Islamophobia & Civil Freedoms

  • The city that bears the brunt of the national terror watchlist

    Source: Huffington Post. With a large population of Muslim and Arab Americans, Dearborn has the most per capita residents on a shadowy and unaccountable watchlist. It is nearly impossible to find out if you’re on it, let alone get your name off. Largely unknown to the rest of the country before those 9/11 terror attacks, Dearborn has since become the focus of right-wing conspiracy theories, and of America’s sustained and systemic criminalization of Muslim and Arab Americans.

  • We can’t fight Trump-style hate with the surveillance state

    Source: In These Times. How do we effectively challenge organized white supremacists? Post-Charlottesville, the spotlight focused on the work of an organization of former white supremacists that helps turn neo-Nazis away from racism: Life After Hate. Much of this coverage decried cuts to the funding of Life After Hate. The funding that Life After Hate lost came from a federal program focused on surveillance and policing that disproportionately targets Muslims, called Countering Violent Extremism (CVE). This program has been widely criticized for promoting institutional discrimination and criminalization of Muslim communities. Furthermore, Life After Hate plans to expand its programs to include work challenging “jihadism,” indicating that the organization is buying into the federal program’s troubling “war on terror” framework. While CVE currently focuses on Muslim communities, many critics fear it will chill dissent and access to social services for many marginalized communities.

  • Almost all news coverage of the Barcelona attack mentioned terrorism. Very little coverage of Charlottesville did.

    Source: The Washington Post. The recent attacks in Charlottesville and Barcelona both involved perpetrators with ties to extremist ideologies using vehicles to kill and injure civilians. Because of these similarities, a debate quickly began about how politicians and news outlets discussed these two events — including whether it was appropriate to call both acts of terrorism. Our research on these attacks — as well as the Orlando shootings by Omar Mateen and the Charleston church shootings by Dylan Roof — shows that news coverage framed these shootings very differently. Only the attacks perpetrated by Muslims were routinely called terrorism.

  • Terror attacks receive five times more media coverage if perpetrator is Muslim, study finds

    Source: Independent. Terror attacks carried out by Muslims receive more than five times as much media coverage as those carried out by non-Muslims in the United States, according to an academic study. Analysis of coverage of all terrorist attacks in the US between 2011 and 2015 found there was a 449 per cent increase in media attention when the perpetrator was Muslim. Muslims committed just 12.4 per cent of attacks during the period studied but received 41.4 per cent of news coverage, the survey found.

  • Most of America’s terrorists are White, and not Muslim

    Source: Huffington Post. When it comes to domestic terrorism in America, the numbers don’t lie: Far-right extremists are behind far more plots and attacks than Islamist extremists.

  • Spreading Islamophobia: Consequences of negative media representations

    Source: Huffington Post. Recent research suggests we are far more influenced by media than we think. In the case of Americans’ attitudes towards Muslims, research reveals that exposure to negative representations of Muslims in the media increase not only negative attitudes towards Muslims, but also support for policies that harm Muslims internationally and domestically. Even though overall attitudes towards Muslims have improved since 2014, Americans still report feeling colder towards Muslims than other religious groups. Yet these perceptions are not necessarily based on actual experiences with Muslims as the majority of Americans report little to no daily contact with members of this faith community. The majority of Americans are instead exposed to Muslims through the media, which tends to represent Muslims as terrorists, violent, and “the Other.”

  • Mosque NIMBYism: the neighborhood Muslim ban

    Source: City Lab (4/5): Mosque NIMBYism: The Neighborhood Muslim Ban
    In communities across the U.S., zoning laws are being used to obstruct the construction of new mosques and Islamic centers. Muslims make up roughly 1 percent of the U.S. population, but land-use discrimination against them is incredibly overrepresented in government investigations.

  • Muslims inside FBI describe culture of suspicion and fear: ‘It is cancer’

    Source: The Guardian. Muslim special agents and intelligence analysts at the FBI are reporting a climate of fear inside the agency coinciding with the political ascendance of Donald Trump, the Guardian has learned. FBI officials from Muslim-majority countries, a minority in a predominantly white bureau, say they are subject to an organizational culture of suspicion and hostility that leadership has done little to reform.

  • Yes, the media do underreport some terrorist attacks. Just not the ones most people think of.

    Source: The Washington Post. In a recent study, we found that the news media do not cover all terrorist attacks the same way. Rather, they give drastically more coverage to attacks by Muslims, particularly foreign-born Muslims — even though those are far less common than other kinds of terrorist attacks.

  • Muslim nonprofit groups are rejecting federal funds because of Trump

    Source: The Washington Post. At least four Muslim nonprofit groups have rejected more than $2 million in federal funding to fight violent extremism, citing President Trump’s rhetoric against Muslim Americans and Islam and the new administration’s policies as their reasons. In early February, Reuters reported that the Trump administration wanted to rename the Countering Violent Extremism program to “Countering Islamic Extremism” or “Countering Radical Islamic Extremism,” removing the focus on domestic groups like white supremacists. The reported shift was met with alarm by Muslim groups that had already been wary of the program.