Islamophobia & Civil Freedoms

  • Ivy League economist ethnically profiled, interrogated for doing math on American Airlines flight

    Source: The Washington Post. A quick-thinking traveler had Seen Something, and so she had Said Something. That Something she’d seen had been her seatmate’s cryptic notes, scrawled in a script she didn’t recognize. The curly-haired man [her seatmate] was, the agent informed him politely, suspected of terrorism. The curly-haired man laughed. He laughed because those scribbles weren’t Arabic, or some special terrorist code. They were math.

     
  • How Islamophobia is poisoning our political system

    Source: Complex. With lingering prejudice from the Sept. 11 attacks compounded by the Islamic State’s terrorist attacks in France and Belgium, politicians in the U.S. and beyond are horribly eager to scapegoat the Muslim community. In the days after the Brussels attack, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz called for a “patrol” of Muslim neighborhoods. Presumed GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump notoriously called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”While these statements are often dismissed as political grandstanding, anti-Muslim attitudes are reflected in federal policies. Once Islamophobia is both culturally legitimized and state-sanctioned, it can cause staggering damage.

     
  • Muslim women kicked out of California restaurant sue for discrimination

    Source: The Guardian. Seven Muslim women who were kicked out of a southern California restaurant are suing the business for discrimination, alleging that they were singled out for wearing headscarves in an area that advocates say has seen an increase in hate crimes. The women, six of whom were wearing hijabs, say they were ordered to leave Urth Caffe in Laguna Beach on 22 April, ostensibly because they were violating a policy limiting seating to 45 minutes – even though video they took as they were exiting shows that there were open tables throughout the restaurant.

     
  • 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.