During the 1960s and 1970s one of the strongest voices for Black liberation and a new just world order was H. Rap Brown of the Black Panther Party and Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee.
While jailed in 1971, he accepted Islam and became a stalwart Muslim leader and community leader committed to having a healthy and whole community in Atlanta’s West End, which had been ravaged by drugs. He changed his name to Jamil-Al Amin and went to work building his community and reforming the neighborhood.
Since 2007, Imam Al-Amin has been incarcerated in ADX Florence supermax prison in Florence, Colo. He was found guilty of murder in a controversial verdict and his supporters say the freedom fighter was again targeted. He was found guilty of suddenly opening fire on two Black deputies who had come to serve him a subpoena. One of the men died.
Instead of serving time in Georgia, the imam was moved to the maximum security prison across the country and taken away from supporters, family and loved ones. Authorities decided he was too high profile to stay in prison in Georgia.
The fight for the imam and his family, the demand that he be freed and the demand that U.S. government targeting end has been ongoing.
Now a new crisis in his case has arisen. The imam was visited by his wife Karima and Kairi, their youngest son, in early May. “His jaws were still swollen from an obvious abscess or two which they had witnessed on their previous visit in October 2013! He waited 10 months to see a dentist, and after seeing one the condition worsened. He now has been waiting an additional five months since submitting another dental request and has not received any care,” said El-Hajj Mauri’ Saalakhan of the Peace And Justice Foundation in an e-mail.
“Imam Jamil has been requesting to see a physician since his wife and son’s last visit, but that request has been ignored. His breathing is now affected and he feels toxic fluid has entered his chest area as well. His legal team is now very concerned about his health yet overwhelmed with the federal habeas,” the Peace and Justice Foundation added.
The Peace And Justice Foundation and the Jericho Coalition are calling for writing letters of concern to Charles E. Samuels, director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Those who wish to respond to this latest injustice can also call Mr. Samuels to express their concern about the imam’s unanswered request for urgently needed medical care. Call Mr. Samuels at (202) 307-3198.
“Supporters have also suggested calling Governor Nathan Deal to request that Imam Jamil be transferred back to Georgia. Given Imam Jamil’s age and declining health, placement at the Federal Medical Center in Butner (North Carolina) may address his condition. Governor Deal’s number is (404) 656-1776,” added the Peace and Justice Foundation.
According to Mr. Salakhan, former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark was once asked at a National Press Club press conference about Imam Al-Amin, the “war in Afghanistan,” and then-mounting civil liberties concerns in the U.S.
“Let me say first, I remember Rap Brown well from the 60s, and I thought that he was a splendid human being and leader of the civil rights movement, with a strong touch of nobility and commitment. I remember when Congress passed the H. Rap Brown law, just to try to get people like him; and finally he was indicted under the law that he honored with his name … There can be no question that the United States government, through its intelligence agencies and most of its appointed leadership, and a great deal of its elected leadership, considers Islam–not just militant Islam, but Islam–to be the greatest threat to the domestic and international security of the United States,” Mr. Clark reportedly said.
Abdul Jabbar Caliph and the Jericho Movement want recognition of political prisoners and prisoners of war inside of the United States. “These people belonged to organizations like the Black Panther Party, La Raza Unida, FALN, Los Macheteros, North American Anti-Imperialist Movement, May 19th, AIM, the Black Liberation Army, etc., and were incarcerated because of their political beliefs and acts in support of and/or in defense of freedom,” said the Jericho Movement.
The imam has been suffering and it needs to end, said the activist. But the key to ending suffering is Black America organized, galvanized and willing to take a stand. For more information or to get involved, call Abdul Jabbar Caliph 610-621-0699.
Imam Al-Amin has been denied the constitutional right to free speech through a media blackout, supporters add. “Imam Jamil-Al-Amin is a Political Prisoner who by all International and Human Rights Standards and by all standards of decency and common sense should not be housed and treated in the manner in which he is presently housed and treated,” they said.
Imam Al-Amin has stood for you and me, and a letter or phone call showing support should not be too much for us to do. A man has lost his freedom and now sits suffering in prison. We are free to act, but will we?