Islamophobia & Civil Freedoms

  • 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.

     
  • Threat of Muslim Brotherhood ban leaves community in fear

    Source: Middle East Eye. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told lawmakers last month that Washington should prioritise defeating Islamic State militants to then focus on “radical” groups, including al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood. The subtle reference lumping al-Qaeda, the militant organisation behind the 9/11 attacks, with a popular political movement that reaches across the Middle East and North Africa, is telling of a broader animosity toward the Muslim Brotherhood in the Trump administration, observers say. While such a designation may harm Washington’s already rocky relations with Muslims across the world, rights groups warn that it may have disastrous domestic effects – that it would enable the government to further scapegoat and crack down on Muslim American groups and individuals.

     
  • Exclusive: Trump to focus counter-extremism program solely on Islam – sources

    Source: Reuters. The Trump administration wants to revamp and rename a U.S. government program designed to counter all violent ideologies so that it focuses solely on Islamist extremism, five people briefed on the matter told Reuters. The program, “Countering Violent Extremism,” or CVE, would be changed to “Countering Islamic Extremism” or “Countering Radical Islamic Extremism,” the sources said, and would no longer target groups such as white supremacists who have also carried out bombings and shootings in the United States.

     
  • ‘Witch hunt’ fears as US may outlaw Muslim Brotherhood

    Source: Aljazeera. US civil liberties groups have slammed plans by members of Congress to proscribe the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group. The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) said the legislation, tabled by Republican senators Ted Cruz and Mario Diaz-Balart and supported by the Trump administration, could lead to a “witch hunt”. The bill, titled the Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act, was submitted in January shortly before President Donald Trump took power. It accuses the group of plotting a “grand jihad” to destroy Western civilisation from within.

     
  • 6 Rules of Islamophobia in America

    Source: The Huffington Post. After the 2015 terror attack in Paris, when Donald Trump and other GOP presidential candidates were ratcheting up their anti-Muslim political speech, we started a running list of Islamophobic acts. Sadly, in less than two months, the list became so long the webpage often wouldn’t load. This made us recognize the very real surge in anti-Muslim incidents sweeping the nation — a surge many wanted to deny was happening at all. (Think Fox News host Eric Bolling saying he “hadn’t heard of any” anti-Muslim hate crimes.) So we developed The Islamophobia Project, and committed to tracking anti-Muslim violence, vandalism, discrimination, public policy and political speech throughout 2016.

     
  • Anti-Muslim bills based on conspiracy theories have been introduced in two states

    Source: BuzzFeed News. In the past 11 days, Republican lawmakers in Indiana and Oregon have proposed bills aimed at preventing Islamic law from being used in court cases, an unfounded conspiracy theory that lives on despite a lack of evidence supporting the claim that Muslims in America are trying to subvert the US Constitution.