A Meal with Imam Jamil Al-Amin
By Muslim Link Staff
(Reprinted with permission, orignal story here)
Imam Jamil Al-Amin is the most prominent American Muslim leader in the nation’s prisons. At a Saturday, March 22, 2008 fundraiser for him at the All Dulles Area Muslims Society (ADAMS) which required no ticket to enter, there were less than 60 people.
mam Luqman Abdullah from Detroit, Michigan’s Masjid al-Haqq, spoke frankly to the small gathering of men and women. “If we think we are on point or on focus, we need to investigate our hearts. Who will ascend [as it says in Surah Al-Balad]? The person who loosens the chains on the captive. When Abu Bakr bought Bilal, we was under pressure and suffering himself!” said the Imam, urging the audience to implement the Islamic rights of brotherhood.
“You may think Imam Jamil’s test is not your test, but don’t think they will overlook you. After 9/11, where are the rallies? We used to rally for Bosnia, Kashmir ... you have to suffer for Allah. No one will bother you for donating to the Imam Jamil Defense Fund,” he assured listeners.
Imam Jamil is the leader of a national community headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia where a Muslim neighborhood in the West End area of the city, where he and the Muslim community helped root out drugs and crime and earned awards from the city government.
On March 16, 2000, a Fulton County Georgia Sheriff’s Deputy was shot and killed and another wounded. The assailant fled, and authorities claimed Jamil Al-Amin was the shooter. In March 2002 after a trial riddled with legal holes and inconsistencies, Imam Jamil was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison.
Since his incarceration, his legal team -- which includes his wife Karimah Al-Amin -- has fought to have a retrial on 14 grounds, and has struggled with the penal system’s grotesque treatment of the elder Al-Amin, one of the leaders of the Black Panther Party of the 1960s.
Adamant that Muslims should only rely on Allah and the truth to help them free Imam Jamil who he called a “political prisoner”, Imam Luqman said Muslims should not expect any help from Congress. “If you want Congress to change [the situation], your reward is with Congress .. you can’t get the idols out of the Kabba by praying alongside them to Hubal [an idol worshiped by pre-Islamic Arabs].”
“Do something for Allah believers, and for your nation, by averting the punishment of Allah from your nation,” he added.
“Imam Jamil refused monetary help from people at the start of his incarceration because he did not want to burden others ... we came up here [to raise funds] on our own,” explained Imam Luqman. “He is not crying out, we are crying out.”
An emotional Sahib Salaam from White Hall, Alabama wiped tears aways while saying how much he missed Imam Jamil. Introducing the dinner portion of the event, he described what Imam Jamil is fed in the prison, because servers were going around giving guests the same meal.
“We invited you to share a mean with Imam Jamil .. to get what he gets and what other political prisoners get, and we know some of you are used to crystalware and finer things. If you choose not to eat, then alhumdulillah. If you choose to eat, then Allahu Akbar. Most of the time [Imam Jamil’s] meals are cold, a baloney sandwich with a wet piece of lettuce, a piece of fruit, a box juice ... the only difference is that your is halal, and that after this you can go out and get yourself a hot meal if you like,” said Brother Sahib.
Akbar Muhammad of the Nation of Islam spoke for a few minutes at the close of the event, telling supporters to create a 18-20 video on the life of Imam Jamil and upload it to Internet video sites like YouTube. “You gotta make some noise,” he advised. “You have to shame them into doing what is right, because morally they will never do what is right because its not on their agenda,” he said.
Brief remarks were also made by Imam Clarence Rasheed from White Hall, Alabama, Masai Ehehosi from the American Friends’ Service Committee in New Jersey, and ADAMS Imam Muhammad Magid. Brother Hodari Abdul-Ali – the Executive Director of the Imam Jamil Action Network which organized the event – closed with thanks and a dua.
Brother Issa Smith, one of the event organizers, expressed his thanks to ADAMS for establishing a fund for Imam Jamil, and to Masjid al-Islam and the “Ummah Savers” for their help in the fundraising effort.
Brother Joshua Salaam conducted the fundraising, and about $5,100 was collected at the event in cash and checks, with about $3,000 additional in pledges. To donate, make checks payable to “The Justice Fund” and mail to The Justice Fund, PO Box 93963, Atlanta Georgia 30377. For more information on Imam Jamil’s case, visit myspace.com/freetheimam. Write to Imam Jamil at: Imam Jamil Al-Amin #99974-555, USP Florence ADMAX, P.O. Box 8500, Florence CO 81226.
More info at IJAN.wordpress.com
Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right, and forbidding what is wrong: They are the ones to attain felicity.