>From: soa central command <email@example.com>
>Sent: August 2, 2000 4:35:55 AM GMT
> Muslims, Panthers Gather to Offer Al-Amin Support
>July 29, 2000 As 250 Muslims bowed in prayer in West End Park,
>Black Panthers wearing holstered handguns stood at attention
>around the worshipers.
> It was an ironic contrast for the start of a three-day Riyaadah, a national
>gathering that began Friday in Atlanta. Peaceful prayer contrasted by
>Symbolic, perhaps, of the one who wasn't there: Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin.
> In Al-Amin's youth, he was once a Black Panther who wore a black beret and
>gun. But since moving to Atlanta 20 years ago, he has been the imam, or
>of the West End Community Mosque. He is credited with preaching about inner
>cleaning up the neighborhood of drug dealers.
> And now the 57-year-old is in jail, accused of killing Fulton County
>Ricky Kinchen and injuring another deputy on the night of March 16.
> For 18 years, Muslims from across the country have attended the Riyaadah to
>sports, worship, eat together and catch up with old friends.
>The event is held in a different city each year. Al-Amin was the principal
>But for this weekend's event, many of the participants said they came to
>because of Al-Amin's incarceration and to show support for him.
>"We don't believe whatsoever that he committed that act. We're gonna believe
>innocence until we're buried in our graves," said Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, a
>Nuggets basketball player who came to Atlanta from Gulfport, Miss. for the
> Earlier Friday, William Abdur-Rahim, an imam of a mosque on Hank Aaron
>Atlanta, visited Al-Amin in the Fulton County Jail.
>"He's in wonderful spirits," Abdur-Rahim said as he stood at a microphone in
>Posters displaying Al-Amin's picture hung around the park.
> Abdur-Rahim said Al-Amin sent his thanks to the worshipers for coming. Many
>planned to visit him in jail, following the example of Nation of Islam
>Farrakhan, who visited Al-Amin on Tuesday.
> After the prayers and sermons in the park were over, participants broke up
>smaller groups. Some played basketball. Women purchased shawls and
>clothing from vendors. Children ate snow cones, lined up to ride two ponies
>in an inflatable room called the Moonbounce.
>Others stood together talking about the death penalty case against Al-Amin.
>At first, all reports about his case looked bad for Al-Amin's supporters.
>The surviving deputy identified Al-Amin as the shooter. Tests on two guns
>some Alabama woods where Al-Amin was arrested showed they were the ones used
> But then came reports of a blood trail and 911 caller who saw a bleeding
>blocks from the shooting scene begging for a ride.
> Al-Amin had not been shot, giving his supporters hope someone else was the
> "I hope the criminal justice system will work for him as it has worked for
> said Nihad Awad, director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in
> As the celebration and discussions about Al-Amin's case were going on,
> discretely approached the Black Panther members and asked them to disarm.
> "They respected our chain of command and we respected their chain of
> Ahkee El-Shabazz, chairman of the Bankhead chapter of the Black Panthers.
> In the end, the Panthers gave up their guns.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Aug 03 2000 - 21:27:32 CUT