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Wednesday September 3, 2014, 11:09 DST
In the early hours (just after midnight September 1) of Tuesday September 2, there was a knock on the door of Masjid al-Islam in Oakland, CA. Imam Abdul Alim Musa asked from inside who it was.
The person outside said, “the police.”
Imam Musa recognized the voice; it was Mukhtar A. Mujahid, the person accused by some people in Oakland to be a federal agent.
Not wishing to get into an argument at that time of the night, Imam Musa told him “I know who you are and this is no time for any silly talk. I will talk to you tomorrow.”
What follows is our discussion with Imam Musa after his release from 15 hours of detention by the police in County Jail. Crescent International was alerted to his arrest and subsequent release by a brother that called our office.
This is what Imam Musa said when we spoke to him:
“After my response to Mukhtar, several police officers shouted: ‘Come out with your hands in front of you.’ They were shouting simultaneously.
“I asked them from the inside [the door was still closed]: Do you have an arrest or search warrant?
“The police repeated their demand for me to come out. Their voices getting louder and angrier.
“So I told them, OK, let me turn the lights on [so you can see clearly] and I will come out.
“I turned the lights on and came out with my hands held in front of me to show I have no weapon in my hand.
“As soon as I came out the door, they told me I was under arrest and told me to turn around and hand-cuffed me. Then they took me to a police car and forced me inside.
“There must have been at least 8 to 12 police officers; there were 5 or 6 police cars with their lights flashing.
“Inside the police car, I asked them again, why I was being arrested and whether they had an arrest warrant?
“The police told me that I was ‘trespassing’ on the property and the ‘owner’ did not want me there.
“I asked them what owner are they talking about? I have the deed papers and the property is registered under my name. How can I be trespassing on my own property? I told them to let me go inside and I will bring the deed paper to show them.
“They refused. Then I told them, I have $11,000 cash that I want to retrieve. Again they refused. I told if they were going to arrest me, I needed to get my toiletries and shoes.
“They flatly refused any of my requests. Instead, they took me to the police station.
“There they slammed me to the floor and started to twist my handcuffed wrists and as well as my ankles. One police officer also jumped on my back. I was near choking and told them to get off me because I could not breathe.
“I was thrown in a cell and held for more than 15 hours before being let go. I was also handed a paper that said I was charged with ‘trespassing’. The police also told me that Mukhtar had called them to say I was not leaving the property despite the ‘owner’s’ request.
“They gave me a token to take a street train to the nearest station where the masjid is located.
“My wrists are all bruised from the tight handcuffs and twisting.
“I had no shoes or slippers and naturally no money on me. Once I reached the station near the masjid, I went to a friend’s house from where I called my son to pick me up.
“When I returned to the masjid, I discovered that all $11,000 had been stolen. The money was gone.”
Three days earlier, Imam Musa had called to inform us that his brief case in which he had all the papers relating to the property deed and other documents had been stolen from the masjid.
It is not difficult to figure out what was going on. The thief—and it was no ordinary thief but someone who knew exactly what he was doing—took the briefcase, took the deed papers and then went to the Oakland County office to change the ownership in his own name.
There have been many such robberies of money and documents in the past as well.
Imam Musa has the original deed paper that confirms the property’s registration in his name with him. He has said he will take it to the police and show it to them.
If the police wanted to know the truth, they could have allowed him to show them the paper but they were not interested.
The manner in which the masjid was attacked in the middle of the night was intended to find an excuse to shoot him if he resisted.
Imam Musa did not provide them that opportunity but what is going on in Oakland clearly shows what the police and their agents are up to.
He can be reached at his cell: 202 904 1152.