Friday, February 3, 2006

Siddique Abdullah Hasan Biography

Like many other African-American children in the Unites States, Siddique Abdullah Hasan was raised by a single parent and lacked parental supervision and guidance that would steer him into manhood.  But, despite emanating from a dysfunctional family, having an extensively troubled upbringing and only acquiring a microscopic amount of training in formal education, through sheer grits and determination Imam Hasan has pulled himself up by his bootstraps by surrendering his entire existence to Allah, by managing to obtain a college education, and by becoming a staunch activist and revolutionary.
In his own words, "...[T]o become a revolutionary is to become an agent of change, which is virtually impossible if one doesn't know what needs to be changed.  The first metamorphosis I had to make was to revolutionize my life-- that is, I had to change my negative and self-destructive ways, thoughts, attitude, and entire constitution and outlook on life."

As a result of his own initiative, today, Imam Hasan is an editor, journalist, grammarian, teacher and, soon to be, author. He is cowriting a book, The Struggle Behind the Walls, that will be like no other. The most intriguing things about him, however, are his uncompromising spiritual convictions, his humility, and his love and compassion for humanity.

Imam Hasan no longer stands on the oppressive or wrong side of history; instead, he's rewriting his own history by being an advocate for peace, freedom, justice, equality, and humanity.  In fact, two of his pet projects consist of (1) providing college scholarships (both religious and secular) to the immediate family members of murdered victims as well as developing healing communication between death-row offenders and them, and (2) encouraging community dialogue and constructive alternatives to the prison economy. More about these projects can be learned by visiting prisonersolidarity.org.


    Imam Siddique Abdullah Hasan is a staunch activist and revolutionary who is on Ohio’s death row for challenging and protesting inhumane prison conditions and policies at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility (SOCF) in Lucasville, the infamous maximum-security prison where violence—assaults, rapes, stabbings, and murders—were the norm.

    In 1993 the prison authorities were forcing all prisoners to take a mandatory TB test (Mantoux tuberculin skin test).  This test contained phenol, an alcoholic substance which is forbidden for those of the Islamic faith to either consume or have injected under their forearm.  Instead of adhering to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling which asserts that prisoners have a right to an alternative test that does not infringe upon their First Amendment beliefs, the prison authorities were unsympathetic toward their beliefs.  Knowing that alternatives were available, in an attempt to galvanize outside attention and support, some Muslims spontaneously opted to stage a peaceful protest.  It inadvertently got out of hand and a full-scale rebellion ensued when non-Muslims began to attack prison guards due to the long-standing insults and abusive treatment guards had inflicted upon them.

    In the aftermath of the SOCF uprising, scores of “eyewitnesses” appeared out of nowhere, accusing Imam Hasan of masterminding the insurrection and ordering the execution of a white prison guard.  Inmates whose credibility normally would be in doubt, were presented as highly trustworthy.  Without a shred of physical evidence to prove any of the preposterous allegations against him, the State was able to secure Imam Hasan’s conviction.  This should come as no surprise when one considers the fact that he was tried in Cincinnati, a city sweltering in racism and Islamophobia.

    Imam Hasan is an innocent man, and we should consider it our moral and patriotic duty to make sure his life is not cut short.  His exoneration is our freedom, in that it frees our conscious of the shameful guilt that would forever trouble our minds had we remained neutral and not reach out to this freedom fighter.  Our collective voice will send a disquieting signal to the criminal (in)justice system that it cannot ignore both exculpatory evidence and expert testimony that point towards his innocence.

    Courageous people like Imam Hasan are rare occurrences.  He represents an endangered species of men who we cannot allow to fall into extinction.  Will he live or will we allow his life to be ended tragically and prematurely like that of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and countless others?  Our actions hold part of the answer.

    Those ready and willing to learn more about Imam Hasan’s case, and how they can help, can reach him at the address below.

Imam Siddique Abdullah Hasan, R130-559
Ohio State Penitentiary
878 Coitsville-Hubbard Road
Youngstown, Ohio  44505

2 comments:

  1. Bullshit! One of the ringleaders of that riot (Jason Robb whom I had the displeasure of having on Probation as a teen) had a long juvenile history of rape, armed robbery and was a general thug. He and a few of his Aryan Brotherhood cohorts aligned themselves with the Gangster Disciples. This was all about retribution and control against authority (which criminals are known to do) and the violent mentallity that is common place in a prison setting. Mr. Robb and Mr. Hasan and others are known to have engaged in the rioting and were the spokepeople for their various groups which resulted in nine inmates deaths at the hands of other inmates - not Correctional Staff. Mr. Hasan was complicit in the uprising and bears the blame as does the other four found responsible - Jason Robb, George Skatzes, and Namir Abdul Mateen and Keith LaMar all being sentenced to death for their acts of brutally and murder. Mr Hasan is no different. He is a "Revolutionary' only in the sense one could claim Che Guevara as a "revolutionary" - both were cold blood calculating murderers and thugs. Mr. Hasan is deserving of the death penalty for the part he played in the Lucasville uprising.

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  2. Your claims are preposterous. Calling Jason Robb, a member of the Aryan Brotherhood the "ringleader" of an uprising that started with Muslims protesting phenol injections makes absolutely no sense. Our story that once the violent authority of the prison was undermined guys in leadership positions rose to quell further violence and negotiate the peaceful surrender is clearly a far more beleivable story than your conclusion that Robb conspired to be the ringleader of a muslim riot.

    The deaths at Lucasville were not caused by these men. These men did all they could to prevent those deaths, and their efforts were consistently undermined by the State of Ohio's refusal to negotiate in good faith. Even the guard's union has denounced the administration's handling of the situation.

    The people in charge of the prison, who were breaking laws and official policy left and right to create horrific conditions there, are responsible for the deaths that occurred under their watch. If the government is going to build prisons and overcrowd them, then the government is responsible for what happens inside. Period. The possibility that a correctional institution could be disrupted in this way is an abyssmal failure on the part of the state, a failure which the state refuses to take responsibility for, instead desperately scrutinizing and villifying the actions of prisoners swept up in it.

    The prisoners who were "found responsible" were railroaded by totally spurious and kneejerk legal processes by a state who knew they were at fault and desperately needed scapegoats to put the blame on. These legal processes are under review now, and if you listen to the oral arguments in Keith's appeal or read the Re-Examining Lucasville essays, you'll see how absurdly flimsy and blatently dishonest the state's case is. Educate yourself.

    I realize you work for the state as a probation officer and so you're brainwashed to not see any fault in it, and yes, prisoners and criminals can and do engage in violence, but so does the state. The prison system is violence on a far grander, more systematic and destructive scale than the criminal behavoir you think you're combatting, AND it fails utterly to reduce or counter crime. Your job is gross and inhumane and our society would be better off if you and all of your collegues quit, now.

    Hasan is a revolutionary, Che Guevara was a revolutionary. Revolutions are generally violent affairs because the authorities being overthrown do not cede power without a fight. If you have a problem with people engaging in violence to combat oppressive authorities, then you have a problem with revolutionaries. You have a problem with freedom fighters, you are an enemy of liberty.

    You have to either support overthrow of authority, or you hate freedom. You can't have it both ways.

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