---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 02 Oct 2001 22:50:24 -0700
From: radtimes <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: From Mumia: Free Jamil Al-Amin
From Mumia: Free Jamil Al-Amin
Via Workers World News Service
Reprinted from the Oct. 4, 2001
issue of Workers World newspaper
FROM MUMIA ABU-JAMAL ON DEATH ROW:
FREE JAMIL AL-AMIN
By Mumia Abu-Jamal
The struggle for the freedom and liberty of Atlanta Muslim
leader Imam Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin must take place now,
before the cold fingers of the state can close around his neck.
Imam Jamil has already received what can only be called a
biased and prejudicial press, which has sought to depict him
as a dangerous, violent radical. In every substantive news
report there has been coverage of his brief membership in
the Black Panther Party, but there has been little reportage
of his other associations, and much less of his life as a
Muslim Imam, who worked as an anti-drug activist and for the
betterment of the entire community.
Imam Jamil's political life didn't begin with the Black
Panther Party. Indeed, accounts written by leading Panthers,
like Huey P. Newton or Elaine Brown, relate that Jamil,
Kwame Ture (the late Stokely Carmichael) and James Forman
were "drafted" into the BPP, a "drafting" that was sabotaged
by the FBI, and which lasted but a few months.
Imam Jamil spent most of his political life as a field
director and activist of the Student Non-Violent
Coordinating Committee (SNCC), before his later religious
But if you are the media, which is more "juicy," a six-month-
long dalliance with the Black Panthers, or a six-year period
with SNCC? Which is more representative of his radical
youth? Which is the longest? Which is the most prejudicial?
Imam Jamil, in addition to being a spiritual leader, was a
businessman, who owned a local store. This is hardly the
profile projected by the national press.
After his arrest a year ago in connection with the shootings
of two Atlanta sheriff's deputies, initial police reports
strongly suggested the Imam is innocent of the charges. The
surviving deputy told police investigators that his
assailant was shot--Al-Amin, upon his apprehension, was not
Another police witness reported that the suspect had grey
eyes--Al-Amin's eyes are a dark brown.
At the time of this writing, the jury is being selected in a
murder trial. This is especially troubling in light of the
recent World Trade Center plane-bombings, as it has
unleashed a national flurry of hatred against many in the
Islamic community. When fear and hatred enter the mind,
logic rarely lingers.
That said, Al-Amin's freedom lies in people who express
their support now, instead of later. Fairness does not lie
in reversing an unjust conviction; rather it lies in
preventing one in the first place.
Imam Jamil has lived a good and rich life in service to his
spiritual and ethnic community. He richly deserves the
fullest support in all efforts leading to his freedom, so
that he may return to the community.
Free Imam Jamil!
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