Ali Asad Chandia Re-Sentencing
I went to the re-sentencing hearing for Ali Asad Chandia last week, hope to write a bit more about it at some point. The judge was hostile, which is unsurprising considering that an appeals court has now twice ruled that the “terrorism enhancement” used in the original sentencing was not warranted. The defense was largely successful in having portions of the pre-sentencing report amended. Sentencing is now scheduled for Friday March 11th, 2011 at the Federal District Courthouse in Alexandria, VA. On a happier note, the courtroom was filled to capacity with Muslims and some had to wait outside.
Met some familiar faces including a lawyer that had helped Chandia’s defense attorney at trial. His trial and conviction played a pivotal role in her decision to leave her law career behind and go into nursing. After the paintball trials including this one, I wanted to do something constructive, I remember walking back to the car or metro one day telling a friend that I wanted to go into law to do something to help. But the law is so rarely about justice and so I’ve also gone into nursing and psychology.
Protests in Egypt
Love it. Yalla, Egypt! Following up on the use your mind post, which was written in response to those who labeled the Tunisia uprising and indeed any protest as un-Islamic and not sanctioned by the religion, this week learned Muslims chimed in with varying degrees of support for the protestors here, here, here, here, and here, and many more. Also validates, my Pray-In activities.
Mona Eltahawy is doing a journalistic uprising in support of the Egyptian protestors, she’s been passionate, eloquent, and on point all week, here delightfully putting those who raise the specter of the Muslim brotherhood bogey-man in their place. We often hear those with strong claims to orthodoxy decrying their misrepresentation in the media or by the wider public, however Muslim organizations and spokespeople would do well to take some lessons from the more media-savvy progressives like Mona and Asra. I like Imam Magid and his progressive (in the conservative sense of the word) outlook, yet his English leaves something to be desired and as the President of ISNA, it’s critical to have leaders and spokespeople in America that can relate to an American audience. It’s not fair, an American can be someone from anywhere with any type of accent, yet the reality dictates that only certain accents are deemed palatable to majority of American ears.
The massive snowstorm that wasn’t
Well, at least not for us here in Washington DC region, nothing much happened. Thank you, God!
Ify on Twitter?
Maybe. I’ve been thinking about joining the Twitter revolution. I’m intrigued by it and like the character limit, which forces me to condense my thoughts. I also resisted blogs and Facebook but once I got into it, loved it.
My old url has been co-opted and turned into a outlet for the porn industry. Sad. Had I known I would have kept you.
So I’ve since joined Twitter, my first tweet is there in the sidebar just under the Recent Comments section. All the ifyokoye, iokoye, ifyo variations I wanted had already been taken so I went with PrayinProtest as my username.
This (sadly) reminds me of Legally Blond 2: the protagonist is a lawyer, who soon realizes that exercising the law is not always enough to enact justice. So she goes about trying to change the law instead, and heads to Washington.
It’s a silly, Sunday afternoon film, but I think the lesson is spot on. If the laws are not just, than the courts won’t be either. Which means that in order to bring about meaningful change for the better, more capable Muslims have to dirty their hands in the political arena in a way that does not compromise their Islamic ideals. Tough one!
Yes, I have much respect for Keith Ellison, Sayeeda Warsi, Andre Carson and others for stepping into the political arena. I’ve never felt politics was for me but I’m glad there are good people of conscience in that field. There’s a excellent poem by Dudley Randall about the conflicting ideologies of Booker T and WEB Dubois:
…For what can property avail
If dignity and justice fail?
Unless you help to make the laws,
They’ll steal your house with trumped-up clause…
My sister and one of my female cousins are both training to be nurses. Although she had considered it before, my sister made the decision after the husband of one of my other cousins died suddenly in July 2007. She wanted to do something more meaningful than the jobs she’d been doing before. It’s been quite a struggle – she had to do an “access course” as she had been out of education for several years, and then had to postpone her first year of study because of a difficult pregnancy, so she’s been studying for three years and yet she’s only on her first year of her actual nursing degree. Must have been pretty frustrating.
I used to say that it wouldn’t seem so meaningful after she has to wipe a few old men’s backsides! But nowadays I have a few friends who are disabled or ill (mostly with something called ME which can leave someone bedridden with severe pain for a long time) and now hope she might help some of them, or people a lot like them (in sha Allah).
Wa salaam alaykum, may Allah the Most Merciful make it easy for your sister and cousin and for your friends. Ameen.
ME can be quite debilitating and switching from law to nursing was a challenge, discovered a love of psychology but also had to start back a square one in some respect to satisfy the prerequisites in math and science before actually applying for entry into the program.
I’ve cleaned more backsides then I ever wanted to in various jobs I’ve had over the years and now in clinical rotations as well but I don’t find that to be the worst part of the job. Much harder for me is to see what happens when people are not taken care of and completely preventable skin ulcers form or my patients are diagnosed with terminal illnesses and trying to be as empathic and supportive as possible.