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.

 

More articles by:

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

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

July 25, 2017
Paul Street
A Suggestion for Bernie: On Crimes Detectable and Not
David W. Pear
Venezuela on the Edge of Civil War
John Grant
Uruguay Tells US Drug War to Take a Hike
Charles Pierson
Like Climate Change? You’ll Love the Langevin Amendment
Linda Ford
Feminism Co-opted
Andrew Stewart
Any Regrets About Not Supporting Clinton Last Summer?
Aidan O'Brien
Painting the Irish Titanic Pink
Rob Seimetz
Attitudes Towards Pets vs Attitudes Towards the Natural World
Medea Benjamin
A Global Movement to Confront Drone Warfare
Norman Solomon
When Barbara Lee Doesn’t Speak for Me
William Hawes
What Divides America From the World (and Each Other)
Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
Was the “Russian Hack” an Inside Job?
Chandra Muzaffar
The Bilateral Relationship that Matters
Binoy Kampmark
John McCain: Cancer as Combatant
July 24, 2017
Patrick Cockburn
A Shameful Silence: Where is the Outrage Over the Slaughter of Civilians in Mosul?
Robert Hunziker
Extremely Nasty Climate Wake-Up
Ron Jacobs
Dylan and Woody: Goin’ Down the Road Feelin’ Bad
Dan Glazebrook
Quantitative Easing: the Most Opaque Transfer of Wealth in History
Ellen Brown
Saving Illinois: Getting More Bang for the State’s Bucks
Richard Hardigan
The Media is Misleading the Public on the Al-Asqa Mosque Situation
Matthew Stevenson
Travels in Trump’s America: Memphis, Little Rock, Fayetteville and Bentonville
Ruth Fowler
Fire at Grenfell
Ezra Kronfeld
The Rights of Sex Workers: Where is the Movement to Legalize Prostitution
Mark Weisbrot
What Venezuela Needs: Negotiation Not Regime Change
Binoy Kampmark
From Spicy to the Mooch: A Farewell to Sean Spicer
Wim Laven
Progress Report, Donald Trump: Failing
Weekend Edition
July 21, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Kevin Zeese
Green Party Growing Pains; Our Own Crisis of Democracy
Jeffrey St. Clair
Red State, Blue State; Green State, Deep State
Paul Street
“Inclusive Capitalism,” Nancy Pelosi, and the Dying Planet
Anthony DiMaggio
Higher Education Fallacies: What’s Behind Rising Conservative Distrust of Learning?
Andrew Levine
Why Republicans Won’t Dump Trump Anytime Soon
Michael Colby
Ben & Jerry’s Has No Clothes
Bruce Dixon
White Liberal Guilt, Black Opportunism and the Green Party
Edward Hunt
Killing Civilians in Iraq and Syria
Matthew Kovac
Is the Flint Water Crisis a Crime Against Humanity?
Mark Harris
The Revolutionary Imagination: Rosa for Our Times
David Rosen
America’s Five Sex Panics
Robert Fisk
Saudi Arabia: the Kingdom Whose Name We Dare Not Speak At All
Jack Heyman
Class War on the Waterfront: Longshore Workers Under Attack
Kim C. Domenico
Marginalize This:  Turning the Tables on Neoliberal Triumphalism
Brian Cloughley
Trying to Negotiate With the United States
John Laforge
Activists Challenge US Nukes in Germany; Occupy Bunker Deep Inside Nuclear Weapons Base
Jonathan Latham
The Biotech Industry is Taking Over the Regulation of GMOs From the Inside
Russell Mokhiber
DC Disciplinary Counsel Hamilton Fox Won’t Let Whistleblower Lawyer Lynne Bernabei Go
Ramzy Baroud
The Story Behind the Jerusalem Attack: How Trump and Netanyahu Pushed Palestinians to A Corner
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail