Islamophobia & Civil Freedoms

  • Tennessee removed an entire curriculum on Islamic history after “public input”

    Source: Buzz Feed News (9/28): Tennessee Removed An Entire Curriculum On Islamic History After “Public Input”
    An entire section on Islamic history for most 7th graders currently taught in Tennessee middle schools has been removed from the proposed draft of a new social studies curriculum. After a summer-long revision process, a section entitled “Islamic World, 400 A.D./C.E. – 1500s,” was removed. Michael Hughes, a Sullivan County Board of Education Chairman in north-east Tennessee, told the paper that the changes may have been because of concerned parents. For years, parents and residents in Tennessee — in addition to other states in the US — have been at odds with Islam being taught in public school curriculums, with residents often claiming that Islamic indoctrination or conversion was afoot.

     
  • Artist Marie-Shirine Yener made a comic for bystanders who witness anti-Muslim harassment

    Source: Mic (9/1): Artist Marie-Shirine Yener made a comic for bystanders who witness anti-Muslim harassment
    If you see something, say something. That’s usually the message blasted over intercoms in airports and train stations, but it’s often not practiced when harassment is taking place. This can be especially true when Muslims are harassed in public, and illustration artist Marie-Shirine Yener (under the pseudonym Maeril), made a comic strip with step-by-step instructions for bystanders to challenge it.

     
  • Muslim group spotlights Islamophobia, distributes ‘blind intolerance’ medicine at RNC

    Source: NBC News. A Muslim civil rights organization kicked off the first day of the Republican National Convention in downtown Cleveland with a news conference Monday morning, criticizing GOP officials and presumptive nominee Donald Trump for what it says are their anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim stances. “We’re trying to raise awareness about the rising tide of Islamophobia in America, and unfortunately Islamophobia has been flourishing within the GOP platform,” Nihad Awad, national executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a nonprofit group, told NBC News. In a satirical move, CAIR also handed out packets of “Islamophobin” — a mock medicine (actually chewing gum) to cure Islamophobia. The packaging says Islamophobin treats “blind intolerance” and “unthinking bigotry” and advises patients to “take two and call a Muslim in the morning.”

     
  • Muslim group on helping San Bernardino shooters’ family: No one should suffer for the sins of others

    Source: Los Angeles Times. The call about the missing man — and the massacre — came in the early afternoon to the front desk of the office in Anaheim. Farhan Khan told Hussam Ayloush, the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ executive director in Los Angeles, that his brother-in-law, Syed Rizwan Farook, could not be accounted for after someone barged into a meeting at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino and opened fire, killing and wounding scores of people. Khan feared that his wife’s brother was among the dead. Less than an hour later, after Ayloush had urged him to remain calm, Khan called back. Farook was not a victim of the mass shooting, but the suspected author of it, Khan said. Later that day, Ayloush and CAIR took a step the group had never taken before: It would advise the family of a suspected mass shooter and terrorist. “This is not a media center; this is a family that actually has been unable to conduct their normal life.” — Hussam Ayloush, CAIR executive director in Los Angeles

     
  • 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.