[sixties-l] Fwd: Muslims, Panthers Gather to Offer Al-Amin Support

From: radman (resist@best.com)
Date: Thu Aug 03 2000 - 20:29:22 CUT

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    >From: soa central command <soa1@juno.com>
    >From: libra33658@aol.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
    >militant men.
    >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
    >carried a
    >gun. But since moving to Atlanta 20 years ago, he has been the imam, or
    >prayer leader,
    >of the West End Community Mosque. He is credited with preaching about inner
    >peace and
    >cleaning up the neighborhood of drug dealers.
    > And now the 57-year-old is in jail, accused of killing Fulton County
    >Sheriff's Deputy
    >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
    >West End
    >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
    >in his
    >innocence until we're buried in our graves," said Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, a
    >former Denver
    >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
    >Drive in
    >Atlanta, visited Al-Amin in the Fulton County Jail.
    >"He's in wonderful spirits," Abdur-Rahim said as he stood at a microphone in
    >the park.
    >Posters displaying Al-Amin's picture hung around the park.
    > Abdur-Rahim said Al-Amin sent his thanks to the worshipers for coming. Many
    >said they
    >planned to visit him in jail, following the example of Nation of Islam
    >leader Louis
    >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
    >and jumped
    >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
    >found in
    >some Alabama woods where Al-Amin was arrested showed they were the ones used
    >to shoot
    >the deputies.
    > But then came reports of a blood trail and 911 caller who saw a bleeding
    >man five
    >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,
    >Atlanta police
    > discretely approached the Black Panther members and asked them to disarm.
    > "They respected our chain of command and we respected their chain of
    >command," said
    > Ahkee El-Shabazz, chairman of the Bankhead chapter of the Black Panthers.
    > In the end, the Panthers gave up their guns.

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