March 24, 2008

Muslim America: Community Under Siege
The Fahad Hashmi Story


Michael Ratner (Head of the Center for Constitutional Rights)
Dr. Agha Saeed (Chairman of the American Muslim Alliance)
Sean Maher (Renowned Defense Attorney)
Aziz Huq (Assistant Director of NYU Brennan Center for Justice)
Abu Yousuf (Renowned Islamic Lecturer)
Moderator: Mauri Saalakhan (Political Activist/Author)

March 29, 2008

3-4 pm exhibit
4-7 pm Lectures
Earl Hall
Columbia University
2960 Broadway (116th Street)


Court date postponed

March 4, 2008

Court date has been postponed to April 2nd at 2 pm


February 19, 2008



January 14, 2008

Fahad’s court date has been postponed and is now scheduled for March 6th.


January 9, 2008
Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem
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January 3, 2008

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem
In The Name of Allah The Most Gracious The Most Merciful

Who is Fahad?
Syed Mehmood Ahmed Hashmi was born in Karachi, Pakistan in 1980, the second of two sons born to Syed Anwar Hashmi. Upon birth he was also given the name Fahad and that is how most people know him. Fahad immigrated with his family to America at a very early age (3 yrs old). His family settled in Flushing, New York where Fahad was raised and attended school. Fahad is part of a large family that has well established roots in the tri-state area. Fahad was a vibrant member of the Muslim community in New York. Fahad graduated from Robert F Wagner High School in 1998 and then attended SUNY Stony Brook University. He eventually transferred to Brooklyn College where he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science in 2003. A devout Muslim, through the years Fahad has established a reputation as an activist and advocate of the Islamic cause. In 2003 Fahad enrolled in London Metropolitan University in London, UK to pursue a master’s degree in international relations which he received in 2006. On June 6, 2006 Fahad was jumped and manhandled by UK police in London Heathrow airport and then arrested. He was subsequently held in Belmarsh Prison as a Category A prisoner. He was arrested based on an indictment from America that amounted to charges of aiding terrorism.

The Charges
The US government has charged Fahad with providing material support to al Qaeda, but a close look at the evidence shows how ludicrous the charges are. Fahad is NOT charged with providing any money or resources to any terrorists or being a member of al Qaeda. Instead, the US government has charged Fahad with allowing an old acquaintance — Junaid Babar — to stay in Fahad’s London apartment for about two weeks in 2005. During that two week period, Junaid Babar is alleged to have kept some raincoats, ponchos, and waterproof socks in luggage that Babar temporarily stored in Fahad’s apartment. The US government then alleges that at some point Babar gave the socks and ponchos to a high ranking member of al Qaeda. There is no allegation that Fahad is a member of al Qaeda or that he ever personally gave or helped to give anything to any member of al Qaeda. The case around Fahad boils down to an overzealous prosecution and testimony to be provided by Junaid Babar.

Who is Junaid Babar?

Junaid Babar is a paid government cooperator who has been used to testify against Muslims around the world. Nicknamed “Supergrass” by the British media, Babar was used by the UK government to testify against Omar Khyam and several other Muslim men in the so-called Fertilizer Case. During that trial, which by some accounts was the most expensive and lengthy trial in British history, it came to light that Junaid Babar met with FBI agents in 2004 and agreed to become a government cooperator. Babar had also been used in the Candadian prosecution of Momin Khwaja. Totally beholden to the US government because of plea agreement in which he can receive years of imprisonment if he does not provide “substantial assistance,” Babar simply is not a credible witness. In fact, —— was acquitted of participating in the Fertilizer plot even though Babar testified to the contrary, demonstrating Babar’s lack of believability.

Fahad continues to be subjected to inhumane prison conditions
Fahad was housed as a Category A prisoner in Britain’s most notorious jail — Belmarsh Prison. Category A is reserved for the most severe cases in the British penal system, in the past a common designation for IRA members. Now the ranks of Category A are for Muslim prisoners such as Fahad facing accusations revolving around a plot based on socks and rain ponchos. Fahad fought extradition requests of the US as the charges against him showed an obvious contempt and were baseless. Fahad’s lawyer challenged the validity of his case, however the British courts simply caved in to the demand of the American government and ordered Fahad’s extradition.

Shortly after being extradicted to the US, Fahad had a bail hearing in front of Judge Loretta Preska, who had just finished the trial in which Dr. Rafiq Sabir was convicted. Preska, an appointee of the first President Bush, is a close personal friend of the Bush Family. Before Fahad’ proceeding, she entertained the sentencing of a former drug dealer who had testified against his father in-law who ran a drug ring. She praised his cooperation and took special note in how he had bettered himself while in custody, taking special care to point out that he went to Bible study while in detention. She agreed to the prearranged plea bargain for him.

Fahad’s bail hearing followed immediately. During the hearing there was a packed courtroom of family and friends. Friends offered to put up $500,000 in bail money for Fahad. Fahad’s lawyer presented the courtroom with the statements of the cooperating witness Junaid Babar that served to support Fahad’s innocence. The prosecution team had no answers for this. The prosecution claimed “we cannot give him bail because he doesn’t respect American law (a non-violent academic, with no history of violence or drugs) he (Fahad) believes Allah’s law is superior, and does not respect American law.” In essence Fahad was denied bail on the basis of being a strong proponent of Islam and excercising his simple right to disagree. The U.S government used Fahad’s beliefs as a reason to deny him bail. During the hearing the judge said to a crowd full of his family and friends that his ties to the community were weak, that she has to take his beliefs into consideration and deny him bail. It was noticed by everyone that she was positively gleaming at the convicted drug dealer’s turn to the Bible however used Islam as a criticism against Fahad.

Although Fahad is supposed to be presumed innocent, the US government has been permitted to imprison Fahad in solitary confinement in the Special Housing Unit of Metropolitan Correction Center in Manhattan. In October 2007 the US Attorney General leveled SAMS (Special Administrative Measures) on Fahad. These are draconian conditions designed to cut Fahad off from any contact with members of his community and to break Fahad emotionally, spriritually, and physically. The SAMS mandate that Fahad be kept under virtually 24 hour lock down, isolated from all human contact. Fahad is barred from even speaking through his cell door to other imprisoned men. Visitation is severly restricted – only attorneys and immediate family that have been pre-cleared by the government. Fahad is also barred from participating in any group prayer.

The reason for these harsh measures is to ensure they break Fahad. We cannot idly sit by and allow this to happen. The SAMS measures were the techniques used to ensnare Lynn Stewart in the Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman case. The justification accepted by the judge was Fahad’s alleged violent reaction during his arrest one and a half years ago in Heathrow airport. The judge refused to consider that Fahad has NEVER been accused of any act of violence and that Fahad has never been accused of trying to communicate with any terrorists during his year and a half of pre-trial confinement. SAMS are supposedly reserved for only the most dangerous prisoners. SAMS had been exacted on the head of the Latin Kings criminal organization to stifle criminal operations. Fahad has yet to be convicted of any crime and in essence is accused of what simply boils down to socks, ponchos and a raincoat and a belief in Islam. The authorities have exercised every style of inhumanity that they could find a way to justify. The judge rubber stamped Fahad’s treatment and the imposition of the SAMS.

The Upcoming Trial
Fahad will be subjected to a public trial where the prosecution is expected to present accusations from Junaid Babar as well as any recorded (telephone calls, email, etc) communications they might have obtained. Due to the lack of evidence the prosecution will attempt to exaggerate whatever evidence they will present, and interpret unrelated material to tie it to the case. They will rely on their ability to depict Fahad as a dangerous Islamic radical. The prosecution will continue its attempt to demonize Fahad in the public, taking advantage of any media outlets as well as the atmosphere of “fear” that exists in our society to do so.


January 1, 2008

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

In light of the fierce campaign of the media to smear the character of our brother Fahad Hashmi we find it necessary to inform the Muslim community of the truth. Fahad was a man of dawah, a student of knowledge. He was dedicated to Islamic work and sincerely concerned with the welfare of the Muslims.
In such times it is necessary for us as Muslims to identify whom we stand with. Do we stand besides someone who spent a great part of his life studying deen and engaging in dawah work or do we stand with those that lock up our imams, our scholars, and our innocent brothers and sisters. They spend time subjecting the Muslims to great duress under the most dubious of circumstances with little or no evidence. We have to ask ourselves, whom do we believe?
Allah (SWT) tells us in the Magnificent the approach we are supposed to take in these circumstances in the following Ayah (verse):

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِن جَاءكُمْ فَاسِقٌ بِنَبَأٍ فَتَبَيَّنُوا أَن تُصِيبُوا قَوْمًا بِجَهَالَةٍ فَتُصْبِحُوا عَلَى مَا فَعَلْتُمْ نَادِمِينَ

O you who believe! If a rebellious evil person comes to you with a news, verify it, lest you harm people in ignorance, and afterwards you become regretful to what you have done. (Al-Hujurat 49:6)We must also ask ourselves who we stand with?

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ لاَ تَتَّخِذُواْ الْيَهُودَ وَالنَّصَارَى أَوْلِيَاء بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَاء بَعْضٍ وَمَن يَتَوَلَّهُم مِّنكُمْ فَإِنَّهُ مِنْهُمْ إِنَّ اللّهَ لاَ يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ

O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as Auliyâ’ (friends, protectors, helpers, etc.), they are but Auliyâ’ to one another. And if any amongst you takes them as Auliyâ’, then surely he is one of them. Verily, Allâh guides not those people who are the Zâlimûn (polytheists and wrong¬doers and unjust). (Al-Ma’idah 5:51)
Jabir bin Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that The Prophet (sallallahu alehi wa sallam) said: “A person should help his brother whether he is an oppressor or an oppressed. If he is the oppressor he should prevent him from doing it, for that is his help; and if he is the oppressed he should be helped (against oppression)”. [Sahih Muslim, Book 32, Number 6254] Our brother is Fahad and truly he is being oppressed.
For those who are able, we ask for assistance in whatever capacity for one able to assist us in. Be it a financial contribution, a letter of support, perhaps preventing people from backbiting and slandering one of the people of dawah (calling to Islam) or simply reminding the people of the hardships that we face as Muslims. For this we are grateful and we ask Allah to magnify their reward on the Day of Judgment and bless them with paradise.
There are many ways people can help our brother as is afore-mentioned. However we are more concerned with those that may harm him. This is in regards to those individuals that aid the oppressors by utilizing media to defame and slander our brother. We say to you, is it not enough that he sits in a cell in solitary confinement 23 hours a day. Clearly the one who insists on harming the Muslims in this way is malicious and we ask Allah to protect the Muslim community from such people and their wickedness, Ameen. For those that insist on speaking about the case we ask you to familiarize yourself with the detail, as Allah says:

وَلاَ تَقْفُ مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ إِنَّ السَّمْعَ وَالْبَصَرَ وَالْفُؤَادَ كُلُّ أُولـئِكَ كَانَ عَنْهُ مَسْؤُولاً 

And follow not (O man i.e., say not, or do not or witness not, etc.) that of which you have no knowledge (e.g. one’s saying: “I have seen,” while in fact he has not seen, or “I have heard,” while he has not heard). Verily! The hearing, and the sight, and the heart, of each of those you will be questioned (by Allâh). (Al-Isra 17:36)
Be an aid to Fahad and Allah will be an aid to you. Muhammad (sallallahu alehi wa sallam said) “Allah will aid a servant [of His] so long as the servant aids his brother” [Saheeh Muslim]
Do not harm our brother as Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (sallalahu alaihe wa-sallam) said: “Allah, the Exalted said: “Whoever takes a Wali (loyal slave) of Mine as an enemy, I will wage war on him.” [Saheeh Bukhari]

The Untold Story of Syed Fahad Hashmi

January 1, 2008

The Untold Story of Syed Fahad Hashmi

I am a friend of Fahad (also known as Syed Hashmi), who I have known for about 4 years, since he came from America to the UK for his studies. He was a very humble brother in almost every aspect one can think of. He was a very attentive student both in Islamic education as well as his education at university. He always used to help people as much as he could, whether it was in terms of moving houses, painting and decorating or even paying for people’s meals. He was the kind of man who would lend money to people, even if he was in need of it himself. He was working part-time to cover the costs for his rented accommodation and his studies as well as his daily expenditure.

In describing Fahad’s character, I come very close to describing the character of the Pious Predecessors. He would always smile at people, and I would always see him using the Miswak, which is an attribute of the Anbiyaa (Prophets). He would be in the Masah using leather socks, and would pray his Salaat in the Masjid. He would be on the forefront in commanding good and forbidding evil in society as well as privately, and would be at the forefront in giving Da’wah (propagating Islam) in the best manner, and he would regularly visit the graveyard – the list is endless. His relationship with the non-Muslims he lived amongst was also unique to the Sunnah; he would give his neighbours their full rights to the best of his ability. He loved the community in which he lived so much so that he would involve himself in some of their activities and generally help the community as much as he could.

Fahad has been in prison since June 2006. He was arrested at Heathrow airport while he was going to Pakistan to see his family and possibly get married. He is the youngest of the two sons that his parents have, and his older brother recently had his first baby daughter while Fahad was in prison. You can imagine the effect this has had on his family; he never saw his family much in the time he was free in the UK and would only see them rarely when they used to visit. On the day he was arrested, I dropped him to the airport, so I was one of the last friends he saw before he went through the security check. After that, we couldn’t see him. We received the news of his captivity from his solicitor – that he was arrested literally 5 minutes after he went through security.

There was not a single person who ever had an issue with Fahad; he would keep everyone happy, smile at brothers all the time and would rush to the aid of any Muslim. Fahad was a traveller to this country as opposed to being a resident, and in Islaam you must treat the traveller with a lot of hospitality. However, with Fahad it was the opposite – he would treat us as if we were the travellers and he was the resident, and always with the utmost hospitality. He would even have brothers get together at his flat to keep the brotherhood strong; there would be at least 30 to 40 brothers who would normally come to his small flat!

In the American media, Fahad is portrayed as a man of troublesome character and many are quick to absorb this false information; Allah (swt) says: “O you who believe! If a rebellious evil person comes to you with news, verify it, lest you harm people in ignorance, and afterwards you become regretful to what you have done.” [Surah al-Hujaraat, ayah 6].

The lies that have been created about Fahad are not only a complete contradiction to who he really is, but are also ludicrous. There are some Muslims who are inside prison as a result of something that they may have said or done, although what they may have said/done is not a crime in Islam. We make strong Du’aa for these Muslims who have been arrested as a result of propagating the Deen (Islaam). However, with Fahad, he neither said nor did anything that could have lead to his imprisonment, even according to the Kufr (non-Islamic) laws. By Allah, the Kuffaar have invented a false story and Fahad is a victim to the slanderous lies of the Kuffaar. With Fahad’s case, it is pure oppression.

Earlier in Fahad’s case the prosecution said that they had nothing whatsoever against Fahad, but regardless the judge kept Fahad remanded in custody. The defence even had given evidence to say that America was lying about Fahad’s alleged involvement with Al-Qaeda, but again the judge simply responded that he was not willing to call the Americans liars.

Fahad is now waiting to hear a decision from the House of Lords. This is his final appeal and if they refuse that, he will be shipped over to the U.S, where he will face trial. We all know that America endorses the death penalty, torture and so forth and we also know that when the Kuffaar put Muslims on trial, the Muslim is guilty until proven innocent.

There have been hundreds and thousands of Muslims arrested around the world, most of whom we don’t even hear of. Brothers and sisters, how can we help the Muslim Ummah if we don’t know what is happening to them? It is a binding duty upon us to help our Muslims and at least remember them in our Du’aas on a daily basis. The Messenger Muhammad (saw) told us: “The Du’aa is the weapon of the believer.” Please make strong Du’aa for brother Fahad and all the Muslims around the world. By Allah, Fahad is completely innocent of all the accusations that the Americans are making against him. He is expecting an answer any time soon so please, please pray for him and his family, who are in America. Like Fahad, they are suffering in these testing times, not knowing what will become of their beloved son, who has been imprisoned for a reason unknown to the world.

Free Fahad

June 7, 2007

Twenty-Seven year old Syed Hashmi currently sits in a cell in the special housing unit of NYC’s Metropolitan Facility awaiting trial. Syed was extradited to the U.S from the U.K as a result of an indictment filed in May 2006 on charges that he conspired to provide support to a terror group overseas. There was a detention hearing in New York and the government stated Syed allowed his acquaintance Junaid Babar to stay at Syed’s apartment in the UK. It is claimed that Junaid had items destined for Afghanistan and all Syed did according to the U.S Government was allow Junaid to stay a couple of days, allow Junaid to use Syed’s cell phone, and help Junaid carry his luggage to the cab.

 Who is Syed Hashmi?

Known to friends and family as Fahad, He is a loving, caring, deeply religious man. Fahad who grew up and lived in New York was a political science graduate, traveled to London seeking his master’s degree in the same field. Shortly after his graduation he was arrested, and remains in custody.

Everyone finds themselves at a loss of words when attempting to describe him. Fahad’s positive impact on his family, friends, and community was unquestionable. He always strived to seek knowledge, strengthen his own character, and teach whatever he had learned.  Fahad was active in the propagation of Islam, and general da’wah work. He was a humanitarian, an activist, and undoubtedly an integral part of the Muslim community. His outspoken and active nature placed him in the public eye, however he was always well prepared to elaborate on any discourse and defend his ideas. Everyone knows Fahad Hashmi as an intellectual, an academic, and at times a dissident, however the furthest thing away from a militant. He has no criminal record, no history of drugs, or violence. Always amicable, and respectable, Fahad is deeply missed by all his friends, family and the Muslim community as whole.

 The Case:

During Fahad’s extradition hearing little was presented to support any case against him other than the claim that The United States Government was acting in “good faith”.  The U.S. Government is relying solely upon testimony from Junaid Babar, a man who traveled to England and also Canada to testify against Muslims. Junaid’s globetrotting began after he entered in to an agreement with the F.B.I subsequent to his conviction. Junaid having much to gain fabricated this story about Fahad resulting in Fahad’s 23 hours of solitary confinement. The United States Government is now seeking to make a spectacle of Fahad, presenting an oral testimony from Junaid with no corroborating evidence. 

 Fahad Hashmi is not a criminal. He deserves the same freedom that we all enjoy. Fahad is being punished for exercising his first amendment right to free speech, and religion. They plan to convict Fahad based upon his vocal objections to US foreign policy. Fahad Hashmi has been stripped of his rights because he was a strong, outspoken Muslim. Our community can not sit by and let this happen without a fight. A fight for our rights to voice opinions that may be unpopular in this current environment regardless of how sincere or well meaning those peaceful expressions may be. We ask Allah to have mercy on him, and to allow for his immediate release. We remind you all of the teaching of Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him): “Allah will aid a servant [of His] so long as the servant aids his brother” [Narrated by Abu Huraira and recorded in Saheeh Muslim] 

Please remember our brother and his family in your prayers

Make checks payable to:  Friends of Anwar Hashmi,  27 -1 0 Hoyt   Ave. Astoria, NY 11102