NCPCF                                                          Vol. VII-Issue No. 557

NEWS DIGEST                                  Friday, November 3, 2017

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





We are happy to report that the Seventh Annual Family Conference was very successful, and we have many people to thank. First and foremost, we want to thank the families who came, sometimes under great duress! A total of 60 family members attended the conference, including many new faces.  We were greatly honored to open the conference with a program featuring Sh. Omar Suleiman, and we thank him for his solidarity with the families and for raising awareness about the plight of Muslim prisoners. Dr. Jonathan Brown was a wonderful moderator for the event, Mariam Abu Ali and Ikraan Abdurahmān were eloquent presenters of their own experiences, and we are pleased to have introduced NCPCF to a new audience. 

Thank you to Juan Underbakke, who filmed the event, assisted throughout, and provided a sports workshop for the youth. Thank you to the workshop presenters, including Jenn Meeropol (Rosenberg Fund for Children), Kimberly Jenkins-Snodgrass (Interfaith Action for Human Rights),  Laila Al-Arian (who facilitated a Media workshop), and Nida Abu-Baker (who provided a youth art workshop). Lynne Jackson and Steve Downs  (Project Salam and NCPCF), along with Ahmed Bedier (United Voices), presented an excellent workshop about the importance of becoming involved in the political process and voting! Kathy Manley, NCPCF Legal Director, compiled information and talking points for the Monday lobbying day on Capitol Hill. Family members Sonali Sadequee led morning yoga and Fatin Shnewer provided tasty lunch and dessert for us. Dr. Sami Al-Arian spoke to the families via Skype from Istanbul at 3:00 AM Istanbul time! We are very grateful for all these efforts! Thank you to the Diyanet Center of America for providing such a wonderful location for the conference, and particularly to Belgizar Özbek for her support. And, finally, we recognize the teamwork of our staff and hard work both in planning and carrying out the conference, Hatem Fariz, Mariam Abu Ali, Reem Jayyousi (especially for the many coffee runs throughout the weekend).

We are deeply moved by the strength of the family members who participated and their determination to free their innocent loved ones. We will remain committed to supporting them and look forward to moving NCPCF forward to continue this important work.

With deepest gratitude,
Mel Underbakke, Ph.D.
Executive Director, NCPCF
Leena Al-Arian
Deputy Director, NCPCF

_____________________________________________________________________News Digest


Pre-Crime Reports/Pre-emptive Prosecutions/Thought Crimes/Entrapment/Material Support

On an emotional level, such a statute could, in fact, be satisfying as an antidote to the persistent tendency since the 9/11 attacks of equating terrorism only with Muslims. Since then, terrorism laws have been used to target entire communities, to surveil Muslims in a manner that was ultimately declared illegal, and to create an atmosphere in which discrimination against Muslims consistently violated abuses of the First, Fourth and Fifth Amendments. But would extending an unfair policy to others really be a step in the right direction?

The Washington Post (10/31): He tried to stop his friend from joining ISIS. But then he lied to the FBI.
When the FBI came to Amri’s Fairfax, Va., gaming center and asked whether he knew anyone who had expressed support for the Islamic State or tried to join the group, Amri decided he could not expose a close friend. Amri asked his business partner, Michael Queen, to lie as well. Now they are both convicted felons, sentenced this month to two years in prison.

Terrorism Industry

John Guandolo and his organization (UTT) have gained attention and notoriety for passing off anti-Muslim conspiracy theories and stereotypes as professional counterterrorism training. Recently, Guandolo and UTT have taken the rhetoric to new heights. Character attacks against Muslim organizations by voices from the anti-Muslim movement are nothing new. However, it is one thing to engage in verbal assaults against an individual or organization, and quite another to call for actual physical violence against a target. Yet that’s exactly what the UTT’s Twitter account appears to have done on October 27.


Government Policies Under Scrutiny

Associated Press (10/30): 6 states seek to join in Hawaii’s travel ban challenge

Six U.S. states want to intervene in Hawaii’s lawsuit challenging President Donald Trump’s travel ban. The states of California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon and Washington filed a motion today asking to be parties in Hawaii’s lawsuit. They agree with Hawaii that the ban is unconstitutional.



The Hill (10/31): Americans’ fear of terrorism divided along party lines

Republicans and white Americans, however, harbor greater fears about Muslim jihadis than do minority groups. More than eight in ten Republicans say they are afraid or very afraid of Islamic extremists, while just 42 percent of strong Democrats said the same. On the other hand, Democrats or minorities make up the majority of Americans who say they believe white supremacists represent a threat to national security. Three-quarters of strong Democrats, 58 percent of blacks and 69 percent of Hispanics said they were afraid or very afraid of white supremacists, while only a third of Republicans agree.

The New York Times (11/1): I Want ‘Allahu Akbar’ Back
Allahu akbar. It’s Arabic for “God is greatest.” Muslims, an eccentric tribe with over a billion members, say it several times in our five daily prayers. The phrase is also a convenient way to express just the right kind of gratitude in any situation. I say “Allahu akbar” out loud more than 100 times a day. I, like an overwhelming majority of Muslims, have never uttered “Allahu akbar” before or after committing a violent act.



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