Janine Jackson: In March of this year, John Miller—then deputy commissioner of intelligence and counter-terrorism for the New York Police Department—told a New York City Council meeting that “there is no evidence” that the NYPD surveilled Muslim communities in the wake of September 11, 2001—”based,” he said, “on every objective study that’s been done.” At that point, media had extensively documented the unconstitutional discrimination of the NYPD’s so-called “Demographics Unit,” including installing police cameras outside mosques, and reporting store owners who had visible Qurans or religious calendars. And the NYPD had agreed to disband the unit in the face of multiple federal lawsuits.
Protesters gathered outside the Indian Embassy in London on Saturday, to decry the ongoing violence in New Delhi as well as the policies of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government. “I think they need to repeal this amendment called the CAA. It’s anti Muslim, it’s anti-overseas Indian citizens, and it’s anti national,” said Vepari, a protester. At least 38 people have died in India’s capital since protests against the new Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which began on Monday, triggered violent clashes between Hindus and Muslims. At least 38 people have died in India’s capital since Sunday, February 23, after violent clashes broke out between Hindus and Muslims, triggered by continuing protests against the new Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
By Sue Sturgis for Facing South - Hundreds of thousands of service workers across the South and the rest of the nation are planning to take part in a general strike for human rights and equality on May Day, which marks International Workers' Day. Organizers say the May 1 Strike, which aims to express the collective power of the country's most marginalized workers and to stop attacks by the Trump administration and its corporate allies, is the biggest general-strike organizing effort in the U.S. in over 70 years. "The Trump administration's dangerous attacks against food worker families and all marginalized people continue a centuries-long history of oppression," the organizers said in a statement.
By Staff of CCRJustice - October 13, 2015, Philadelphia – Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued a comprehensive and stirring decision in the case Hassan v. City of New York, recognizing that New Jersey Muslims who have been subjected to the New York City Police Department’s program of blanket, suspicionless surveillance stated a valid claim of discrimination on the basis of their religion. The decision reverses a district court ruling dismissing the case. Muslim Advocates and the Center for Constitutional Rights challenged the spying program on behalf of a diverse group of plaintiffs from throughout the state – ranging from a decorated Iraq war veteran to the former principal of a grade-school for Muslim girls – who share one thing: their Muslim faith.
Just as I was getting my kids ready for school this morning, I heard my phone beep. I glanced down, and saw the words "Muslims Shot Dead in Chapel Hill". I froze, and felt a familiar chill run down my back. I rushed to Twitter in a desperate attempt to find out more. Who were these three people? Why were they killed? Are we at a point where Muslims are no longer safe in their homes? Or could this have been a random attack? I was secretly and maybe naively hoping it was the latter. The attack would have happened around 10pm in the UK. When stories break at this time, the British press might have sent their latest editions to print, but they are still usually picked up by their night teams, who monitor news around the world while everyone else is asleep.
The United States violates its own immigration laws through an under-the-radar "blacklist" that denies citizenship, green cards and political asylum to thousands of people, including innocent people placed on a terrorist watch list, longtime legal-resident Muslims claim in Federal Court. Lead plaintiff Reem Muhanna, et al. claim that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service has consistently denied their applications for citizenship and lawful permanent residence after secretly blacklisting them as "'national security concerns,'" though they pose no threat to the United States. The ACLU filed the lawsuit on July 31 against the USCIS, the Department of Homeland Security, and a slew of their national and regional officers. The plaintiffs claim that the Citizenship and Immigration Service uses obscure rules, under a program known as the Controlled Application Review and Resolution Program (CARRP), to delay or deny applications. "Under this unfair and unconstitutional program, the government has blacklisted their applications without telling them why and barred them from upgrading their immigration status in violation of the immigration laws," ACLU attorney Jennie Pasquarella said in a statement. The plaintiffs ask the court to order Uncle Sam to judicially settle their applications for citizenship and permanent residence, as required under the Immigration and Nationality Act. The executive branch of the government does not have the authority to set rules on citizenship and permanent residence, the plaintiffs say.
Muslim American groups and individuals are boycotting the White House’s Iftar dinner and will instead be participating or supporting a protest outside the White House against United States government policies, which disproportionately impact Muslims all over the world. The Iftar is when Muslims break fast during Ramadan. In the past, the White House has held its Ramadan dinner with members of Muslim groups and various distinguished Muslim Americans. The dinner has been seen as an opportunity for Muslims to engage with officials in power. And, while there will still be Muslim Americans who attend the dinner, there is a growing concern that policies simply keep getting worse and they would be complicit if they attended the Ramadan dinner. More than a hundred Muslim advocates, activists, and scholars put out an open letter the day of the dinner explaining why they believed a boycott was necessary. They claimed the dinner “represents nothing more than an attempt to whitewash state violence, absolve government institutions from taking responsibility and creating mechanisms of accountability and transparency for the civil rights violations that have been perpetrated towards Muslims and Muslim Americans, and Americans at large, beginning from even before the onset of the War on Terror.”
The National Security Agency and FBI have covertly monitored the emails of prominent Muslim-Americans—including a political candidate and several civil rights activists, academics, and lawyers—under secretive procedures intended to target terrorists and foreign spies. According to documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, the list of Americans monitored by their own government includes: • Faisal Gill, a longtime Republican Party operative and one-time candidate for public office who held a top-secret security clearance and served in the Department of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush; • Asim Ghafoor, a prominent attorney who has represented clients in terrorism-related cases; • Hooshang Amirahmadi, an Iranian-American professor of international relations at Rutgers University; • Agha Saeed, a former political science professor at California State University who champions Muslim civil liberties and Palestinian rights; • Nihad Awad, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the largest Muslim civil rights organization in the country.
On a miserable Monday evening in early April, when most people were scuttling for the nearest subway, a motley group was huddled before an unremarkable grey building in lower Manhattan, declaiming into the rain. “[In 2006] we fought for Shifa’s safety, we fought for the Sadequee family’s safety, we fought for all of our safety,” said a woman standing in front of the crowd. “[Today] we must still come together across religious and spiritual traditions, across race and nations, across sexuality, across our beliefs, for our collective safety and livelihood.” The woman was Cara Page, executive director of the Audre Lorde Project and a prominent black queer activist; “Shifa” was Ehsanul “Shifa” Sadequee, a young man convicted of terrorism-related charges five years ago. The two had little obvious in common, but Page had been in Atlanta at the time of his trial and a member of the Free Shifa campaign, a coalition of supporters who argued that his prosecution and detention were unjust. It was proof, they said, that the inhumane detention of “War on Terror” suspects has occurred on American soil, too. Years later, most of the world had moved on from Sadequee’s story, but Page, like the others bundled around her, had not.