FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

World Responds to Palestinian Family’s Jailing Despite Media Blackout

by GREG MOSES

After a hectic day of child care and phone calls, Ahmad Ibrahim decided not to attempt a San Antonio protest Friday.

“I am very thankful for the support,” said Ibrahim in a late-night email Thursday. “And I hope when this nightmare is over, the Hutto women’s and children jail in Taylor, Texas will be shut down forever.”

The T. Don Hutto jail is where Ibrahim’s three neices, nephew, and pregnant sister-in-law have been held for alleged immigration violations since early November. Ibrahim’s brother was separated from the rest of the family and placed at a jail in Haskell, Texas.

Ibrahim had planned to protest the jailings in front of offices of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The protest has been tentatively rescheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 2 at 10:30 a.m.

In other developments Thursday, Dallas attorney John Wheat Gibson announced via email that he had received official notice from ICE that clemency for two jailed families had been denied:

“Today we received written notice from Marc J. Moore, Field Office Director in charge of the T. Don Hutto concentration camp for children at Taylor, Texas, that our requests for clemency on behalf of the Ibrahim family and the Suleiman family have been DENIED. Nothing remains but habeas corpus based on local and international legal limitations on child abuse, kidnapping, and imprisonment. A well publicized suit in the Interamerican Court of Human Rights would be useful.

“I called Marc J. Moore today, but he refused to accept my call. His secretary said he would call later, but he has not done so and I do not think he will. Also, I am certain it would make no difference if he did. If somebody with money does not get involved in these cases, then they are at a dead end.”

In an email earlier in the day to concerned supporters, attorney Gibson wrote about the need for political and media support:

“We need demonstrators outside Marc J. Moore’s office every day and all the media exposure possible, with spokespersons denouncing the terror instead of clucking the tongue.”

According to Gibson and Ibrahim, the family came to the USA on Jordanian passports, with 5-year visas issued by the American embassy in Jerusalem. The family is pursuing asylum, but has been subjected to an order of deportation by ICE.

To date, the story of the families’ detention has not been reported by anyone other than the Texas Civil Rights Review, although our reports have been circulated around the world by blogs such as Latina Lista and activist websites such as CounterPunch, Dissident Voice, Electronic Intifada, IndyMedia, Infowars, and Uruknet.

As a result of the story’s popularity on the internet Thursday, Ibrahim received messages and calls of support that kept him busy for many hours.

Especially significant for Ibrahim was an offer of support from Rita Zawaideh, Chair of the Seattle-based Arab American Community Coalition (AACC). Zawaideh and the AACC have been active in anti-Arab discrimination issues since Sept. 11, 2001.

“Unfortunately, discrimination against Arab and Muslim Americans has only just begun with the need for a civil rights organization dedicated to and focused on the Arab and Muslim communities strong,” says the AACC website. “The Arab American Community Coalition is going to be around for quite some time.”

The Muslim community is preparing for a major religious holiday, Eid ul-Adha, that will run from Dec. 31 to Jan. 2. Wikipedia describes the holiday as “a commemoration of Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ismael for Allah”–a story that is also of great significance for Jewish and Christian believers, too. In the end, Ibrahim’s hand was stopped by God, but the prophet’s willingness to sacrifice his only son at God’s command is a very influential instruction about faith in the Abrahamic [or Ibrahimic] traditions.

As for Ahmad Ibrahim, besides being overwhelmed with child care, phone calls, and bad news, one other thing he pondered on Thursday was the effect of waiting until after the holiday season to stage a symbolic protest against the two-month-long jailing of three nieces, a nephew, brother, and pregnant sister-in-law.

An official with ICE in San Antonio also advised Ibrahim that the Homeland Security offices were located on private property where protesters might be subject to arrest.

As foster parent to a 3-year-old niece who was born in the USA, and as an American citizen who hasn’t participated in protest activity, the mention of possible arrest on Homeland Security premises for the crime of holding a sign may have played a part in Ibrahim’s decision to postpone the event.

Whatever the effect on Ibrahim may have been, the thought of Homeland Security officials passing along such “advice” about arrests is a discomforting reminder to us all of the climate we seem to be sharing in the USA, where Homeland Security’s privatized offices serve as auxiliaries to the power of their privatized jails for children and pregnant mothers.

At any rate, we join issue with Ibrahim when he calls Homeland Security officials “criminals” for their treatment of his family, and we don’t mind if Homeland Security calls our well-chosen words “obscenities” as they did on Thursday when Ibrahim used them.

If there is an obscenity here, it will be found in the indelible memory of a Bible-thumping American culture that took a woman from the Holy Lands who was pregnant with a boy and instead of granting her amnesty from her torn-up homeland locked her and her family in jail during the Christmas holidays without even a single mention of the story being printed or broadcast through the usual media channels to an audience of self-proclaiming Christian conscience.

There is an America that Ibrahim loves. In the New Year we resolve to live there with him.

GREG MOSES is editor of the Texas Civil Rights Review and author of Revolution of Conscience: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Philosophy of Nonviolence. His chapter on civil rights under Clinton and Bush appears in Dime’s Worth of Difference, edited by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair. He can be reached at: gmosesx@prodigy.net.

 

Greg Moses writes about peace and Texas, but not always at the same time. He is author of Revolution of Conscience: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Philosophy of Nonviolence. As editor of the Texas Civil Rights Review he has written about racism faced by Black agriculturalists in Texas. He can be reached at gmosesx@gmail.com

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
December 09, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Nasty As They Wanna Be
Henry Giroux
Trump’s Second Gilded Age: Overcoming the Rule of Billionaires and Militarists
Andrew Levine
Trump’s Chumps: Victims of the Old Bait and Switch
Chris Welzenbach
The Forgotten Sneak Attack
Lewis Lapham
Hostile Takeover
Joshua Frank
This Week at CounterPunch: More Hollow Smears and Baseless Accusations
Paul Street
The Democrats Do Their Job, Again
Vijay Prashad
The Cuban Revolution: Defying Imperialism From Its Backyard
Michael Hudson - Sharmini Peries
Orwellian Economics
Mark Ames
The Anonymous Blacklist Promoted by the Washington Post Has Apparent Ties to Ukrainian Fascism and CIA Spying
Erin McCarley
American Nazis and the Fight for US History
Yoav Litvin
Resist or Conform: Lessons in Fortitude and Weakness From the Israeli Left
Conn Hallinan
India & Pakistan: the Unthinkable
Andrew Smolski
Third Coast Pillory: Nativism on the Left – A Realer Smith
Joshua Sperber
Trump in the Age of Identity Politics
Brandy Baker
Jill Stein Sees Russia From Her House
Katheryne Schulz
Report from Santiago de Cuba: Celebrating Fidel’s Rebellious Life
Nelson Valdes
Fidel and the Good People
Norman Solomon
McCarthy’s Smiling Ghost: Democrats Point the Finger at Russia
Renee Parsons
The Snowflake Nation and Trump on Immigration
Margaret Kimberley
Black Fear of Trump
Michael J. Sainato
A Pruitt Running Through It: Trump Kills Nearly Useless EPA With Nomination of Oil Industry Hack
Ron Jacobs
Surviving Hate and Death—The AIDS Crisis in 1980s USA
David Swanson
Virginia’s Constitution Needs Improving
Louis Proyect
Narcos and the Story of Colombia’s Unhappiness
Paul Atwood
War Has Been, is, and Will be the American Way of Life…Unless?
John Wight
Syria and the Bodyguard of Lies
Richard Hardigan
Anti-Semitism Awareness Act: Senate Bill Criminalizes Criticism of Israel
Kathy Kelly
See How We Live
David Macaray
Trump Picks his Secretary of Labor. Ho-Hum.
Howard Lisnoff
Interview with a Political Organizer
Yves Engler
BDS and Anti-Semitism
Adam Parsons
Home Truths About the Climate Emergency
Brian Cloughley
The Decline and Fall of Britain
Eamonn Fingleton
U.S. China Policy: Is Obama Schizoid?
Graham Peebles
Worldwide Air Pollution is Making us Ill
Joseph Natoli
Fake News is Subjective?
Andre Vltchek
Tough-Talking Philippine President Duterte
Binoy Kampmark
Total Surveillance: Snooping in the United Kingdom
Guillermo R. Gil
Vivirse la película: Willful Opposition to the Fiscal Control Board in Puerto Rico
Patrick Bond
South Africa’s Junk Credit Rating was Avoided, But at the Cost of Junk Analysis
Clancy Sigal
Investigate the Protesters! A Trial Balloon Filled With Poison Gas
Pierre Labossiere – Margaret Prescod
Human Rights and Alternative Media Delegation Report on Haiti’s Elections
Charles R. Larson
Review:  Helon Habila’s The Chibok Girls: the Boko Haram Kidnappings and Islamist Militancy in Nigeria
David Yearsley
Brahms and the Tears of Britain’s Oppressed
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail