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Racism in the USA? Why, I never heard of such a thing...

This is a call-to-action for the community to support Portland's Muslim community. Sheik Kariye's is scheduled for Friday, December 13, 2002, at 1:30 pm in courtroom 12a of the Federal Court Building (1000 SW 3rd). Sheik Kariye is the Muslim cleric who was grabbed by the Portland Joint Terrorism Task Force in September and falsely accused of having explosives. At that time, the Oregonian irresponsibly printed a screaming front page headline that fueled anti-Muslim prejudices. Though the FBI admitted the falseness of the charges later (a fact that was reported first on indymedia), the attack on Sheik Kariye is not over.
Sheik Mohamed Abdirahman Kariye is one of many black Muslims who are being targeted by the resurgence in nationalized racism commonly referred to as the War on Terror. Kariye, a Portland resident originally from Somaliland, is a well-known international spiritual leader who travels and lectures extensively. Last September, Kariye was arrested at the Portland Airport by the Portland Joint Terrorism Task Force amidst huge headlines of purported TNT traces found in his luggage. The newspapers in the days following the arrest were filled with accusations and innuendos of Kariye's involvement with global terrorism, and yet the only legal charges against him were Social Security fraud and possessing a government document. Ten days later, a small article appeared in the back pages of these same newspapers (if it appeared at all) that quietly announced the FBI had failed to detect any traces of TNT in Kariye's luggage. Indeed, the final charge against Kariye is one count of Social Security fraud, to which he pleads not guilty.

The impact of this kind of media bias is quite predictable. The stories and rumors initially written by a handful of unethical and racist reporters and editors (for example, Jim Redden of the Portland Tribune) get endlessly recycled through the various newspaper, television and radio outlets until the public begins to believe that Kariye really is guilty until proven innocent.

And it does not stop there. For example, Seattle community activist James Ujaama was arrested this summer for allegedly conspiring to set up terrorist training camps in Oregon. In reporting the case, the mainstream media ignored Ujaama's long list of awards for years of community service dedicated to youth entrepreneurship and philanthropy, and instead focused on his alleged intent to commit "violent jihad." In the pretrial court hearing, the judge denied Ujaama bail based on "secret evidence" that Ujaama's own lawyer was not able to view. (Check out www.thestranger.com for more details.)

Meanwhile, the Muslim immigrant population in the US lives in constant fear of being arrested and/or deported for minor infractions of the law or mere accusations of being a terrorist. Stories circulate about people who go to work and never return, only to call from halfway around the world after being deported. The US government is now demanding that nationals from 18 countries need to report to the INS to subject themselves to fingerprints, mugshots, and interviews that detail names and addresses of their relatives, friends, and associates within the US.

The groundwork is being set for massive roundups of people to be either deported, arrested or detained based on their nationality, religion, and race. Indeed, this process is already underway and precedes the predictable fascist state that history abhors.

There is a way out of the mess, but only if the American public stands up for the ideals it claims to uphold; for instance, the right to a fair trial (this includes equal access to evidence), access to a lawyer (this includes client/lawyer confidentiality), and the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

No excuses. Find your voice. It is desperately needed.

[Kariye's trial is set for Friday, December 13, 2002 at 1:30 pm in courtroom 12a of the Federal Court Building at 1000 SW 3rd, PDX.)

A fine cleric 12.Dec.2002 09:58

....#

Let me get this straight.
A little more than a month ago SMAK had TNT detected in his luggage. Ten days later, after an investigation, these charges were dropped as a mistake from by the airport detector. During the normal background check they found that he may be guilty of social security fraud. He is due for a trial (I understand from another post) but his own lawyer postponed it. And this is outrageous treatment?

So Sheik Mohamed Abdirahman Kariye may have "only" committed some kind of Social Security fraud? I would be courious to see what kind of fraud this 'spiritual advisor' is accused of.

While there may have been no TNT traces in his luggage is he absolved from the charge of defrauding Social Security? Or should this be glossed over because he is such a fine cleric? Perhaps Cardinal Law should speak for him. Or should the hearing be dropped just because he pleads 'not guilty'?

Personally, I think we have more than enough home grown defrauders in the religion areana and don't need another.

and? 12.Dec.2002 10:01

...#

Let me get this straight.
A little more than a month ago SMAK had TNT detected in his luggage. Ten days later, after an investigation, these charges were dropped as a mistake from by the airport detector. During the normal background check they found that he may be guilty of social security fraud. According to this post his trial was scheduled for this Fridaybut (I understand from another post) his own lawyer postponed it. And this is outrageous treatment?

So Sheik Mohamed Abdirahman Kariye may have "only" committed some kind of Social Security fraud? I would be courious to see what kind of fraud this 'spiritual advisor' is accused of.

While there may have been no TNT traces in his luggage is he absolved from the charge of defrauding Social Security? Or should this be glossed over because he is such a fine cleric? Perhaps Cardinal Law should speak for him. Or should the hearing be dropped just because he pleads 'not guilty'?

Personally, I think we have more than enough home grown defrauders in the religion areana and don't need another.

... hey no name! 12.Dec.2002 21:09

alma

hey no name...
i regret that you put your ignorant words next to my own. Perhaps you were not reading very closely - the Portland Joint Terrorism Task Force arrested Kariye. His purported Social Security violation did not come as a simple background check - only after an investigation by the FBI and the Portland Police and even they could only come up with Social Security fraud. Sure he's going to court. But will he have equal access to the law? We shall see tomorrow. One last question for you, no name..., do you think someone has to be proven guilty or proven innocent? Or does your answer depend upon the color of the man's skin, the religion of his worship, or the nationality of his birth?

What hte heck are you talking about alma 13.Dec.2002 05:47

no name

Hey alma,

Did you read my post? Do you think Social Security fraud is OK and should be glossed over just because of a person's race, or birth, or whatever? Should this accusation of fraud be ignored and he not go to court?


You write that this is the 'only thing' 'they' came up with. Well, he's getting a fairly speedy trial - in fact a damn fast trial by most accounts.

Your ignorance of trial process is pathetic.

By the way, where is this 'spiritual guy' right now? Is he in jail?