Tag Archives: terrorism

Defense Confirms: Rasmea Odeh Targeted for Palestine Activism

Photo by Bill Chambers

By Bill Chambers

The defense team for Chicago Palestinian community leader, Rasmea Odeh, have uncovered new evidence that confirms her alleged immigration fraud case is based on her being targeted for Palestine activism. Yesterday, they filled a motion to dismiss the indictment against her.

NSA & FBI Spying on Muslims: Old Story, New Target

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By Bill Chambers


In an article published by The Intercept, Glenn Greenwald and Murtaaza Hussain describe five prominent American Muslims who had long been under surveillance by the NSA and the FBI including Nihad Awad, the Executive Director of CAIR, the largest Muslim civil rights organization in the country.  In all of the reporting of this “revelation” based upon NSA documents from Edward Snowden, it seems strange that no one  has made the obvious point that this entire scenario has happened multiple times in the past history of the FBI – most notably in the aggressive surveillance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the entire civil rights movement. Now instead of an entire race of people fighting for equal rights being the target, it’s people who belong to one religion and are only trying to exist as American citizens.

Dr. Sami Al-Arian’s Case: Dropping Charges Doesn’t Erase Injustice

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By Bill Chambers

Last Friday, federal prosecutors dropped all charges against Dr. Sami Al-Arian, University of South Florida professor, Palestinian activist and community leader, who has been in house arrest limbo for five years. Dr. Al-Arian is one in a long list of Palestinian activists who have been purposefully tied up in the legal system with their lives and activism disrupted, while federal prosecutors continued to look for actual evidence of criminal activity. In Dr. Al-Arian’s case, the repressive prosecutors finally gave up. As in the movie “USA vs. Al-Arian” – it often seems like it should be “USA vs. Palestinian Activists”.

“Professional” Islamophobes in the Media Perpetuating False Crusade

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By Kiersten Hellegers

On June 22nd, CNN aired a debate between Brigitte Gabriel, founder of ACT! For America and Linda Sarsour, director of the Arab American Association of New York on the question of whether the media is “fueling the fear of Islam”. To me this question is answered by an irrefutable “YES!” Our media has instilled great fear of Muslims and hatred of our faith as a propaganda tool for the War on Terror. The Western media uses terrorist and fanatic stereotypes in television shows, movies, novels, and, most troubling of all, biased academic works and news outlets, which feature Islamophobic spin-doctors. Hate is an industry.

Muslims are no more terrorists than Chicagoans are violent

cred: WBEZ flickr/Zol87

By Hesham A. HassaballaHesham_CM

As of today, there have been 940 shooting victims in the city of Chicago. Last year, there were 2185 victims of gun violence. Combined, that is more victims than those who perished on 9/11, and that is only for about 18 months. Gun violence in the city has gotten so bad that, earlier this year, the city was nicknamed “Chiraq.” Ouch.

Rasmea Odeh: Repression of a Palestinian Community Leader

Photo by Bill Chambers at November 2013 arraignment in Detroit

By Bill Chambers

On June 10 in Detroit, Rasmea Odeh, a 66 year old Chicago Palestinian and Arab community organizer, will start her trial for allegedly “lying” on her twenty year old citizenship application about an over forty year old conviction in an Israeli military court. If found guilty, she could face up to ten years in federal prison, an immediate revocation of her citizenship, and deportation from the United States. Given Odeh’s stature in the Palestinian and Arab community in Chicago as a tireless organizer for women and immigrant rights, these years old charges only indicate the extremes the government is willing to go to suppress Palestinian activists.

Guantanamo North and the Denial of Prisoner Rights

CMU at Marion, Illinois - Steve Jahnke/The Southern/AP

By Bill Chambers

In late April, Bureau of Prisons’ (BOP) documents describing the process for designating prisoners to Communications Management Units (CMUs), or as some call them “Guantanamo North”, were made public by a Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) lawsuit filed in 2010. The documents confirm what was suspected all along – CMU prisoners are being denied due process from their initial labeling as a CMU prisoner to their inability to challenge their status. Plus over sixty percent are Muslims although Muslims comprise only six percent of the federal prisoner population.

Not a Terrorist?

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By Hesham A. Hassaballa

I first learned about the incident through a tweet from Boston-based journalist Omar Sacirbey: “Did you hear we caught a terrorist last week?” And I said to myself: “Why, no, I did not.” In fact, most probably, much of the nation did not hear about the terrorist that was caught in the Houston area on March 27.

Muslim-American Faces Terrorism Charges Based on FBI Informant

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By Bill Chambers

Mohammad Hassan Hamdan, a  22-year-old from Dearborn Heights, Michigan was arrested on Sunday, March 16 at Detroit Metro Airport by the FBI who said he allegedly told an undercover informant that he planned to fly to Lebanon to join the militant group Hezbollah to fight in Syrian.  Hezbollah, classified as a terrorist organization by the U.S. government, currently supports Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces against anti-government forces. In the complaint the Special Agent of the FBI, part of the Detroit Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), states that  the FBI learned of his plan to travel to Syria with the help of a confidential informant who told the FBI about Hamdan’s plan.

February: A Month to Focus on the Hunger Strikes at Guantanamo

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February 2014 marks the anniversary of the massive campaign of hunger strikes by Guantanamo Bay Detention Center detainees. People in Chicago will be holding several events in solidarity.