Alamdar Hamdani and Iesa Galloway: Dealing with the FBI.

So due the recent arrests and events surrounding Houston, we had a bit of a ‘political’ weekend, but alhamdulillah we stood firm (I think or would like to think), continued doing things as scheduled with some extra du’aa to make it easy on the muslims. The weekend started off with obviously the khutbah, probably one of few non-political things this week followed by the muslim students at the University of Houston (UH-MSA) being graced by the presence of Alamdar Hamdani, first South Asian ACLU representative lawyer, who gave a beautiful brief word on the case of our brother Kobie Williams and what had happened. He then followed this up with some advice on what we as muslims in Houston need to know and do because of this. Then there was our dear brother Iesa Galloway who gave his words today and gave us some more advice which reinforced Alamdar Hamdani’s words. The main focus of both these talks were dealing with the FBI if they decide to come at your door to talk to you. So here goes:

 

FBI agent comes knocks on your door and says I want to talk to you and ask you some questions. What are you supposed to say?

 

The wrong answer would be to invite them in for ‘chai‘ (tea) and biscuits (if you’re English) or samosas/pakoras (if you’re desi). I guess this is rule number one never talk to them alone, never let them into your house. There is nothing wrong with not wanting to talk to them or answer any of their questions but make sure you refuse this politely and respectfully because if you don’t they’ll try to inquire about you form your neighbours, friends, family, and even show up to your work. This can obviously disrupt your daily routine, but we as believers entrust Allah with our affairs and rely on Allah more.

 

The second rule was to make sure you call your attorney and make sure he is present if you agree to co-operate with the Federal Agents. It is probably in your best interest to co-operate with them because, seriously, they can mess your life up to a degree. So you only co-operate when you have council (lawyer) present so your lawyer can make sure the Federal Agents (usually two according to Alamdar) don’t ask you questions that they aren’t supposed to and you don’t have to answer like Family Background (details), political or religious beliefs, convictions, ideologies. For example they cant ask you what madhab you follow, etc. etc. So make sure when you talk to them to answer their questions you have a good lawyer with you, Alamdar sounds good, he will do these FBI cases for free usually or he will refer you to someone good.

 

Another thing to take caution of is to make sure that you don’t ever lie to the FBI agents, they have something called the 1001 authority or power where if you say a lie and they catch it then you can sentenced to upto 10 years in prison (which is a lot). Even if the lie is due to misunderstanding the question like they will ask you if you have a green card and you say yea and then they’ll ask you are you naturalized and you say yea because you think green card is naturalized (this means are you a citizen) then they got you if you aren’t a citizen, there you go 10 years in prison. And as Alamdar and Iesa said it has happened.

 

Next was to go about doing things as they have been going. Both Iesa and Alamdar mentioned that if you haven’t done anything wrong then you have nothing to worry about. People just hear or read these news articles about these arrests and fall into this state of fear, thinking that they are just going to get locked up or something. It reminds me of the ayat int he Qur’aan where the hypocrites said to the believers before they went into war “Fear these men!” meaning the large army of mushriks they were about to fight. And the true believers doesn’t fear them rather when people tell him to fear other than Allah as the following part of the verse said “their eeman increased”, their eeman and faith in Allah increases and he only fears the Allah and Allah’s retribution. So bottom lien if you haven’t done anything wrong then you got nothing to worry about.

 

And they also mentioned about your freedom of speech, that you can say what you want when you want as long as it doesn’t harm people. For example obviously inciting violence against a person or people can be seen as something illegal but speaking out or criticizing a certain action or idea of the people or even the government is not illegal, and it is your right. There is a fine line between the two, and I think one should be safe if he really care about this stuff.

 

Next thing that Alamdar mentioned was that the FBI in Houston has been very respectful and has dealt with the muslims with honor and dignity. And when this brother (Alamdar) says this, then it means a lot because he himself has probably dealt with more FBI agents than many other lawyers in the US, he probably has dealt with the most FBI agents than any other lawyer in Texas. He mentioned that the FBI in Houston has dealt with them in a very respectful manner and he hasn’t seen any transgressive behavior from them.

 

Iesa also mentioned that we should not spread this issue any further because it seems to be closed, and spreading this issue will only bring more attention from the right wingers and neo-cons. It is best kept it as is and should be left, and the FBI also mentioned in one of the news articles that this investigation is almost over but they haven’t said that they are going to close it because it takes them some time to do that. I am not saying that we should forget the brothers and their trail but we shouldn’t spread it to everyone we know because what usually happens, I hear form more experienced people, is that some uncle, aunty, or some lil’ kid gets fired up and starts a campaign in full swing, which can actually hurt the case of the brothers that are on trial or are going to be on trial, and this can completely screw up the attorney’s plan of going about getting these brothers out. So it is probably better that you know and anyone else you know know;s to tell them to make du’aa because this act can never hurt but others which are not found in the Sunnah can always have some kind of backlash and end up harming rather than helping.

 

Also some other words, your Imaam or Shaykh at the masjid might be an expert in the legal system and rulings of Islamic sciences (follow only them and none else in that) but probably not a lawyer or expert on the American system and dealing with the FBI so it is probably futile getting advice form him on how to deal with the FBI. Contacting muslim political organizations or lawyers is probably the best way to go about things if you get into trouble or feel you are going to, May Allah protect us from this.

 

So final words from me and as the other brothers have said, keep the brothers in your du’aas and ask Allah to help them and protect you from similar trails.

 

Allahu ‘Alim.

 

10 Responses to “Alamdar Hamdani and Iesa Galloway: Dealing with the FBI.”


  1. 1 right in two December 5, 2006 at 9:18 pm

    what did he say about the case?

  2. 2 Um Abdullah December 5, 2006 at 10:07 pm

    So in this situation, wasnt the fbi on the DL, so no one knew he was FBI?

  3. 3 danishalhyderabadee December 5, 2006 at 10:30 pm

    He took Kobie’s case and didn’t talk to too much about it, basically what was in the news articles everywhere, he said he cant tlak about it because of the nature of the case. But yes it seems that he was set up…because they didn’t give the name of the person that Kobie gave money to, whihc is weird because they would extract that name and spread it int he media to make sure no one else agve thsi guy the money to support the Taliban.

  4. 4 rightintwo December 6, 2006 at 5:01 am

    Who knows, maybe the guy collecting money was legit but he was caught maybe outside the U.S. and gave info on who donated. There’s a lot of possibilities. As for the other brothers, looks like the most serious charge is possession of a firearm while not being a citizen or perm. resident, a major felony.

  5. 5 danishalhyderabadee December 6, 2006 at 7:11 am

    the brother charged with financial assistance didn’t get ‘caught’ by the FBi rather he turned himself in, so the above scenario is not likely. But then again the person the brother gave the money to could be anybody and the FBI could be holding his name back for many reasons.

    Fromw hat I know, only one brother has been charged with that, the others, they werent able to find weapons in their possession, only them holding weapons in photographs.

    Allahu ‘Alim

  6. 6 right in two December 6, 2006 at 5:04 pm

    “Fromw hat I know, only one brother has been charged with that, the others, they werent able to find weapons in their possession, only them holding weapons in photographs.”

    True the articles are very brief. Reading them again, Shah is charged with 2 counts of illegal possession of firearm(s) as an alien. By U.S. law, possession means in your car or in your place of residence. Being in a picture with a firearm is not possession. Rehan could probably explain it better. The article didn’t say they found or didn’t find firearms at either place, but they may have, otherwise I don’t see how they could charge him with possession.

    And I think they did mention the other brother had a Shotgun at his house, that’s possession.

    Salam.

  7. 7 danishalhyderabadee December 6, 2006 at 5:08 pm

    That’s interesting because I tlaked Maaz’s school maters at UTD and they all said he didnt have a gun in his posession….Allahu ‘Alim.

  8. 8 right in two December 6, 2006 at 5:09 pm

    this clears it up better:

    http://www.nraila.org/GunLaws/FederalGunLaws.aspx?ID=60

    Ineligible Persons

    The following classes of people are ineligible to possess, receive, ship, or transport firearms or ammunition:

    * Those convicted of crimes punishable by imprisonment for over one year, except state misdemeanors punishable by two years or less.
    * Fugitives from justice.
    * Unlawful users of certain depressant, narcotic, or stimulant drugs.
    * Those adjudicated as mental defectives or incompetents or those committed to any mental institution.
    * Illegal aliens.
    * Citizens who have renounced their citizenship.
    * Those persons dishonorably discharged from the Armed Forces.
    * Persons less than 18 years of age for the purchase of a shotgun or rifle.
    * Persons less than 21 years of age for the purchase of a firearm that is other than a shotgun or rifle.
    * Persons subject to a court order that restrains such persons from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner.
    * Persons convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.

    Persons under indictment for a crime punishable by imprisonment for more than one year are ineligible to receive, transport, or ship any firearm or ammunition. Under limited conditions, relief from disability may be obtained from the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, or through a pardon, expungement, restoration of rights, or setting aside of a conviction.

  9. 9 right in two December 6, 2006 at 5:09 pm

    “That’s interesting because I tlaked Maaz’s school maters at UTD and they all said he didnt have a gun in his posession….Allahu ‘Alim.”

    In that case it looks like the issue could be them proving he’s here illegally. In that case he can’t even touch one.


  1. 1 Big Dogs Weblog Trackback on December 13, 2006 at 12:14 am

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Fiqh As Sawm

Islamic Rulings Surrounding Ramadhan and Fasting. Based on “Manar As Sabeel Fi Sharh Ad Daleel” Of Shaykh Ibraheem ibn Duwaiyan (d. 1353 AH) as explained by Br. Salim Morgan. Transcribed and Edited By Ibn Al Hyderabadee

Prologue Introduction

Chapter 1: Fasting in Ramadhaan
1. A pillar of Islam 2. Obligation of Fasting 3. Sighting of the Moon for start of Ramadhaan 4. One reliable witness' presence is sufficient 5. Conditions that make Ramadhan Obligatory for an Individual 6. Expiation for the inability to fast due to age or illness 7. Requirements of a valid fast 8. Obligations to fulfill during fasting 9. Recommended acts of fasting

Chapter 2: Permissions and Prohibitions

1. Impermissible to break fast during Ramadhan 2. Prohibited to fast for a woman in her menstrual or post-partum bleedin 3. Obligatory to break it when it is required to save a person’s life 4. Recommended to break fast for one who is ill and fears harm from fasting. 5. Recommended to break fast when one is traveling 6. Permissible for one to break fast who begins a journey while fasting 7. Permissible for a pregnant or nursing (breast feeding) woman 8. Change of condition of a person doesn’t obligate one to refrain from eating and drinking the rest of the day. 9. Prohibited to fast a voluntary fast instead of an obligatory one.

Chapter 3: That which Invalidates Your Fast

1. Intentional Intake of anything into the abdomen 2. Intention to break fast 3. Fluctuating Intention to fast 4. Vomiting intentionally 5. Menstruation or Post Partum Bleeding 6. Masturbation 7. Marital Relations 8. Cupping for both parties 9. Death 10. Apostasy 11. Above are Exempted in some cases

Chapter 4: Repayment
1. Missing a day of fast in Ramadhan
2. When does one make up a missed fast
3. If missed fast are not made up until few dats before next Ramadhan
4. Missed fasts first or voluntary?

Chapter 5: Recommended, Disliked, and Impermissible Days of Fasting
1. Recommended Every Other Day Sawn Dawood
2. The three white days of every Islamic month
3. Six days of Shawwaal
4. Month of Muharram and the 10th
5. Ten days of Dhil Hijja and that of Arafat
6. Disliking of the month of Rajab
7. Disliking of the day of Friday
8. Disliking of the 30th of Shabaan
9. Impermissibility of fasting on the two Eids
10. Completing of a voluntary fast is not Wajib

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