,
Of the tyrants of Earth, so the state could not bear,
And his “freedom of speech” vanished into thin air;

Choking him as he prayed, they tried suffocation,
Then imposed three years of economic sanction,
Signed off authorizing his assassination,
He was hunted in his land, forced to migration;

To track down this “radical”, the vast land they’d comb,
Abu Jahl led the pack, his mouth frothing with foam,
Put him on a ‘Wanted’ list in his own home,
Like Jesus Christ before him at the hands of Rome;

And the Romes of today at whose hands we’re abused,
Who preach to us values from which they’re self-excused,
How similar the tools of repression they used,
The tyrants of past and present are ever fused;

Today, he’d see us consumed by the same fires,
With the gods in our hearts these worldly desires,
And the gods of the Earth nations and empires,
Headed by killers and professional liars;

He laid siege to Qaynuqa’ for one woman’s fear,
So what would he say to those who gang-raped ‘Abeer?
Muffled ‘Aafia’s screams as she shed tear after tear?
And occupy Muslim countries year after year?

He’d come back to remind us to: ‘Bow down to none,
No idol, no tyrant, no oppressive nation,
Keep your heart and mind free from their domination,
True power is with God, so don’t fear anyone!’

In a repeat of that reality uncouth,
Imagine he stood and struggled for the same truth,
And had the same impact on society’s youth,
Would they not once again fight this man nail & tooth?

Of course, they’d first test him to see what he’s about,
Would he stay true like before, or would he sell out?
Would fear of the state instill in his mind some doubt?
No doubt, he’d be a mountain shaking off their clout;

In an era where his inheritors deprave,
The trust of their knowledge so their skins they would save,
He’d be and inspiration for every field slave,
Craving an example of the fearless and brave;

Their think-tanks would scramble to counter his appeal,
Find scholars for dollars with whom to make a deal,
To persuade us: ‘The Prophet is just full of zeal,
Grieving injustices – quote – “perceived” and not real!’

They’d wiretap him as he said: ‘Bow down to none,
No idol, no tyrant, no oppressive nation,
Keep your heart and mind free from their domination,
True power is with God, so don’t fear anyone!’

Then they’d name him on a federal indictment,
American court would charge him with incitement,
Through Surat at-Tawbah – marked ‘Criminal Statement’
Khalid bin al-Walid as his co-defendant;

They’d say he conspired from the North to South Pole,
And seek a life sentence with no chance of parole,
In a bright orange suit on lockdown in the Hole,
Such do they treat those spirits they cannot control;

Like the rest of us who have committed no crime,
But to be a proud Muslim at this point in time,
As the war on his message has reached its full prime,
Giving those who live by it more mountains to climb;

When they saw that in this message he would persist,
They would designate him a global terrorist,
And just like Quraysh, they would pound an angry fist,
Before placing his name on their own target list;

Over the skies of Madinah, they’d send a drone,
Distribute ‘Wanted’ posters with his bearded face shown,
Talk to local tribes, make the reward money known,
For those who capture or kill him and retrieve each bone;

They’d study Badr and Uhud, learn his strategy,
And profile those who pledged to him under the Tree,
Try to identify his ‘Number Two’ and ‘Three,’
Is it Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthman, or ‘Ali?

To the Prophet’s Mosque, they’d send an entire brigade,
To round up the Ansar who had given him aid,
To kick down his family’s door in a night raid,
To make him the target of their final crusade;

Because his message would still be: ‘Bow down to none,
No idol, no tyrant, no oppressive nation,
Keep your heart and mind free from their domination,
True power is with God, so don’t fear anyone!’

Imagine if the Prophet was with us today,
If he spoke the same words and lived the same way,
If he returned with the same message to relay,
They’d reserve him a cell at Guantanamo Bay.…

 صلي الله عليه و سلم

Written by:
طارق مهنا
Tarek Mehanna

Monday, 9th of Dhu al-Hijjah 1431/15th of November 2010

Plymouth Correctional Facility, America
Isolation Unit – Cell #108

Drones-kill-innocent-people

FOOTNOTES:
1.) Abeer Qasim al-Janabi, a 14-yr old Iraqi girl who was gang-raped,
beaten, shot, and burned along with her parents and siblings by American soldiers in March of 2006, south of Baghdad. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahmudiyah_killings
2.) Referring to the hadith: “The scholars are the inheritors of the Prophets.”
3.) Referring to the Pledge of Ridwan given under a tree on the day of Hudaybiyah, as mentioned in Surat al-Fath, v.18.

Original Post: http://www.freetarek.com/a-drone-over-the-skies-of-madinah/


‘Rabaa sign’ becomes the symbol of massacre in Egypt

The yellow coloured #R4bia #Rabaa pictures that have gone viral both on Facebook & Twitter
The yellow coloured #R4bia #Rabaa pictures that have gone viral both on Facebook & Twitter

The ‘Rabaa sign’ has become the symbol of protests against the military coup in Egypt and the center of the anti-coup protests, Rabaa al-Adawiya Square.

Made by raising four fingers with the thumb resting on the palm, the sign has come to represent civilian demonstrations protesting the ouster of Egypt’s first democratically elected president Mohamed Morsi and the ensuing violence that killed hundreds of people.
Rabaa means four or fourth in Arabic. Just a few hours before the massacre on August 14, anti-coup protesters in Egypt were struggling to voice their demands to the world by raising their four fingers.
Rabaa al-Adawiya Square is now as famous as Tahrir Square in Cairo due to the resistance it hosted by hundreds of thousands of protesters for more than two months. Last week, the square witnessed some of the worst atrocities against civilians in recent years.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan also flashed the Rabaa sign during a rally of his Justice and Development (AK) Party on Saturday in the northwestern province of Bursa.
Turkey has emerged as one of the fiercest critics of the July 3 ouster of Morsi by the powerful Egyptian military. Ankara has described Wednesday’s violent crackdown on two major anti-coup sit-ins in Cairo’s Rabaa and Giza’s Nahda squares as a “massacre”.
In Saturday’s rally in Bursa, the Turkish premier accused Egypt’s coup leaders of “state terrorism”.
Growing popularity
Rabaa al-Adawiya Square was named after a religious woman called Adawiya. Since Adawiya was the fourth child of the family, the Arabic adjective rabaa was affixed to her name.
The significance of the name is said to come from Adawiya’s struggle for freedom all her life. Now with the anti-coup protests, the meaning of this name has given birth to a new symbol.
Anti-coup protesters use the Rabaa sign both as a reference to the name of the square and to distinguish themselves from pro-coup protesters in Tahrir Square, which prefer the internationally popular “V sign” for victory or peace.
The Rabaa sign has gradually risen in popularity in Egypt during the protests and eventually come to be used as often as the V sign.
The anti-coup protesters say that the Rabaa sign, besides being the symbol of demonstrations, carries some other meanings as well.
It obviously refers to the square, and distinguishes it from Tahrir Square that housed the supporters of the military coup. But the sign also refers to the deposed president as the fourth president of Egypt after Nasser, Sadat and Mubarak.

As the ongoing bloodshed being caused by the Egyptian Army continues, do what you can to end this oppression. Make Dua, Help out the oppressed or atleast speak out and create awareness of this massacre.

Reference: http://www.worldbulletin.net/?aType=haber&ArticleID=115243

The real criminals in the Tarek Mehanna case By Glenn Greenwald

Image

Tarek Mehanna is seen in this image from video footage taken in Boston in 2009.  
(Credit: Reuters/WHDH-TV)

In one of the most egregious violations of the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech seen in quite some time, Tarek Mehanna, an American Muslim, was convicted this week in a federal court in Boston and then sentenced yesterday to 17 years in prison. He was found guilty of supporting Al Qaeda (by virtue of translating Terrorists’ documents into English and expressing “sympathetic views” to the group) as well as conspiring to “murder” U.S. soldiers in Iraq (i.e., to wage war against an invading army perpetrating an aggressive attack on a Muslim nation). I’m still traveling and don’t have much time today to write about the case itself — Adam Serwer several months ago wrote an excellent summary of why the prosecution of Mehanna is such an odious threat to free speech, and I’ve written before about the growing criminalization of free speech under the Bush and Obama DOJs, whereby Muslims are prosecuted for their plainly protected political views — but I urge everyone to read something quite amazing: Mehanna’s incredibly eloquent, thoughtful statement at his sentencing hearing, before being given a 17-year prison term.

At some point in the future, I believe history will be quite clear about who the actual criminals are in this case: not Mehanna, but rather the architects of the policies he felt compelled to battle and the entities that have conspired to consign him to a cage for two decades:

________________________

TAREK’S SENTENCING STATEMENT
APRIL 12, 2012

Read to Judge O’Toole during his sentencing, April 12th 2012.

In the name of God the most gracious the most merciful Exactly four years ago this month I was finishing my work shift at a
local hospital. As I was walking to my car I was approached by two federal agents. They said that I had a choice to make: I could do things the easy way, or I could do them the hard way. The “easy ” way, as they explained, was that I would become an informant for the government, and if I did so I would never see the inside of a courtroom or a prison cell. As for the hard way, this is it. Here I
am, having spent the majority of the four years since then in a solitary cell the size of a small closet, in which I am locked down
for 23 hours each day. The FBI and these prosecutors worked very hard-and the government spent millions of tax dollars – to put me in that cell, keep me there, put me on trial, and finally to have me stand here before you today to be sentenced to even more time in a cell.

In the weeks leading up to this moment, many people have offered suggestions as to what I should say to you. Some said I should plead for mercy in hopes of a light sentence, while others suggested I would be hit hard either way. But what I want to do is just talk about myself for a few minutes.

When I refused to become an informant, the government responded by charging me with the “crime” of supporting the mujahideen fighting the occupation of Muslim countries around the world. Or as they like to call them, “terrorists.” I wasn’t born in a Muslim country, though. I was born and raised right here in America and this angers many people: how is it that I can be an American and believe the things I believe, take the positions I take? Everything a man is exposed to in his environment becomes an ingredient that shapes his outlook, and I’m no different.  So, in more ways than one, it’s because of America that I am who I am.

When I was six, I began putting together a massive collection of comic books. Batman implanted a concept in my mind, introduced me to a paradigm as to how the world is set up: that there are oppressors, there are the oppressed, and there are those who step up to defend the oppressed. This resonated with me so much that throughout the rest of my childhood, I gravitated towards any book that reflected that paradigm – Uncle Tom’s Cabin, The Autobiography of Malcolm X, and I even saw an ehical dimension to The Catcher in the Rye.

By the time I began high school and took a real history class, I was learning just how real that paradigm is in the world. I learned about the Native Americans and what befell them at the hands of European settlers. I learned about how the descendents of those European settlers were in turn oppressed under the tyranny of King George III.

I read about Paul Revere, Tom Paine, and how Americans began an armed insurgency against British forces – an insurgency we now celebrate as the American revolutionary war. As a kid I even went on school field trips just blocks away from where we sit now. I learned about Harriet Tubman, Nat Turner, John Brown, and the fight against slavery in this country. I learned about Emma Goldman, Eugene Debs, and the struggles of the labor unions, working class, and poor. I learned about Anne Frank, the Nazis, and how they persecuted minorities and imprisoned dissidents. I learned about Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King,
and the civil rights struggle.

I learned about Ho Chi Minh, and how the Vietnamese fought for decades to liberate themselves from one invader after another. I learned about Nelson Mandela and the fight against apartheid in South Africa. Everything I learned in those years confirmed what I was beginning to learn when I was six: that throughout history, there has been a constant struggle between the oppressed and their oppressors. With each struggle I learned about, I found myself consistently siding with the oppressed, and consistently respecting those who stepped up to defend them -regardless of nationality, regardless of religion. And I never threw my class notes away. As I stand here speaking, they are in a neat pile in my bedroom closet at home.

From all the historical figures I learned about, one stood out above the rest. I was impressed be many things about Malcolm X, but above all, I was fascinated by the idea of transformation, his transformation. I don’t know if you’ve seen the movie “X” by Spike Lee, it’s over three and a half hours long, and the Malcolm at the beginning is different from the Malcolm at the end. He starts off as an illiterate criminal, but ends up a husband, a father, a protective and eloquent leader for his people, a disciplined Muslim performing the Hajj in Makkah, and finally, a martyr. Malcolm’s life taught me that Islam is not something inherited; it’s not a culture or ethnicity. It’s a way of life, a state of mind anyone can choose no matter where they come from or how they were raised.

This led me to look deeper into Islam, and I was hooked. I was just a teenager, but Islam answered the question that the greatest scientific minds were clueless about, the question that drives the rich & famous to depression and suicide from being unable to answer: what is the purpose of life? Why do we exist in this Universe? But it also answered the question of how we’re supposed to exist. And since there’s no hierarchy or priesthood, I could directly and immediately begin digging into the texts of the Qur’an and the teachings of Prophet Muhammad, to begin the journey of understanding what this was all about, the implications of Islam for me as a human being, as an individual, for the people around me, for the world; and the more I learned, the more I valued Islam like a piece of gold. This was when I was a teen, but even today, despite the pressures of the last few years, I stand here before you, and everyone else in this courtroom, as a very proud Muslim.

With that, my attention turned to what was happening to other Muslims in different parts of the world. And everywhere I looked, I saw the powers that be trying to destroy what I loved. I learned what the Soviets had done to the Muslims of Afghanistan. I learned what the Serbs had done to the Muslims of Bosnia. I learned what the Russians were doing to the Muslims of Chechnya. I learned what Israel had done in Lebanon – and what it continues to do in Palestine – with the full backing of the United States. And I learned what America itself was doing to Muslims. I learned about the Gulf War, and the depleted uranium bombs that killed thousands and caused cancer rates to skyrocket across Iraq.

I learned about the American-led sanctions that prevented food, medicine, and medical equipment from entering Iraq, and how – according to the United Nations – over half a million children perished as a result. I remember a clip from a ’60 Minutes‘ interview of Madeline Albright where she expressed her view that these dead children were “worth it.” I watched on September 11th as a group of people felt driven to hijack airplanes and fly them into buildings from their outrage at the deaths of these children. I watched as America then attacked and invaded Iraq directly. I saw the effects of ’Shock & Awe’ in the opening day of the invasion – the children in hospital wards with shrapnel from American missiles sticking but of their foreheads (of course, none of this was shown on CNN).

I learned about the town of Haditha, where 24 Muslims – including a 76-year old man in a wheelchair, women, and even toddlers – were shot up and blown up in their bedclothes as the slept by US Marines. I learned about Abeer al-Janabi, a fourteen-year old Iraqi girl gang-raped by five American soldiers, who then shot her and her family in the head, then set fire to their corpses. I just want to point out, as you can see, Muslim women don’t even show their hair to unrelated men. So try to imagine this young girl from a conservative village with her dress torn off, being sexually assaulted by not one, not two, not three, not four, but five soldiers. Even today, as I sit in my jail cell, I read about the drone strikes which continue to kill Muslims daily in places like Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen. Just last month, we all heard about the seventeen Afghan Muslims – mostly mothers and their kids – shot to death by an American soldier, who also set fire to their corpses.

These are just the stories that make it to the headlines, but one of the first concepts I learned in Islam is that of loyalty, of
brotherhood – that each Muslim woman is my sister, each man is my brother, and together, we are one large body who must protect each other. In other words, I couldn’t see these things beings done to my brothers & sisters – including by America – and remain neutral. My sympathy for the oppressed continued, but was now more personal, as was my respect for those defending them.

I mentioned Paul Revere – when he went on his midnight ride, it was for the purpose of warning the people that the British were marching to Lexington to arrest Sam Adams and John Hancock, then on to Concord to confiscate the weapons stored there by the Minuteman. By the time they got to Concord, they found the Minuteman waiting for them, weapons in hand. They fired at the British, fought them, and beat them. From that battle came the American Revolution. There’s an Arabic word to describe what those Minutemen did that day. That word is: JIHAD, and this is what my trial was about.

All those videos and translations and childish bickering over ‘Oh, he translated this paragraph’ and ‘Oh, he edited that sentence,’ and all those exhibits revolved around a single issue: Muslims who were defending themselves against American soldiers doing to them exactly what the British did to America. It was made crystal clear at trial that I never, ever plotted to “kill Americans” at shopping malls or whatever the story was. The government’s own witnesses contradicted this claim, and we put expert after expert up on that stand, who spent hours dissecting my every written word, who explained my beliefs. Further, when I was free, the government sent an undercover agent to prod me into one of their little “terror plots,” but I refused to participate. Mysteriously, however, the jury never heard this.

So, this trial was not about my position on Muslims killing American civilians. It was about my position on Americans killing Muslim civilians, which is that Muslims should defend their lands from foreign invaders – Soviets, Americans, or Martians. This is what I believe. It’s what I’ve always believed, and what I will always believe. This is not terrorism, and it’s not extremism. It’s what the arrows on that seal above your head represent: defense of the homeland. So, I disagree with my lawyers when they say that you don’t have to agree with my beliefs – no. Anyone with commonsense and humanity has no choice but to agree with me. If someone breaks into your home to rob you and harm your family, logic dictates that you do whatever it takes to expel that invader from your home.

But when that home is a Muslim land, and that invader is the US military, for some reason the standards suddenly change. Common sense is renamed ”terrorism” and the people defending themselves against those who come to kill them from across the ocean become “the terrorists” who are ”killing Americans.” The mentality that America was victimized with when British soldiers walked these streets 2 ½ centuries ago is the same mentality Muslims are victimized by as American soldiers walk their streets today. It’s the mentality of colonialism.

When Sgt. Bales shot those Afghans to death last month, all of the focus in the media was on him-his life, his stress, his PTSD, the mortgage on his home-as if he was the victim. Very little sympathy was expressed for the people he actually killed, as if they’re not real, they’re not humans. Unfortunately, this mentality trickles down to everyone in society, whether or not they realize it. Even with my lawyers, it took nearly two years of discussing, explaining, and clarifying before they were finally able to think outside the box and at least ostensibly accept the logic in what I was saying. Two years! If it took that long for people so intelligent, whose job it is to defend me, to de-program themselves, then to throw me in front of a randomly selected jury under the premise that they’re my “impartial peers,” I mean, come on. I wasn’t tried before a jury of my peers because with the mentality gripping America today, I have no peers. Counting on this fact, the government prosecuted me – not because they needed to, but simply because they could.

I learned one more thing in history class: America has historically supported the most unjust policies against its minorities – practices that were even protected by the law – only to look back later and ask: ’what were we thinking?’ Slavery, Jim Crow, the internment of the Japanese during World War II – each was widely accepted by American society, each was defended by the Supreme Court. But as time passed and America changed, both people and courts looked back and asked ’What were we thinking?’ Nelson Mandela was considered a terrorist by the South African government, and given a life sentence. But time passed, the world changed, they realized how oppressive their policies were, that it was not he who was the terrorist, and they released him from prison. He even became president. So, everything is subjective – even this whole business of “terrorism” and who is a “terrorist.” It all depends on the time and place and who the superpower happens to be at the moment.

In your eyes, I’m a terrorist, and it’s perfectly reasonable that I be standing here in an orange jumpsuit. But one day, America will change and people will recognize this day for what it is. They will look at how hundreds of thousands of Muslims were killed and maimed by the US military in foreign countries, yet somehow I’m the one going to prison for “conspiring to kill and maim” in those countries – because I support the Mujahidin defending those people. They will look back on how the government spent millions of dollars to imprison me as a ”terrorist,” yet if we were to somehow bring Abeer al-Janabi back to life in the moment she was being gang-raped by your soldiers, to put her on that witness stand and ask her who the “terrorists” are, she sure wouldn’t be pointing at me.

The government says that I was obsessed with violence, obsessed with ”killing Americans.” But, as a Muslim living in these times, I can think of a lie no more ironic.

-Tarek Mehanna
4/12/12