Abu-Jamal's Radio Broadcasts
Coming of Age
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President George W. Bush said in October of 2001, people are going
to get tired of the war on terrorism. For the first time in years,
the Franco-Moroccan accused Zaccarhais Moussaoui i, who faces a
litany of charges connected with the hijackings and bombings at
the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on 911, received some good
news in an American court.
second October, the judge hearing the case precluded the US Attorney
General from seeking the death penalty and from raising to any jury,
any suggestion that Mr. Moussaoui was involved with the events of
September 11th, 2001. According to federal judge Leoni Brinkma,
it would simply be unfair to require Moussaoui to defend against
such prejudicial accusations while being denied the ability to present
testimony from witnesses who could assist him in contradicting those
opinion was almost as unprecedented as the prosecution's provocation-their
utter denial to allow Moussaoui access to propose witnesses. One
must read thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of cases before finding
one where, as here, the prosecutor replies to a judge's order by
simply saying "no"
As news was
breaking of this latest development in the Moussaoui case, this
commentator was reading the last pages of the recently published
Zaccharais, My brother- The Making of a Terrorist by Ab-samad Moussaoui,
the older brother. It provided some interesting insights into the
early developmental years of the Moussaoui boys who were both born
in the south of France of Moroccan parents. Their mother, Ayesha,
seemed determined to raise them without the slightest inculcation
of their Moroccan-Arabic culture.
of their inability to speak Arabic and their almost total ignorance
of Muslim religious prayers and customs. Their mother would proudly
tell other Moroccan and North African neighbors, "They're right
little French boys, these two"
When they were
yet little boys, the learned something quite important about how
other French people saw them. In an exchange that sounds almost
certainly American, Ab-Samad recounts the day that marked the two
Moussaoui brothers when they were but eight and ten years old.
school, Zach and I would play marbles with the same friend, a neighbor,'
Ab-Samad wrote, 'one afternoon at around 4:30, he appeared as usual.
We called out to him 'Remi," he didn't budge. He looked at
us from a far. We walked over to him to ask him what was the matter?
I can't play
how come? why
can't you play with us?
Because my parents
said I can't.
But why have
your parents said you can't play with us today?
We play marbles
No its not just
today, its for always. They say that you're niggers and they don't
want me to play with niggers', he wrote.
When one multiplies
such soul-cutting events over a young person's life, can there be
any question why someone might grow up alienated, feeling set apart
from the society of their birth?
The two brown-skinned
boys were born in France, lived all of their lives in France, spoke
only French, went to French schools, but, increasingly, especially
after the rise of the rightist Le Pen movement in 1984, began to
wonder about the land of their birth. They began to search out religious
and cultural teachers who could give them a grounding in the history
and culture of their parents and extended family in Morocco.
This is not
to suggest that such events as this, pushed a youngster such as
Moussaoui into the ranks of the Islamists of Al-Quaeda. Of that.
I have no knowledge, no matter what the US government charges them
with. But it may suggest that the root of fighting terrorism lies
not in the missile silos, or the uranium tipped anti-tank weapons
that litter the deserts of Iraq. For if the Iraq adventure has proven
anything, it has shown how such attacks create more, not less enmity,
anger and violent reprisal. The roots of wisely waging a war against
terrorism may lie in the chamber of the human heart, where children
dwell and where hatred and enmity is born often at the instigation
From Death Row,
this is Mumia Abu-Jamal
2003 Mumia Abu-Jamal
Check out Mumia's
"Faith of Our Fathers: An Examination of the Spiritual Life
of African and African-American People" at www.africanworld.com
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© copyright 2003 by Mumia Abu-Jamal.
All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permission of the author.