Sunday, June 27, 2004

Friend's Letter

I know this lady and I find her totally above reproach. I just wanted to share her story. Warning: It is a pretty upsetting story. Garage Sale is over, made about $100. Thanks Derek and Heather for all the assistance and the driveway, etc.

Marzieh wrote:

                   IN THE NAME OF ALLAH

Assalamu Alaikum to all of my brothers and sisters,

Insha’Allah everyone is doing well. I am writing this email to inform everyone of an incident which happened to my family and I.  I want everyone to know and understand well, the result of this “New World Order” which has taken over in the United States and the rest of the world. Some of you, who I am writing this letter to, know me and some of you do not, so I will take time to explain a few background issues.  For those of you, who already know me, please bare with me as I elaborate on a few points.

My name is Marzieh Hashemi and I was born and reared in the United States. I am a Muslim convert who married an Iranian national 23 years ago.  I lived in Iran for over 10 years and in August of 2001, my husband was killed in an accident. A year later, my children and I returned to the United States.  Upon my return, I started working for a Muslim brother in Denver. I started working with him in October of 2002 until the present.  I just wanted you to have a brief idea of the “players” involved in this very bizarre story.

On Thursday, June 10, 2004, at approximately 7:08 a.m., there was a loud banging on my door, and yelling for me to open the door. They said that it was the police and the F.B.I.
I hurriedly grabbed for my scarf and proceeded to go downstairs in my home.  What I saw was so unbelievable! My 20 year old son and his 23 year old cousin had their hands up. There were F.B.I. agents streaming into my house with guns drawn.  They were yelling for everyone to put up their hands.  I kept demanding to know what this was all about. They told me that they would let me know, as soon as they “secured the area”. There were about 15 agents who came into my place, searching every room and at the same time they asked me if we had any drugs or weapons, at which I smirked and told them of course not. The agents then demanded that all of my family sit in one section of the house.

After about 15 minutes of this, they presented a search and seize warrant, stating that this was a case relating to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). For those of you not familiar with the United States, this is the federal tax body. I laughed when they told me this, being that my income is quite limited.  The IRS agent proceeded to asked me if I had any jewels, safety deposit boxes, boats, as well as land, houses, etc. I told him that I could barely afford the one home that I lived in and that they had more information then even I have about myself, so what was all this really about! This line of questioning went on for about 20 minutes. Let me add, that I did asked them during this time, if I could make a call and they answered that I could not make an outbound call nor could I answer any incoming calls.

After the IRS agent finished, the FBI agent continued. They said that they were working together in a task force.  He then began his line of questioning.  He started off by asking me what is my religion. Then he asked me if I am Shia or Sunni.  I told him that I thought this was supposedly related to the IRS and what difference does it make to the IRS my religious persuasion. He said that the FBI had decided that there was a lot of “misunderstanding” between the agency and Muslims and that they could actually “kill two birds with one stone” and try to clear up some of these misunderstanding.  I told him that I thought he was using a very “interesting” forum to attempt to clear up these “misunderstandings”.  He continued with his line of questioning for about 45 minutes. He asked me about leadership with the Sunnis and Shias and which was stronger.  He asked about Hamas, Hezbollah, suicide bombings, et cetera.  He also asked that if the United States went to war with Iran, which side would I be on!

Let me explain that while this questioning was going on, my family was sitting in that one corner of the house and were not allowed to move around.  Simultaneously with the questioning, the agents were going through every part of my home. They took any “suspicious” item that they found.  This includes my mortgage papers, bills, anything with “non-English” writings on it, such as my Quranic  c.d.’s, my children old Farsi notebooks, my daughter’s diary that she wrote in Farsi, and many other items for which I got a very generic inventory list from the agents when they were leaving.

This search and seize started at about 7:15 a.m. and ended at 3:30 p.m.! During this time, we were told after the initial questioning that we were free to leave. However if we left,  we could not return to our home until after they left the premises. We were “allowed” to use the rest room in our own home after getting permission and only one person could leave our “holding area” at a time.  By noon, my family was getting hungry and I did not have any quick snacks in the house. I asked them if I could cook something and they told me “no”. They did not want me boiling any water or anything! I asked them what I was suppose to do because my family was hungry and they weren’t allowing me to cook. They told me that I could leave and I reiterated that I would not leave my own house while they were in it. Finally I convinced my 20 year-old son to go and get us lunch, because he was getting less and less tolerant of the intrusion. I thought that it would be a good way of getting him out of the house.

The agent said that my son could leave and buy us lunch. He reiterated that when my son would return, he would not be allowed to come up to the door. He would have to stand at a distance from the front door, and an agent would go out and get the food from him, then my son should leave. This is what he did. Shortly after that, my 17 year-old daughter decided to leave and she did so. The rest of us stayed until the agents left at approximately 3:30 p.m.

I later found out from my youngest son, who is 10 years old that he woke up that Thursday morning with a gun pointing at him and an F.B.I. agent yelling at him to put his hands up and go downstairs. My son told me later that he thought the agent was going to kill him and he thought he had done something wrong.

I’ve told you all this story because I want everyone to be informed. The raid on my house took place simultaneously with two other Muslim families in Denver, Colorado. The two individuals from these two homes are my co-workers. Also the office where I work, was  raided at the same time.

My question is that if this is really a tax case, then why all the questions relating to my religious and political perspectives.  If this is really a tax case, I’d like to ask the federal government, how many agents with guns drawn, did they send to arrest Enron executives in their multimillion dollars fraud case! If this is really related to taxes, why didn’t they audit me!  If this is really related to taxes, why did they wake up my son with a gun pointed at him? Did they have any record of me being a dangerous person that they came to my house with guns drawn! By the way, what ever happened to the First Amendment and Miranda rights? Actually, while we are on the subject, “What happened to the United States of America”?

This can happen to anyone in the USA at anytime. This is the post 9/11 America This is the post Patriot Act America.  Is it a safer America!  Is it a more patriotic America! All I know is that each and every person in my home will never forget what happened to them. All I know is that a certain innocence was taken away from my 10 year old on 6/10/04 that I don’t think he will ever get back. My son really believes that he can be killed in his own house at any time.  He had always seen on television programs about the “bad guys”, the thieves, murderers and the dangerous elements of the society. He had never thought of the possibility that those who are suppose to “protect and serve”, could be more dangerous than any other element in the society!  But on June tenth, 2004, he got a crystal clear picture of what it is like being a Muslim in the United States. He’ll never forget this lesson and I am sure none of us will.  Welcome to the New World Order!

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