Islamophobia & Civil Freedoms

  • A personal history of Islamophobia in America

    Source: Vox. Don’t stay out past sunset. Don’t talk to people you don’t know. Speak only English when you’re outdoors. Don’t talk about politics. Don’t talk about religion. Study hard, and come back. I’m 17 when I move to this country, anointed with a scholarship to a prestigious college. I’m 17, and out of the arrogance of being 17 I am dismissive of my parents’ advice. What do they know, my mother and father who live across an ocean? I’m in the liberal Northeast. It’s been a whole two years since 9/11, and this can’t be the America we talk about back home. This America isn’t scary. This America is Doritos and discussion sections in which I’m still figuring out how to speak up. Fall colors and libraries galore, my first time seeing snow.

  • Video game bans Muslim professor because his name is like a terrorist financier’s

    Source: The Intercept. A prominent video game company mistakenly used a Treasury sanctions list to block a Muslim American professor from signing up to play one of its video games. Muhammad “Zakir” Khan is a speech professor at Broward College in Florida and the executive director of the Transparency and Accountability Project, a police accountability database. He’s also an avid video gamer. But when he tried to sign up for the beta test of an upcoming shooter game called Paragon, developed by Epic Games, he was informed that he would not be allowed to create an account because his name matches one on the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctions list.

  • Professor suspended for saying Christians and Muslims worship the ‘same God’

    Source: Think Progress. A major evangelical Christian university has suspended a tenured professor after she argued that Christians and Muslims “worship the same God” and donned a hijab to express solidarity with Muslims. On December 10, Dr. Larycia Hawkins, a tenured political science professor at Wheaton College in Illinois, took to Facebook to vent her frustration about the growing list of anti-Islam incidents in the United States since the terrorist attacks in Paris. Hawkins, herself a Christian at the evangelical school, declared that she would wear a hijab throughout the Christian season of Advent “in human solidarity with [her] Muslim neighbor.”

  • The stunningly long list of anti-Muslim hate crimes since San Bernardino

    Source: TPM. After the Dec. 2 mass shooting in San Bernardino by a Muslim husband and wife suspected of having become radicalized, Muslim Americans and mosques throughout the country have been targeted with threats and violence. It’s not clear how significant the uptick in reported attacks has been, but Oren Segal, the director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism told CBS News last week that he’s counted at least three dozen threats and attacks.

  • Department of Justice will go after anti-Muslim hate speech

    Source: ABC News. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch pledged that the Department of Justice will go after hate speech that might incite violence against the Muslim community, she told a crowd of Muslim-Americans and supporters Thursday night. “Obviously this is a country that is based on free speech,” Lynch told the audience at the Muslim Advocates dinner in Arlington, VA. “But when that edges towards violence…we will take action.”

  • Anti-Muslim rhetoric has gone from fringe to mainstream, report says

    Source: Think Progress. Anti-Muslim rhetoric, recently on display as lawmakers discuss the issue of resettling Syrian refugees, began on the fringes of the far-right and has infiltrated mainstream politics, according to a new report released by the National Security Network. As the report points out, anti-Muslim rhetoric is becoming increasingly prominent among Republican presidential candidates. Before presidential frontrunners used such terminology, though, it was largely restricted to the fringes of the Republican party. Now, the party appears to have instead welcomed fringe ideas into the mainstream.

  • It’s not just Trump: Islamophobia in America is spiraling out of control.

    Source: Vox. That didn’t come out of nowhere — it’s been building for months, in American politics and media and popular discourse. Trump is just the tip of an iceberg that runs much deeper than many Americans would like to believe. America’s climate of anti-Muslim hatred and fear, a form of bigotry known as Islamophobia, is rampaging out of control. And it has very real and legitimately scary implications for the millions of Americans who follow Islam.

  • Trump, Cruz inject tough rhetoric on Islam into GOP race

    Source: The Hill. Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) are injecting forceful rhetoric on Islam into the Republican presidential race after last week’s terrorist attacks in Paris. Both candidates have campaigned heavily against illegal immigration and are now stressing national security following the slaughter in France that the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has taken credit for. Cruz has suggested that the United States only accept Christian refugees from Syria — a majority-Muslim country — while Trump has floated closing down mosques in the United States. Trump has also floated heightened surveillance of mosques, registering American Muslims in a database and offering them a special ID listing their religion. Democrats have roundly denounced such talk. President Obama called Cruz’s push “shameful,” while Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) painted the Republican Party as intolerant.

  • Fake video, images claim to show Muslim joy over Paris attacks

    Source: The Washington Post. One video that was widely shared in the aftermath of the Paris attacks shows a scene of revelry. Men gathered in front of London’s Tooting Broadway Station cheer and fist-pump the air. Full of smiles, some have climbed onto a statue and are waving green flags above their heads. The title of the clip posted to Facebook: “Muslims Around The World Celebrate The Islamic Victory in Paris France.” The video was rapidly disseminated, and with it, the outrage. Until Tuesday, only a few ventured to bring up its dubious nature. After all, the video actually has nothing to do with terrorism — it was filmed in 2009, not last weekend, and it shows Pakistanis celebrating a cricket match victory following the ICC World Twenty20 tournament. It isn’t the only piece of fake “evidence” for Muslim joy over the Paris attacks to have surfaced in the past few days.

  • Spirit Airlines boots 4 passengers for using a smartphone while looking Middle Eastern

    Source: Raw Story. Four people who appeared to be “of Middle Eastern descent” were removed from a Spirit Airlines flight from Baltimore to Chicago on Tuesday morning for alleged “suspicious activity.”According to the Chicago Tribune, the activity in question consisted of watching a news broadcast on a mobile device. The four people were released after questioning by police. Sgt. Jonathan Green of the Maryland Transportation Authority told the Baltimore Sun that a female passenger became alarmed and reported the four individuals to flight crew members.