Islamophobia & Civil Freedoms

  • Pope Francis says equating Islam with violence is wrong

    Source: Reuters. Pope Francis said on Sunday that equating Islam with violence was wrong and called on Muslim leaders to issue a global condemnation of terrorism to help dispel the stereotype. Francis, the leader of 1.2 billion Roman Catholics, told reporters aboard his plane returning from a visit to Turkey that he understood why Muslims were offended by many in the West who automatically equated their religion with terrorism. Francis’ predecessor, Benedict XVI, caused storms of protest throughout the Islamic world in 2006, when he made a speech that suggested to many Muslims that he believed Islam espoused violence.

  • NYPD Muslim Spying Lawsuit Moves Forward

    Source: Huffington Post. To Hassan and his lawyer, Glenn Katon, there could be no more obvious testament to the fact that his First Amendment religious rights were violated. In their latest filing, Katon said, Muslim Advocates argued that the religious freedom clauses of the First Amendment are different from those regarding free speech cited by the NYPD. “There is no legitimate investigation here; this is just targeting people based on religion,” Katon said. “The NYPD has never claimed they were investigating a crime or a potential crime when they went into New Jersey.”

  • Muslims Need Not Apply

    Source: Boston Review. The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) is being sued for religious discrimination. In 2009 Safiya Ghori-Ahmad, an American lawyer from Arkansas, fluent in Urdu and Hindi with a master’s degree in international development, accepted a USCIRF position as a South Asia policy analyst. The Commission hired her to conduct research on South Asia’s human rights and religious freedoms. According to the complaint, four weeks after she’d been offered the job, the offer was rescinded.

  • The tide of Islamophobia

    Source: Baltimore Sun. Today, the Maryland Conservative Action Network (MDCAN) is hosting a daylong conference in Annapolis entitled “Turning the Tides.” Unfortunately, instead of selecting a legitimate conservative activist as headline speaker, MDCAN has chosen Pamela Geller, the leader of a designated hate group and one of America’s most virulent Islamophobes.

  • Denying The Existence Of Islamophobia

    Source: ThinkProgress. Do some use accusations of Islamophobia to stifle legitimate criticism of Islam? Yes, certainly, just as some use accusations of anti-Semitism to stifle legitimate criticism of Israel (as we’ve seen in the recent smear campaign against Secretary of Defense nominee Chuck Hagel). But the fact that some use such accusations cynically and recklessly doesn’t mean that Islamophobia and anti-Semitism aren’t real existing problems.

  • Halting anti-Muslim violence

    Source: Al-Jazeera. Official FBI statistics on hate crimes published last month found that the number of hate attacks on Muslims remained high after a spike in 2010 that correlated with nationally prominent fear-mongering over the construction of a mosque in Manhattan. Many of the recent attacks have taken place shortly after well-publicised anti-Muslim hate speeches, sometimes coming directly from public officials.

  • Hate crimes against Muslims only escalating 10 years after 9/11

    Source: Arab American News. Despite relentless national efforts to combat the negative stereotypes and intolerance of Muslims and Arabs that’s emerged after 9/11, hate crimes against them and people perceived to be members of their communities are at their height more than 10 years later according to activists and reports from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

  • The GOP’s Anti-Muslim Wing Is in Retreat

    Source: Mother Jones. After a November election that saw three of the party’s loudest voices on “creeping Shariah” defeated—and the GOP presidential nominee ignore the issue entirely—the anti-Islam movement within the Republican party may have peaked. Wary of further alienating a once-promising conservative constituency, mainstream Republican leaders have sought, publicly and behind closed doors, to distance themselves from the loudest of the Muslim-bashers in their midst.

  • US media helped anti-Muslim bodies gain influence, distort Islam

    Source: Wired. A study published by a sociologist has revealed that fear-mongering non-governmental anti-Muslim organisations have been heavily influencing US media since 9/11, their messages seeping into news articles and television reporting and drawing their ethos from the fringes, straight into the mainstream.

  • NYPD: Suspects Savagely Attacked Elderly Man In Queens After Asking If He Was Muslim

    Source: CBS New York. A brutal beating left a beloved grandfather in the hospital Friday night and police want to know if it was an act of hate. Ali Akmal laid in his hospital bed in critical condition with wounds and bruises covering most of his body. The 72-year-old was savagely beaten after he went out for his early morning walk on 46 Avenue in Corona last Saturday.