New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan hosted a rally called to address the killing of Muslim Imam Luqman Abdullah by the FBI. Five months after his death the community concern and outrage continues. Over 200 people came to continue to voice their indignation over this act. They came because still, five months later, questions are still unanswered as to why the imam was set up to be killed in the first place. After 3 years of covert investigation, the best the FBI could come up with was some charges of theft that was obviously a case of entrapment by the FBI.
The church where the rally was held has special significance in the history of the fight for justice and civil rights in this country. In the 1960â€™s New Bethel church was the scene of another unfounded raid by the FBI and local police. There was believed to be evidence that members of the Black Panther party were there and law officers stormed the church and arrested scores of people illegally and without warrants. In this case as well, the â€œevidenceâ€ was non-existent and the judge in the case ordered all those arrested to be released immediately. (At the time the churchâ€™s pastor was the Rev C.L. Franklin, the father of singer Aretha Franklin). Current pastor, Rev. Robert Smith, also likened the killing to the era of the civil rights movement.
Since the days of long-time director, J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI has garnered a reputation of abusing its power. Hoover was the director who infiltrated the Black Panthers, Nation of Islam, and other groups he alone deemed dangerous. He called Elijah Muhammad the â€œmost dangerous Black man in Americaâ€ and set out to discredit him by any subversive means at his disposal.
The majority American population, because of their ignorance of the facts and some biased beliefs, believed J. Edgar Hoover even when it became known he was living a double life residing with his boyfriend in a homosexual lifestyle (and this was before this illicit lifestyle became so widely â€œacceptableâ€). This shows the ease of convincing uninformed people and has been the vehicle through which much injustice has been wrought on the weak.
We wrote last time about this being a â€œMurder that Will Not Die.â€ It is interesting to note that many non-Muslims are continuing to lead the charge in investigating the facts of the case in order to bring out the truth. They constantly point out that this is a human rights issue; not a Muslim or Christian, or any other group.
CAIR-MI director, Dawud Walid and the Committee Against Police Brutality, directed by Ron Scott, have been in the forefront investigating and keeping this issue alive. They are the ones who brought this issue to the attention of the highest levels of the Justice Department of the U.S. government. Attorney General Eric Holder and the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Congressman John Conyers, are investigating this case. Also many local groups including the mayor of the City of Detroit, Dave Bing, the local chapter of the NAACP, the National and local chapters of the National Action Network, the office of state representative Bettie Cook-Scott. In addition, many local Islamic groups are also actively involved including Council of Islamic Organizations of Michigan (CIOM), MAS, and Islamic Shura Council of Michigan (ISCOM).
The case has also gotten the attention of the Rev. Jesse Jackson. Rev. Jackson was guest speaker at CAIR-Michiganâ€™s annual dinner held in Dearborn, Michigan. Rev. Jackson saw Imam Luqmanâ€™s murder as not only illegal, but immoral as well. Rev. Jackson saw the pumping of at least 21 bullets into a man as an evil act.
It seems this case will be around until we get some answers to all the mystery surrounding it. Sometimes things happen to allow a greater good to come from it. Maybe imam Luqmanâ€™s murder is such a thing.