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Enemy Of Islam Divide And Rule" Strategy: Religious Freedom Under Attack

15 August 2010

By El-Hajj Mauri' Saalakhan

Assalaamu Alaikum:

While I applaud this brother for the principled stand he's taken to resist the pressure to spy on his community (for his own personal gain), I strongly object to the tenor of this appeal for support - whether the wording was drafted and/or approved by him, his attorney, or the Muslim Legal Fund of America.

While it is indeed probable (given the deplorable state of the Muslim world today) that there are Sunnis who have experienced some form of discrimination in Iran (simply for being Sunni), I reject the blanket accusation that Sunni Muslims are a "persecuted sect in Iran."

In the same way that I objected to one of MLFA's defense attorney's stating, during the Holy Land Foundation trial in Dallas (in closing arguments), that "We all know Hamas is a terrorist organization," I equally object to the language in this appeal which paints the whole of predominantly Shi'a Iran with the same brush.

There is already a well organized and well funded international campaign to demonize and isolate the Islamic Republic of Iran, we (as Muslims) should not assist the enemy's "divide and rule" strategy simply because it may appear to serve some short-term end. The mere fact that this Sunni Muslim leader was BORN IN KUWAIT, yet is not considered a citizen of that nation with the ability to return to it at a time of duress, clearly illustrates the human rights vacuum that exists within the "Sunni" Muslim world!

Let us not succumb to the tactics of the same devils that we oppose.

In the struggle for peace thru justice,

Religious Freedom Under Attack

Foad Farahi is a trusted, beloved imam in Miami. He was born and raised in Kuwait, but he is legally Iranian because his father is from Iran. Foad doesnít speak Farsi and was raised as a Sunni Muslim, a persecuted sect in Iran. While studying in the US, he applied for political asylum for fear of being persecuted in Iran for his religious and pro-American political beliefs.

The FBI wanted to use Foadís position as a religious leader to spy on the Miami Muslim community. Foad explained that any relationship between the FBI must be made known to his community, but the FBI insisted on him being a secret spy. Foad refused to deceive his community, even after being offered permanent residency and money.

The agents threatened to charge Foad with terrorism charges if he did not drop his political asylum case.

Although he has no involvement with terrorism or any criminal activity, Foad accepted voluntary departure under duress. Realizing that he now faced persecution in Iran, he hired an attorney to undo his voluntary departure and reopen his political asylum case. Foad and his attorney must now argue his case before a government that previously tried to use Foadís vulnerable immigration status against him. There is renewed hope, but the fight is not over.

Support Religious Freedom

Foad Farahiís case raises serious concerns about the governmentís exploitation of the vulnerable nature of immigration status to pressure lawful residents into performing unethical acts. Threats of false accusations of terrorism targeted at innocent Muslims to coerce them into doing things against their will is a serious form of oppression that cannot be ignored.

This case also involves the preservation of the First Amendmentís separation of church and state. The governmentís program to turn trusted religious leaders into spies against their own communities violates this vital separation and undermines religious freedom in America.


El-Hajj Mauri' Saalakhan is the director of The Peace Thru Justice Foundation 11006 Veirs Mill Rd, STE L-15, PMB 298 Silver Spring, MD. 20902




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