Civil Freedoms Under Threat

  • ICE agents arrest 6 people seeking shelter from the cold at a church

    Source: Think Progress. A group of men were reportedly arrested by immigration agents as they left a church-run hypothermia shelter last Wednesday, hinting that federal officials may be targeting houses of worship as they continue a recent wave of deportation raids. The incident took place in Alexandria, Virginia outside a hypothermia shelter owned by Rising Hope Mission Church, a United Methodist congregation. The incident hedges close to violating an internal ICE policy that discourages agents from raiding churches, schools, or hospitals. ThinkProgress reached out to the Department of Homeland Security for clarification about whether the agency is still following that policy, but has not heard back.

  • Oppose Muslim Registry

    Source: Huffington Post. Life. Liberty. The pursuit of happiness. These are three examples of the “unalienable rights” America’s Declaration of Independence specifically notes are given to all human beings by their Creator, and which governments are created to protect. These rights extend to all Americans, regardless of creed or color. And this is what the One America Registry, which we are introducing today, is all about. Sound Vision, along with our coalition of 50 other organizations, invites all Americans to register on One America Registry. The aim is to oppose policies and programs which seek to divide us. The proposed Muslim registry targets all American Muslims. It is similar to one that was created for Japanese-Americans during WWII.

  • Anti-extremists: We don’t want Trump’s cash

    Source: The Daily Beast. Four community organizations have declined $2 million in funding over concerns that a “countering violent extremism,” or CVE, program under Trump would unfairly put Muslim communities under surveillance. Other groups are unsure if they will follow suit. A third set—primarily focused on deradicalizing white nationalists and other domestic extremists—is unsure whether they will ever see any of the promised funds. After all, the Trump administration is expected to change the name and focus of the effort to concentrate solely on Islamic extremism.

  • Politicians, anti-Muslim leaders urge Trump To designate Muslim Brotherhood as terrorist organization

    Source: SPLC. Such a move would amount to a powerful policy win for America’s anti-Muslim movement, whose leaders have worked tirelessly to smear American Muslim civil rights organizations, in particular the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), by calling them “fronts” for the Brotherhood. Critics of the designation are quick to point out a lack of evidence to support the claim. Trump’s initial executive actions, amounting to a Muslim immigration ban, were an attempt to control Muslims’ comings and goings to the United States. His rumored future action on the Muslim Brotherhood is aimed at American Muslims and controlling them while at the same time continuing to demonize Islam.

  • Revealed: FBI terrorism taskforce investigating Standing Rock activists

    Source: The Guardian. The FBI is investigating political activists campaigning against the Dakota Access pipeline, diverting agents charged with preventing terrorist attacks to instead focus their attention on indigenous activists and environmentalists. Multiple officers within the FBI’s joint terrorism taskforce have attempted to contact at least three people tied to the Standing Rock “water protector” movement in North Dakota. Lauren Regan, a civil rights attorney, said it also seemed likely that JTTF may have contacted other water protectors and said she worried they may not have realized their best option is to remain silent and contact a lawyer. The fact that the officers have even tried to communicate with activists is alarming to free-speech experts who argue that anti-terrorism agents have no business scrutinizing protesters.

  • Trump’s Muslim ban: ‘It’s shock and awe without bombs’

    Source: Aljazeera. Since US President Donald Trump issued on Friday an executive order suspending the resettlement programme for Syrian refugees, and banning entry of travellers from seven Muslim-majority countries, reports of “immigration misconduct” have surged. Detainees’ phones are reportedly confiscated when they are taken into custody, preventing them from reaching relatives or legal representatives, and documenting their experience inside. US immigration authorities “have a long-standing practice of coercing people from Muslim and Latin countries … to sign away their rights,” said Ameena Mirza Qazi, a civil rights lawyer, activist and executive director of the National Lawyers Guild, Los Angeles chapter.

  • Refugees detained at U.S. airports, prompting legal challenges to Trump’s immigration order

    Source: The New York Times. President Trump’s executive order closing the nation’s borders to refugees was put into immediate effect Friday night. Refugees who were in the air on the way to the United States when the order was signed were stopped and detained at airports.

  • Muslims Rights Are Under Attack:  Stand Up, Fight Back

    Dear Friends, Members, and Supporters, Yesterday, President Trump signed an Executive Order banning the entry of citizens from seven Muslim majority countries which includes Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen for 90 days. Additionally, the Executive Order puts a halt to refugee entry into the United States for […]

  • Designating the Muslim Brotherhood a “terrorist organization” puts academic researchers at risk

    Source: The Washington Post. There is a hidden danger for academics and journalists lurking within congressional legislation introduced by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) to designate the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization. Most of the discussion has focused on whether the legislation’s premise is correct about the Muslim Brotherhood’s relationship with terrorism and the potential impact on Muslim American organizations. There is another threat more specific to academic researchers and analysts: Those who conduct research on the organization could find themselves at risk of prosecution for “material support” of terrorism.

  • In Trump’s America, ‘felony riot’ charges against Inauguration protesters signal dangerous wave of repression

    Source: Alternet. More than 200 people who were mass-arrested at the Washington, D.C. protests against the inauguration of Donald Trump have been hit with felony riot charges that are punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Those picked up in the sweep—including legal observers and journalists—had their phones, cameras and other personal belongings confiscated as evidence, a lawyer confirmed to AlterNet.