Los Angeles mosque prayers leader in FBI custody for hours

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - The US Federal Bureau of Investigation released Imam Mujahid Abdul Karim, the prayers leader of “Masjid Al-Rasul” mosque in Los Angeles after taking him in custody four hours.

The US security forces raided Imam Mujahid Abdul Karim’s home on Friday and arrested him but he was released after four hours being in custody.

FBI forces have also confiscated personal computer of the prayers leader of mosque.

Imam Mujahid Abdul Karim is now consulting with his lawyers on the issue.

Imam Mujahid Abdul Karim (born Benjamin Farmer, December 26, 1944) is an African-American convert to Islam, who is best known for his involvement and "spearheading" of the April 26, 1992 Watts Gang Truce between the four influential rival gangs— Watts Hacienda Village Bloods, Grape Street Watts Crips, Bounty Hunter Watts Bloods, and PJ Watts Crips. He is imam of Masjid Al Rasul mosque in Watts, Los Angeles and the leader of the Imam Mahdi Movement.

During this period of his community social activism, he also had his first encounters with several Iranian foreign students who were at the time attending UCLA and were regularly attending the Friday prayer service being held at the mosque. These students were followers of the Shiite school of Islamic thought and gave him a book to read about the grandson of the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (PBUH), Hussain ibn Ali (AS). After reading this book, and being convinced of the validity of the Shiite school of Islam through other proofs, Abdul Karim decided he was going to convert his masjid to the first ever indigenous African American run Shiite mosque in America.

During the period spanning from 1983-1989, Abdul Karim felt it was necessary to go to the holy seminary city of Qom, Iran, in order to further enhance his knowledge of Islam.

However, in 1990, Abdul Karim was forced to return to America to continue the work of "building" a lasting peace among gang leaders in the Watts community of Los Angeles, California.

Mujahid Abdul Karim has been granted special awards, honors, and recognition including Ambassador for Peace award presented by Senator Roderick Wright, Special Recognition for originating Watts Peace Treaty by Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Certificate of Recognition for the 20th Anniversary of the Watts Peace Treaty by Councilman Joe Buscaino.

Masjid Al-Rasul Vision

According to the official website of Masjid Al-Rasul, Imam Mujahid Abdul Karim founded Masjid Al-Rasul, in 1980, over 30 years ago, in the Watts community of Los Angeles, California, which is currently the only Shiite Masjid in the United States that is strategically located in an historical indigenous Community. In addition, Masjid Al Rasul of Watts, Los Angeles, is also the first Masjid to be established in the United States, based on the Ja’fari school of thought, which is exclusively owned and operated by Indigenous American Shiites

Masjid Al-Rasul’s vision is to build Masjids and Islamic communities in the poorest neighborhoods in the US, in order to help improve the lives of people that are the most impoverished, oppressed and forgotten people of America.

In 1992, Masjid Al-Rasul of Watts, Los Angeles became the site of the first-ever “ceasefire” truce between the two largest national rival gangs “Crips” & “Bloods.” A treaty was signed at Masjid Al-Rasul by dozens of high ranking gang members from across the Los Angeles, California area. This historical truce not only successfully reduced the murder rate in Los Angeles, California, but it was also the catalyst to similar “ceasefire” truces with other gangs across America, thereby significantly reducing violence throughout the United States. Sheikh Mujahid makes an historical analogy of this truce with that of the truce between the two major warring tribes, ‘Aws’ and ‘Khazraj’ during the time of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

Consequently, during a violent period in American history — a time when riots ran rampant across America, due to the aftermath of the “Rodney King Incident,” Masjid Al-Rasul was instrumental in helping to reduce violence and bring peace to America by pioneering the Peace Initiative between gangs throughout the US.

Furthermore, prior to the above-mentioned peace treaty, the community of Watts, Los Angeles was far too dangerous for any significant community development, due to gang violence (i.e., drive-by shootings and armed robberies). As a direct result of Masjid Al-Rasul’s impact on the Watts community, its members can now feel safe to benefit from community improvement projects.



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