Last night the good news arrived of Talha Ahsan's freedom and Babar Ahmad's near freedom. Decolonial duas to all who remain unjustly incarcerated over all time and space.
Talha is a scholarly poet from Tooting, who suffers Aspergers syndrome, and had been unjustly held by the UK and US governments since 19th July 2006. He entered into a plea bargaining arrangement and was sentenced to time served by a Federal District Judge Janet Hall in Connecticut. Plea bargaining is the only choice for innocent people with the Supergun of a Superpower threatening you with Supermax prison. It is a corrupting legal instrument by which the state covers its arse, and the victim agrees to admit something that the state wants them too, in exchange for freedom.
"In my view," the judge said, "jihad does not equal terrorism. In a perversion of what Islam teaches, terrorists have misappropriated the concept of jihad from its true meaning – struggle. But jihad is not what happened on 9/11."
Kudos to Janet Hall, who did not take the prosecution at face value, and to the defense team Sheehan and Reeve. A shaking spear to the cruel bastards who did this to Talha and his family. This whole ordeal has been an exercise in state terror that has largely worked, to scare Muslim people away from challenging activism and even speaking up in defense of their inalienable rights. I say largely because the campaigns; family, community and otherwise, have built important courageous and creative muscle, across justice struggles and internationally..
Sadly, Talha and Babar's troubles aren't over, as they return to a Britain that securocrats and civil illibertarians have turned into a bit of a pigsty for Muslims who don't play footsie. Not only will they have to live with the 'terrorism conviction' stigma, but sh!tstirrers are eager to make capital out of them, from the government, the press and the extremism industry, and cause further hassles and political imobilisation.
They haven't even touched down in the UK, and already we have seen the BBC 's
Home Office's Dominic Casciani framing an awful 'noble savage' narrative around the story for middle England, featuring none other than selfish self publicist sellout Usama Hasan near enough inviting Babar to join the Quilliam Foundation. After the TrojanHoax, which bears many of their fingerprints, Quilliam must be feeling a little gutted that Micheal Gove got shuffled away and a key source of their funding dried up. Meanwhile Home Secretary Theresa May remains at large and unrepentant for her role in this sorry affair.
As the victims try to recover a new normal and dignity, there are many more victims to work justice for, Shaker Amer (Guantanamo, still), Mahdi Hashi ( Manhatten) and Moazzam Begg (Belmarsh), to name a few, not to mention redress for these immoral detentions and state kidnappings.
Below, young Marium Begg, the daughter of the detained justice struggler Moazzam Begg speaks movingly about her memories of the father, the two times he was taken from her and leaves us with the following wisdom.
So yes, sometimes knowing too much can be a curse (reference to Moazzam's last tweet before arrest). But my message to you is, know too much, gain knowledge ... because yes they will come for you, and I promise ... that they will come for you and come for the people you know and the people you love. And when they do, you need to know more about them than they could ever know about you.