Op-Eds

  • US military now has authority to “capture and punish” journalists who they deem “belligerent”

    Blogs August 28, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: The Free Thought Project. Newly adopted Department of Defense guidelines will allow military commanders to “punish journalists” and treat them as “unprivileged belligerents.”The DoD’s 1,180 page Law of War Manual outlines provisions for military commanders to violate the rights of journalists who they disagree with in vaguely written legal speak. Adding in this vaguely written language that specifically mentions ‘journalists’ can only be interpreted as a means to silence dissent.

     
  • The real Muslim American threat? It’s against us

    Blogs August 27, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: The Daily Beast. There’s a growing threat in America involving Muslims. The FBI has even recently issued a warning to alert local law enforcement about it. But our politicians and media continue to ignore it. The threat I’m speaking of is not “radical Islam,” as the right loves to call it. Rather I’m talking the threat of “radical Americans” who are plotting to kill Muslim Americans and to stoke the flames of hate versus Muslims in hopes that others will be inspired to do just that. In fact, the threat against Muslim Americans by radical Americans has escalated to the point that the FBI recently issued an alert titled “Militia Extremists Expand Target Sets To Include Muslims.” This FBI warning notes that based on the evidence collected, it has “high confidence” that “domestic extremists” are planning violence against Muslim Americans.

     
  • Why ‘Guantánamo North’ is a terrible idea

    Opinions August 24, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: Vice. The Obama administration, it seems, is stricken with the same peculiar penchant as its predecessor for self-servingly redefining commonly understood terms. Over a decade ago, the Bush Administration construed “torture” so narrowly as to allow waterboarding, anal rape (labelled “rectal feeding” in the purest Orwellian style), and other monstrosities it committed against supposed terrorists. Today, when the Obama administration talks of “closing” Guantánamo, what they actually mean is that they want to relocate the facility—along with everything that it represents—to the continental United States. This includes the practice of indefinite imprisonment without charge or fair process. When lawyers like me, human rights groups and international organizations, friendly governments, and concerned citizens the world over call for Guantánamo to be closed, we are not asking for it to be imported to the continental US. When people call for Guantánamo to be closed, it is simply shorthand for a more comprehensive demand to end torture and arbitrary, indefinite imprisonment without trial or fair process.

     
  • GOP candidates quietly put torture back on the table

    Opinions August 18, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: MSNBC. When President Obama took office, he and his team decided not to pursue charges against Bush administration officials who authorized, encouraged, and participated in torture. At the time, the argument was that the country wanted to move forward. In hindsight, though, had there been some prosecutions, maybe Republicans hoping to succeed Obama would be less inclined to re-embrace the torture policies the nation has tried to leave behind us.

     
  • “Homegrown terrorists”: New US draconian laws usher in the new world order

    Opinions August 15, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: Center for Research on Globalization. Clearly mounting evidence blatantly exists in recent years that demonstrate a totalitarian police state power in America. The systematic militarization of police state USA has used terror to recklessly and maliciously abuse its own citizenry, particularly those of color in cities across this nation. . . . Clearly First Amendment rights to peaceful assembly and public protest in this country are also no longer upheld or recognized as rule of law. . . . Criminalizing dissent is redefining homegrown terrorism to include anyone willing to exercise their basic civil liberties guaranteed US citizens under this nation’s Constitution that for over two centuries was recognized as the ultimate rule of law in America. But now any Americans daring to even criticize and object to the federal government’s growing tyranny is conveniently labeled a belligerent and enemy of the state subject to assassination or indefinite imprisonment led by a dictator president who matter-of-factly proclaims his despotic right to kill fellow Americans on US soil.

     
  • WTF! Will ‘(T)ERROR’ be seen?

    Opinions August 14, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: IDA: (T)ERROR is a jaw-dropping film. (T)ERROR is the first film to document an FBI undercover informant sting operation in real time—and without the knowledge or permission of the FBI. It is astounding that this footage even exists. The final—though somewhat expected—WTF is for the legal challenges that Lyric and David are facing in releasing the film. We cannot underestimate the importance of (T)ERROR getting a wide release. It is crucial that the documentary community, as well as all citizens who believe in free speech and freedom of the press, stand behind Lyric and David. The result we want—the result that entrenched powers fear—is that their voices will be strengthened through these battles, not silenced. We should also allow ourselves to be inspired by their work and their courage in being unafraid to speak truth to power.

     
  • The one-dimensional Muslim

    Opinions August 12, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: Al Jazeera. As the 14th anniversary of 9/11 approaches, the endurance of Islamophobia can no longer be pinned to ignorance or isolated instances of religious bias. Instead, the construction of the one-dimensional Muslim — a homegrown assassin that poses a consistent and covert threat to American liberties and freedoms — has become a conceptual necessity to justify a pervasive surveillance state.

     
  • Islam’s lunatic fringe and Islamophobes have a lot in common

    Blogs August 6, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source:The Huffington Post. Islam’s lunatic fringe insists that Muslims must convert or kill non-Muslims — incredibly frustrating to Muslims world over. Likewise, Islamophobes want non-Muslims to believe that Islam is genocidal and a threat to Western civilization, even if Muslims built much of that civilization and continue to refresh it. . . . Both cohorts repeatedly focus on select sentences in the Qur’an to defend their hatred of the other. . . . let’s understand what they have to ignore… 1) More than six thousand sentences in the Qur’an and instead exclusively focus on about a dozen prima facie troublesome sentences. In other words, they have to ignore 99.81 per cent of the Qur’an.

     
  • Year one of Black Lives Matter

    Editorials August 5, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: Socialist Worker. On August 9, 2014, Mike Brown was shot down by Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson, and his lifeless body was left uncovered for four-and-a-half hours–to broil on a summer street and be seen by little kids and everyone else in the predominantly Black neighborhood. The murder sparked days and nights of furious protest. In the year since, so much has changed–and not nearly enough has changed. The rebellion in Ferguson didn’t stop the list of names of people murdered by police–on the contrary, it seemed to roll on ever more relentlessly: Eric Garner. John Crawford. Akai Gurley. Tamir Rice. Tony Robinson. Freddie Gray. Sandra Bland. But Ferguson did vastly increase public awareness of those names. And it put the country on notice that Black people suffering from America’s age-old racist violence in the 21st century were no longer going to be appeased by having a few Black faces in high places–even the White House.

     
  • Don’t just call the police to stop young men from joining Isis. Call their mothers

    Editorials July 31, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: The Guardian. The voice of Muslim mothers’ is conspicuously absent from the public discourse about preventing radicalization in the Muslim-American community. When recognized and empowered, they can play a robust role in protecting their families and communities, a role enshrined in the Islamic tradition. Communities must further develop community-led prevention intervention, and rehabilitation capacities, which allow young persons to get the help and, where possible, avoid lengthy prison sentences. This would allow mothers to see law enforcement as allies in keeping their teenagers safe. A mother who fears that her outreach will attract an agent provocateur is unlikely to ask for help. Mosque leaders who fear spies in their midst avoid openly discussing worrisome behavior among the congregants, lest they inadvertently identify easy targets for government surveillance. These mothers, and their communities, need to be able to trust that reaching out to law enforcement will help ensure safety for their loved ones and their community.