I was friends with the Boston Marathon bomber, and his crimes haunt me still – The Boston Globe

Photo: Webb Chappell for The Boston Globe

https://www.bostonglobe.com/magazine/2018/09/25/was-friends-with-boston-marathon-bomber-and-his-crimes-haunt-still/HfTlpG00VgYFYyNTtOwVRN/story.html

Balancing our family and American lives was stressful. As a junior, I played point guard on Cambridge Rindge and Latin School’s famed basketball team, and Jahar, a senior, was the wrestling team’s co-captain. During the fierce month of Ramadan or on the fast day before Eid al-Adha, the Feast of the Sacrifice, we might endure grueling sports workouts on empty stomachs and no water. At least we could complain to each other.

Maintaining separate Muslim and American lives sometimes meant keeping secrets from and even lying to those closest to us about our other life. We were shamed just for being Muslim by strangers, the media, and even some of our peers, just as our Muslim families shamed us when we were caught committing a sin. Jahar and I shared countless hours toking herb, hanging out, and hitting social events. We lived near each other, and often walked home together from parties. We’d hit Cambridge Street, dap each other up with a handclap and bro hug, then head off to our Muslim lives.

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The call to action among American Muslims has yielded a diverse array of candidates. They include former Obama administration officials and longtime political activists, but also physicians and lawyers, women’s rights advocates, a molecular biologist and a former Planned Parenthood manager.

The flurry of candidacies makes for a lot of potential “firsts.”

Asif Mahmood, a 56-year-old pulmonologist, would be the first Muslim insurance commissioner in California. Deedra Abboud, 45, in Arizona, or Jesse Sbaih, 42, in Nevada, could be the country’s first Muslim senator.

And any one of four Muslim women — Nadia Hashimi, 40, in Maryland; Sameena Mustafa, 47, in Illinois; or Fayrouz Saad, 34, and Rashida Tlaib, 41, in Michigan — could be the first in Congress.

Muslim political activists and community leaders say they’ve noticed more young Muslims showing up to political events ranging from legislative hearings and school board meetings to women’s marches and civil rights rallies.

The blue Muslim wave: American Muslims launch political campaigns, hope to deliver ‘sweet justice’ to Trump

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New York, NY – Today, a group of Muslim owned businesses, mosques, individuals, and student groups have finalized a settlement agreement with the New York Police Department (NYPD) in Hassan v. City of New York, a federal lawsuit challenging the suspicionless, discriminatory surveillance of American Muslims in New Jersey. Filed in 2012 in federal court in New Jersey, Hassan was the first lawsuit brought on behalf of American Muslims unlawfully surveilled under the NYPD’s program. The plaintiffs are represented by Muslim Advocates, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and Gibbons P.C.

As a series of Pulitzer Prize-winning reports by the AP revealed, under the surveillance program, the NYPD spied on at least 20 mosques, 14 restaurants, 11 retail stores, two grade schools, and two Muslim Student Associations in New Jersey. The monitoring included video surveillance, photographing license plates, community mapping, and infiltration by undercover officers and informants at places of worship, student associations, and businesses. Internal NYPD documents, including a list of 28 “ancestries of interest,” revealed that the NYPD used racial and ethnic backgrounds as proxies to identify and target adherents to Islam. By its own admission, the NYPD’s surveillance of Muslims failed to produce a single lead.

Under the terms of the settlement, the NYPD has confirmed it will reform its discriminatory and unlawful practices by agreeing to:

– Not engage in suspicionless surveillance on the basis of religion or ethnicity;

– Permit
plaintiff input to a first-ever Policy Guide, which will govern the
Intelligence Bureau’s activities, and to publish the Guide to the
public;

– Attend a public meeting with plaintiffs so they can
express their concerns about the issues in the lawsuit directly to the
NYPD Commissioner or senior ranking official;

– Pay businesses and
mosques damages for income lost as a result of being unfairly targeted
by the NYPD and pay individuals damages for the stigma and humiliation
harms they suffered for being targeted on the basis of their religion.

Settlement Reached in NYPD Muslim Surveillance Lawsuit