Opinions

  • Islamophobia is not simply about intolerance of Muslims, says expert

    Opinions September 15, 2017 at 0 comments

    Source: IBT. A lecturer in sociology from Rice University, Craig Considine — who reviewed more than 40 news articles and referenced dozens of academic studies relating to the experiences of American Muslims and the stereotypical depictions of Muslims — stresses upon the role race plays in Islamophobic hate crimes in a research paper titled “The Racialization of Islam in the United States: Islamophobia, Hate Crimes and ‘Flying While Brown.”To dismiss the role that race plays in anti-Muslim racism is to adopt a “colorblind” understanding of Islamophobia, the author says.

     
  • The end of DACA is the latest nightmare for undocumented Muslims

    Opinions September 5, 2017 at 0 comments

    Source: Vice. No one is certain exactly how many Muslims are currently protected by DACA. Undocumented Muslim youth like Nayim Islam have been living for months under a government that can be as Islamophobic as it often is xenophobic. Now, facing the potential end of DACA, too, undocumented Muslims like Islam feel as if they’re under a unique kind of siege. “It means a lot of uncertainty,” Islam told me when asked what it’s like to be an undocumented Muslim in 2017. “It means you’re being attacked from multiple angles. It means having to constantly fight just to survive.”

     
  • Terrorism the most exaggerated threat in nation today

    Opinions August 28, 2017 at 0 comments

    Source: Times Union. Often, the defendants [in terrorism cases] were framed, or entrapped, or accused of “supporting” terrorism in some technical or minor way or had mental illnesses. Most of the defendants were not violent or dangerous in the first place, and now are far less likely to engage in crimes after being released. While Associated Press recently reported that hundreds of convicted terrorists in American prisons will soon be released, focusing only on possible recidivism in terrorism is misleading and calculated to generate unwarranted fears. Convicted terrorists have been regularly released in recent years after serving their sentences, and there have been no cases of recidivism. [By Steve Downs, former Ex. Dir. of NCPCF]

     
  • FBI paid informant + mentally ill man = another fake terror plot

    Opinions August 24, 2017 at 0 comments

    Source: Defending Rights & Dissent. We’ve actually seen it before — usually targeting young Muslims or idealistic activists. This time, the target was Jerry Drake Varnell, a 23 year-old who was supposedly a right-wing extremist. The cases follow a pattern: the informant befriends a vulnerable young person, plying them with drugs or money or other favors, usually badgering, cajoling, or otherwise goading the target to express extreme views, then leading them along in a plot to blow something up.

     
  • Hospitals in Trump country suffer as Muslim doctors denied visas to U.S.

    Opinions August 17, 2017 at 0 comments

    Source: The Intercept. Since March 17, Dozens of Pakistani physicians had their J-1 applications denied in Islamabad and Karachi, said Shahzad Iqbal, a Pakistani-American physician in New York. Without foreign doctors, the U.S. healthcare system would simply collapse, with the pain felt most acutely in rural areas. U.S. medical schools don’t produce anywhere near enough graduates to meet the needs of the country, particularly in places where people are reluctant to move to.

     
  • Trump loves saying “radical Islamic terrorism.” He has a tough time with “white supremacy.”

    Opinions August 14, 2017 at 0 comments

    Source: Vox. Trump’s insistence on using the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism” was always seen by terrorism experts as a mistake, as the phrase inaccurately implies that groups like ISIS speak for the entirety of the Muslim religion. They argued that using the phrase alienates Muslim allies in the fight against extremism. By contrast, Trump’s unwillingness to label white supremacists as such encourages those groups and their followers. They see President Trump as a tacit ally; alt-right leader Richard Spencer once said the president has a “psychic connection” with his movement.

     
  • The Reichstag Fire next time

    Opinions August 3, 2017 at 0 comments

    Source: Harper’s Magazine. That we seem so certain of the outlines of the Reichstag fire to come reveals the fact that it has already occurred. Among the victims of the sixteen-year-old state of exception are hundreds of individuals identified, prosecuted, and sentenced under emergency rules. Since the war on terror began, the United States has prosecuted an average of forty terrorism cases per year, about half of them on the basis of informant operations. Convictions that result from such cases—and convictions result almost without fail, usually as the result of a plea bargain—fetch higher sentences because of something known as the terrorism adjustment in federal sentencing guidelines. The adjustment went into effect following the World Trade Center bombing of 1993 but was used most widely after 9/11.

     
  • This piece of pro-Israel legislation is a serious threat to free speech

    Opinions July 24, 2017 at 0 comments

    Source: Washington Post. The Israel Anti-Boycott Act, legislation introduced in the Senate by Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Md.) and in the House by Peter J. Roskam (R-Ill.), would make it a crime to support or even furnish information about a boycott directed at Israel or its businesses called by the United Nations, the European Union or any other “international governmental organization.” Violations would be punishable by civil and criminal penalties of up to $1 million and 20 years in prison. The American Civil Liberties Union, where we both work, takes no position for or against campaigns to boycott Israel or any other foreign country. But since our organization’s founding in 1920, the ACLU has defended the right to collective action. This bill threatens that right.

     
  • Amnesty slams latest Supreme Court ruling on ‘cruel and discriminatory’ Muslim ban

    Opinions July 19, 2017 at 0 comments

    Source: Common Dreams. The decision from the Supreme Court, said Naureen Shah, Amnesty International USA senior director of campaigns, “jeopardizes the safety of thousands of people across the world including vulnerable families fleeing war and violence.” “On top of that,” she continued, “this prolonged legal battle is creating further distress and confusion for ordinary people who need to visit the U.S. to get medical attention, reunite with family, or get an education. No part of this cruel and discriminatory ban is reasonable. Congress must intervene and end the ban once and for all.”

     
  • The Trump administration provides one more reason to discontinue CVE

    Opinions July 12, 2017 at 0 comments

    Source: Just Security. CVE has three principal weaknesses, all of which have become pretty much impossible to ignore in the Trump administration. First, CVE programs often use a disproven approach of trying to identify individuals vulnerable to “radicalization” in order to divert them to more productive paths than terrorism. A related problem with CVE is its almost exclusive focus on Muslim communities. Finally, Muslim communities – which have been the target of extensive surveillance by law enforcement since the 9/11 attacks, including under the guise of community outreach programs – were understandably concerned that CVE was just another intelligence-gathering exercise.