Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Enlisting for MIA?

Anti-war organizations plan to protest the most contentious issue after the health care debate.. An issue that makes White House officials all hot and uncomfortable - the war on terror.

"Tens and thousands' of people are expected to show up in this extravagantly planned protest in D.C. this weekend.

I'm amazed by the amount of details available in this news letter. From public transport to hotel arrangements. Everything is included to the help protesters better prepare for the march. But how many thousands will actually show up? and out of that, how many will be people belonging to Santa's list of naughty children, more commonly known as 'the countries of interest?'

The fact that wire-tapping and under-cover surveillance is no longer a violation of the US constitution makes Muslims in this much revered land of the free paranoid and on edge. When undercover agents in ordinary clothes start taking photographs of you through crowds and placards, you should be worried. and you should be ready for the worse if you also happen to be a Muslim.

It happened in Chicago. When Palestinian, Muslim students and human rights activists protested against the University of Chicago's invitation to former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to speak, similar undercover photography unnerved participants according to Christina Abraham Civil Rights Director for CAIR-Chicago.

It happened in New York, in Dr. Afia Siddiqui's last few trial hearings. Security officials demanded ID cards from supporters who watched from the overflow court room. Many turned away, afraid of being profiled. 

In Syed Fahad Hashmi's case, the 29-year old detained American-Muslim from Karachi, Pakistan, there is a similar dearth of Pakistani's and Muslim Arabs supporting the Free Fahad campaign. You see more of the gora than the desi. It is a plight which is sad and yet not surprising. Families that have sold generations worth of wealth and belongings to immigrate in pursuit of the 'American Dream,' in pursuit of the happiness and peace, are now under the the ethical dilemma to stand up for their rights, or continue living inconspicuously. Many chose the latter, praying that the 2am knock won't be on their door.

It would be interesting to see how many of these selected few will actually brave it to the D.C. protest on March 20.

My Work