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The School to Prison Pipeline and #IStandWithAhmed

Margari Hill

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By Margari Aziza Hill

When 14-year-old Sudanese American Muslim Ahmed Mohamed brought a homemade clock to MacArthur High School in Irving, Texas, he thought he was going to impress his engineering teacher. Another teacher heard the device and reported it to the police. Yet, the school was not evacuated, as is standard procedure in similar situations.  And no one showed up with a “Hurt Locker” style suit to dismantle the device. Instead, Ahmed Mohamed was handcuffed in front of his classmates, taken to a juvenile detention center where he had a mug shot taken and was interrogated without his parents or legal representation. Ahmed was charged for a non-violent crime — a hoax bomb.

Image credit: CBS news

Image credit: CBS news

Pictures reveal a shocked child wearing a NASA shirt in handcuffs. As reports spread, the story went viral, garnering a personal invitation from Barack Obama to the White House as well as tours to MIT, his dream school, and a scholarship fund. While anti-Muslim bigotry was the trigger for Ahmed’s arrest, had his case not gathered widespread support he might have been a victim of the school to prison pipeline that plagues Texas. The struggle against the unjust incarceration of youth in Texas still remains. This case demonstrates the ways in which anti-Muslim bigotry, anti-Black racism, and the juvenile criminal justice system worked against Ahmed.

Criminalizing Students

Some Muslims, such as Khalid Hamideh, a representative of the Islamic Association of North Texas, don’t fault the school or police for their response, “Under the current climate that exists in this country, you can’t really blame them because when they see something like that, they have to react.” He puts the blame on politicians who created a climate of fear.  However, knowing it was not a bomb, the school’s response raises a lot of questions. Ahmed was arrested for a hoax bomb, which is a reflection of a larger problem of criminalizing students.

Khaled Beydoun writes for Al-Jazeera:

“Muslim American youth are not spared from Islamophobia and its policing dragnet. Although an excellent student, with no record of insubordination, Mohamed’s otherwise pristine record was instantly extinguished by the threat his Muslim background posed. Reality was trumped by the school’s imagined threat of terror, converting a loved student into a perceived radical. Ahmed is also Sudanese American, raising the likelihood that anti-Black racism overlapped with Islamophobia to cast him as suspicious and threatening.”

In an MSNBC interview, Ahmed affirms Beydoun’s analysis, “I felt like I was a criminal. I felt like I was a terrorist. I felt like all the names I was called…in middle school I was called a terrorist, called a bomb maker; just because of my race and religion.” He had already internalized the racist and anti-Muslim narrative.

Anti-Muslim and Anti-Black

Anti-Muslim bigotry is an important feature of this case, however it is also important to consider the ways in which anti-Blackness may have played a part. Hind Makki, a Sudanese American interfaith educator who develops and delivers trainings with diverse communities on civic integration through interfaith action, anti-racism education and youth empowerment, tweeted, “I just want to make sure that Ahmed’s Blackness isn’t erased in the discourse over bullying of Muslim children.”

In fact, many people misidentified Ahmed and assumed that he was South Asian rather than the child of African immigrants. Some insisted that Ahmed was Brown because Islam is racialized as a “Brown religion”.  Before, Brown pride meant Latinos, but increasingly South Asians have embraced the term Brown as an ethnic identifier. Brown has become an amorphous category often linked to Latinos, South Asians, and sometimes Arab. In the discussion about the case both non-Black Muslims and non-Muslim Black people spoke, as Sudanese Americans, to argue about Ahmed’s identity. When we can embrace the intersecting identities of Sudanese Americans, we can see how Muslim, African, Arab, Black, and American identities can overlap in ways that dismantle monolithic notions of what it means to be Muslim and American.

Kameelah Mu’min Rashad, University of Pennsylvania Muslim chaplain and founder of Muslim Wellness, writes, “If one lacks a nuanced understanding of how racism, white privilege/supremacy and anti-Blackness operates in this country, ones analysis of Islamophobia will inevitably be incomplete and flawed.”

Focusing on hysteria and rhetoric overlooks how racial and religious profiling in law enforcement disproportionately affects Black and Latino youth, and makes African American Muslim children especially vulnerable to the heavy hand of policing.  For example, Minnesota’s Somali community has been subject to a Counter Violent Extremism program, with basic social services now framed as “crime prevention”. One program tracks their school absences. CVE programs stigmatize Muslims as likely to commit acts of violence and a grant program from the Department of Homeland Security supports social services programs that aim to thwart terrorism. In many ways, the teachers and law enforcement in Irving did exactly what these programs are outlined to do. They did so, maybe not out of anti-Muslim bigotry, but due to existing policies. This is why we, as a community, have to look at legislation and procedures.

Considering Mohamed’s race and the bigoted association of Blacks with crime, the punitive measures taken against him become even more salient. Samiha Rahman, a Bangladeshi Ph.D. student wrote:

“The Ahmed Mohamed case is an example of Islamophobia, but let’s not forgets that it’s also an example of the school-to-prison pipeline – where youth of color are more likely to face harsh punishments for minor offenses in school, where Black boys and girls, even in elementary school, are arrested and detained by police officers. Ahmed Mohamed is a Black Muslim student, and that means he is affected by Islamophobia AND the racist school-to-prison pipeline that disproportionately targets Black youth. ‪#‎IStandWithAhmed.”

According to the ACLU, “Today, more than 170 Texas school districts have their own police department.” Students have been arrested and many, like Ahmed, have not received due process.  The 2010 Texas Appleseed report states, “… in some districts, African American students are being punished 50 times more than white students.”

Implicit bias that penalizes skin tone and phenotype often plays a part in harsher punishments in school and in the criminal justice system. According to Frontline’s Sara Childress, “In Texas, failure to attend school, or truancy, is a criminal offense punishable by fines up to $500, plus court costs.” According to the Department of Justice, children in Mississippi are swept into the court system with their constitutional rights often violated.  Throughout the country, children are exposed to policing techniques used for adults, and those who come from marginalized and underserved communities often plead guilty in cases where they are innocent. Yet, because of their background and the nature of their alleged crimes, our community does not rally on their behalf.

Speaking Out Against Injustice

By looking at the deeper structural issues that led to Ahmed’s arrest, we can speak out against injustice affecting multiple communities, Muslim and non-Muslim. This is part of our mandate, to speak out for justice whether against rich or poor:

4-135

O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, Allah is more worthy of both. So follow not [personal] inclination, lest you not be just. And if you distort [your testimony] or refuse [to give it], then indeed Allah is ever, with what you do, Acquainted. (4:135)

When we understand the overlapping oppression, we can connect with others who are just as affected.  This can lead the Muslim American community to form important alliances with communities who are just as affected by unjust policies.

According to the blog The World Is What It Is, “The common experiences with race will push people of color together and in conflict with whites, resulting in a common interminority identity.” While Sudanese Americans are a small segment of the American-Muslim community, they reflect important intersecting identities that can bring attention to anti-Black, anti-Arab, and anti-Muslim bigotry. However, when we focus on Muslim exceptionalism and fail to see anti-Muslim bigotry as an extension of structural racism, we miss important moments of connecting the Muslim community’s struggles with other oppressed groups. By broadening our vision we can move beyond striving for acceptance, and work towards justice that will uplift Muslims and non-Muslims alike.


 

Margari Aziza Hill is a co-founder and Programming Director of Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative. She holds a masters from Stanford University. She is currently researching colorism in Muslim education.

Margari Aziza Hill is co-founder and Programming Director of Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative (MuslimARC), assistant editor at AltM, co-founder of Muslims Make it Plain, and columnist at MuslimMatters. She is on the Advisory Council of Islam, Social Justice & Interreligious Engagement Program at the Union Theological Seminary and winner of the 2015 MPAC Change Maker Award. She has nearly a decade of teaching experiences at all levels from elementary, secondary, college level, to adult education. She earned her master’s in History of the Middle East and Islamic Africa from Stanford University in 2006. Her research includes colonial surveillance in Northern Nigeria, anti-colonial resistance among West Africans in Sudan during the early 20th century, and race in Muslim communities. She is also a freelance writer with articles published in Time, SISTERS, Islamic Monthly, Al Jazeera English, Virtual Mosque (formerly Suhaibwebb.com), and Spice Digest. She has given talks and lectures in various universities and Muslim communities.

27 Comments

27 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Peter

    September 22, 2015 at 12:15 AM

    It is all very nice for Muslims to play the victim card at every opportunity, when something wrong happens in the western world to a innocent Muslim. However, disgraceful the situation this poor child was placed into, it has not happened in a vacuum.

    Where a significant percentage of the Muslim community around the world, is doing its best in instill fear in non Muslims, the silent majority of Muslims cannot constantly pull out the victim card, when the environment of fear has been created deliberately by their fellow Muslims.

    If you cry the victim, yet do nothing to stop the source of this fear, then you are part of the problem, not the solution.

    I remember the scenes of Muslims all around the work dancing in the streets, on 9/11. I remember the scenes of Muslim riots over cartoons. I have seen first hand on the streets of Sydney, Muslims rioting holding signs saying death to the no believers. 30 second search on the internet shows 1000’s of videos of Muslims chopping off heads and blowing people up.

    The fear of Muslim bombing and terrorism by non Muslims, is not one without any basis in fact.

    When Muslims truly start holding their fellow Muslims accountable, when Muslims truly acknowledge that they have in effect, contributed to this problem. Then they can claim victim status in matters like this.

    The discrimination that Black Americans face every day, the same types of discrimination that Black Aboriginals face in Australia, are not denied by the parties concerned. In the US, There are vast numbers of Black police officer, Lawyers, and community leaders not only trying to stop the not only the actually discrimination, but the root causes.

    The Muslim community seems to constantly ignore its role in causing terrible situations like this to occur.

    Until then, it does not ring true to the wider society at large, that Muslims are in denial of their own limitations, yet cry loudly only at others. It is called hypocrisy.

    • Avatar

      Muslim

      September 22, 2015 at 9:35 AM

      Brother Peter Please Watch this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDTPEw9yX2k (at 6:07 there is an error in the translation. It is supposed to be Oh Allah! send your blessings on (Prophet) Muhammad

      You are right to an extend. But we cant ignore the factors that contributed to the rise of extremism. Just check out and compare how many suicide attacks and other crazy attacks in the name of Islam took place before and after the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq.

      I am in no way supporting extremism. And I am a strong adherent of Islam. And we firmly believe that if any person whether muslim or non muslim is killed unjustly then the culprit will be severely punished by God on the Day of judgment. Such is the justice of God. Maybe you haven’t seen how many muslims are trying to correct the corrupted mind set of extremism which has crept into some minds. I can assure you there are many Muslims who try to spread the true teachings of Islam and are trying to get back the extremists into their senses.

      Its not an easy job though. Every time these extremists are told to fear God and not to get into extremism, their response is “look at what the U.S. has done to the innocent people in the Muslim lands, they have killed so many helpless men, women and children”. Now our religion teaches us one wrong cannot justify committing another wrong.
      But these people put their emotions ABOVE their religion which is why things get out of hand and they take the wrong path.

      So, really to wipe out extremism effectively the wrongful oppression by U.S, and other countries should stop. Because in reality this a cycle. One oppression giving rise to another kind of oppression.

      And you are right there were people who danced around when the attack happened on WTO. One of my seniors in University told us during an Islamic workshop that when he was not a practicing Muslim, he and his friends celebrated when the WTO happened. But he said he regretted doing that after he started learning more about Islam. The point I want to make is that we have many Muslims disconnected from their religion spiritually and morally. So these people are the ones who usually respond in such ignorant ways.

      I pray and hope that God makes you and people around the world, both Muslims and non Muslims understand the true values of Mercy and Justice this religion holds, to the extent that killing or injuring an innocent animal without any legitimate purpose is a crime.

    • Avatar

      M.Mahmud

      September 22, 2015 at 11:29 PM

      Greetings Peter

      It is not our issue that you are deaf to the day and night toil and struggle that Muslims exert to command good and forbid evil among ourselves. You are not among us and thank God we are not answerable to people who are not aware of our communities let alone our hearts and deeds.

      We also publicly condemn criminals and have done so day and night year after year.

      We are not answerable to you in the slightest so assume us truthful or assume us liars, our efforts are for the next life not for your pleasure.

      When we condemn evil publicly someone comes out and says ” why don’t I hear Muslims condemning evil?”
      The answer is that he was prevented from hearing it or he does not want to hear it and so our words fell on deaf ears.

      Or it is actually heard and then it is said sarcastically “oh sure OF COURSE they are condemning evil or “these may condemn injustice but what about the rest?” or “sure they condemn it but they are not truly following their religion rather the criminals are.”

      It has become apparent that some will oppose Islam an Muslims no matter what and fall into deafness or denial when confronted with the truth. And we are called hypocrites?

      Do not worry. Whether you think us guilty or you think us innocent is irrelevant. We are only to fear our Lord and we answer to Him alone. Our failure or success in commanding what is right is for our Lord to assess. So do what you do we will do what we are commanded to do.

      • Avatar

        Peace

        September 29, 2015 at 11:36 PM

        Greetings M. Mahmud
        What do you mean you are not answerable to non-Muslims in the slightest? Yes you are actually! As citizens of the world Muslims are accountable and need to be responsible neighbors to the rest of the world. Do you think this is about pleasure. No it is about Muslims taking their responsibilities seriously.
        Mahmaud Its good to hear you publicly condemn criminals and strive for goodness and peace. Long may Muslims continue to do this and may God Bless them.
        You say a common response is “oh sure OF COURSE they are condemning evil or “these may condemn injustice but what about the rest?” or “sure they condemn it but they are not truly following their religion rather the criminals are.” There is good reason for this sarcasm Mahmud. Muslims and Islam appear confused and lacking unity on these issues.
        Where are the rallies similar to any thing in the West where millions walked the streets protesting against the actions of Western leaders? Where are your mass rallies protesting against Muslim radicals? Muslim web sites I view have little to say. The common response appears to be the defensive victim.

      • Avatar

        pam

        September 30, 2015 at 7:46 AM

        @Muslim Ameen, Ya Rabb.

      • Avatar

        Mahmud

        October 6, 2015 at 2:12 AM

        Hello Peace. No, we aren’t answerable to you in the slightest. Yes we are global citizens but if we are going to start on this, you have far, far more public condemning to do then we do.

        It is an absolute insult to expect us to condemn terrorist groups when we are their number one combatants and number one victims. Furthermore, considering your crimes in the world far outweigh ours, it truly is saddening you are playing the offense defense(asking us to condemn-where do we see your big rallies against terrorism?)

        And why should we bother any more rallies when all we will get are sarcastic responses? You claim these responses are valid(they are not) and then ask why you don’t see us rallying…and yet when we do really this is the response we receive.

        It really is a no win situation when we subject ourselves to your demands which we are not beholden to.

        This “skepticism” of yours is entirely invalid-the real purpose of asking these questions is to put Muslims in a terrified state to constantly seek to fulfill your demands. To put us in a box and distract us-please, end the double standards if you don’t want defensive responses to your clearly offensive speech.

        “Muslims and Islam appear confused and lacking unity on these issues.”

        Rather, nonbelievers are either confused, or, more likely, downright disingenuous. We are not obliged to publicly condemn any more than we are at the moment. We have done enough. If you have not heard, it is your failure to hear and not our failure to condemn it loudly enough.

      • Avatar

        Peace

        October 6, 2015 at 8:24 PM

        Hello Mahmud
        Muslims not answerable to us? Muslims not answerable or beholden to the non Muslim world?
        This arrogant thinking contributes to the Islamic fascist thinking so prevalent in OUR world today.
        What public is condemning “us” Mahmud? And by the way, just who is “us” ? Who do you think I am representing Mahmud? The public I represent is the same public that rallied in Paris after the Charlie Hebdo shootings. More than a million people marched through Paris as a result. That is the public I represent.
        Yes I am well aware Muslims are the number one combatants and number one victims. All the more reason for Muslims to cease their denial and anti western defensive projections and combat their Islamic fascist ilk on all fronts.
        Our crimes out weigh yours ? Really Mahmud ? Name them. Lets play God shall we? Bring out your scales and let’s weigh up.
        Why should you bother to condemn your own? This is a typical lazy and defensive response that seems so prevalent in Islam. So what is your motivation Mahmud? Are Muslims really that overly sensitive about sarcasm.
        Scepticism of mine ? An attempt to put you in a box and distract you? Islam is well distracted enough it seems. Again this is simply more of the same old victimised Muslim conspiracy theory that keeps you in your box of distractions.
        Non believers confused? Really? You’re the ones with many of your brethren calling for an Islamic Caliphate while others call for democracy. You are the ones with many proposing Islamist militant action while others of you cite Islam as “the religion of peace”. And you say we are confused.
        You say you have done enough and there is a failure of “us” to hear. To hear what Mahmud? The fighting in Syria that continues?
        The cries of the non Muslim Nigerian girls taken into slavery by Boko Haram?
        The cries of Muslim refugees clambering over each other to reach stable, non-Muslim, European democracies.
        A failure to hear the cries of your failed “Arabic Spring”?
        I suspect you are more intent and spend more time on blaming the West rather than taking assertive action and spending an equal or more amount of time reforming your own.
        And you have the cheek to call us disingenuous. Its time Islam woke up Mahmud. If not the same Islmo – fascist mind is set to continue.

    • Avatar

      Tadar

      September 23, 2015 at 8:14 AM

      Check out InfoWars.com

    • Avatar

      Pam

      September 24, 2015 at 9:42 PM

      @Peter, let me guess, you’re a white man…
      Exactly what percent of Muslims are terrorists? Even if it were as high as 5%, which I doubt, that’s 95% of Muslims who are NOT engaged in evil acts and mayhem. The facts are that we DO have a huge racism problem in this country. We DO have people being fed a constant diet of Islamophobia and fear.
      The school to prison pipeline is a huge problem for poor people. Did you know what a powerful lobby the for-profit prison industry is in Washington?
      Continue to hate and fear Muslims if you must, but please read Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson to give you a window into our criminal injustice system.

      • Avatar

        Peace

        September 30, 2015 at 1:24 AM

        Pam
        Exactly what percentage of Muslims remain quiet about the violent actions of their brothers. What percentage of Muslims secretly sympatise with the radicals. What percentage of Muslims spend more of their time criticising the West rather than their own. What do you know about the justice system in Iran or Saudi Arabia ?

  2. Avatar

    Muslim

    September 22, 2015 at 9:45 AM

    Also please watch this interview on CNN https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftERxTcjykM

    • Avatar

      Peace

      September 30, 2015 at 1:59 AM

      Greetings Muslim
      I agree with you. I also pray and hope that God makes you and others both Muslims and non Muslims understand that killing or injuring an innocent without any legitimate purpose is a crime.
      Good to hear you do not support extremism and Gods justice for the innocent.
      Pleased to hear that Muslims are trying to correct the corrupted mind set of extremists.
      You say “compare how many suicide attacks in the name of Islam took place before and after the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq and look at what the U.S has done to the innocent Muslims”. I think you will find the motivation for the Islamofascists is as much about world domination in the name of Islam as it is about self defense.
      Why did the US invade Afghanistan and Iraq? The US invaded Afghanistan as an act of self-defense after 911. Self-defense against the Islamists of Al Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban.
      The US invasion of Iraq to remove the tyrant dictator Saddam Hussein was and still is more debatable. However, remember it was in the context of fear after 911, the threat of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction that Saddham Hussein had previously used against his own people. Saddham Hussein had proved himself to be a threat to stability of the region.

    • Avatar

      Pam

      September 30, 2015 at 6:40 AM

      @Peace, it’s a common problem to compare your ideal with someone else’s reality.
      How do you ,”know” how many Muslims secretly support terror? I’ve read many many denunciations of terror by individuals, scholars and organizations. These do not get air play or attention from Faux news and their ilk. The sad truth is I don’t know of one Muslim majority country whose gov’t is living up to the ideals of islam. But my country, the U.S. is not living up to its Constitution either. And another truth is that if you’re a person of color, that will impact you a whole more than if you’re a middle class white person.
      Admitting this and trying to advocate for justice does not make one a bad American or a sympathizer with radical ideology.

      • Avatar

        Peace

        October 13, 2015 at 3:27 AM

        Hello Pam
        Exactly how does anyone know how many Muslims secretly support terror? Obviously range of opinion exists on a continuum.
        What percentage of Muslims are active terrorists?
        What percentage of Muslims sympathise with terrorists?
        What percentage of Muslims actively distrust the non-Muslim world no matter what?
        What percentage of Muslims see no possibility of integration between Islam and the non Muslim world ?
        What percent see their religion as secondary to the non Muslim society they live in?
        And what percentage of Muslims just couldn’t care less, either way?
        No one really knows. To talk about 5 percent as terrorists and 95 percent as peace loving is simplistic and misleading.
        In terms of denunciations Im sure you are correct. Im sure there are denunciations of terror by Muslim individuals, scholars and organizations. Im aware of Maajid Nawaz in the UK and the good work he does. I must add however that he has had much media and political attention from support. Even having met with President George W Bush Jnr.
        Most of what I have heard however is Muslim commentators taking a victimised defensive position and blaming the west for Islamic radicalism. I’ve been following Muslim web sites for years and that’s what I see.
        These commentators you speak of. Where are they ? Are they in the West or in Muslim majority countries where the ground swell of radicalism exists ?
        Yes I agree Pam, we must all actively advocate for justice.

  3. Pingback: Comment on The School to Prison Pipeline and #IStandWithAhmed by Muslim | Souqhub | Blog

    • Avatar

      Peace

      September 29, 2015 at 11:28 PM

      My sympathies to Ahmed Mohamed. Yes the Texan justice system does have a reputation for heavy handedness. Interesting that there is a Black Policeman in the photo. I wonder what he thinks of it all ?

      Interesting that Muslims such as Khalid Hamideh blame “politicians for creating a climate of fear. “ I agree with Peter. I blame the fascists like ISIS, the Boston bomber, Osama Bin Laden, Al Queda, Boko Haram and Muslim radicals walking down trains in Europe with machine guns.

      Good to hear Muslim writers on this post condemning criminals and not supporting extremism. The Surah quoted is interesting in its speaking out against Injustice.

      O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, Allah is more worthy of both. So follow not [personal] inclination, lest you not be just. And if you distort [your testimony] or refuse [to give it], then indeed Allah is ever, with what you do, Acquainted. (4:135)
      Regarding racism and human rights it’s interesting that Muslim commentators like Khalid Hamideh,K Hind Makki, Samiha Rahman, etc speak out strongly against the US when racism and human rights abuses are far more common and extreme in Muslim majority countries. Arabs are well known for their inherent racism. Look at the North Sudanese Arab Muslim persecution of non Muslim blacks for example. Look at the atrocities that Indonesia and Islamist militias were responsible for in Timor.

      We all need to take responsibility for ourselves and start with our communities.

      • Avatar

        Mahmud

        October 6, 2015 at 2:17 AM

        The USA aided the Indonesians in the Chinese genocide. The USA has committed many, many massive slaughters around the world.

        Interesting Peace we don’t see you condemning the sick slaughter of the United States but we see you condemning Muslims. Why the double standards? End this hypocrisy.

      • Avatar

        Peace

        October 6, 2015 at 8:19 PM

        To Mahmud
        The Muslim Indonesians were responsible for the Timorese genocide. Muslim nations have committed many, many massive slaughters around the world. The Mulim Ottomans slaughtered more than a million Armenians. Why the double standards? End this hypocrisy.

  4. Avatar

    STEPHEN PAUL DELSOL

    September 22, 2015 at 11:50 AM

    THE SCHOOL-TO-PRISON PIPELINE

    The start of the pipeline is the DISCIPLINARY CODE.

    All the BEHAVIORS in it are NEGATIVE. These are labeled as MISDEMEANORS and FELONIES.

    Resource Officers are employed to ‘police’ the CODE! Officers are accountable to no one; and great abuse of power takes place.

    Students are first and foremost CITIZENS with CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS. Their rights are not acknowledged, defended and promoted by SCHOOL BOARDS, PRINCIPALS, TEACHERS, RESOURCE OFFICERS, and DEPARTMENTS OF JUVENILE JUSTICE.

    When WHITE STUDENTS commit misdemeanors principals usually phone their parents or involve administrators and guidance counselors. The problems are dealt within the school.

    When STUDENTS OF COLOR commit the SAME MISDEMEANORS, like ‘disturbing the lesson’ teachers call the RESOURCE OFFICER.

    The STUDENTS OF COLOR are HANDCUFFED, irrespective, of the misdemeanor, in full view of their peers. They are put into a van or police car and driven to the DEPARTMENT OF JUVENILE JUSTICE and LOCKED UP IN A CELL.

    The STUDENTS are not told what their CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS are and they are not represented by an Attorney.

    They remain locked up for 24 hours before coming before a SOLICITOR, who DECIDES whether the OFFENSE is SERIOUS enough to be seen by a JUDGE. On average, between 55-60% of these cases are DISMISSED.

    THEY ARE USING A SLEDGE HAMMER TO CRACK A NUT!

    The PUNISHMENT does NOT FIT the CRIME! It’s UNFAIR! It’s UNJUST!

    Over 60% of those PUNISHED in this way are STUDENTS OF COLOR.

    STATE Governor, Legislatures, School Boards, principals, teachers, Departments of Juvenile Justice, and especially, RESOURCE OFFICERS are well AWARE of this UNJUST and RACIST SYSTEM and are DOING NOTHING about it.

    The PEOPLE IN POWER, who CLAIM to CARE and protect children from HARM are DESTROYING hundreds of thousands of the LIVES of STUDENTS OF COLOR!

    What are YOU going to do about it?

  5. Avatar

    farooq

    September 22, 2015 at 11:56 AM

    jazakallah khayr

  6. Pingback: Comment on The School to Prison Pipeline and #IStandWithAhmed by farooq | Souqhub | Blog

  7. Avatar

    Umm hadi

    September 23, 2015 at 12:51 PM

    Takabbal Allahu minna wa minkum

  8. Pingback: Comment on The School to Prison Pipeline and #IStandWithAhmed by Dushman Ko Zaleel Karne Ka Amal | Souqhub | Blog

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  10. Avatar

    Susan

    October 4, 2015 at 8:15 PM

    Jazakum Allahu khairan for a most relevant article.

    The author wrote that when “we focus on Muslim exceptionalism and fail to see anti-Muslim bigotry as an extension of structural racism, we miss important moments of connecting the Muslim community’s struggles with other oppressed groups. By broadening our vision we can move beyond striving for acceptance, and work towards justice that will uplift Muslims and non-Muslims alike.” This is absolutely true. We are witnessing structural racism and Islamophobia play out on both domestic and international fronts. It is no coincidence that the US has only 5% of the world’s population, but 25% of the world’s incarcerated, who are primarily Black. For every one White male that goes to prison, there are 17 Black males and 5 Latinos. For decades, our national policies such as the so-called War on Crime, War on Drugs and No Child Left Behind (Obama’s The Race To The Top) have been systematically funnelling Black youth out of the country’s worst, most under-funded schools into prison. Meanwhile, the so-called War on Terror has resulted in the horrific annihilation of one in ten Iraqis and the emergence of ISIS in the wake of the hell on earth that is used to be Iraq and has spilled over into Syria. What would we, in the United States do if another country bombed us to bits and killed one-tenth of the population? It is time for the Muslim community to stand against injustice whereever it manifests. The case of Black Muslim Ahmed Mohamed underscores that the struggles for justice are both many and one.

    • Avatar

      Peace

      October 6, 2015 at 8:17 PM

      Hello Susan
      Yes I agree structural racism is an evil. Also part of the reason for the higher numbers of minorities being incarcerated is due to being socio economically disadvantaged in society they have a offending rate.
      However Im not sure why you are bringing the war in Iraq and ISIS into this. This is just fudging the issues. Please remember the war on terror started due to the Islmo- fascist agenda of the likes of Osama Bin Laden and his Al Queda brothers wanting world domination for Islam. This was more than just self defence for them. They will never be satisfied until the black flag of Islam flies over every capital of the world.
      Why did the US invade Afghanistan and Iraq? The US invaded Afghanistan as an act of self-defense after 911. Self-defense against the Islamic fascists of Al Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban.
      The US invasion of Iraq to remove the tyrant dictator Saddam Hussein was and still is more contentious. However, remember it was in the context of fear after 911, the threat of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction that Saddham Hussein had already used against his own people. Saddham Hussein had proven himself to be a threat to stability of the region.
      In the West after the Iraq invasion there were massive rallies in Western cities (tolerated by Western Governments) of millions of people protesting the war. Where are the rallies similar to anything like this in Muslim majority countries? Where are your mass rallies protesting against Islamic fascism?
      Please don’t blame the US for ISIS Susan. ISIS is as a result of the failed “Arab Spring”, the inherit violence found in the Quran and Hadith, the Sunni Shiite divide, and the confusion of authority that currently exists in Islam.
      You say the US has only 5% of the world’s population, but 25% of the world’s incarcerated. Really? What do you base this on?

  11. Avatar

    Aafia

    October 16, 2015 at 5:26 PM

    I really appreciate the Quranic reference.
    jajakAllah khairan

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#Current Affairs

Malaysians Ask China To Free Uyghurs, Close The Camps

Hena Zuberi

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Free Uyghur Malaysia

By Gulnaz Uighur

Muslims are standing up for Uyghurs, protests held in Malaysia.

5th of July could be just like another day for people but for Uyghurs, it brings back dark memories of a bloody past. This day, in 2009, thousands of Uyghur students were massacred by Chinese police in Urumqi. These young students were demanding an investigation into the rising number of homicides in a toy factory. These people only wanted justice. They were also upset by the ongoing discrimination in the employment sector. Graduates were denied jobs because of their Uyghur ethnicity. After the protests, China started abducting the Uyghur youth and no one knows where the missing went. Its been 10 years since that horrifying incident and the condition of Muslims have devolved in a genocidal nightmare.

Communist Government in China Has over 2 Million Uyghurs in Concentration Camps

Beijing has now locked over 2 million Uyghurs in concentration camps. People in these places are forced to denounce Islam, forget the teachings of Quran, prohibited from praying, asked to learn Xi Jinping’s speech and tortured for not obeying these orders. Sadly, Islam is being treated as a disease in China and most of the Islamic nations are turning a blind eye to it.

So Malaysia came as a breath of fresh air when Muslim NGOs organized an anti-China protest against Uyghur persecution.

On 5th July 2019, a coalition of 34 Malaysian NGOs gathered outside the Chinese Embassy in Kuala Lumpur to protest the persecution of Uyghurs. The organizations prepared a memo of protest to be submitted to Chinese officials. In the memo, they demanded Beijing to ‘Respect the human rights of the Uyghur people, in particular, their right to life and freedom of religion and belief.’ , ‘immediately stop the persecution and extreme repression of the Uyghur people.’ and close the camps. They also called upon the International community to increase the voices of protest and disfavour upon the Chinese government and to work together to improve the situation for the Uyghur people through concrete actions.

The protesters shouted slogans like ‘Me Too Uyghur’ and ‘Save Uyghur’. In a media interview, president of the Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia (Abim), Mohamad Raimi Abdul Rahim asked immediate freedom for all those who have been detained in concentration camps.

Malaysians Stand With Uyghurs

Abim secretary Muhammad Faisal Abdul Aziz accused the Chinese government of concealing the plight of the Uyghurs by offering NGOs and government agencies free trips and painting a rosy picture of the camps. Mohd Azmi Abdul Hamid, chairman of the Malaysian Consultative Council Of Islamic Organizations (Mapim), said the atrocities committed against the Uyghurs could not be denied or disguised. The Group of NGOs also included Ikram Association and the Malaysian Youth Council among others.

Though no Chinese official came out to accept the memo, the message was clear that now people won’t keep quiet about the Uyghur persecution. There is a dire need for Muslim countries to break their silence on this issue. There is enough evidence to prove that something unholy and inhumane is happening with Uyghurs. If these countries consider China their friend then ask it to stop being a Shaitan. The leaders must realize that their first duty is towards the Ummah and not towards China.

Now is the time to stand for Uyghurs before nothing is left to be saved.

This protest in  Malaysia has proved that people in Muslim countries do support Uyghurs even if their governments are silent and are upset with Beijing’s policies. This event proved that governments may fail to fight but people won’t.

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#Current Affairs

The Environmental Cost Of War With Iran

Abu Ryan Dardir

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war with Iran

Report after report shows how planet Earth may reach a point of no return. An analysis written by Ian Dunlop claims the planet cannot be saved by the mid-century if we continue on this path. And yet here we are marching towards a war with Iran.

When we think of climate change, we rarely think of war. On June 12th, 2019, Brown University released a report declaring the Department of Defence to be “the world’s largest institution to use petroleum and correspondingly, the single largest producer of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the world.” Burning jet fuel for transportation of troops and weapons make up 70 percent of the Pentagon’s emissions.  Ironically, earlier this year the Pentagon released a 22-page report to Congress stating the ⅔ of their mission-essential installation in the US are vulnerable to flooding, and ½ are susceptible to wildfires. To no surprise, Trump rejected those findings at the time. The Pentagon is now concerned with the impact climate change has on their “foreign missions.”

war, iran, America, Climate change, pentagonWith tensions high with Iran, and several thousand troops are expected to be deployed, if war with Iran is to happen, it may lead us to a more damaged planet that may not recover. This makes the Pentagon guilty of killing people and the earth. The Department of Defense has consistently used between 77-80% of the entire US energy consumption. We see spikes during times of massive war (since America is in a constant state of war), like in 1991, 2001, and so on.

Here is a list of the seven significant sources of greenhouse emissions done by the Department of Defense:

  1. Overall military emissions for installations and non-war operations.
  2. War-related emissions by the US military in overseas contingency operations.
  3. Emissions caused by US military industry   — for instance, for production of weapons and ammunition.
  4. Emissions caused by the direct targeting of petroleum,   namely the deliberate burning of oil wells and refineries by all parties.
  5. Sources of emissions by other belligerents.
  6. Energy consumed by reconstruction of damaged and destroyed infrastructure.
  7. Emissions from other sources, such as fire suppression and extinguishing chemicals, including   Halon, a greenhouse gas, and from explosions and fires due to the destruction of non-petroleum targets in warzones.

This impact on the climate is just the portion from America, in the Iraq war, 37 countries fought alongside America, and 60 are allied against ISIS. There is a way to calculate those emissions as well.

The Rules of War

Before engaging in battle, the Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) instructed his soldiers:

  1. Do not kill any child, any woman, or any elder or sick person. (Sunan Abu Dawud)
  2. Do not practice treachery or mutilation. (Al-Muwatta)
  3. Do not uproot or burn palms or cut down fruitful trees. (Al-Muwatta)
  4. Do not slaughter a sheep or a cow or a camel, except for food. (Al-Muwatta)
  5. If one fights his brother, [he must] avoid striking the face, for God created him in the image of Adam. (Sahih Bukhari, Sahih Muslim)
  6. Do not kill the monks in monasteries, and do not kill those sitting in places of worship. (Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal)
  7. Do not destroy the villages and towns, do not spoil the cultivated fields and gardens, and do not slaughter the cattle. (Sahih Bukhari; Sunan Abu Dawud)
  8. Do not wish for an encounter with the enemy; pray to God to grant you security; but when you [are forced to] encounter them, exercise patience. (Sahih Muslim)
  9. No one may punish with fire except the Lord of Fire. (Sunan Abu Dawud).
  10. Accustom yourselves to do good if people do good, and not to do wrong even if they commit evil. (Al-Tirmidhi)

A verse in the Holy Qur’an

4:75 (Y. Ali) And why should ye not fight in the cause of Allah and of those who, being weak, are ill-treated (and oppressed)?- Men, women, and children, whose cry is: “Our Lord! Rescue us from this town, whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from thee one who will protect; and raise for us from thee one who will help!”

How does this potential war against Iran play into all this?

Our first call to action is to organize an anti-war rally. This type of work is weak in America, and virtually non-existent within the Muslim community.

فَقَالَ أَبُو سَعِيدٍ أَمَّا هَذَا فَقَدْ قَضَى مَا عَلَيْهِ سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ ‏ “‏ مَنْ رَأَى مُنْكَرًا فَلْيُنْكِرْهُ بِيَدِهِ وَمَنْ لَمْ يَسْتَطِعْ فَبِلِسَانِهِ وَمَنْ لَمْ يَسْتَطِعْ فَبِقَلْبِهِ وَذَلِكَ أَضْعَفُ الإِيمَانِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو عِيسَى هَذَا حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ صَحِيحٌ ‏.‏

Abu Sa’eed said: ‘As for this, he has fulfilled what is upon him. I heard the Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) saying: ‘Whoever among you sees an evil, then let him stop it with his hand. Whoever is not able, then with his tongue, and whoever is not able, then with his heart. That is the weakest of faith.”‘

War with Iran will be a Greater Mistake than War with Iraq

Historically, anti-war sentiment in America has grown over the years. When the Iraq war first started only 23% thought it was a mistake, today it is close to 60% that believe the war is a mistake. Yes, this is in hindsight, but that it is also growth. The reason the anti-war movement is feeble in America is that there is no platform for the campaign to grow. Both parties are guilty of starting wars or taking over the wars from the past administration. Whether we do it alone as an individual or as a group, we should do everything we can as privileged members of this planet to save and protect those that can’t defend themselves.

There is a famous quote of the famed boxer Muhammad Ali when explaining why he wasn’t fighting in the war. He said, “…I am not going ten thousand miles from home to help murder and burn another poor nation simply to continue the domination of white slave masters of the darker people the world over. This is the day when such evils must come to an end. I have been warned that to take such a stand would put my prestige in jeopardy and could cause me to lose millions of dollars which should accrue to me as the champion.”

Fighting Earth

With that said, there is a significant interest in the region for more than just fuel and resources. It is truly a problem, our operations in the Gulf is to address our dependency on Persian oil, and the fuel that is used to address our dependence is to protect those resources and access to them. One estimate is that America spends $81 billion annually defending the global oil supply. They do this because the DOD feels its dependency will make it vulnerable on a larger scale.

In 1975 America decided to take away the fear of losing the resources and developed the “Strategic Petroleum Reserve,” and in 1978, they created the Rapid Deployment Force (RDF). Their only purpose was to defend US interest in the Middle East. This, in turn, leads to extractivism of resources and supplies. (Which will be explained in a future article).

This war can be the end of all wars as it can accelerate us to the point of no return in regards to climate change.

A war with Iran is a war with Earth and all who live on it.

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#Current Affairs

5 Quick Things Americans Can Do For Uyghurs Today

Abu Ryan Dardir

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“I may die, but let it be known that my nation will continue their struggle so long the world continues to exist.” Kazakh leader Uthman Batur. He said these words as Chinese authorities executed him for resisting the communist occupation. Currently, China has, one million Uyghurs (Uighurs), Kazakhs, and other Muslim minorities held in concentration camps in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) (East Turkistan) in northwestern China.

Their struggle surpasses the 10 or so years since we have become aware of it. Just like the Rohingya genocide, we waited till the last minute. We are always late and say, “Never Again.” It happens again and again.

In my lifetime, there have been horrendous genocides that could have been prevented to stopped. As a child, I remember Rwanda in the headlines, then a year later Bosnian genocide. Then we hear these demonic stories after the fact. I remember stories from survivors from Bosnia, and thinking to myself, “How are you here and functioning?”

Let us not be fooled to why this is happening now. It is related to economic advantages. The Chinese government’s present signature foreign policy initiative is the “Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI) that seeks to connect the PRC economically to the rest of the Eurasian continent through massive infrastructure projects that will stimulate international trade. The western and south-western components of the BRI require the XUAR to serve as a transportation and commercial hub to trade routes and pipelines that will join China with Central and South Asia, the Middle East, and the entirety of Europe. As a result, the XUAR has become an important strategic region for the Chinese, and the state views its indigenous populations as an obstacle to developing its vision for this future critical center of international commercial networks.1

The expansion of their trade route also ties in Iran hence the sanctions placed, but that’s a different report for a different time. China, of course, has defended their actions by claiming its an anti-terrorism plan. Getting reliable information is hard. China has made it a point to make things difficult for reporters. Yanan Wang, a China-based journalist from the Associated Press, has reported extensively on and from Xinjiang.

In a ceremony at Asia Society on Tuesday commemorating AP’s 2019 Osborn Elliott Award for Excellence in Journalism on Asia, Wang described the subtle ways government minders worked to thwart her reporting: “(Both of the times we went there we arrived at the airport, we had a welcoming committee from the local authorities. They’re always very polite and professional. They say that “you’ve arrived in Xinjiang and we’re here to assist you in your reporting. Tell us what you’re working on so we can help you.” They offer us drives in their car and plenty of hospitality.

Basically, from the moment we arrive, we’re followed by at least one car. There are a bunch of interesting scenarios that we came across. You can see that the local handlers are trying hard to be professional. They are members of the propaganda department, so they’re PR professionals. They don’t want to make it appear like it’s so stifling. At one point, we were taking photos, and someone suddenly appeared on the scene to say he was a “concerned citizen.” He said he’d seen us taking photos and that it was an infringement of his privacy rights. He had this long monologue about privacy rights and about how it wasn’t right for us to take photos of him without his knowledge. We asked him, “Well, where are you in these photos?” and he’d go through all of them. He said we had to delete all of them. He’d say, “This is my brother,” or “This is my place of work, you have to delete it.”

They had all of these interesting tactics to work around the idea that they were trying to obstruct our reporting and make it appear that someone who claims to be a concerned citizen.)”2

On top of that, locals that talk to journalist are punished, sometimes go missing.

I decided to do something this time around; I got in touch with an Uyghur community near my residence to see how an individual could help. It started at a Turkic restaurant, and from there, I have been involved in whatever capacity I am able. Through this effort, I got in touch with a Turkic professor in Turkey who has students stranded as they are cut off from contacting family back in Xinjiang. He helps them out financially; my family and friends help with what they can.

As Muslims in the West, there is no doubt we should act. Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, said “Whosoever of you sees an evil, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then [let him change it] with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart, and that is the weakest of faith” (Muslim).

How Can You Help Uyghurs

Here are a few things you can do to help:

1. Ask Congress to pass To pass S.178 & H.R.649 Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2019. Urge your senator and representative to support this cause. It has been introduced. This bill can help the Uyghur community to be treated like Tibetans (another region oppressed by China).

2. Stay informed. The mainstream media is not the place to get accurate information on the situation. Be skeptical of where the data is coming from, stick to reliable sources that are verified. As mentioned above, journalists find it difficult to report.

3. Donate to Uyghur Human Rights Organizations to end concentration camps: UHRP, Uyghur American Association  Donate to Awareness Campaigns: Save Uigur Campaign 

4. Boycott or reduce buying Made in China products

5. Follow these links for updated information: facebook.com/Uyghur-Human-Rights-Project-227634297289994/ and facebook.com/ChinaMuslims

This crisis is an ethnic cleansing for profit. These are dark days as we value profit over people.

1.Statement by Concerned Scholars on mass detentions | MCLC …. https://u.osu.edu/mclc/2018/11/27/statement-by-concerned-scholars-on-mass-detention s/

2.Why It’s So Difficult for Journalists To Report From …. https://asiasociety.org/blog/asia/why-its-so-difficult-journalists-report-xinjiang

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