Growing Up West End: Reflectionz on the Influence of Imam Jamil Al-Amin

by Masood Abdul-Haqq – October 11, 2016

At the heart of the West End neighborhood of Atlanta is the Community Mosque, a quaint house, turned spiritual refuge, for Black Muslims from all over the country. In the early 1990s, at the heart of the Community Mosque, was Imam Jamil Al-Amin, a gangly, soft spoken man from Louisiana with a scruffy reddish brown beard and a knack for catchphrases that blended the latest hip hop slang into reminders about making 5 prayers a day. So when you heard him say he’s checking you “because I’m Muslim by nature, not ’cause I hate ya,” it made you realize that to be Black and Muslim was not only acceptable, it was downright cool.

 My introduction to Imam Jamil was not a direct one. When my family and I first moved to Atlanta in the fall of 1992, the West End Muslim scene unfolded like some sort of Black Muslim Utopia. A soulful adhan was the soundtrack to Black children of all ages in kufis and khimars playing with each other on either side of the street. The intersecting streets near the masjid gave way to a large covered basketball court, on which the game in progress had come to a halt due to the number of players who chose to answer the melodic call to prayer. Overlooking this scene from the bench in front of his convenience store, like a shepherd admiring his flock, was a denim overall and crocheted kufi-clad Imam Jamil. Before I heard him utter a single word, it was obvious to me that I was in the presence of a transcendent leader.

 The early 1990’s was an exciting time to be in Atlanta. However, one of the unfortunate undercurrents of our booming urban economy was the inevitable rise of the drug trade. Reagan had been out of office for a full term, but his crack epidemic and trickle down economics were still very prevalent in inner city neighborhoods across the country. The West End was no exception. At the intersection of Holderness Street and Lucille Avenue, just 100 yards from my childhood home and four city blocks from the West End Masjid, stood a notorious motorcycle club and corner store. Both businesses were knee deep in the interests of prominent local drug dealers and it wasn’t long before that corner earned the reputation as a “million dollar block.”

One might think living so close to such a dangerous corner would make for a tale of hard knocks, peer pressure and intimidation. For the Muslim kids, that was the furthest thing from our reality. Instead, we ran around that neighborhood with impunity. When the dope boys saw us coming, they would step out of our way, offer to buy us snacks from the store, or just whisper to each other about us being “Big Slim’s folks.” Sometimes they called him Rap. Or the Imam. The bottom line was, they may have pulled the usual dope boy tricks of recruiting and terrorizing kids within the neighborhood, but us Muslim kids were off limits.

There was an honor associated with being a member of Imam Jamil’s community, a VIP hood pass that made us immune to the usual ills of this sort of environment. This street credibility from outside the Muslim community stemmed from Imam Jamil’s days as H. Rap Brown, a revolutionary fighting for Black rights. It evolved when he demonstrated the ability to bridge gaps between young and old, Muslim and non-Muslim. People respected that his entire life revolved around salat at the Masjid. This made him accessible and dependable. Five times a day, the adhan was called and Imam Jamil would either lead or appoint someone to lead the prayer. Afterwards, no one would leave unless he raised his hand for permission and got the nod from the Imam. After finishing his dhikr and du‘a, the Imam would ask, “Is there anything anyone would like to bring out?” Brothers would bring forth questions, concerns and news from around the neighborhood, and the Imam would address it or tell the person to meet him after salat. The drug issue was at the forefront. Slowly but surely, prayer by prayer, the million dollar block was abandoned. Miraculously, after efforts to clean up the neighborhood around the million dollar block, now stands the West End Islamic Center, a beacon of hope for sustaining the community.

One day after Asr salat, Imam Jamil asked, “is there anything anyone would like to bring out?” and my hand went up. All eyes turned to this 12 year old kid and I blurted, “Why do you always recite two surahs in every rakat? When you were out of town, the other brothers did the same thing. Is that some kind of Sunnah that I don’t know?” I saw eyebrows going up and heads shaking all around the room. I felt like I made a huge mistake, but my curiosity had gotten the best of me. Imam Jamil smiled and replied, “I recite the surahs that have the most meaning, the most barakaat.” Later, he called me to the bench outside of his store to further explain his logic, dazzling me with his smooth way with words and sense of humor. For all of the intrigue, awe and fear that he inspires, the fact that Jamil Al-Amin was willing to take time to address me when he certainly had more pressing issues on his plate is what I remember most fondly about him. For all of his international acclaim and notoriety, he will always be the man that paved the way for me to grow up proud to be Black and Muslim.

https://moorbey.wordpress.com/2016/10/13/growing-up-west-end-reflectionz-on-the-influence-of-imam-jamil-al-amin/

NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION FOR IMAM JAMIL (H. Rap Brown) SEPTEMBER 16th 2016

NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION FOR IMAM JAMIL (H. Rap Brown)

IMAM JAMIL ACTION NETWORK ORGANIZATION (I JAN) 
I JAN IS PROMOTING A NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION FOR IMAM JAMIL ON SEPTEMBER 16th 2016. ON THAT DAY WE WOULD LIKE YOU TO PERFORM A PHYSICAL ACTION  AT YOUR PLACE OF WORSHIP, OR YOUR ORGANIZATION LOCATION IN RECOGNITION OF IMAM JAMIL. SUGGESTIONS TO YOUR ABILITY
1. ONE MINUTE OF SILENT PRAYAR
2. DISCUSS IMAM JAMIL’S MEDICAL AND LEGAL STATUS AND HIS CONTRLBUTION TO AMERICA WITH YOUR FAMILY OR GROUP.
3. CALL IN YOUR LOCAL RADIO STATION TO DISCUSS IMAM JAMIL
4. SEND A GET WELL CARD OR LETTER TO IMAM JAMIL.
5. HAVE A DINNER WITH PROCEEDS GOING TO IMAM JAMIL’S JUSTICE FUND.
6. HAVE A PANEL DISCUSSION ON HOW TO HELP IMAM JAMIL.
7. HAVE A RALLY OR DEMONSTRATION IN YOUR AREA TO FREE IMAM JAMIL.
IMAM JAMIL ABDULLAH AL-AMIN 99974-555
         FOR MORE INFO. USP TUCSON U.S. PENITENTIARY
                               CALL 678-499-8351 P.O. BOX 24550 TUCSON, AZ .85734

September 10, 2015 - Support Political Prisoner Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin

On September 3rd Jericho Amnesty Movement received a call from a Political Prisoner at USP Canaan concerning Imam Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin. Imam Jamil is in serious need of medical attention. His jaw is swollen to at least twice its normal size, and he is experiencing a lot of pain.
According to his family it is clear that he needed to remain in a medical facility. In addition to his having smoldering multiple myeloma, he has Sjogren’s syndrome, which is another auto immune condition.
The Imam’s family appreciates our continued support and dissemination of information. He has put in a request for a transfer to a warmer climate which he feels may help his condition. In addition, he hopes to be closer to his attorneys and family members.
His family is considering filing a legal action concerning his condition and lack of medical care, but in the meanwhile they ask that we continue to keep him in our discussions.
Please call or fax USP Caaan and ask, demand, that Imam Jamil be given immediate adequate medical attention.
Phone 570-488-8000
Fax 570-488-8130
Let them know you are concerned about Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin 99974-555
You can also write:
Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin
99974-555
USP Canaan
PO Box 300
Waymart, PA 18472

Urgent Call To Action - September 8, 2015

Taken From: Before It's News

http://beforeitsnews.com/african-american-news/2015/09/stop-the-execution-of-imam-jamil-the-former-h-rap-brown-by-medical-neglect-in-federal-prison-2455036.html

On Sept. 3, 2015, the Jericho Movement received an email from a political prisoner at U.S. Penitentiary Canaan, a high security prison in Waymart, Penn., concerning Imam Jamil. The sender said that the imam was in serious need of medical attention.
His jaw was swollen to at least twice its normal size, and he is in a lot of pain. We were told that the institution had been on lockdown for two weeks, which is why no word had gotten out earlier.
A family member was later able to speak with Imam Jamil and confirms the information. Someone from the Jericho Medical Committee will contact the prison clinical director to see what, if any, medical info can be gotten from the institution.
Please call or fax USP Canaan and ask – demand – that Imam Jamil be given immediate adequate medical attention. A more detailed statement will be forthcoming.
The phone number is 570-488-8000; the fax number is 570-488-8130. Let them know you are concerned about Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, No. 99974-555.
Please call or fax USP Canaan and ask – demand – that Imam Jamil be given immediate adequate medical attention. The phone number is 570-488-8000; the fax number is 570-488-8130. Let them know you are concerned about Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, No. 99974-555.
For those who want to write the imam, the address is: Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, 99974-555, USP Canaan, P.O. Box 300, Waymart, PA 18472. You may not get an immediate response from him, but we know all cards and letters are appreciated.
The Imam Jamil Action Network (IJAN) urges all to support this effort to gain relief and to demand the release from the unjust imprisonment of our righteous brother. We must stop this “execution by medical neglect.”
Visit the Imam Jamil Action Network, whose mission is “Working to Free Imam Jamil Al-Amin,” atimamjamilactionnetwork.weebly.com.
Special Greetings to Supporters:

We reported that on Monday, October 6, 2014, Imam Jamil had been moved to Canaan USP, in Waymart, PA. We can report today that he is in general population. 

Our voices were heard that he should not be placed again in solitary confinement--a custody placement that never was warranted by the Bureau of Prisons. 

We thank you again for joining us in the campaign that made this possible. We will continue to monitor Imam Jamil's health conditions, and to work for his freedom to bring him home. We certainly will keep everyone informed.

Karima Al-Amin 

Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, #99974-555
USP Canaan U.S. Penitentiary
P.O. Box 300
Waymart, PA 18472

October 7, 2014: Imam Jamil Al-Amin Has Been Moved

Imam Jamil Al-Amin, is listed on the Federal Bureau of Prisons Website, this morning at Canaan USP, in Waymart, Pennsylvania which is a high security prison which is 20 miles east of Scranton.

Imam Jamil was transported on September 25, 2014

Update: From Attorney Al-Amin. Imam Jamil's Wife. 

 Greetings,

 Imam Jamil Al-Amin was transported yesterday, September 25, 2014, from the Butner FMC to the Oklahoma City Federal Transfer Center. We will continue to check the online federal inmate search to determine his next location, and will have another message once we speak to him. Again, we thank you for your support.

 Karima Al-Amin