Imam Ibrahim Rahim admits inaccuracy in Facebook post (image Facebook)
Imam Ibrahim Rahim, the brother of Usaama Rahim shot dead by police in Boston during a surveillance operation released a statement requesting social media followers to delete an earlier post due to an “inaccuracy” on his part.
Police had been monitoring Usaama in relation to an alleged threat to behead “boys in blue” though he had never been questioned and no evidence was produced of any conviction for a terrorist offence. The post related to the circumstances in which Usaama was killed. Police were praised for their quick response in showing a video of the incident. Officers and community leaders stated Usaama was not shot in the back as had been initially claimed by Imam Ibrahim but in the front after he lunged at police with a knife. Boston police commissioner William Evans stated in a video interview recorded by the Guardian that 4 0r 5 officers “backtracked” as Usaama came towards them saying, “its at some point when the suspect gets close enough to cause imminent harm to the the officer that the officer discharged his weapon, both the FBI in Boston both discharged, the individual was hit 3 times and he passed away.”
Imam Rahim stated,
“I kindly ask all who shared my original post bearing this prayer-symbol in a show of solidarity with this ministry regarding the reporting of the (fatal incident), to (un-share) and (delete) that initial post as I myself have done on all of my social media venues due to an inaccuracy on my behalf.
I continue to thank you for your prayers and well wishes. Lastly, please know that the entire Nation remains in my prayers and thoughts
God Bless us all.
He also posted the following quote from the Qur’an with the photo statement below,
And whoever preserves a life, it is as if though he has saved all of humanity!
وَمَنْ أَحْيَاهَا فَكَأَنَّمَا أَحْيَا النَّاسَ جَمِيعًا ۚ
Holy Qur’an 5:32
Imam Adullah Faaruuq sorry for earlier words (Image WCVB)
The Boston Herald also reported another apology from Imam Abdullah Faaruuq for his earlier comments on the police shooting, stating,
“‘a Roxbury imam apologized yesterday for accusing the police and FBI of murdering a Roslindale man Tuesday after authorities said the 26-year-old was about to target “boys in blue’ using a military-style knife.
‘My comments (Thursday) were inaccurate. They’re not reflective of where my heart is or where the Muslim community is,” said Imam Abdullah Faaruuq of the Mosque for the Praising of Allah in Roxbury.’
‘I do not want to blame the officials or cite any mistrust or hatred. I don’t believe the police acted irrationally,’ he said. ‘It was a situation that warranted what they did.'”
The statements arose from the two men during a long period of distrust in police by many Americans following several high-profile cases in which black men died in circumstances that drew condemnation from the public. One of these cases was that of Eric Garner who died after being held in a chokehold by New York City police officer Daniel Panteleo. Garner cried out the words “I can’t breathe” 11 times during his restraint. Garner’s death was ruled by the medical examiner’s office to be a homicide due to “compression of the neck”. The call “I can’t breathe” became a rallying cry for protesters highlighting racism and seeking justice for unarmed African Americans killed during police encounters.
There were also outpourings of racism, Islamophobia and abuse left on sites reporting the death of Usaama Rahim with comments specifically designed to abuse Muslims, see,
“Boston police shooting: Case update, “terrorism” and the vitriol of Islamophobia in US society”
The Usaama Rahim case has also once again highlighted the double standards in the US where a “suspected” individual comes under surveillance for months and can be shot dead while state agencies such as the CIA accused of horrific torture can do as they wish and are never charged or held to account for alleged offences, see following link,
“CIA torture more brutal and sadistic than Senate report disclosed”,
It is such double standards that are a factor in inciting extremism as documented in numerous interviews with young Muslims that have gone on to become radicalized.
Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights/WOT and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad. She is a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”. She is also a survivor of US “collateral damage”.