|Dear Members, Friends, and Supporters,
In 2003, I was falsely charged on allegations that I had ties to Palestinian Islamic Jihad and was subsequently arrested. These charges were leveraged against me because of my identity as Muslim and Palestinian; an identity that has become increasingly criminalized in the War on Terror. After pleading guilty to lesser charges, I was sentenced to 3 years in prison, but not just any prison-a communications management unit. Nicknamed, “Gitmo North,” and “Little Gitmo,” this prison, one of two in the country, houses prisoners under extremely harsh and restrictive conditions, including no contact visits and little phone call access. I always remember being devastated when my children would come visit me and I could not even give them a hug. Worse yet, is that the prison populations in the communication management units are between 60-70% Muslim; a fact that the government has tried to obscure.
The support from my family and friends was invaluable throughout the time that I spent in the CMU. So to, was my knowledge that this organization, the National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms existed to help prisoners such as myself in their greatest time of need. Each year, I looked forward to receiving the annual Ramadan gift because it not only allowed me to purchase items that would remind me of home, but because it demonstrated the support that I had outside prison walls.
As a former prisoner and the current Development Director of the organization, I can’t tell you how important your support means to those locked up and their families. That’s why I’m hoping you’ll consider donating to our newly launched crowdsourcing campaign. In a climate where Islamophobia is on the rise and where President Trump has demonstrated that his administration intends to target Muslims, it’s important now more than ever that we equip organizations such as the NCPCF with the resources to fight back.
The funds from this campaign will be used to create a new website with a plethora of information on the landscape of the War on Terror and the ways in which we can fight back against the discriminatory policies that have been in place since the early days of 9/11. We will also, with your help, conduct a wide range of trainings aimed at challenging institutionalized Islamophobia.
We have 30 days to raise $15,000 and with your help, I’m confident we will reach this goal. When we fight, we win.
NCPCF Development Director