Fairness and Justice? Post-9/11 Muslim Charity Prosecution

Katherine Hughes

by Katherine Hughes

Copyright, Truthout.org. Reprinted with permission.

My passion for the protection of civil liberties was sparked at the age of 14 when I saw a documentary on the Allies’ liberation of Bergen-Belsen. For the past 40 years, in an effort to understand how something like that could happen, I’ve been reading first-hand accounts of 1930s and 1940s Europe and the former Soviet Union. Over the last 25 years I began noticing similar circumstances in both Europe and the United States: wars creating millions of refugees, financial crises, erosions of workers’ rights and sharpening income inequality, along with national and individual poverty and debt, a xenophobic and racist climate, and attacks on civil liberties, including freedom of speech.

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Army refuser Sara Beining arrested and jailed after going AWOL again

Sara Beining and her daughter

A single mother and Iraq war veteran is in jail in Colorado Springs. Sara Beining went AWOL a second time last summer after a nearly year-long delay in resolving the original charge that resulted when she left her unit at Ft. Hood in January, 2007.

Just over one year ago, September 14, 2013, Beining was stopped for a traffic offense and held on an outstanding military warrant, more than six years after she and her newlywed husband had together walked away from war service. She was briefly jailed, then given a plane ticket and orders to report back to Fort Carson, Colorado, where, she said, “I tried for another year to play the game” and be quietly processed out of the army as many other recent military refusers have been.

But in her absence without leave, Beining had given birth to a daughter in September, 2008 and become an outspoken opponent of war.

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Scottish Trident nuclear weapons base blockaded in post referendum protest

Trident Ploughshares photo

Trident Ploughshares photo

from Trident Ploughshares

On the morning of September 22, four days after the historic referendum, Trident Ploughshares [1] and Faslane Peace Camp [2] have partially blocked the north gate to Faslane Naval Base, homeport of the UK Trident nuclear weapons system, sending a strong message that the overwhelming desire of Scotland to be rid of nuclear weapons must be honoured.

Five activists have locked on to each other while displaying banners that read Scrap Trident and Scotland YES Trident NO.  Traffic waiting to enter the base is backing up causing gridlock at the roundabout close to the gate. The action followed a hundred strong protest at the base on Saturday after the referendum delivering the message: YES or NO, Trident Has Got to Go.

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Arrests at Nevada nuclear test site and Creech Air Force Base

photo by Sam Morris/Las Vegas Review-Journal

photo by Sam Morris/Las Vegas Review-Journal

from Nevada Desert Experience

On Sunday morning, September 21 – the U.N.’s International Day of Peace – after an interfaith liturgy at ten o­clock a.m., 6 men and 4 women were arrested at the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS), which is 65 miles from Las Vegas. Prayer-­activists continue to visit the NNSS (formerly called the Nevada Test Site) annually in order to work on a spiritual level for the end of ongoing nuclear violence at this solitary U.S. nuclear weapons proving ground and site of weekly low­-level nuclear waste dumping. Since 1997, subcritical nuclear weapons testing has occurred regularly at the NNSS.

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Action camps in Germany, activists arrested

10615645_813613938678674_2501414597445637312_n-1Action camps are a popular summer activity in Germany for families and activists young and old alike, and this summer saw arrests related to camps focused on nuclear weapons, uranium transport and combat training.


The nuclear power industry is dying a slow death. Still its uranium lifeblood courses around the globe from the mines to the mills, on through a handful of commercial enrichment plants and then fabrication into fuel rods for reactors.

Participants in this summer’s anti-nuclear action camp in Kiel during the week of August 9-16 put the spotlight on this still-profitable global circulatory system by monitoring, inspecting and blockading shipments of yellowcake (uranium concentrates) en route to the French processing complex in Narbonne.

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Three men arrested protesting “dead-ication” of new Kansas city nuclear weapons parts plant

images-3Four years after a series of civil resistance arrests and jailings began to protest groundbreaking for construction of the United States’ first entirely new nuclear weapons factory in decades, three people were arrested on August 22 while speaking out against the official dedication of the new Kansas City Plant. The new, benign-sounding National Security Campus will help develop and fabricate the unique non-nuclear components for a new generation of U.S. nuclear weapons intended to threaten humanity through the end of the century.

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Hiroshima & Nagasaki Day arrests at Lockheed Martin, the Pentagon, Vandenberg AFB, Livermore Labs and Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor


Fr. Louie Vitale OFM at Livermore Labs, August 6. Photo by Jim Stevens/Bay Area News Group.


from Brandywine Peace Community

People gathered on the sidewalk in front of the main driveway to the King of Prussia, Pennsylvania complex of Lockheed Martin on August 6, where they held signs next to large banners held by stakes planted in the ground. The underlying message of the day centered around the killing and slaughter of children, from Hiroshima and Nagasaki to U.S. drones strikes in Pakistan and Yemen, and Israel’s slaughter of innocents in Gaza enabled by Lockheed Martin, the world’s #1 war profiteer and weapons supplier.

Next to large wooden sign with the Lockheed Martin logo and “we’re making a killing” which for years has accompanied demonstrations at Lockheed Martin, we put up A Memorial to the Innocents lined with a child’s stuffed animals and pictures of the Hiroshima Child.

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Rafil Dhafir moved to special housing isolation unit, no explanation given – SUPPORT NEEDED


UPDATE: Dr. Rafil Dhafir was moved out of the SHU on August 28 with no charges.


MONDAY, AUGUST 4 – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST

On June 18th Dr. Dhafir was removed to a special housing (isolation) unit. The purpose of the national call in day is to get the warden to return Dr. Dhafir to the general population.

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Two years on, the crime remains the same: To honor the Transform Now Plowshares, we must continue the work of disarmament

DSC7017Ellen-Barfieldby Ellen Barfield

With the two year anniversary of the Transform Now Plowshares action today, July 28, and with Megan, Greg, and Michael (MGM!) seeming to be stable at their prison assignments for now, it is a good time to review the action, the trial and sentencing, and the subsequent responsibility of all of us to support and move forward their work resisting nuclear weapons.

These hot, humid days of deep summer certainly bring back memories of being in hot, humid eastern Tennessee two years ago and beginning to travel Oak Ridge and Knoxville area roads which later became very familiar after so many visits for hearings, trial, and sentencing. When I took Megan’s first call from jail and heard her elation that they had gotten to exactly where they wanted and done all they had planned, it was clear the blessings of God or the universe had again supported the work of disarmament, as so often has happened with plowshares actions.

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~ from Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Center, by Sr. Megan Rice


from Sr. Megan Rice, on behalf of the Transform Now Plowshares

TNP 3 colorJuly 28, 2014

Our Dear Sisters and Brothers,

We send warm greetings and many thanks to all who actively engage in the transformation of weapons of mass destruction to sustainable life-giving alternatives. Gregory Boertje-Obed (U.S. Penitentiary, Leavenworth, Kansas) Michael Walli (Federal Correctional Institution McKean, Bradford, Pennsylvania) and I are sending you some of our observations and concerns on the 2nd anniversary of our Transform Now Plowshares action.

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