• The selectivity of American “Countering Violent Extremism” policies

    Opinions September 30, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: Cato Institute. The White House press release on the “Leader’s Summit to Counter ISIL and Violent Extremism” lauded the administration’s efforts to prevent the radicalization of Muslim-American youth at the hands of ISIS. An unpleasant truth avoided by the Obama administration is that CVE is not an “equal opportunity” program aimed at all kinds of violent extremists. The federal CVE focus is squarely on Arab- and Muslim-Americans, even though right-wing American political extremists have killed almost twice as many U.S. persons in the post-9/11 era as have American Salafist-oriented terrorists. The taxpayer-funded CVE program is little more than a rhetorically dressed up race-and-religion-profiling counterterrorism campaign. That it is failing should surprise none of us.

  • Will Islamophobia give Republicans keys to the White House?

    Opinions September 22, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: Huffington Post. Fear is a powerful galvanizing force. And there’s good reason to believe that the fear of Muslims can increase one’s chances of gaining political power. After all, we’ve been seeing this in Europe for decades. Far right, nativist parties with a strong record of anti-Muslim policies and propaganda have been making inroads in national parliaments for decades. It now appears that some GOP politicians are going to borrow the Islamophobia playbook from Europe’s far right and see if it can get them into the White House.

  • The Republicans’ Muslim ‘problem’

    Opinions September 21, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: CNN. Two of the leading Republican candidates for the party’s nomination to be president seem unaware that the republic they seek to lead is, at its very core, a nation founded on the principle of religious tolerance. There have been Muslims in the United States since the Colonial era, and their right to practice their faith has been enshrined since 1786, with the passage of the Virginia Act for Establishing Religious Freedom. Jefferson, the law’s principal author, wrote that it was “meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew, the Gentile, the Christian and the Mahometan (Muslim), the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination.” That Carson and Trump are willing to either trumpet anti-Muslim views or to entertain them without contradiction is, in part, the result of the campaign led by a small subset of right-wingers to paint American Muslims as some kind of fifth column.

  • US war theories target dissenters

    Opinions September 18, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: Consortium News. In the Orwellian world of Official Washington, the U.S. government is now wedded to the theory of “information warfare,” meaning that Americans who challenge national security policy may be treated as “unprivileged belligerents” under the new Law of War Manual, published by the U.S Department of Defense this past summer.It has frequently been noted there’s been an ongoing “war” against journalists since 9/11. The new DOD Law of War manual makes that official and potentially takes it to the highest level of conflict.The DOD now openly declares that journalists may be deemed “unprivileged belligerents,” unlawful combatants, as the DOD manual provides, instead of hiding the fact in coded language as done since 2001. Inherent to those classifications is that they represent the “enemy” and can be killed by U.S. officials. That will come as no surprise to those acquainted with the foreign journalists who have been targeted and killed by drones in places such as Pakistan. Nor will it surprise Sami al-Hajj, the Al Jazeera journalist who was held in Guantanamo for years. But now it is clear that the same fate could be in store for U.S. journalists.

  • Arrest of 14-year-old student for making a clock: the fruits of sustained fearmongering and anti-Muslim animus

    Opinions September 16, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: The Intercept. The U.S. government just formally renewed the “State of Emergency” it declared in the aftermath of 9/11 for the 14th time since that attack occurred, ensuring that the country remains in a state of permanent, endless war, subjected to powers that are still classified as “extraordinary” even though they have become entirely normalized. As a result of all of this, a minority group of close to 3 million people is routinely targeted with bigotry and legal persecution in the Home of the Free, while fear and hysteria reign supreme in the Land of the Brave. What happened in Irving, Texas, yesterday to a 14-year-old Muslim high school freshman is far from the worst instance, but it is highly illustrative of the rotted fruit of this sustained climate of cultivated fear and demonization.

  • 9/11 in the age of ISIS: Facing continued anti-Islam sentiment, American Muslims are determined to reclaim the narrative

    Opinions September 11, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: International Business Times. “Terrorist! Go back to your country, Bin Laden!” Those were the words Inderjit Singh Mukker heard as an assailant brutally attacked him in his car in a Chicago suburb Tuesday night, according to reports from the Sikh Coalition, an advocacy group. While the victim, who wore a turban as a marker of his Sikh faith, wasn’t Muslim, it’s doubtful his attacker understood the difference between Sikhs and those who practice Islam. The incident occurred just three days before the 14th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, and experts say it’s another troubling example of a country that is still grappling with pockets of prejudice and violence against Muslim Americans, or even those who are assumed to be Muslim. And while Muslim advocates say the community has come a long way in educating the public and working to dismantle the stigma and prejudices against it, events of the last year — including the rise of ISIS and graphic media stories of its brutality — have stoked the very flames of Islamophobia that the community has worked so hard to quell over the past 14 years.

  • Shocker: The CIA isn’t sorry for torture

    Opinions September 8, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: Huffington Post. More than a year after the Senate Intelligence Committee voted to declassify its massive study on the CIA’s post-9/11 torture program — and nearly 10 months after its gruesome executive summary was publicly released — the CIA’s George W. Bush-era guard is still bitter.And unsurprisingly, the former spies aren’t sorry. In a volume to be released later this week, former CIA leaders Porter Goss, Jose Rodriguez and George Tenet, along with several other CIA leaders and lawyers, accuse the Intelligence panel’s now-minority Democrats of compiling a slanted report, and unequivocally defend the use of torture against high-level terror suspects.

  • When Feds are done playing dress up, who’s left to pick up the pieces?

    Opinions September 3, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: Dissent News Wire. Whether it’s the CIA staging a phony polio vaccination scheme in Pakistan or paid FBI informants working subterfuge in New York and California mosques, government agents frequently misappropriate identities to conduct undercover stings. Unfortunately, this duplicity jeopardizes the safety and credibility of those impersonated and has a chilling effect on innocent bystanders once the feds are done playing dress up.

  • Anti-Muslim bigotry has no place in politics

    Opinions September 3, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: The Hill. Next week [Sept. 9], Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) will be taking the stage in Washington, D.C., at a rally sponsored by the Center for Security Policy. If this doesn’t concern you, it should. The Center for Security Policy is an extremist think tank headed by anti-Muslim conspiracist Frank Gaffney, a one-time D.C. insider. One of his regular conspiracy theories is that American Muslims are using a tactic he calls “stealth jihad” to infiltrate the U.S. government, and he’s said everyone from Hillary Clinton to Grover Norquist is secretly supporting this agenda.

  • ‘(T)error’ focuses on informant and piques F.B.I.’s interest

    Opinions September 2, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: The New York Times. An 86-minute film by Lyric Cabral and David Felix Sutcliffe called “(T)error,” may be the first documentary to show a terror investigation as it unfolds from the perspective of an informant. It has drawn interest from F.B.I. agents, the filmmakers said, and they have some concerns about how the government will react when the film is released in theaters in late September or in October. Even the possibility of a lawsuit made it difficult to obtain what’s known as errors and omissions insurance, which is required by virtually all distributors and protects against claims of slander, unauthorized use of characters, defamation of character or invasion of privacy, among other potential accusations. Finally an insurer agreed to provide coverage for $36,000, a fee that Mr. Sutcliffe said was about four times higher than standard and that the filmmakers raised with the crowdfunding site Kickstarter.