• Islamsplaining: Why non-Muslims insist on explaining Islam to me, an actual Muslim

    Opinions August 27, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: Quartz. You know what these Islamsplainers all have in common? They know nothing about Islam, but they speak as if they were experts. And I have a hunch that if they ever do meet Muslims, it’s not to hear our points of view, but to put us in our place. In my experience, Islamsplaining usually happens like this: Someone I’ve just met perceives that I’m brown, bearded and have a funny name (and therefore likely Muslim), and begins to lecture me on what’s so good about the West, or so bad about Islam, suggesting these are two unequal planets on opposite ends of the galaxy. “I’d love to have coffee and hear you tell me what else is wrong with me and one-fifth of humanity!”

  • This cringe-inducing Larry King story shows what polite Islamophobia looks like

    Opinions August 27, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: Vox. When we recognize something as being Islamophobic, it typically looks like overt, angry hatred of Muslims. But this narrow way of thinking about Islamophobia is a lie, even if it’s a comforting one. In fact, there is another way that Islamophobia often manifests, one that is less overt and less hostile, but no less destructive — and one that is not limited to people who openly spout hatred on cable TV. This other kind of Islamophobia shows up in the subtle expression of stereotypes and prejudices about Muslims and their way of life: the presumption that simply because of their religion or ethnicity, Muslims and Arabs are violent, backward, misogynist, and anti-Semitic. That unlike “us” they are less than “normal,” or even less than human. This Islamophobia is a kind of soft bigotry of low expectations, and it’s everywhere. Former CNN host Larry King illustrated it perfectly.

  • Why ‘Guantánamo North’ is a terrible idea

    Opinions August 24, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: Vice. The Obama administration, it seems, is stricken with the same peculiar penchant as its predecessor for self-servingly redefining commonly understood terms. Over a decade ago, the Bush Administration construed “torture” so narrowly as to allow waterboarding, anal rape (labelled “rectal feeding” in the purest Orwellian style), and other monstrosities it committed against supposed terrorists. Today, when the Obama administration talks of “closing” Guantánamo, what they actually mean is that they want to relocate the facility—along with everything that it represents—to the continental United States. This includes the practice of indefinite imprisonment without charge or fair process. When lawyers like me, human rights groups and international organizations, friendly governments, and concerned citizens the world over call for Guantánamo to be closed, we are not asking for it to be imported to the continental US. When people call for Guantánamo to be closed, it is simply shorthand for a more comprehensive demand to end torture and arbitrary, indefinite imprisonment without trial or fair process.

  • GOP candidates quietly put torture back on the table

    Opinions August 18, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: MSNBC. When President Obama took office, he and his team decided not to pursue charges against Bush administration officials who authorized, encouraged, and participated in torture. At the time, the argument was that the country wanted to move forward. In hindsight, though, had there been some prosecutions, maybe Republicans hoping to succeed Obama would be less inclined to re-embrace the torture policies the nation has tried to leave behind us.

  • “Homegrown terrorists”: New US draconian laws usher in the new world order

    Opinions August 15, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: Center for Research on Globalization. Clearly mounting evidence blatantly exists in recent years that demonstrate a totalitarian police state power in America. The systematic militarization of police state USA has used terror to recklessly and maliciously abuse its own citizenry, particularly those of color in cities across this nation. . . . Clearly First Amendment rights to peaceful assembly and public protest in this country are also no longer upheld or recognized as rule of law. . . . Criminalizing dissent is redefining homegrown terrorism to include anyone willing to exercise their basic civil liberties guaranteed US citizens under this nation’s Constitution that for over two centuries was recognized as the ultimate rule of law in America. But now any Americans daring to even criticize and object to the federal government’s growing tyranny is conveniently labeled a belligerent and enemy of the state subject to assassination or indefinite imprisonment led by a dictator president who matter-of-factly proclaims his despotic right to kill fellow Americans on US soil.

  • WTF! Will ‘(T)ERROR’ be seen?

    Opinions August 14, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: IDA: (T)ERROR is a jaw-dropping film. (T)ERROR is the first film to document an FBI undercover informant sting operation in real time—and without the knowledge or permission of the FBI. It is astounding that this footage even exists. The final—though somewhat expected—WTF is for the legal challenges that Lyric and David are facing in releasing the film. We cannot underestimate the importance of (T)ERROR getting a wide release. It is crucial that the documentary community, as well as all citizens who believe in free speech and freedom of the press, stand behind Lyric and David. The result we want—the result that entrenched powers fear—is that their voices will be strengthened through these battles, not silenced. We should also allow ourselves to be inspired by their work and their courage in being unafraid to speak truth to power.

  • The one-dimensional Muslim

    Opinions August 12, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: Al Jazeera. As the 14th anniversary of 9/11 approaches, the endurance of Islamophobia can no longer be pinned to ignorance or isolated instances of religious bias. Instead, the construction of the one-dimensional Muslim — a homegrown assassin that poses a consistent and covert threat to American liberties and freedoms — has become a conceptual necessity to justify a pervasive surveillance state.

  • Dylann Roof wasn’t charged with terrorism because he’s white

    Opinions July 23, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: Huffington Post. But the bottom line now is that white people, whatever horror they commit, aren’t generally seen as terrorists and violence against black people is no longer viewed as a terrorist act. Not charging Roof with terrorism shows a disregard of how violence against black folks, historically, has been organized and calculated — as opposed to random and isolated. Not charging him with terrorism means that we’re not connecting the dots between the Ku Klux Klan and America’s network of 21st century haters. Wrong again. Nine valuable individuals died in Emanuel AME Church because Dylann Roof wanted to eradicate the idea that black lives matter. Say it: That’s terrorism.

  • Why wasn’t Dylann Roof charged with terrorism?

    Opinions July 22, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: The Intercept. The Department of Justice charged Dylann Roof, the white 21-year-old man who allegedly gunned down nine black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina on June 17, with murder, attempted murder and use of a firearm, all in the commission of a hate crime. Some media outlets, lawyers, public figures and activists have called for Roof to be charged not just with a hate crime, an illegal act “motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias,” but with the separate label of domestic terrorism. Critics contend that the label of terrorism is too often only applied to Islamic extremists, and not white supremacists or anti-government anarchists. Roof’s crime certainly seems to fit the federal description of domestic terrorism, . . . It turns out there was one major obstacle in charging Roof with domestic terrorism: The crime does not exist.

  • A frightening proposal to intern Muslim citizens

    Opinions July 21, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: Aljazeera. Terrorist violence can make the previously unthinkable suddenly seem acceptable. The levels of surveillance introduced after 9/11 could have been considered reasonable only in the climate of collective panic that the attacks induced. But this week’s reaction to the fatal shooting of four Marines and a Navy petty officer in Chattanooga, Tennessee, by a 24-year-old Muslim has to win the prize for the worst proposed civil liberties infringement to come out of a violent disruption. No matter how high tensions may have run after the Boston Marathon bombing or 9/11, few dared to propose what figures of both left and right have now suggested: the segregation and internment of Muslim citizens.