Saturday, January 20, 2007

A True Political Prisoner

It is a fact that the "Free Mumia" crowd has long abused the term "political prisoner" in their propaganda.

The tendency has been to label anyone in jail who is perceived to have an allegiance to the far left as a "political prisoner", without regard to the definition of the term.

In my view this kind of intentional imprecision denigrates the term "political prisoner" and acts to de-legitimize those people who are in fact imprisoned for their beliefs.

It is particularly vexing to see online, literally hundreds of sites calling Jamal and the "MOVE 9" political prisoners, as if there was any evidence at all that lends to the idea that these people are in jail for some kind of crime of thought.

Not even Amnesty International, who published an extremely slanted and factually challenged report on Mumia’s case dared to argue that Jamal is a political prisoner.

Yet, for many a radical, it is considered axiomatic that Jamal and the MOVE 9 are political prisoners, victims of a racist system, and who should be granted freedom immediately.

I argue that this view is not supported by the facts and I go on to make the claim that those who continue the fallacy of the innocence of Mumia and his MOVE comrades do so either out of ignorance or a cynical adherence to a political ideology that is equal to religious extremism in it’s lack of critical thought.

That is not to say that America does not now or has never had political prisoners. But what I do say is that MOVE and Mumia cannot be considered as such given the facts of the crimes that they committed.

It is extremely rare in the western world that people are imprisoned for holding a particular political view or espousing an extreme ideology, but it does happen. The case of holocaust denier David Irving is one example of someone being persecuted and imprisoned for thought crime. And even as a repellant and grotesque a figure he is, I will never support the imprisonment of people for holding an idea, no matter how vile that idea is. That is the price we must pay for freedom.

In other parts of the world however, people are routinely jailed, threatened, beaten, and otherwise intimidated by the state for their criticisms of either the prevailing political climate or the religion which dominates their culture.

Take for example the case of Egyptian blogger, Abdel Kareem Nabil. He is on trial for his denouncement of Islam and criticism of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. He has been held in isolation since November and prior to his arrest he was thrown out of his University for his blogging.

For his online critiques, he could end up in prison for nine years if convicted. And his case is just one of many in the Muslim world where there have been a string of arrests of pro-democracy bloggers.

Yet, if one were to go to the websites of the American far left you would never know that such incidents were occurring. Instead one is subjected to exhortations to send money and support and "love" to faux political prisoners like Jamal. The solipsism of these groups is grotesquely obvious, yet they still manage to sucker enough people into their fraudulent enterprise to keep it going.

Let us support political prisoners, but let us make sure that our support and good will is not being exploited by the likes of those within the "Free Mumia" cabal.

For more information about Abdel Kareem Nabil I encourage everyone to visit the English website that has been set up in order to rally support for him and to shine a spotlight upon the despotism that keeps him jailed and silenced.


At 8:06 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tony..."Factually challanged" as to the AI report??? Come know their response is BS

jon pisano

At 8:13 PM , Blogger Tony Allen said...

I was trying to be somewhat generous to an organization that has in the past and in the present done good work. Their Mumia proclomation was an unfortunate incident.


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