by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
The U.S. government has been become so brash, so cynical in its entrapments and pure persecutions of Muslims, it is beyond embarrassment. The shameless cannot be shamed. Khalifa al-Kalili tried to hold a press conference to explain that the government was trying to frame him – so they arrested him on other trumped up charges. “A laundry list of people who have been turned into criminals by our government is useless unless a call to action comes along with it.”
Freedom Rider: No Justice for Muslims
by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
“The president of the United States, the attorney general and the FBI director are all complicit in establishing a system of separate and unequal justice for Muslims in this country.”
The FBI and the Justice Department are still up to their old tricks. Not only do they continue to entrap Muslims in terror cases that wouldn’t exist without FBI involvement, but now they silence anyone who complains, charging them with trumped up offenses and insuring that the assault on law continues.
Khalifa al-Kalili is an American Muslim from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Beginning in January of this year he was stalked by a man calling himself Muhammad but who has now been identified as Shahed Hussain. Hussain was on the verge of being convicted of a felony when he became an FBI informant in 2002. It was Hussain who entrapped four African American men from Newburgh, New York, into a phony plot to bomb synagogues in the Bronx.
Al-Kalili was rightly suspicious when Hussain and another informant befriended him and spoke of the need for jihad. Al-Kalili was not as naïve as the Newburgh Four or the dozens of other people who were charged and convicted of committing terror acts which were created solely by the government.
Al-Kalili voiced his concerns very publicly, to the Albany Times Union newspaper and posted his fears on his Facebook page. He used Google to identify the cell phone number of the man who was stalking him and discovered that he was in fact Shahed Hussain. Al-Kalili’s attempts to protect himself were of no avail. After he scheduled a press conference to announce his plans to sue the FBI, he was suddenly arrested for a firearm violation and remains held behind bars without bail.
“Al-Kalili was not as naïve as the Newburgh Four.”
This case is one of many in which the American government has created a separate and decidedly unequal system of justice for Muslims. Shahed Hussain is now well known and notorious for tricking people into committing crimes. He is so brazen that he felt no need to hide or to even get a new cell phone number. Obviously he knows that the FBI is his protector and that he need not take any precaution to avoid detection. Even when his victims use legal means to avoid being ensnared, they go to jail anyway.
These entrapment tactics began during the Bush administration, but as in other instances, the Obama administration is nothing more than Bush part two. The president of the United States, the attorney general and the FBI director are all complicit in violating not only the protections granted to Americans in the constitution, but in establishing a system of separate and unequal justice for Muslims in this country. Once again, the value of having a former constitutional law professor sitting behind the desk in the oval office is less than negligible and an insult to anyone who cares about justice.
The story of Khalifa al-Kalili is an example of the rot which permeates the American political and judicial systems. Mass incarceration, selective prosecution, prosecutorial misconduct and police brutality all make a mockery of the claim that there is equal justice under American law. There have always been groups who were subject to brutality and injustice and now the first black president has proven that the system cannot be changed from within. It must be uprooted by people who first are willing to call the evil by its name and who are willing to dedicate themselves to eradicating it once and for all.
“The Obama administration is nothing more than Bush part two.”
There is a multitude of reasons not to vote for Barack Obama, but his decision to continue a wholesale subversion of what is left of the justice system is one of the most important. How does anyone claim that the Democrats are our saviors and the Republicans are the evil doers, when all evidence points to criminality on both sides?
Neither Democrats nor Republicans are fit to govern this country. It is useless to continue revealing the injustices suffered by al-Kalili and others if the end result is a continuation of the status quo. Good journalism brought this case to light, but if must go further. A laundry list of people who have been turned into criminals by our government is useless unless a call to action comes along with it.
What will the call to action be for al-Kalili? Will people who excoriate Obama because of the injustice perpetrated by his Justice Department still make the case for his re-election? If so, they need not have bothered with al-Kalili at all. They should have swept his case under the rug and forgotten him. Voting for Obama and the Democratic party is tantamount to doing that anyway.
Margaret Kimberley's Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR, and is widely reprinted elsewhere. She maintains a frequently updated blog as well as at http://freedomrider.blogspot.com. Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgendaReport.com.