Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|what you can do for Imam Jamil Al-Amin|
|04/12/01 at 19:03:17|
[color=black]18 Things You can Do for Imam Jamil Al-Amin [/color]
There are several ways you can work for Imam Jamil's freedom and dignity, whether you are an individual or a group of people. The most important thing is to try to do what each of us can. Here is a list of ideas:
1. Make Dua
Asking God by Dua (supplication) to help Imam Jamil, to clear his name and to let the truth of this matter come out takes only a few minutes. It also costs nothing and it doesn't require making any public statements. Make it a habit to remember Imam Jamil in your Dua daily.
2. Read, read and read
If you aren't familiar with the case, read up on it. Yoq can check out the official website (provide link to www.imamjamil.com), go back to newspaper clippings or search the internet. Become familiar also with who Imam Jamil is, his past and his present. Find out how he's contributed to Islam in America as a Muslim for the last two decades. This will give you a clearer understanding of why defending him is so important.
3. Read up on the civil rights movement
Too many of us are misguided into believing that the US justice system is fair for all. Reading about the civil rights movement in America, why it was necessary and African-Americans' apprehension about the justice system will quickly dispel that notion. African-Americans have had to struggle long and hard to free themselves of slavery and oppression in this country. They are still fighting against racism today. This will give you an appreciation of how the African-American community has helped everyone, especially people of color.
4. Donate to his legal defense fund
In America, competent lawyers are the key to winning a case. Imam Jamil is in great need of this. At the moment, he has been appointed lawyers by the court. Historically, most cases fought by court-appointed lawyers fail.
One example is the case of Girvies Davis of Illinois, who was wrongly convicted of murder and executed in 1995 for the crime. "It's a case of poor man's justice. Girvies had a court-appointed lawyer who didnít adequately represent him at the trial," said David Protess, co-author of A Promise of Justice: The Eighteen-Year Fight to Save Four Innocent Men, which discusses the case. The real criminals in this case were found after this innocent man had been executed.
5. Become a contact person in your city to distribute flyers
Distributing flyers about Imam Jamil at Masjids and Muslim community events is one of the most important ways to publicize his case from a Muslim point of view. Most of what Muslims know is coming from non-Muslim media sources which, for the most part, has been biased. (Link to volunteer form).
6. Organize a program in your Masjid about justice in the US and Imam Jamil
This is another way to inform the Muslim community about Imam Jamil's case. If possible, get two or three speakers who are well versed in the issue. Also, make sure to raise funds at this event.
7. Ask your Masjid to dedicate one Friday sermon to talk about the cause and raise money for his case
A Khutbah (Friday sermon) is an excellent way to reach a diverse crowd of Muslims. You'll find all kinds of Muslims attending Friday prayers: those with varying degrees of commitment to Islam as well as from a myriad of nationalities. Take advantage of this and let them know about our brother, Imam Jamil.
8. Bring Imam Jamil's case to life on the Internet
The Imam Jamil website (http://imamjamil.com/) is one of the very few voices which speak about the Imam and his case from a Muslim perspective. Currently, it needs people to help add the following features: a discussion forum, the option to forward a page to a friend, e-cards about Imam Jamil, someone to moderate forums and writers to write articles.
If you've got web design or writing ability, send an email to the webmaster.
9. Establish a "Free Imam Jamil now" committee in your city
This will make it easier to inform Muslims about Imam Jamil and to help him locally. Make sure this committee truly represents the Muslim community by including women, youth and members of different nationalities. Its activities could include seminars, lectures, fundraising dinners, pamphlet distribution and more.
10. Write about the case in local and campus newspapers
By writing in these newspapers about the case, you will give a national story a local angle. You also reach a diverse audience of some Muslims, but plenty of non-Muslims, who could also be interested in supporting this cause.
In addition, with new information about a confession (put link) by another man to the crime last summer, which the FBI did not report to Imam Jamil's attorneys and kept meeting with this man until he recanted. It's important to inform as many people as possible about this and other facts about his case (put link) which are not known to the public.
If you're not confident about your writing skills, check out our letter writing tips (put link). Even better, get a group of friends together and make it a larger project resulting in more letters in Imam Jamil's favor.
11. Organize a campus or community radio show on the topic
Radio is not dead. It's a medium which has gained back popularity in the last few years because of Internet radio stations like RadioIslam.com. Arrange a special program dedicated to Imam Jamil al-Amin. Campus and community radio programs are usually open to the idea of different communities expressing their viewpoints. Use this to your advantage to present the Muslim perspective on this issue.
12. Hold joint programs with these two departments
Involve African-American associations and your university's African History department with the effort to publicize and promote Imam Jamil's campaign through workshops, lectures, information tables, discussions and more. They can provide you with information and contacts you'll need to publicize the event amongst a larger crowd, and also with vital information and statistics about the African-American community in the US, which you would not find from mainstream sources.
13. Develop alliances
Muslims are not the only ones interested in Imam Jamil's case. African-American organizations, caucuses, social justice groups, left-wing and socialist groups are all interested not just in observing the case but also in doing something about it. This is a great example of Muslims working with others for the greater good. The added bonus of taking a joint approach is that you will have more resources at your disposal to fight for justice for Imam Jamil.
14. Put up a poster in your Masjid asking people to log on to www.imamjamil.com
This poster is a short and simple way to sensitize people to Imam Jamil's case. Itís fast and easy and doesn't require expert knowledge about the issue.
15. Use the case as a school project
"Media Bias in the Case of Imam Jamil Al-Amin" could be the topic of your next term paper or presentation. Use your upcoming class assignment as a way to educate peers and your teacher about Imam Jamil and his case. For example, you can do a paper or presentation for a law class; you can discuss how his case shows media bias in a journalism class; you can do a book review of this autobiography Revolution By The Book: The Rap is Live.
16. Make sure his books are part of your local and school library
Check out the bookshelves and see if they're carrying his writing. If not, write a polite letter to the librarian about your discovery and explain why the school should purchase his books and how students will learn from them. Get other students and teachers involved also.
17. Hold a family meeting about him and the case
Have a family discussion about Imam Jamil. Get one member to collect biographical facts about him, another to gather information about the case and a third to talk about how Imam Jamil has benefited Muslims in America. End the meeting with a Dua for him and a family collection of money for his defense fund.
18. Organize a fundraising dinner in your community to raise funds for his cause
Fundraising dinners are a staple of Muslim activism in North America. Use this to educate, feed, inform and collect funds from Muslims for this worthy cause. It'll be a way for Muslims to unite on behalf of an African-American brother who was once one of their top leaders.
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