Islamophobia & Civil Freedoms

  • Muslim woman kicked off plane as flight attendant said she ‘did not feel comfortable’ with the passenger

    Source: Independent. A Muslim woman was asked to get off a plane without any explanation after she asked her neighbour to switch seats. The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) has called for an investigation of a possible “bias motive” as the woman was of Somali descent and was wearing a headscarf. Hakima Abdulle was told to disembark a Southwest Airlines plane at a Chicago airport after she asked the man next to her whether she could move to the aisle seat, and he had agreed.

     
  • Tennessee lawmaker under heat for distributing anti-Muslim DVD

    Source: The Tennessean. A Tennessee Republican lawmaker is taking flak from an advocacy organization and fellow legislators after distributing a DVD centering on Muslims in America. Last week, Rep. Susan Lynn, R-Mt. Juliet, sent her colleagues a documentary entitled “America’s Mosques Exposed!” The film, produced and narrated by Louie E. Johnston Jr., who runs the website PatriotPastors.net, also suggests that the country’s Muslims are “fundraising for Terrorists.” A Tennessee Republican lawmaker is taking flak from an advocacy organization and fellow legislators after distributing a DVD centering on Muslims in America. Last week, Rep. Susan Lynn, R-Mt. Juliet, sent her colleagues a documentary entitled “America’s Mosques Exposed!” The film, produced and narrated by Louie E. Johnston Jr., who runs the website PatriotPastors.net, also suggests that the country’s Muslims are “fundraising for Terrorists.”

     
  • FBI faces criticism for plan to turn Muslim community leaders into snitches

    Source: Truthout. The FBI will soon implement a new program to pressure teachers and religious leaders into serving as informants, an advocacy group is warning. In a statement issued late last week, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) slammed a new Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) program set to be unveiled by the Bureau in the coming days — one that will rely on local leaders to snitch on troubled youth under the disguise of counseling. The launch of the “Shared Responsibility Committees” (SRC) has been in the works since last Fall. It is the latest initiative by federal law enforcement officials to focus counterterrorist efforts primarily on Arab and Muslim youth.

     
  • Experts say Ted Cruz’s plan to “patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods” is counterproductive and unconstitutional

    Source: Vox. Sen. Ted Cruz appeared to call for law enforcement to specifically target Muslim communities in America in the wake of today’s deadly attacks in Brussels. “We need to empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods,” he said in a statement posted to his Facebook page. Cruz’s suggestion that American law enforcement specifically “patrol and secure” Muslim communities is both immoral and counterproductive. That’s according to A. Trevor Thrall, a Cato Institute scholar who is also a professor of policy, government, and international affairs at George Mason University.

     
  • Banner bearing Arabic message of love reported to Homeland Security and FBI

    Source: Alternet. A banner bearing the Arabic expression “Love is for all,” touched off a massive security crackdown this week in Lubbock, Texas, where city officials shut down traffic and called for an investigation by Homeland Security, the FBI and police. First spotted the morning after Valentine’s Day, the banner was hung from the top of the publicly owned Citizens Tower. The Arabic script spelling out the message of love was framed with a red heart. To Mayor Glen Robertson, the “Arabic flag” was cause for alarm. Officials in Lubbock, Texas, shut down traffic and called for an investigation in response to a publicly displayed banner. Raed Jarrar, government relations manager at the American Friends Service Committee, told AlterNet that the fear-mongering response “is another unfortunate example of how an entire language is criminalized in the United States, even when there is a love banner on Valentine’s Day.”

     
  • Party of Islamophobia: two-thirds of GOP NH voters for Muslim ban

    Source: Blue Nation Review. Exit polling from Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary confirmed what most observers already knew: the GOP is turning into the Party of Islamophobia.

     
  • This study shows how the media fuels support for anti-Muslim discrimination — and even war

    Source: The Raw Story. A new study has found that short-term exposure to news that portrays Muslims in a negative way actually causes viewers to support policies that harm Muslims internationally and domestically. What the study found was that the participants who viewed the negative news clip perceived Muslims as more aggressive, and as a result were more supportive of attacks on Muslim nations. Additionally, and perhaps more disturbingly, those who watched the negative news clip were in favor of restricting the civil rights of Muslim Americans.

     
  • 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.”