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Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA) is an organization committed Muslims issues and concerns that especially impact indigenous Muslims—issues and concerns that we feel have been largely neglected. With the launch of this web site we are inviting masjids, organizations and individuals to join MANA.
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Seminar Identifies Torture in U.S. Prisons

MANA’s Social Justice Task Force held on February 13 at Howard University in snow-bound DC an extremely successful seminar on the human rights violations that are committed in the U.S. Prison System.  The Seminar brought together a wide array of prominent activists and experts who riveted the crowd of about 75 participants with history, analysis and first-hand accounts of the U.S. Prison system’s use of the inhumane punishment of 23-hour lock-down in Super Max prison, control units and administrative segregation.

Bonnie Kerness of the American Friends Service Committee’s Prison Watch recounted how 24/7 solitary confinement and sensory deprivation was adopted in the early 1980s as a means of breaking the revolutionaries and activists who were jailed in the 1970s.  Soffiyah Elijah of Harvard’s Criminal Justice Institute described the many horror stories of the psychological and physiological torture of long periods of isolation.  Ramsey Clark, the former U.S. Attorney General, recounted the many past missteps and abuses of the U.S. government and paid tribute to the heroic example of Imam Jamil Al-Amin who now suffers in a Super Max prison under 23-hour lock-down.

Natsu Saito, law professor at Georgia State University, detailed the international path that can be taken to put pressure on the U.S. government to end torture.  Masai Ehehosi of the Republic of New Afrika and Jihad Abdul-Mumit reflected on their own experience in the prison system and reminded the audience that many of the political prisoners who suffer this form of torture are Muslims.  Mahdi Bray and Mauri Salaakhan urged Muslims to become involved, and cited the many recent cases, such as Aafiya Siddiqui, where Muslims are suffering through the criminal justice system.   

Resolutions of the Seminar on U.S. Prison System

The MANA Social Justice Task Force Seminar on the U.S. Prison System:

   1. Calls upon the U.S. Congress and the Department of Justice to launch an investigation and to hold hearings on the practice of 23-hour isolation in Super Max prisons and control units to determine whether such practices are inhumane and as such deserve to be eliminated.
   2. Calls for an independent investigation of the practice of 23-hour isolation in Super Max prisons and control unit to determine whether such practices are inhumane and as such deserve to be eliminated.
   3. Calls upon the U.S. Congress to launch an investigation and hold hearings on the practice of the FBI’s COINTELPRO to determine if misconduct and legal violations were committed.
   4. Calls upon MANA’s Social Justice Task Force and other groups to work together to go to UN bodies to make the case that Super Max prisons and 23-hour isolation is a violation of international law.
   5. Calls upon the Department of Justice and the Bureau of Prisons to end Imam Jamil Al-Amin’s unwarranted and inhumane incarceration in a federal Super Max prison where he is locked up in complete isolation for 23 hours.
   6. Calls upon the American Muslim community to develop working relations with activists and activist organizations to jointly address issues of social justice.
   7. Calls upon the American Muslim community to become more aware and involved in issues of community service and social justice in America, in order to be an instrument of change.
   8. Calls upon MANA to form a broad-based task force which will focus on ending the practice of 23-hour isolation.
And hold fast, all together, by the rope which Allah (stretches out for you), and be not divided among yourselves; and remember with gratitude Allah's favour on you; for ye were enemies and He joined your hearts in love, so that by His Grace, ye became brethren; and ye were on the brink of the pit of Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus doth Allah make His Signs clear to you: That ye may be guided.

Quran: 3:103
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