Islamophobia & Civil Freedoms

  • A terror threat Fox News won’t cover

    Source: Media Matters. Fox News was completely silent after a Christian minister pleaded guilty to plotting to attack American Muslims in New York, continuing a habit of downplaying threats to Muslims and ignoring extremist acts with no ties to Islam. Robert Doggart, an ordained Christian minister and former Tennessee congressional candidate, was arrested and pled guilty to attempting to recruit “expert Gunners” to aid him in a plot to kill residents of Islamberg, NY, a largely Muslim community at the foot of the Catskill Mountains.

  • America snores when Christian terrorist threatens to massacre Muslims

    Source:The Daily Beast. Have you heard about the Christian terrorist Robert Doggart, who was plotting a violent attack against a Muslim-American community in New York state? Probably not, because as opposed to when U.S. law enforcement officials arrest a Muslim for planning a violent assault, they didn’t send out a press release or hold a press conference publicizing Doggart’s arrest.

  • Decorah author tackles Islamophobia and holds the West accountable in new book

    Source: Decorah Newspapers. Getting to the heart of Islamophobia just got easier with the release of ‘The Fear of Islam” (Fortress Press 2015), a piercing commentary on the West’s past and current anxieties about Islam and those who practice it. Written by Todd Green, professor of religion at Luther College, the book tackles the US and Europe’s xenophobic association of Islam with violence, misogyny and intolerance, and helps readers sift fact from fiction when it comes to history’s definitive episodes of anti-Muslim hostility, including the Crusades, European colonialism, the Rushdie affair, the Danish cartoon controversy and the war on terror. “Sadly, much of what we know about Islam, or what we think we know, comes from those who manufacture the fear of Islam for personal or political gain,” says Green, who devotes several chapters to these sources of misinformation.

  • A few people lead many of the anti-Muslim groups in the U.S.

    Source: FiveThirtyEight. Pamela Geller, head of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, speaks at a conference in New York in 2012. Pamela Geller organized the “Draw Muhammad” contest and art exhibition held Sunday in Garland, Texas, where two gunmen opened fire before being killed by police. Geller also placed an order for subway and bus ads in New York City that linked Islamic leaders to Hitler, leading the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority to vote Wednesday for a blanket ban on “viewpoint advertising” to avoid ever having to show ads like Geller’s again. It’s not a quirk of timing that places Geller at the heart of two controversies over provocative speech about Islam within a week. The little data we have shows that although anti-Islam groups have multiplied in the United States over the past several years, only a small group of people are behind many of these organizations.1 Geller is one of them.

  • Some Muslims, activists cast suspicious eye on federal effort to stem homegrown radicalization

    Source: Associated Press. Sameer Mohiuddin grew more confused by the second as panelists speaking at his Southern California mosque trumpeted a new national initiative to prevent violent extremism. Mohiuddin, 39, is an American citizen, longtime Californian and a vice president at a technology company. His wife was born and raised in Orange County, and they have three children. Why, he wondered, do his family and others like his even figure into the conversation? “Day in and day out we’re trying to build a community, saying you’re part and parcel of the American fabric. You are an American citizen. I raise my girls and say they have the same rights as others,” Mohiuddin said. “The fact is, when you’re going to come present a program and say it’s specially geared to prevent growing extremism in the Muslim community, you’re by default saying my community is more predisposed to extremism. It sets people off.”

  • ‘Daily Show’s Aasif Mandvi’s new sitcom parody combats Islamophobia

    Source: Tampa Bay Times. Aasif Mandvi is bringing the satire he’s honed on The Daily Show to a sitcom parody with a serious goal: unraveling anti-Muslim prejudice. The four-episode Halal in the Family, starring Mandvi, who attended Tampa’s Chamberlain High School and the University of South Florida, as the patriarch of an “all-American Muslim family,” debuts Thursday on the humor website Funny or Die, the actor and writer said Thursday.

  • American Muslim family’s home attacked in the middle of the night

    Source: Think Progress. The home of a Muslim family in North Carolina was hit with a hail of gunfire early Tuesday morning, injuring one occupant and raising questions about the motive of the shooters. According to the Charlotte Observer, the attack took place in eastern Mecklenburg County, just outside of Charlotte, North Carolina. The attack comes just over a month after the fatal shooting of three Muslim-American students in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The exact motive of that shooting also remains unclear, although the assailant was an avowed anti-theist, someone who opposes religion in general. His affiliation was cited by a father of two of the victims and other Muslim Americans who called for the shooting to be investigated as a hate crime.

  • 2015 has been an ugly year for the treatment of Muslims in Texas

    Source: Texas Monthly. So far, 2015 has to be a scary year to be a Muslim Texan. That fact seems to have come to a head following the shooting of Ahmed Al-Jumaili, who was killed on Thursday in Dallas as he watched the three and a half inches of snow—the first snowfall the Iraqi immigrant had ever seen—fall on his apartment complex. The story failed to garner much major national attention over the weekend, until a post from Vox attempted to shame the Internet into caring. That post recalled a shooting last month in North Carolina, when three Muslims were killed in their apartment complex by a neighbor who shot them in the head, in a story that similarly flew under the radar until an increase in media attention raised a debate about how to determine if a triple murder is a “hate crime” or just a dispute over parking.

  • What is “Islamic”? A Muslim response to ISIS and The Atlantic

    Source: Muslim Matters. Graeme Wood’s “What ISIS Really Wants,” published in the March 2015 edition of The Atlantic, has quickly become the most widely read article on the militant group. Indeed, it is becoming the most read article ever published by The Atlantic. Popular as it is, Wood’s essay is deeply flawed and alarmingly tone-deaf – dangerously so. . . . By characterizing ISIS as Islamic, Wood and Haykel in effect, if not intent, attribute cruel beheadings, wanton massacre, and all other manner of savagery to Islam. . . .Of course, their attributions are factually incorrect and conceptually confused as we will discuss below. But their mistakes are especially egregious given the current climate of anti-Muslim bigotry. In light of the recent hate crimes directed towards the American and European Muslim communities, Wood’s piece is tantamount to shouting “Fire!” in a crowded theatre and, therefore, deserves a thorough rebuttal, if nothing else.

  • Islamic leader says US officials unfairly target Muslims

    Source: The Boston Globe. A top leader of Boston’s Muslim community on Wednesday strenuously objected to a new Justice Department strategy to prevent disaffected youth from taking up terrorism, complaining that the effort is “exclusively targeting the American Muslim community.” In a strongly worded protest to a report that US Attorney Carmen Ortiz delivered to a White House summit on Wednesday, Yusufi Vali said he could not support the framework because the programs “are founded on the premise that your faith determines your propensity towards violence.” Last fall, Boston was chosen along with Los Angeles and Minneapolis to spearhead a Justice Department effort known as “Countering Violent Extremism.” Vali has been one of the local participants, and the Boston experience was the subject of a 28-page report released at the White House summit. “It clearly appears that the CVE initiative is exclusively targeting the American-Muslim community, in spite of the best efforts of the local US attorney to redefine it expansively,” Vali wrote, using the acronym for the administration effort.