The Crescent Report

April 1, 2010

An April Day That I’d Truly Wish To See

Filed under: From the Desk of Imam Mahdi Bray — Imam Mahdi Bray @ 2:32 pm

Check out the April Fools gag by the US Campaign to End the Occupation – Click here

Instead of $19.19 per capita of US taxpayer dollars going to Israel, Israel’s going to send US taxpayers $19.19.  Not!  Check out Ibrahim Ramey’s response below.

Imam Mahdi Bray

Quote of the Day:

“Meet the new boss same as the old boss. But we won’t be fooled again.”

An April Day That I’d Truly Wish To See

No illegal Israeli settlements?

No blockade of the people of Gaza?

And $19.19 sent to you from the State of Israel?

April Fools!

I’m playing a little on a really clever message that was sent today from the U.S. Campaign to End the Occupation, centered around the fact that U.S. taxpayers will send, per capita, $19.19 this year in foreign assistance to Israel.  Much of it goes to underwrite the policies that build and maintain illegal settlements in the Palestinian Territory, and otherwise continue the policies that deny the fundamental human rights of the Palestinian people.

Of course, it’s April Fool’s Day, the release is meant in jest.  But the continued oppression of the people of Palestine isn’t funny at all.

It is also hardly funny that systematic human rights violations committed by Israel are paid for, in part, by money that you and I send to the United States government in the form of taxes.  Our elected officials make a big deal-as they should-about the conduct of governments that brutalize, oppress, and otherwise beat down their citizens.  But in the case of the Palestinian people, U.S. money is complicit in perpetrating the crimes that other nations are condemned for.

The good news, however, is that there is a rising tide of opposition- from the United Nations to the European Union to faith-based activists from all of the Abrahamic traditions- to the unchecked colonial policies of the Jewish State.  It may be convenient to label Muslim critics of Israel as ”anti-Semitic”, but the canard is harder to stick on the Secretary-General of the United Nations or the head of the European Union.

And as for the tax money we send to support the occupation:  It would be sweet if we got that $19.19 back as a rebate, and then sent it to the Let Gaza Live campaign created by MAS Freedom to support efforts to end the embargo of Gaza.

When that embargo ends-and it most certainly will- I will rejoice with the people of Gaza, and all of Palestine.

No joke.

MAS Freedom’s Exclusive Interview with Attorney for Muslim Charity Illegally Surveilled by Government

Federal Court Rules that Al-Haramain was Illegally Wiretapped by Government

United States District Court Justice Vaughn Walker (Northern District of California), ruled that the Islamic charity Al-Haramain has provided “sufficient non classified evidence” that indicates that they were subjected to “unlawful electronic surveillance” by the United States Government.

The wiretaps were deemed illegal because the Bush Administration lacked the authority from a special court set up to watch over government wiretapping inside the United States under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) of 1978. Last year, Judge Walker rejected the claim by the Obama Administration that it was immune from prosecution involving the Muslim charity case based on national security grounds previously asserted by the Bush Administration.

MAS Freedom Executive Director, Mahdi Bray, spoke today with one of the charity’s lead attorney, Asim Ghafoor who reported the following:

MB: How do you feel about the decision by Judge Walker?

AG: We are really happy with the decision by the court. We were confident that we would win. When you sue the President of the United States you better be confident that you are going to win.

MB: Does this provide a significant legal precedent for future litigation?

AG: The legal precedent that it offers may be very limited, but it does open the doors for other cases where illegal wiretapping may have occurred around the same time as our clients were being illegally surveilled. Cases that come immediately to mind would be the Abu Ali case and that of Ali Timimi.

MB: How did you find out that the government was illegally wiretapping your clients?

AG: We knew by August 2004 that our clients had been legally wiretapped. However, we had no idea until December 2005 that they were being illegally wiretapped. One of our attorney’s, Thomas Nelson, who was working on the case in Oregon, contacted parties in Saudi Arabia who were also working on the case. They indicated that based on information they received from the New York Times and other sources, Al-Haramain had been illegally wiretapped.

MB: It’s taken a little over a half a decade of dueling with both the Bush and Obama Administrations over the abusive government conduct directed against your clients. Do you have any final thoughts concerning this long and arduous legal ordeal?

AG: You know, we always say that justice delayed is justice denied. But in this one case, justice delayed happens to end with a sweet victory. I truly hope that our legal victory involving this case will be helpful to others who have undergone unlawful surveillance, and that it will serve as a strong deterrent to our government against this type of unlawful conduct.

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