Vol. VII-Issue No. 516
Friday, March 17, 2017

“There is no greater tyranny than that which is perpetrated under the shield of the law and in the name of justice.


Website of the Week

Live Free
With hundreds of congregations as well as countless leaders and movement partners throughout the country, the LIVE FREE Campaign is working to end the scourges of gun violence, mass incarceration, and the criminalization of Black and Brown bodies that tears at the soul of our society. While they attempt to influence federal and state policies whenever possible, the primary focus is on ensuring that sheriffs, prosecutors, police chiefs, mayors, city council members, and county commissioners are held accountable as allies, and not obstacles, to criminal justice reform.

Portraits of Injustice/Voices of Victims of Repression

Rasmea Odeah
A response to a negative commentary in the Chicago Tribune by the Rasmea Defense Committee, reading in part “Rasmea is not guilty. She was tortured into a forced confession and unjustly convicted by the Israelis, and then the U.S. government used evidence gained through torture to convict her of a violation of immigration law.”


NBC News (3/13): American Citizens: U.S. Border Agents Can Search Your Cellphone [Article & Video: 3 min. 54 sec.]
When Buffalo, New York couple Akram Shibly and Kelly McCormick returned to the U.S. from a trip to Toronto on Jan. 1, 2017, U.S. Customs & Border Protection officers held them for two hours, took their cellphones and demanded their passwords. Shibly and McCormick’s experience is not unique. In 25 cases examined by NBC News, American citizens said that CBP officers at airports and border crossings demanded that they hand over their phones and their passwords, or unlock them. What most of them have in common — 23 of the 25 — is that they are Muslim, like Shibly, whose parents are from Syria.

MIC (3/13): Watch two women step in to defend Muslim subway riders in NYC from an angry Islamophobe [Article & videos: 3 min. 56 sec., 1 min. 31 sec.]
Some of the video is in English. The second video is a clip with subtitles.

The Washington Post (3/16): Trump’s talk — ‘Muslim ban,’ ‘Islam hates us’ — comes back to bite him in court again [Article & Video: 2 min. 17 sec.]
In his blistering opinion Wednesday freezing the new travel ban, U.S. District Judge Derrick K. Watson said statements by Trump and his senior advisers were precisely what called its legality into question.


News Digest


Islamophobia and Civil Rights

Democracy Now! (3/13): Rep. Steve King (R–IA) Tweets Racist Anti-Muslim Comment
Rep. King was retweeting a cartoon by the anti-immigrant group Voice of Europe depicting Wilders with a finger plugging a leak in a dike, labeled “Western Civilization,” holding back a toxic wave of Islam.

The Washington Post (3/13): Yes, the media do underreport some terrorist attacks. Just not the ones most people think of.
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.

Community Action/Building Our Coalition (3/13): ‘Meet a Muslim’ campaign takes to streets of N.J.
On a day when the temperature barely reached freezing, Maarij Ahmed said his heart was warmed by the reaction he was getting standing on a corner in Collingswood with a sign that read: “Meet a Muslim. Ask any question.” Ahmed, 24, a graduate student at Rowan University in Glassboro, said people had uniformly been positive during the nearly four hours Saturday in which he stood on the corner.


Government Policies Under Scrutiny

Daily News (3/14): Judge approves settlement to install civilian watchdog on NYPD surveillance of Muslims
A federal judge has formally approved a settlement that installs a civilian watchdog on an NYPD surveillance panel to protect Muslims from unconstitutional monitoring, the Daily News has learned. Under the agreement, the civilian monitor would sit on the NYPD committee that reviews surveillance ops — and would have the power to directly tell the court about his or her concerns over the constitutionality of ongoing operations.



Zaid Jilani in The Intercept (3/15): Trump Designating the Muslim Brotherhood as Terrorists Would Be a Massive Victory for Extremists
The Brotherhood is a broad social and political movement that advocates for democratization and Islamic law. It has long renounced violence, providing a moderate alternative to violent Islamist movements and Arab autocrats — and is seen by both of those groups as an enemy. But for years, far-right anti-Muslim activists in the United States — including top White House adviser Steve Bannon — have promoted conspiracy theories claiming that the Brotherhood is controlling mainstream American Muslim organizations ranging from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) to Muslim Student Association chapters as a part of a scheme for an Islamist takeover of America.


NCPCF Mission
Established in October 2010, the NCPCF is a coalition of national and local organizations as well as prominent individuals, whose mission is: To educate the public about the erosion of civil and political freedoms in the society, and the abuses of prisoners within the U.S. criminal justice system especially after 9/11, and to advocate for the preservation of those freedoms and to defend those rights according to the U.S. Constitution, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its related UN Conventions, and the Geneva Conventions.
Member Organizations
American Muslim Alliance (AMA) – Bill of Rights Defense Committee/Defending Dissent Foundation (BORDC/DDF) – Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) – Committee to Stop FBI Repression (CSFR) – Creating Law Enforcement Accountability and Responsibility (CLEAR) – Desis, Rising Up and Moving (DRUM) – Friends of Human Rights (FHR) – International Action Center (IAC) – Islamic Circle of North America Council for Social Justice (ICNA-CSJ) – Muslim Legal Fund of America (MLFA) – National Lawyers Guild (NLG)  – The Aafia Foundation  – Project Support and Legal Advocacy for Muslims (Project SALAM) – United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC)

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Copyright © 2015, National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms
P.O. Box 66301
Washington, D.C. 20035



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