Friday, January 26, 2007
Saturday, January 20, 2007
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Family Update & Support ActionsAs Salaam u Alaikum
*pls. fwd to your networks*
A quick update on the Siraj family's situation and another quick support action(s) needed.
First, on behalf of the family and DRUM, we are deeply moved and strengthened by the beautiful show of solidarity that you've shown...thank you for your letters, attending the rally, and general support! Almost 40 of us, allies, took the entire day on Tuesday to demonstrate support of the family outside Elizabeth Detention Center while the mother & daughter's bond was decided: the Judge agreed to release them on bond (a victory!) but set it at an outrageous, forbidding amount: $35,000 total for both. The family & supporters are now scrambling to raise the bond and we're hoping that the mother and daughter will be released soon. The attorney reported that they are visibly traumatized. From our visit last week, we were humbled by the family's deep strength and courage to fight for justice.
At this juncture, two urgent needs:
1. The father is still detained. Please sign the letter of support for his release (attached & pasted below) and email it IMMEDIATELY to: firstname.lastname@example.org FAX is preferred, if you can, to the attorney at: 212-233-4877 Please respond in the next 24 hours if you can so they reach the Dept of Homeland Security in time! **Organizational letterhead is best if you're affiliated, but your personal name and address helps, too.**
2. The family is in desperate financial circumstances and needs support for basic survival, attorney's fees, and exorbitant bond. Please donate what you can. Checks for over $50 (tax-deductible) should be made to our fiscal sponsor: AJ Muste with "DRUM, Siraj Support Fund" in the memo line. Checks for under $50 (non-tax deductible) directly to: DRUM with "Siraj Support Fund" in the memo line. MAIL to: DRUM, PO Box 720187, Jackson Heights, NY 11372
Again, thank you for your incredible support as we continue fighting for this family's freedom and the larger political attack on our communities. For more information on Tuesday's hearing, read our most recent press release at DRUM's website
January 17, 2007
Officers Cozine and Taylor
Elizabeth Detention Center
625 Evans Street, Room 148A
Elizabeth, New Jersey 07201
Dear Officer Cozine and Taylor,
SUBJECT: Release from Detention for Siraj Abdul Rehman
I am writing to support the immediate release of Siraj Abdul Rehman who has been held at Elizabeth Detention Center in New Jersey since Tuesday, January 9, 2007. I fully support his immediate release on recognizance or a reasonable bond.
In respect of civil rights and due process, as Mr. Rehman's entire family was detained on Tuesday January 9th, I am concerned that the Siraj family was indiscriminately chosen for arrest due to the alleged charges of terrorism against their young son, Siraj Matin. Approximately 12 hours after receiving the devastating news of an indiscriminate and lengthy sentence for their son, they were arrested for relatively minor immigration violations that do not necessitate detention. Due to countless legal and constitutional irregularities connected to their son's case, the family has overwhelming community support, and the family should not be punished through detention for pursuing justice for their son.
The Siraj family is a peace-loving family that has worked hard in this country for several years since escaping persecution in Pakistan. Mr. Rehman is hard-working, cares deeply about civic and family matters, has no criminal record, and is simply looking to live peacefully with their family intact. The family is deeply rooted in New York's South Asian community and are absolutely committed to staying in this country in order to seek justice in their son's criminal case as well as to apply for asylum. In no way does the family pose a flight risk due to their deep commitments, obligations, and solid community roots. As such, Mr. Rehman should be released on recognizance or a reasonable bond as he poses no threat to society, is not a flight risk because he intends to pursue an appeal in his son's case, and is deeply rooted within the community.
For a father that has already lost his son to imprisonment, Mr. Rehman's spirit and health is on the verge of breaking due to detention. If continuously detained, Mr. Rehman will be prevented from a fair opportunity to follow through on appealing for justice for his son's case as well as being separated from his wife and daughter who are in desperate financial and emotional states. If deported, a young son will be left to perish in prison and the lives of an entire, peace-loving family will be ruined. I respectfully request that ICE exercises compassion and justice for Mr. Rehman in granting release.
[name, address, organization, if applicable]
Monday, January 15, 2007
Write an Urgent Support LetterAs mentioned in previous posts, a Muslim Pakistani family has been arrested and jailed as an intimidation tactic. Their home was raided the morning after their son was given a 30 year sentence on (false) terrorism charges, all part of an effort to silence an outspoken family. The mother and daughter have a bail bond hearing tomorrow in front of an immigration judge.
We are asking folks to write and sign a letter in support of the family. I am attaching a sample letter, which you can modify/personalize as necessary. Please fax it to 718-205-3036 ( or email to email@example.com ) by 10am Tuesday morning. The letter can be from you personally or from your organization...putting your address is very helpful...
January 15, 2007
Honorable Judge Tadal
Executive Office of Immigration Review
625 Evans Street, Room 148A
Elizabeth, New Jersey 07201
Dear Judge Tadal,
SUBJECT: Release from Detention for Shahina Parveen and Sanya Siraj
I am writing to support the immediate release of Shahina Parveen and Sanya Siraj who have been held at Elizabeth Detention Center in New Jersey since Tuesday, January 9, 2007. I fully support the immediate release of both mother and daughter on recognizance or a reasonable bond.
As a matter of respecting civil rights and due process, I am concerned that the entire Siraj family was indiscriminately chosen for arrest due to the alleged charges of terrorism against their young son, Siraj Matin. Approximately 12 hours after receiving the devastating news of an indiscriminate and lengthy sentence for their son, they were arrested for relatively minor immigration violations that do not usually warrant detention. Due to countless legal and constitutional irregularities connected to their son’s case, the family has overwhelming community support.
The Siraj family is a peace-loving family that has worked hard in this country for several years since escaping persecution in Pakistan. They are active in their civic and spiritual community, care deeply about civic and family matters, have no criminal records, and are simply looking to live peacefully with their family intact. They are deeply rooted in New York’s South Asian community and are absolutely committed to staying in this country in order to seek justice in their son’s criminal case as well as to apply for asylum. In no way does the family pose a flight risk due to their deep commitments, obligations, and solid community roots. As such, the family should be released on recognizance or a reasonable bond as they pose no threat to society and are deeply rooted within the community.
For a mother and daughter that have already lost their son and brother to imprisonment, their spirits and health are on the verge of breaking due to detention. If continuously detained, Mrs. Parveen and her family will be prevented from a fair opportunity to follow through on appealing for justice on their son’s case as well as resolving their own immigration matters through the asylum process. If deported, a young son will be left to perish in prison and the lives of an entire, peace-loving family will be ruined. I respectfully request that Your Honor exercise compassion and justice for the Siraj family for their immediate release.
[Organization, if applicable]
Sunday, January 14, 2007
TAKE A FEW URGENT STEPS IN THE NEXT 48-72 HOURS to...
CALL ICE at 973-645-3666 (Deputy Director - Ext.5010, or Supervising Deportation Officer - Ext.5017), or FAX at 973-645-6124 (leave messages if necessary)
Support the family by contributing to their legal and support fund
COME show support for the mother & daughter's Bail Bond hearing by demonstrating outside
Bus Meeting times:
10am at DRUM, 72-26 Broadway,
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Entire Queens Family Arrested as IntimidationThis is the justice of the USA: state violence and repression
Where innocent men and grandmothers are shot to death by racist police...
Where immigrants are exploited for sub-wage labor but rounded up when they demand rights...
Where young men are lured and entrapped by police/FBI informants, and then their family is rounded up to silence their protests (and thwart appeals)...
I will post a more detailed Action Alert later today (with the direct extension to the ICE official), Inshallah...
An interview with lawyer Martin Stolar on the son's case from DemocracyNow
January 9, 2007
Entire Queens Family Arrested as Intimidation
At 5am on the morning of January 9th, 2007, ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) raided the Queens home of and arrested three members (father, mother, and daughter) of the Siraj family, a tight-knit Pakistani family that has been caught up in the U.S. "War on Terror's" most recent act of racial and religious profiling. Tuesday's deplorable raid on the home of an innocent family is amongst dozens of other targeted, prejudiced sweeps across the country that are tearing Muslim, Arab and South Asian communities apart. The arrests occurred less than 12 hours after their young son, Shahawar Matin Siraj, was sentenced to 30 years in prison for alleged terrorism-related charges emerging from a clandestine NYPD-paid informant's entrapment.
ICE officials are currently falsely reporting that the family was arrested on immigration-related charges and that the father's appeal for an asylum case was "denied." The reality is that the father's appeal is still pending in the Second Circuit Court and has not been decided, and that the mother and teenage daughter do not have any immigration cases or deportation orders pending against them. Given the high-profile media attention on their son's case, in which there were many underhanded legal irregularities and rights violations, these arrests are being seen by the community as an attempt to silence and make an example of the family through harassment. The family maintains that their son was ensnared by an NYPD informant, evidence of which the court did not properly consider, resulting in an unfair trial and sentencing. The family has filed a notice of appeal for their son's case.
Both the father and the mother have ongoing and severe medical conditions, and the mother was only allowed to take two days of medicine at the time of the arrests. All family members are currently being held at Elizabeth Detention Center in Elizabeth, NJ, but they may be moved or separated to different facilities.
DRUM, as a community based organization that works with Muslim and South Asian immigrants and has seen the targeting of this community before and especially after 9/11, is calling on all concerned individuals and organizations to contact the ICE Field Office Director, at 973-645-3666 ext. 0, and demand that (a) the Siraj family be immediately released on their own recognizance or a reasonable bond, and, (b) that ICE stop targeting immigrant communities, in particular Muslims, Arabs, and South Asians. DRUM is also calling on all people of conscience to call Warden Charlotte Collins at Elizabeth Detention Center, at 908-352-3776, to demand that (a) they provide urgent medical care and medication for the mother and father, and (b) that the Siraj family be kept together, particularly the mother and daughter not be separated, and, (c) to pro-actively facilitate direct communication and visitation between the family and their son, Matin, who is being held at Metropolitan Detention Center. DRUM, alongside countless civil and human-rights organizations and concerned citizens will continue to expose the ongoing injustices of the "War on Terror" against this family and all targeted communities.
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
The Muslim Street #5: Femperialism
Episode #5 of The Muslim Street: A show on the Houston Pacifica station, KPFT.
Femperialism: Host UmmAli speaks with Mohja Kahf, Saba Mahmood and Itrath Syed on Western representations of Muslim women and how U.S. feminism has been used to further American imperialist aims. Click here to listen
Click here to subscribe to the ihsan podcast on itunes.
Sunday, January 07, 2007
Saturday, January 06, 2007
Palestinian Family Jailed in TexasHelp Stop Deportation of Palestinian Family Jailed in Texas
The Arab American Community Coalition has just learned of an entire Palestinian family - the Ibrahims - being held in jail in Texas while waiting an unjustified deportation. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) grabbed the family of five in a Gestapo-like raid on November 3, 2006.
The Ibrahims came to the United States legally and applied for asylum. They have been honest and forthright with immigration from the beginning. They were denied asylum and have filed to reopen their asylum case. In the meantime, the family is to be deported and is being held in jail! As an American citizen, the 2-year-old daughter was ripped from her mother's arms and is in a foster home.
The plot thickens:
To make matters worse, as Palestinian refugees from the Occupied Palestinian Territories, they have no travel documents. The US government has attempted to obtain Jordanian passports for the family but the applications were denied. The family will have to languish another month in jail while ICE contacts the Israeli embassy. Even though Israel has no jurisdiction to issue travel documents to Palestinians to the Occupied Palestinian Territories, ICE insists on contacting Israel. In the past, Israel has issued illegal documents with ICE flying deportees into Tel Aviv and the deportees marched across the border to the West Bank in Palestine. It is extremely dangerous for Palestinians to enter Palestine with Israeli travel documents. The family would be marked with suspicion.
The family in jail:
The pregnant mother, Hanan Ahmad, is in one cell with her 5-year-old daughter, Fatem. The 7- and 12-year-old sisters - Maryam and Rodaina - share another cell. The 15-year-old boy, Hamzeh, is in yet another cell at T. Don Hutto jail. The father and husband, Salaheddin Ibrahim, is being held in another jail in Haskell, Texas. Born in the US, the youngest daughter, only 2-years-old, is living with strangers in a foster home.
The little 5-year-old girl, Faten, is constantly getting in trouble with the guards for not standing still during population counts, which are taken four times daily. Maryam, the 7-year-old cries for her mother at night. Maryam, Rodaina and Hamzeh have missed nearly two months of school. The children miss their father, their baby sister, other family members and friends. The pregnant mother feels sick, tired and overwhelmed. The family is separated and scared not knowing what the future holds.
Not only is this a waste of tax dollars ($95 per person per day), it is inhumane and unjust!
What can you do?
Please contact ICE Field Office Director, Marc Jeffery Moore, @ 210-967-7175 and ask him to release the family on house arrest. You can also contact U.S. Department of Homeland Security @ Operator Number: 202-282-8000 or Comment Line: 202-282-8495
If you live in Texas, please contact your Senators and State Representative and ask him or her to intercede in this tragic story. Click on the link below to find out who represents you in the Congress.
You can either right your own letter or use sample letters attached to this email.
Legal fees to save the Ibrahim family will be costly. Please send checks payable to:
"Arab American Community Coalition"
Legal Defense - Ibrahim Family
P.O. Box 31642
Seattle, WA 98103
All donations are tax-deductible with 100% of your donation going to the Ibrahim Family. Please don't forget to check if your organization has a matching program.
For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Also you can check the links below:
Video showing the family on local news: http://www.nbc5i.com/video/10471070/index.html
The Arab American Community Coalition
Monday, January 01, 2007
The Muslim Street
It’s about Islam. It’s about our voice. It’s about time.
Episode #4 of The Muslim Street: A show on the Houston Pacifica station, KPFT.
The “War on Terror” Prejudice and Psychological impact on the Muslim community. Host UmmAli talks to Dr. Mona Amer, author of a study on Arab mental health post 9/11 and Sami Hijazi.
Listen to this show re(pod)cast on the ihsan podcast or click here for audio web stream.
Click here to subscribe to the ihsan podcast on itunes.