Published in partnership with CounterCurrent News.
On Saturday, I was made aware of a bold and provocative statement about Donald Trump’s propose database and ID badges for Muslim Americans. The statement was not unlike many that I – and others – have made. But what caught my attention was who made these comments.
Television and radio personality Montel Williams voiced his anger with Trump’s Islamaphobic and even Nazi-esque comments, on Twitter, where he said that if Trump or any other candidate mandates such measures against Muslims in America, he will be forced to take up arms against the State and revolutionarily resist the new laws.
Journalist Cassandra Fairbanks talked with Williams to asked about his statement.
Fairbanks writes that Williams pointed them to the case of Amir Hekmati, “a Muslim United States Marine, born in Arizona and raised in Michigan, who is currently imprisoned in Iran — accused of allegedly spying for the CIA.”
Williams drew a parallel to the oppression of the Iranian state and the sort of proposals that Trump has been speaking about.
Hekmati has been being held in an Iranian prison since 2011, when he made the trip to Iran to visit family. He had obtained dual citizenship to make the trip. When he arrived, he was detained and subjected to months of torture before being coerced into falsely confessing to being a spy on Iranian state TV.
In 2012, Hekmati was sentenced to death for the alleged crime, though it was eventually overturned due to lack of evidence. The Iranian government then conducted a second, secret trial, where the decorated marine was sentenced in absentia to 10 years in prison for “cooperating with a hostile government,” meaning the United States.
Over the past four years, his family has provided detailed accounts of their loved one being held in solitary confinement for 17 months, whipping, being kept shackled in a 3-by-3-foot cell for four months, being tasered, and being forcibly injected with drugs such as lithium so that he experiences painful withdrawal symptoms.
Beyond the physical torture, his family has also reported Hekmati being subjected to mental torture including being denied access to speak with his family for 20 months, being lied to and told that his mother had been killed in a car crash, as well as “threats, insults and humiliations.”
Williams said in his interview with the Bipartisan Report that he has grown frustrated with politicians fear mongering against Muslims. He added that we have far more to fear from “this crowd of malcontent rednecks than we do refugees.”
Do you agree with Williams about the need to fight against Nazi type laws, regardless of which religious minority they are used against?
Watch “Montel Williams Sends a Special Message to Amir Hekmati” from FreeAmirwebstream: