Seeking Clarification: A Reaction to my Arrest for South Park Opposition
By Younus Abdullah Muhammad (Jesse Morton)
“And recite to them the news of Noah, when he said to his people: O my people if my stay (with you) and my reminding (you) of the Ayat (proofs, revelations, evidences, signs, etc) of Allah is hard on you then I put my trust in Allah. So devise your plot, you and your partners, and let not your plot be in doubt for you. Then pass your sentence on me and give me no respite” (10:71).
In reaction to the attacks of September 11, 2001 the Bush administration enacted sweeping reforms that largely altered (or revealed) the American landscape. 10 years later, the world is a very different place and the American canvas has now been decorated with a colorful array of fresh sentiment and perspective, a redefined flora that has certainly altered the impressions of many onlookers and added a new lexicon that includes previously unknown terms such as “Patriot Act,” “Abu Gharib,” “rendition,” “warrantless wiretapping,” “water boarding,” and “TSA body scanner”-to name but a few. Such alterations are byproducts of a paradigm introduced as the “Global War on Terror,” subsequently rebranded as the “War on Islamic Extremism” but nevertheless perpetuating into the foreseeable future despite, or perhaps because of, the ignorant bliss that accompanies American exceptionalism!
On May 25, 2011 I was arrested for writing a clarification statement connected to an admittedly inflammatory post on an Islamic website. The post was a reaction to the announcement that the “South Park” cartoon was going to portray the Prophet Muhammad, something considered sacrilegious and part of an ideological accompaniment to a comprehensive Western war on Islam. The clarification statement was intended to reduce the sensationalist nature of an initial overreaction but is now being utilized by U.S. law enforcement to imprison me for something for which I am innocent. As a young activist wholeheartedly opposed to the wars, the contemporary paradigm and especially the exceptionalism, I feel it is necessary to respond to the affidavit that accompanied the arrest and that is typical of the one-sided perspective and manipulative tactics that have marked what is realistically a western war on my religion. I hope that by commenting, I may counter such propaganda and also add a few strokes of grey onto the contemporary canvas’s seemingly inevitable bloody horizon.
As America initiated its occupation of Afghanistan and during the run up to the War in Iraq, then attorney general John Ashcroft revealed a shift in praxis by exclaiming that, “in order to fight and defeat terrorism, the department of justice has added a new paradigm to that of prosecution –a paradigm of prevention.” The result, like the Iraq and Afghan wars, was complete failure but they did manage to insert a sense of overwhelming anxiety, into both societies invaded abroad and domestic American society. As constitutional scholar David Cole described in Less Safe Less Free (2007), the tactics of the preventative paradigm produce a “troubling form on anticipatory state violence that places tremendous stress on the rule of law.”
Frustrated by this and other failures of the Bush-era, the American establishment and thereby the American people brought Barack Obama and the Democratic Party to power in 2008 largely on the recognition that the War on Terror had severely damaged America’s image in the world. The effect, however, has been only an alteration of rhetorical shift from raw power to what has been termed “smart power,” essentially only an effort to return American oppression to the dark. Where the Bush doctrine was best classified as preventative, the Obama doctrine could best be described as “deceptive.” Just as Bush would cite the development of democracy in Iraq amidst the release of photographs from Abu Gharib, President Obama has decorated a mere shift of troops from Iraq to Afghanistan as “just war,” transferred accountability for U.S. terrorism to foreign proxies in Pakistan, Yemen and other states, and altered the “rule of law” by signing the closure of Guantanamo Bay, though the prison remains open today. Domestically he capped a campaign to produce “change Americans can believe in” with enormous bailouts for Wall Street bankers, an advanced war to eradicate the middle class. However, perhaps the most dangerous consequence of such hypocritical reality is the widespread liberal myth that America has in any way ceased a progression initiated by Bush’s preventative paradigm towards police state.
Today the growth of an enormous national security state continues, as do the practices of the preventative paradigm at home alongside illegal aggression abroad but the shift in rhetoric has created a demand to satisfy the minimal requirement of the law. The result is a sick deception everyone recognizes but is too afraid to confront. Today we live in a democracy only because the power elite (and Obama’s teleprompter) tell us so. It is truly an Orwellian age.
Issued more than a year after the alleged actions occurred and after I had made a permanent move away from the U.S., similar coercive efforts may earn a conviction in my individual case. Furthermore, the perpetuation of such practices generally may help to sustain American hegemony, but the long-term consequences of such sustained practice will only spell its disintegration, the signs of which are all too evident today.
I do not expect my individual case to alter that approach. The only potential counter in democratic America would be the development of a real populist opposition to the notion of American exceptionalism altogether, a movement dedicated to establishing an effective democracy at home before spreading it militarily abroad, but the prospects of that are slim; in 1961 before leaving office, President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued such a call exclaiming that growing American militarism could only be countered by an “alert and knowledgeable citizenry,” however, the mainstream press covered none of it, America has remained at war since and the president today seeks to convince the population that war means peace, as my continuing to wage a principled struggle against Empire has suddenly grown more personal than before.
Admittedly, the affidavit read in isolation by the average American exposed to the propaganda of the era generates a sense of guilt before further investigation. However, all one needs to do to initiate a sense of doubt in the credibility of such claims is read the clarification statement it claims is threatening in entirety while contemplating whether it represents a threat at all. What the arguments of the affidavit actually attempt to do is establish guilt through context and association.
The worst context to find one’s self in today is anything connected to the contemporary engagement of the West with the Muslim world, but context is not supposed to drive conviction; under American law there must be proper documentation of individual culpability. The Supreme Court has ruled since 1961 that “in our jurisprudence guilt is personal” (Scales vs. U.S., 1961).
The fact that the affidavit references the actions of others many times more than the actions of myself should serve as an indication of how far U.S. law enforcement has gone to betray such principles. 10 years of cultivating fear made a rhetorical return to respect for human rights possible; efforts have silenced all but a few and have preserved the isolation and paranoia that helped generate the preventative paradigm initially. Where the aftermath of 9-11 led to the abolishment of habeas corpus, the “special registration” of 80,000 Muslim foreign nationals, the preventative imprisonment of 5,000 others and other coercive policies, the real effect was to guarantee domestic passivity from an indigenous Muslim community during the build up to wars opposed by large portions of the population: such intimidation set a tone that continues unto today and so a gradual repeal of general civil liberties has gone by unchallenged wherever they are attached to the War on Terror. Consequentially, there is a new normal in American society, a status quo where freedom of expression in opposition to the oppressive practices of the state has been repealed. The selective and bias nature of the affidavit can easily pass with its veracity unquestioned in such a reality.
The affidavit involves a single charge of communicating threats. A true threat is not protected under the First Amendment. The agent that penned the document obviously understands that the clarification statement, in and of itself, is not threatening as it stated emphatically “even words and deeds which are not necessarily threatening when viewed in isolation may be rendered threatening by their context” (par27). So, the affidavit provides 16 pages of sensational context trying to establish my personal culpability by citing external circumstances it admits I am not responsible for. It then attempts to indicate culpability by tying a clarification statement to this included series of fabrications, clairvoyant fallacies and selective interpretation, indicating an ability to document subjective intention to commit crime where there is really no evidence and subsequently eradicating several direct quotes that document not only my deliberate effort to remain within the law, but also to issue a genuine statement that would diminish any threatening nature of the initial posting. In short, my efforts to moderate a legal post with a legal elaboration are illegal because I quoted Osama Bin Laden, prayed to my creator, and because someone in Denmark was killed and a co-author went on to engage in illegal activity.
I woke up on April 12, 2010 to a post on RevolutionMuslim.com from one of our administrators whom the affidavit admits “came up with the initial posting on his own”(par12), I know now that the post was a preemptive reaction to an announcement by Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the writers of South Park, that they were going to release a cartoon portraying the Prophet Muhammad, something not only sacrilegious to Muslims but, based upon the provocative nature of the Denmark cartoon scandal, assumed to be the latest effort of the secular West to insult and maim a man and religion over a billion people hold as the final revelation from God to humanity. Perhaps such an endeavor would not have been so inflammatory were Western nations not simultaneously occupying several Muslim nations directly, most Muslim nations indirectly and supporting the state of Israel unconditionally, but that being the context such an announcement generated animosity.
The post, which I again had absolutely nothing to do with, warned the writers of South Park that, “what they are doing is stupid and they will probably end up like Theo Van Gogh for airing the show.” This was under a photo of a murdered Van Gogh lying on an Amsterdam street and followed by possible locations for the homes of the South Park writers with a suggestion that readers “pay them a visit.”
Actually, I did not agree with the initial post as the affidavit asserts absent evidence. I thought it was reactionary and immature, but certainly not illegal. I interpreted the words “probably end up” as a prediction, not a true threat, and was able to understand some of the anger because I understand the different Islamic context. As April 12 unfolded, I began to receive phone calls from press about the incident, not as the incident indicates, because I was “also known to operate Revolution Muslim” (par12), but because I manned the organization’s telephone. In light of the widespread publicity that followed I decided to issue a clarification that could alter some of the reductionist nature of the first post and achieve some benefit in line with the organization’s actual objectives. In so doing we included both an exegesis of the relevant Islamic law for the Muslim audience and explanation for non-Muslims that highlighted the degenerate nature of a society that sought to insult the sacred components of a civilization it was presently humiliating in more ways than one.
Reading the clarification statement in entirety documents that it was a call for further communication. The document states repeatedly that it was not a call to violence and invited dialogue based around a further elaborated context the affidavit mentions none of, thus when I mentioned that “we hold to our views” after posting it I included the “we” because I thought the clarification statement had expanded the horizon away from black and white and toward inviting to the grays. That is exactly why when I posted the clarification online I included numerous examples of recorded dialogue and electronic correspondence that documented our invitation to discussion and generated a sufficient response.
However, complete disregard for actual fact is replete throughout the affidavit. For example, the chronology would suggest that the initial post occurred after the episode aired on April 14 (par 10 and 11), but the affidavit misleadingly fails to mention the date of the post, saying only that “Chesser also posted the message” and placing it, after the airing of the episode. Chesser’s message occurred originally on April 12, two days prior to airtime but that would add even more context to help understand some of the other selective and misleading interpretations. As a consequence a preemptive overreaction based upon the assumption that South Park portrayal would be incendiary is deemed to be a reactionary call to violence after innocent jesting by a cartoon, thus confirming the stereotype that helps perpetuate Western aggression against Muslim nations.
The fact that we engaged in several clear examples of peaceful dialogue is also conveniently left out of the affidavit altogether. This fact refutes another of the U.S. government’s claims. The affidavit states, “I need not establish that Morton subjectively intended the clarification statement to be a threat instead, I need only to establish that the communications were such that a reasonable recipient, knowing the context, would perceive it as a threat” (par28). However, including examples of several reasonable recipients that engaged in rational and productive dialogue is testimony to the reality that the objectivity of the clarification statement should not be called to question, but rather the objectivity of the affidavit itself.
What kind of individual culpability is possible where a person can issue a communication they subjectively intend to be non-threatening but can still end up incarcerated for an objective standard placed in such a bias and selective context, a series of hand-picked evidences that supports a predawn conclusion and deliberately ignores all contradictory data? Perhaps today’s law enforcement agents desire such an interpretation of the First Amendment, but true freedom of expression would demand the documentation of a deliberate, subjective intent to cause or commit violence.
While I am no expert on constitutional law, American society is replete with similar examples. Many objective observers view much of the context of pornography, video games or gangster rap, for example as inviting to violence and threatening, likewise the common rhetoric on Fox News, or of U.S. politicians calling for the assassination of Julian Assange. However, American society prides itself on the notion that rational observers can separate fantasy, or political hyperbole from reality despite numerous crimes committed yearly that refute the claim. I guess I assumed that rational observers would take clear statements of non-violence at face value. The indictment argues otherwise.
Such an approach is akin to the false principles through which the war in Iraq was launched. By emphasizing an overwhelming but completely false context about weapons of mass destruction, links to Al-Qaeda and the pursuit of a nuclear arsenal, very few noticed the lack of hard evidence connecting Iraq to the global War on Terror at all. Instead, subjective testimony of those that desired war overruled objective data that refuted ideologically driven claims. It is not hard to recognize that such practices continue today; the affidavit is an example of such war mongering, albeit against an individual.
Emphasizing a context I am personally not responsible for is to make the subjectively non-threatening, threatening like Donald Rumsfeld’s “unknown knowns” and “known-unknowns” a verbal illusion that highlights the continuation of preventative ends, coercive means and the basic deception of legalized state violence. I understand now how something can be for me an invitation to dialogue, but to others an opportunity to arrest for a real crime disconnected to cited events. In my case the crime of expressing dissent and posing alternative solutions. I and the FBI know my true crime, but at the core of such example is a greater manipulation: a crafted paradigm referred to as the clash of civilizations.
The clash of civilizations is a concept as old as history itself but popularized today by Samuel Huntington’s book by the same title (1996) which argued “The survival of the West depends on America reaffirming their civilization as unique not universal and uniting to renew and preserve it against challenges from non-western societies” (p20). While the Global War on Terror has affirmed such a view for many, this core conceptualization, when serving as the paradigm driving decisions in the real world, leads to the type of disarray and trek towards global conflict we see formulating in our present time.
Perhaps it is the fact that I am at once a member and product of both western and Islamic civilization that has made me the object of sustained harassment and surveillance over the past several years. Perhaps it is because I manage to operate within such a paradigm, identifying where it is applicable but proving its flaws and inconsistencies in all that I do. Actually all of my efforts have consciously attacked such a concept by calling not only to the immaculate divinity of the principles in Islam but confirming that at certain times the western world and the United States particularly, embodied such notions. Far from nonsensical postings about where to leave bombs I have a very different online footprint that tends to draw those from the “West” as much as Muslims.
In fact “civilization” is not of unique culture at all, civilization is a representation of a progressive trek for humanity collectively. The “Western” world owes much to “Islamic” civilization and in reality, clashes between collectives predominately originate in the impulses of power and domination disguised as some conflict between civilized and barbarian. While some Americans like to consider themselves distinct from old Europe’s imperialist past, an accurate account of American history so too confirms the continuation of such processes. What Huntington and those that agree with his premise actually affirm is the value of the argument in propelling empire itself.
The affidavit is certainly a byproduct of civilizational clash and America’s reaffirmation of its uniqueness. I affirm thereby, a contemporary clash of civilizations amongst the powerful and encourage vehement opposition to all those that desire empire, liberals and conservatives included. But, at the same time, I have never been so naive to limit my perceptions to the degree that I allow such an affirmation to dehumanize entire collectives; once this occurs you get only a discriminatory and lopsided use of law to justify true barbarism. Such possibilities are as true under democracy as Islamic sharia however; the original approach to addressing the South Park episode is a representation of limited world view. I issued the clarification statement to call attention to such principles, to engage those conducting a very real clash of civilizations and to resist an ideological component of their imperialism, but also to document for Muslims that there is no opposition to empire when you become one and the same as your oppressor and that you can resist such assaults without accepting principles foreign to your tradition.
I intended no threat whatsoever, only, as the title explains, a clarification with details that could promise better understanding of an alternative view. That the document is also a byproduct of an Orwellian world is evident from its very first complaint. It claims that the now defunct organization, Revolution Muslim was started with “the publically stated goals of establishing Islamic law in the U.S., destroying Israel and taking Al-Qaeda’s message to the masses.” Such a statement is not only completely false, it is cut and paste from the website of the Anti-defamation league, a pro-Israeli, Zionist organization that can hardly be considered a reliable source. So too the quote of Joseph Cohen’s “veiled threats,” the one example the affidavit gives for a “series of threats” I again had nothing to do with (par34). These cut and paste insertions suggest some outside assistance in penning the affidavit; a reality made all the more evident where under the relevant law section the agent includes a very repressive and one sided interpretation of first amendment law that cites not one single case study and is built on “what she has been advised.”
It is not impossible to ascertain whom her advisors were; I started receiving calls from a coalition of Zionist lawyers from the beginning of the affair. Such reality points toward the real nature of free speech in the contemporary reality; you are free to speak as long as content poses absolutely no threat to the powers that be. It is easy to miss the underlying foundation of privilege and discrimination once wars are waged against barbarians. The Americans notion of manifest destiny and exceptionalism has created a genuinely unrecognized repeal of true equality under the law for all people Americans have squashed since the country’s inception. In their own respective eras, Native Americans, slaves, minorities, Communists, activists, Huns, Japanese, and today Muslims have been held to different standards with regard to the First Amendment. This has occurred through the active propagandization of a conformist free press to craft an enemy while powerless dissenters are incarcerated and oppressed through an uneven application of the law.
Today it is a sign of courage when westerners insult Islam. All effort to mobilize true resistance against an ideological bias that perpetuates a true threat killing millions of Muslims and going back much farther than 9-11 is considered violent. The affidavit includes such stereotypical value judgments where it explains that the 2005 publishing of the Denmark cartoons were unconnected to aggression and only to “show that Islam should be subjected in the press to the same standards as other religions” (par8). However, other religions and people are not subject to the same standards at all. Many individuals in Europe have been prosecuted for denying the “Holocaust,” while Islamic preachers like Bilal Phillips and Zakir Naik have been barred entry. In America, millions of dollars are raised and militias are trained for what becomes the illegal occupation and expansion of Israeli settlers in the West Bank while Muslims are placed under surveillance or imprisoned for playing paint ball. The audio recordings of Anwar al-Awlaki or members of Al-Qaeda are aggressively removed from YouTube under contract infringement while innumerable examples of videos that justify or glorify violence against Muslims remain.
Such privileged denial of the principal of equality under the law is part and parcel of what has always allowed a subjective interpretation of first amendment law to prosecute wherever even the slightest true threat to the establishment has occurred. By framing my case around the “liberal cause” of the Danish cartoons all questions included in the clarification that are clearly calls to non-violence can be ignored and the isolated examples of the affidavit turn legal expression to crime.
Similar discriminatory interpretation carries on throughout an affidavit which ultimately claims that the “most compelling evidence” of threat is a quotation from Osama Bin Laden and then the inclusion of the quotation is posted completely out of context (par31). However, elsewhere in the document (par17), the quotation is included in whole. It reads,
“We hope that the creators of South Park may read this and respond. That before sending hate mail and condemning us that we may partake in dialogue, and that the western media’s degradation of the most blessed of men ceases. Otherwise we warn all that many reactions will not involve speech, and that defending those that insult, belittle or degrade the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is a requirement of the religion. As Osama Bin Laden said with regard to the cartoons of Denmark “if there is no check on the freedom of your words, then let your heart be open to the freedom of our actions.”
But what is evident here is a clear and unambiguous expression of “hope” and desire, not for violence but understanding and to create dialogue, a quote from Bin Laden was used not as an encouragement to kill but a clear identification that those living under western-induced humiliation and committed to terrorism as a tactic utilize such “freedoms” as a justification. Where the affidavit interprets a conditional threat (par29) that “made obvious the violent consequences of any failure [of South Park writers] to partake in dialogue and that the western media’s degradation of the most blessed of men ceases” (par31), it fails to recognize the complete absence of conditional clause. I stated emphatically that I hoped for dialogue and cessation of portrayal; I did not state anywhere that if these desired reactions were not met I or anyone else should engage in violence, only the very real probability, that some would. It was an invitation to discussion attempting to highlight the reality that terrorism does not occur in some vacuum where criticism of the religion is the isolated cause of attacks, but where a greater context of war, direct and indirect occupation alongside demonization, turns the weak to terrorism as recourse. I believe that is obvious when the Bin Laden quote is read in the context not only of this paragraph but even more so when the clarification statement is read in entirety.
The selective bias and uneven nature of the complaint is an effort to place legal individual actions in controversial context so to attain guilt by association and betray the principle of individual culpability. I must emphasize that I was aware of the contentious context through which the clarification was issued but was striving to repair an irresponsible expression included by a new author to the site who admittedly posted for a brief four month period and only met [me] once (par3). Despite that being the case, it is difficult to tell whether the affidavit is for the original poster Zachary Chesser, or me. The document actually cites his name more than my own and by including what he did after he left Revolution Muslim attempts to blur the distinction between my actions and his.
The affidavit leaves out the reality that my last contact with Zackary Chesser was one day after the clarification statement was released. While he may have pled guilty to charges that included providing material support for designated terrorist organizations, soliciting hoax threats and communicating threats, while he may have posted “hundreds of articles and books online in support of violent jihad” (par6), I am not Zachary Chesser.
My record is very different. I have never participated in any effort to promote illegal violence; instead a simple Google search of my name will reveal a long history of academic lectures, well cited and balanced in view, interviews with legitimate press agencies and many articles and commentary that establish a history of controversial but legal resistance to what I perceive as a western war on Islam. A simple survey of my efforts will reveal not only a different online footprint but altogether different views. I believe the FBI is trying to hold me culpable for the actions of others; I believe such an effort is obvious, that the case is to stop my work which highlights the grays and that if my case did not connect to the enemy of the era, I would not have been charged at all.
Of course, I cannot include an exhaustive or comprehensive defense at this time. By explaining some of the specific manipulations of the affidavit and highlighting what I feel are the tyrannical principles that drive such practices I hope to alter some of the negative views of me personally and also counter what will serve as propaganda against a religion without changing that religion to suit the desires of those who do not practice it.
In writing this I do not expect to gain the sympathy of the masses or freedom from incarceration for that matter. I only hope to practice a principle of Islam that the most righteous jihad is to speak the truth to the face of the tyrant oppressor and so to highlight the actual nature of the deceptive world we endure.
America may have altered the rhetoric of the Global War on Terror, may have changed its name and transformed its approach toward what US News and World Report once described as, “a campaign of political warfare unmatched since the Cold War, from military psychological operations teams, to CIA covert operations, to openly funded media and think tanks Washington is flowing tens of millions of dollars into a campaign to influence not only Muslim societies but Islam itself.” However, the result is actually nothing new and simply the admission that the raw force of the preventative paradigm will not suffice.
The preservation of American empire today requires that we forget the crimes of the Bush-era altogether, that the West interpret the religion of another, that the interests of those in the Muslim world should be abandoned in favor of the “national interests” of Western nations, that we not recognize terrorism is caused by the perpetration of this policy, and that we instead remain committed to the purposeless world of South Park. Many of us recognize these hypocrisies but so few of us are willing to do anything about it. In the name of preserving “Western civilization,” actually imperialism today, we become accomplices of its manipulation, conquests and killing. The only way to alter this reality is to counter it, to explain its workings and to present alternatives that consider opposing views.
Recent efforts of this are occurring; one such example is the research by Robert Pape and James Feldman entitled Cutting The Fuse: The Explosion of Global Suicide Terrorism and How to Stop It (2010). The book highlights the fact that views are changing and documents empirically that terrorism isn’t caused by hatred of western values or Islamic ideology but by direct and indirect Western occupation. It also emphasizes the reality that American perceptions of the causes of terrorism are shifting exclaiming, “in recent years, the intellectual climate has begun to change.” Although the ‘narrative’ of Islamic fundamentalism remains the leading view among Americans, the idea that Western military policies are provoking more terrorism than they are stopping is becoming a close second. On January 26, 2010 a research by poll found that 27% of Americans now believe that the “most important factor motivating terrorists to attack the United States is that they ‘resent western power and influence’ compared to 33% who still think the main motive is to ‘make Islam the world’s dominant religion’ (p328-29).”
This altering perception threatens the intentions of those waging perpetual war against tactics (terrorism) and civilizations (Islam) and so people like me that have contributed to altering these views will certainly be confronted with coercive repression. However, despite the value of such work in calling to the grays, its authors still conclude by proposing that U.S. national interests should trump indigenous political, economic interests of the Muslim world and especially where they deal with the region’s rich natural resource base.
They argue that the U.S. must avoid the “Occupier’s Dilemma,” or the risk that direct or indirect occupation may stimulate a terrorist attack to the homeland. Instead they propose practices that are already part of the U.S.’s “smart power” alteration, something they term “in-country” and “offshore” balancing. This implies only an altered form of indirect occupation via a mix of arming and supporting proxies internal to Muslim countries and military buildup in the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean with enhanced secret, special operations to silence any mounting opposition. In the event such deception doesn’t work, a hidden military force will suddenly appear from the periphery.
Unfortunately, this type of rebranded imperialism is considered balanced academia today and applauded by American exceptionalists everywhere who support the return of U.S. imperialism to the dark. I believe, however, that such efforts do not maintain an efficient flow of oil, craft stable political situations, or preserve and promote liberalism but that such policy impedes democratic principles and serves only the global elite. True freedom is only possible where it doesn’t depend on the suppression of the freedom of others. Such an identification however makes most Americans participants in imperialism; pointing out such harsh realities has placed plenty of others in the same circumstances I find myself today.
As a result of our refusal to confront and alter this situation much of the touted benefits of liberal democracies are deteriorating and we edge nearer a society dominated by the “military-industrial complex” Eisenhower alluded to in 1961, to the society of George Orwell’s 1984 and to what C. Wright Mills described in his book The Power Elite (1956) as, “a coalition of generals in the roles of corporation executives of politicians masquerading as admirals, of corporation executives acting like politicians.” We should include Western crusaders posing as national security officials and all of them betraying the principles they claim to uphold while upholding their own prosperity through the suppression of others abroad.
When war is peace it can wage forever. The U.S. is waging a war that has radically expanded since its beginning. With defeat in Afghanistan on the horizon and the fall of proxies in the Arab world paving the way for enhanced Islamic expression, America is relentlessly pursuing the preventative assassination or incarceration of those that could become the next generation of leadership for Islamic resistance.
The U.S. is also busy trying to coerce the Muslim world into accepting a version of its dominant religion that recognizes American hegemony and Western domination while altering the nature of warfare so that it can be waged against adherents, all over the world, of an Islamic ideology that demands absolute sovereignty and refuses to compromise with the imperialist beast. In that preventative fashion, my arrest is representative of these ongoing efforts.
I knew that if I continued opposing today’s largely unrecognized reality I would probably find myself in my present state. But now that I am here under such false and fraudulent circumstances I feel I must continue trying to encourage others to take up the cause, to identify these principles and to counter them. I see the hopeful dissent of the Muslim world against dictatorship and protest in Europe and the U.S. to a status quo that favors an elite, but I also see the majorities brainwashed by senseless media perpetuating stereotypes, by corporate propaganda inducing consumption and passive in the face of impending global war. I see the innocent eyes of my young children, the shocked emotions of my family as I am now here and they wonder what it is all worth. I have lived by the adage that you must be the change you want to see in the world, live by the principles you profess to the best of your ability, and that life is best spent struggling and mobilizing for the sake of justice and if only to recognize the reality of a world to come. I only hope that I can continue such struggle. The best encouragement you could give is support while I try to endure and efforts of your own that may prove the futility of their trying to extinguish the truth. May Allah have mercy on all of us, Amin!