• Will Islamophobia give Republicans keys to the White House?

    Opinions September 22, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: Huffington Post. Fear is a powerful galvanizing force. And there’s good reason to believe that the fear of Muslims can increase one’s chances of gaining political power. After all, we’ve been seeing this in Europe for decades. Far right, nativist parties with a strong record of anti-Muslim policies and propaganda have been making inroads in national parliaments for decades. It now appears that some GOP politicians are going to borrow the Islamophobia playbook from Europe’s far right and see if it can get them into the White House.

  • The Republicans’ Muslim ‘problem’

    Opinions September 21, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: CNN. Two of the leading Republican candidates for the party’s nomination to be president seem unaware that the republic they seek to lead is, at its very core, a nation founded on the principle of religious tolerance. There have been Muslims in the United States since the Colonial era, and their right to practice their faith has been enshrined since 1786, with the passage of the Virginia Act for Establishing Religious Freedom. Jefferson, the law’s principal author, wrote that it was “meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew, the Gentile, the Christian and the Mahometan (Muslim), the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination.” That Carson and Trump are willing to either trumpet anti-Muslim views or to entertain them without contradiction is, in part, the result of the campaign led by a small subset of right-wingers to paint American Muslims as some kind of fifth column.

  • How no-fly lists are used to punish political protesters

    Blogs September 20, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: Alternet. It was August 2002. My partner Jan Adams and I were just beginning our annual pilgrimage to Massachusetts to visit my father and stepmother. At the check-in line at San Francisco International Airport, we handed over our driver’s licenses and waited for the airline ticket agent to find our flight and reservation. Suddenly, she got a funny look on her face. “There’s something wrong with the computer,” she said. “I need to talk to my supervisor.” So began a day of confusion and fear, followed by several years of indignation, frustration, and litigation, as we struggled to find out why — as the agent’s supervisor soon informed us with a similarly strange look on her face — we’d both “turned up on the FBI’s no-fly list.” Her eyes grew wide as she looked us over. “I don’t understand it,” she said. “You don’t fit the profile.”

  • US war theories target dissenters

    Opinions September 18, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: Consortium News. In the Orwellian world of Official Washington, the U.S. government is now wedded to the theory of “information warfare,” meaning that Americans who challenge national security policy may be treated as “unprivileged belligerents” under the new Law of War Manual, published by the U.S Department of Defense this past summer.It has frequently been noted there’s been an ongoing “war” against journalists since 9/11. The new DOD Law of War manual makes that official and potentially takes it to the highest level of conflict.The DOD now openly declares that journalists may be deemed “unprivileged belligerents,” unlawful combatants, as the DOD manual provides, instead of hiding the fact in coded language as done since 2001. Inherent to those classifications is that they represent the “enemy” and can be killed by U.S. officials. That will come as no surprise to those acquainted with the foreign journalists who have been targeted and killed by drones in places such as Pakistan. Nor will it surprise Sami al-Hajj, the Al Jazeera journalist who was held in Guantanamo for years. But now it is clear that the same fate could be in store for U.S. journalists.

  • Donald Trump is getting back into the Islamophobia business: The racist conspiracy theory he refused to disown

    Editorials September 18, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: Salon. Last night, Trump entertained notions about “terrorist training camps” in America. While Trump’s spokesman claimed that he was talking about looking into these alleged terrorist training camps, many of us who heard that question understood the man to be asking “when are we going to get rid of Muslims.” With Trump talking about rounding up 12 million people and deporting them, including American children, it’s not hard to imagine that his more unhinged supporters would think that the King of the Birthers might be on board for a little ethnic cleansing of Muslims as well. His answer undoubtedly cemented their faith that this is a man who was willing to consider it.

  • Arrest of 14-year-old student for making a clock: the fruits of sustained fearmongering and anti-Muslim animus

    Opinions September 16, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: The Intercept. The U.S. government just formally renewed the “State of Emergency” it declared in the aftermath of 9/11 for the 14th time since that attack occurred, ensuring that the country remains in a state of permanent, endless war, subjected to powers that are still classified as “extraordinary” even though they have become entirely normalized. As a result of all of this, a minority group of close to 3 million people is routinely targeted with bigotry and legal persecution in the Home of the Free, while fear and hysteria reign supreme in the Land of the Brave. What happened in Irving, Texas, yesterday to a 14-year-old Muslim high school freshman is far from the worst instance, but it is highly illustrative of the rotted fruit of this sustained climate of cultivated fear and demonization.

  • 9/11 in the age of ISIS: Facing continued anti-Islam sentiment, American Muslims are determined to reclaim the narrative

    Opinions September 11, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: International Business Times. “Terrorist! Go back to your country, Bin Laden!” Those were the words Inderjit Singh Mukker heard as an assailant brutally attacked him in his car in a Chicago suburb Tuesday night, according to reports from the Sikh Coalition, an advocacy group. While the victim, who wore a turban as a marker of his Sikh faith, wasn’t Muslim, it’s doubtful his attacker understood the difference between Sikhs and those who practice Islam. The incident occurred just three days before the 14th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, and experts say it’s another troubling example of a country that is still grappling with pockets of prejudice and violence against Muslim Americans, or even those who are assumed to be Muslim. And while Muslim advocates say the community has come a long way in educating the public and working to dismantle the stigma and prejudices against it, events of the last year — including the rise of ISIS and graphic media stories of its brutality — have stoked the very flames of Islamophobia that the community has worked so hard to quell over the past 14 years.

  • 14 years after 9/11, the war on terror is accomplishing everything bin Laden hoped it would

    Blogs September 8, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: The Nation. Fourteen years later and do you even believe it? Fourteen years of wars, interventions, assassinations, torture, kidnappings, black sites, the growth of the American national security state to monumental proportions, and the spread of Islamic extremism across much of the Greater Middle East and Africa.Fourteen years of the burial of American democracy (or rather its recreation as a billionaire’s playground and a source of spectacle and entertainment but not governance). Fourteen years of the spread of secrecy, the classification of every document in sight, the fierce prosecution of whistleblowers, and a faith-based urge to keep Americans “secure” by leaving them in the dark about what their government is doing.

  • Shocker: The CIA isn’t sorry for torture

    Opinions September 8, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: Huffington Post. More than a year after the Senate Intelligence Committee voted to declassify its massive study on the CIA’s post-9/11 torture program — and nearly 10 months after its gruesome executive summary was publicly released — the CIA’s George W. Bush-era guard is still bitter.And unsurprisingly, the former spies aren’t sorry. In a volume to be released later this week, former CIA leaders Porter Goss, Jose Rodriguez and George Tenet, along with several other CIA leaders and lawyers, accuse the Intelligence panel’s now-minority Democrats of compiling a slanted report, and unequivocally defend the use of torture against high-level terror suspects.

  • When Feds are done playing dress up, who’s left to pick up the pieces?

    Opinions September 3, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: Dissent News Wire. Whether it’s the CIA staging a phony polio vaccination scheme in Pakistan or paid FBI informants working subterfuge in New York and California mosques, government agents frequently misappropriate identities to conduct undercover stings. Unfortunately, this duplicity jeopardizes the safety and credibility of those impersonated and has a chilling effect on innocent bystanders once the feds are done playing dress up.