National Institute for Civil Discourse National Institute for Civil Discourse (NICD) envisions elected officials who work collaboratively to tackle the big issues facing our country; a media that accurately informs and involves citizens; and a public that actively engages with its government — of the people, by the people, for the people. Joining forces, we can ensure that civility emerges once again as the glue that binds, repairs and strengthens our Democratic nation.
Portraits of Injustice/Voices of Victims of Repression
Independent (4/11): Muslim student who has dedicated life to fighting religious extremism is banned from returning to US Zia Shah, a Fulbright scholar at the University of Chicago, was not allowed to return after visiting parents in Pakistan for the winter holidays.“Zia is a gem,” says Yousef Casewit, a lecturer who taught Zia in his first semester. “I was looking forward to his participation in my classes this quarter. He developed educational curricula to promote religious peace. The irony of being denied entry into the USA is flabbergasting.”
SF Gate (4/11): Who is Mel? US terror case could unmask New York police mole[Article & video: 44 sec.] For years, a woman named “Mel” mingled with young Muslims in New York, telling them she was a Turkish convert to the faith looking for friends. In reality, she was a cop working for the New York Police Department. Her true identity and the full nature of her work remain a guarded secret, but, thanks partly to social media, she may be unmasked as part of an upcoming trial of two women accused of plotting a homemade bomb attack.
Tampa Bay Times (4/9): Why Cops Shoot No one was keeping track of police shootings in the country’s third-largest state. So in 2014, the Tampa Bay Times set out to count every officer-involved shooting in Florida during a six-year period. We learned that at least 827 people were shot by police — one every 2½ days. We learned that blacks are shot at a higher rate than whites. We learned that on-duty police are almost never charged with crimes for firing, even though agencies pay millions to settle civil lawsuits. Includes summaries of every police shooting in the database, videos and podcasts.
Pre-Crime Reports/Pre-emptive Prosecutions/Thought Crimes/Entrapment/Material Support
Chicago Tribune (4/12): 2 Zion men charged with providing material support to Islamic State The two friends from far north suburban Zion believed they were helping train and equip fighters for the Islamic State terrorist organization, federal prosecutors say. Joseph Jones and Edward Schimenti worked out with one purported jihadist at a Zion gym to get him in combat shape and bought cellphones at a local store that they thought would be used as bomb detonators on the battlefield, according to prosecutors. What Jones and Schimenti didn’t know was that the purported Islamic State fighter was actually an informant and that the FBI had been investigating them for nearly two years. Agents arrested Jones and Schimenti, both 35, at their homes at 5 a.m. Wednesday on a criminal complaint charging them with conspiring to provide material support and resources to Islamic State, also known as ISIS.
Government Policies Under Scrutiny
Reuters (4/7): U.S. lawmakers ask for disclosure of number of Americans under surveillance A U.S. congressional committee on Friday asked the Trump administration to disclose an estimate of the number of Americans whose digital communications are incidentally collected under foreign surveillance programs, according to a letter seen by Reuters. Some experts and lawmakers have said they believe data on millions of Americans could be caught under such surveillance, exposing them to warrantless searches by federal investigators.
Bloomberg (4/12): Homeland Security Faces Legal Blitz for Travel-Ban Records The Department of Homeland Security was hit with a barrage of lawsuits by the American Civil Liberties Union demanding to see records on how officials at the agency’s field offices interpreted President Donald Trump’s temporary travel ban against certain Muslim majority countries. Each lawsuit seeks “unique and local information” about how U.S. Customs and Border Protection implemented the executive orders at specific airports and ports of entry amid rapidly developing and sometimes conflicting guidance from the federal government, according to the ACLU.
Paste (4/10): You’re Not Mad at United Airlines; You’re Mad at America So you may have seen the situation on United Flight 3411 earlier today, when a passenger was forcefully dragged from his seat by cops after refusing to leave despite being randomly selected as a result of United over-booking the flight. The reality is plain: United Airlines is not the disease. United Airlines is a symptom of an infected country whose institutions of power no longer respect the dignity or the sanctity of the individual life. They don’t care about you. It is commendable and necessary to direct your outrage at this particular corporation, on this particular day, but keep the larger truth in mind: You are not mad at United Airlines; you are mad at America.
Huffington Post (4/10): It’s White America’s Job To Fight White Supremacism White supremacist hate is a growing problem that all Americans ― but white people in particular ― need to face head-on, said Heidi Beirich of the Southern Poverty Law Center. “White supremacists ― white guys basically ― commit way more domestic terrorism than radical Islam inside the U.S.,” Beirich said. “[Yet] there has been a general reluctance in this country to see white people as responsible for terrorism in some sort of organized way.” There is an attempted domestic terrorism plot by white supremacists in the U.S. approximately every 34 days.
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 liberties and political freedoms in society; to provide legal advocacy and support for prisoners within the U.S. criminal justice system and their families targeted after 9/11; and to defend and preserve the rights of all people according to the U.S. Constitution, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the Geneva Conventions.
___________________________________________________ Member Organizations
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)