Families & Victims

  • Living in the shadow of counterterrorism: a daily struggle for Muslim women

    Families & Victims May 13, 2016 at 0 comments

    Source: Rewire News. The second part of Rewire’s “Living in the Shadow of Counterterrorism” series looks at how Muslim families, particularly women, are forced to confront state violence on a daily basis­­—from living with the stigma of terrorism, to repairing their broken homes, to navigating what they say is a brutal and biased prison system.

  • Living in the shadow of counterterrorism: meet the Muslim women taking on the national security state

    Source: Rewire News. For the past 15 years, stories of Muslim Americans arrested on terrorism charges have been splashed across newspapers and television screens. Less visible, and largely hidden behind the headlines, are the families of the accused. Numbering in the hundreds, these families are living under a dark shadow, often in obscurity and sometimes in poverty, following trials and convictions that brand them and their relations as “terrorists.” They say the label is heavy with stigma, almost impossible to shake. For well over a decade they’ve been challenging discriminatory policing, unfair trials, and draconian sentencing of Muslims charged under terrorism laws passed in the aftermath of 9/11. A once-scattered population of fractured families and organizations working on their behalf has coalesced into a movement, in which activists, lawyers, and scholars are all standing shoulder to shoulder with impacted families under the banner No Separate Justice (NSJ). The movement’s leaders, by and large, are Muslim women.

  • A Muslim man was ensnared in a terror plot by the NYPD—he just attempted suicide

    Families & Victims April 10, 2016 at 0 comments

    Source: The Nation. Ahmed Ferhani, who claimed prison guards repeatedly abused him because of his conviction on terrorism charges, is in a coma following an attempted suicide. The case against him was flimsy enough that the FBI removed itself from the investigation in its early stages. The NYPD continued to pursue Ferhani, despite its knowledge of his history of mental illness and self-harm.

  • Only hard choices for parents whose children flirt with terror

    Families & Victims April 9, 2016 at 0 comments

    Source: The New York Times. The banging on the door jolted Sal Shafi awake. F.B.I. agents were looking for his son. “Where’s Adam?” they yelled. “Where’s Adam?” Terrified, Mr. Shafi led the agents, guns drawn, up the stairs toward his son’s bedroom. He watched as they led his 22-year-old son away in handcuffs, backed by evidence of Adam Shafi’s terrorist ambitions. He had come to the attention of officials not by a well-placed informant or a sting operation. His father, concerned and looking for help, had simply picked up the phone and led the government right to his son. For months, over the objections of his lawyer, Mr. Shafi had been talking to the F.B.I., believing he was doing the right thing. “My God,” he thought, soon after the arrest in July. “I just destroyed Adam.”

  • My Story, by Laila Yaghi, Mother of Ziyad Yaghi

    My Story, by Laila Yaghi, Mother of Ziyad Yaghi A Visit With My Son 3/28/16   Every time I approach my computer to write, I become frozen and run away from the fact of facing my fears, my reality. I feel like running for eternity and not turning back! I […]

  • My brother is in solitary confinement – as are 80,000 people in American prisons

    Families & Victims March 19, 2016 at 0 comments

    Muslim Matters (3/19): “Today, my brother Ahmed turns 35. He could have graduated from college. He could have started a career. He could have met a woman and fallen in love. He could have started a family. Instead, he has spent the last 13 years behind bars, completely alone.” – Mariam Abu Ali

  • Kicked off Match.com, Guantánamo lifer is worried about his weight

    Families & Victims February 2, 2016 at 0 comments

    Source: AlJazeera America. “What the hell!!! Fox news pulled the plug on my match.com profile?” wrote Guantánamo prisoner Muhammad Rahim al-Afghani to his lawyer, Carlos Warner, on Dec. 16, 2015, in a letter seen by Al Jazeera. His “ready to mingle” account on Match.com, a popular dating website, was suspended last year, although there’s no reason to believe Fox News played a role in the decision. Ever the optimist, Rahim told Warner, “Maybe their anchor women will write to me.” Rahim is a platinum prisoner, one of 15 men held at Guantánamo Bay’s Camp 7. It’s a top-secret lockup run by a U.S. Army unit once said to have be called Task Force Platinum. The place is reserved for high-value detainees, former CIA prisoners previously held in black sites, including the men accused of planning the 9/11 attacks. Rahim has not been charged with any crime.

  • What it’s like to be trapped in an experimental unit within a U.S. prison

    Families & Victims January 25, 2016 at 0 comments

    Source: Center for Constitutional Rights. An interview with Abdul-Ali (aka Avon Twitty) about his experiences at the federal Bureau of Prisons’ (BOP’s) Communications Managements Units (CMUs). The CMUs are experimental prison units that impose severe restrictions on prisoners’ communications, both within the prison and with the outside world.

  • I was the target of Jeb Bush’s vicious political dark side: exploiting the politics of 9/11

    Families & Victims January 25, 2016 at 0 comments

    Source: Alternet. Dr. Sami Al-Arian is a Palestinian academic and intellectual. He lived for four decades in the U.S. before relocating to Turkey in 2015. Because of his long activism for the Palestinian cause and defending human and civil rights, he was a political prisoner in the U.S. and spent over a decade in prison and under house arrest until the charges were dropped in 2014.

  • Last incarcerated member of ‘NATO 3’ may die in prison

    Families & Victims January 22, 2016 at 0 comments

    Source: Shadow Proof. Jared Chase is the last member of the “NATO 3,” who remains in prison. Chase suffers from Huntington’s disease and faces additional charges for alleged aggravated battery against a prison guard. He is set to go on trial in April. If convicted, there is a significant chance Chase could die in prison because of how his imprisonment has compounded the effects of this neurodegenerative disease. In May 2012, Chicago hosted a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) meeting to discuss policies in the Afghanistan War. A number of activists traveled to the city to protest NATO, including Chase, Brian Jacob Church and Brent Betterly. They became known as the “NATO 3” after they were targeted by undercover Chicago police and arrested on May 16. The state of Illinois accused the “NATO 3” of making explosives.