French railroad merges racial profiling and islamophobia during welcome of Israeli president

Black workers ‘banned from Gare du Nord during Israeli president visit’

French President Francois Hollande receives President of Israel Shimon Peres at Elysee Palace. It was on this trip that black and African rail workers were banned for the arrival of Mr Peres at Gare du Nord station in Paris because they might have been mistaken for Muslims

Black and African rail workers were banned when President of Israel Shimon Peres arrived at Gare du Nord train station in Paris “because they might have been mistaken for Muslims.”

Black and North African railway workers were banned from working at Paris’s Gare du Nord when the President of Israel visited France over fears they might be Muslim, it has emerged.

By Nabila Ramdani, Paris
Telegraph 5:39PM BST 14 Apr 2013
The alleged discrimination took place as Shimon Peres arrived at the station, the hub for high-speed trains, on March 8, to discuss the Middle East peace process.
It is now the subject of an official complaint by the SUD-Rail transport union which says everything was done to ensure there were “no Muslim employees to welcome the Head of the State of Israel”.
Mr Peres and a delegation of other senior Israelis arrived on a morning train from Belgium, and were greeted by staff from SNCF, France’s national railway, and their baggage-handling subsidiary, ITIREMIA.
The previous day however, a site manager told all workers at the station about the ban on black staff, and those of North African descent, because they might be Muslim.
Secular France does not officially recognise anybody’s religion, but it was assumed by management that anyone from a “black or Arab” background might be Muslim – an assumption “based on the appearance of the workers”, according to a SUD-Rail statement. Continue reading

New York: Police program stalking Muslims denounced by whistleblower

NYPD informant who tracked militants quits, denounces police

Police barricade in NYC (Mario Tama, Getty Images)
Police barricade in NYCBy Mark Hosenball, Reuters, October 22, 2012

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An informant recruited by the New York Police Department to collect information on suspected Islamic militants has quit and denounced his police handlers, according to a law enforcement source familiar with the case.

The informant, a 19-year-old American citizen of Bangladeshi descent, was recruited by the NYPD recently as part of an expansive intelligence-gathering program the department launched after the al Qaeda attacks of September 11, 2001. His assignment was to make contact with suspected Islamic extremists to try to determine if they had any inclinations to engage in violence, the source said.

On October 2, however, the informant, whom the source did not name, posted a message on his personal Facebook page exposing himself as an informant to people he had been in contact with. He declared that he had quit as a police informant.

“I was jus (sic) of pretending to be friends with ya cuz I honestly thought i was fighting terrorism, but let’s be real, it’s all a f…king scheme,” the informant wrote, according to the source. “It was all about the money,” he added.

The source said that the informant was not involved in an investigation that led to the arrest of a Bangladeshi man last week in connection with an alleged scheme to bomb the New York Federal Reserve Bank in Lower Manhattan. Continue reading

NYPD Official Admits Spying On Muslims Didn’t Generate A Single Lead Or Terrorism Case

[An oppressive dragnet of surveillance, harassment, stalking, and ostracism, this CIA/NYPD program of racial/religious profiling has been conducted and budgeted under the phony guise of "homeland security" and "criminal justice" -- but its just Islamophobic repression without a shred of evidence to disguise or provide cover for it. -- Frontlines ed.]

———————————————

Michael Kelley , Business Insider, August 21, 2012

The secret New York Police Department unit that spied on Muslims for more than six years never generated a lead or triggered a terrorism investigation, Adam Goldman and Matt Apuzzo of the AP report.

The Demographics Unit – built with the help of the CIA in the wake of 9/11 – assembled databases on Muslim neighborhoods, eavesdropped on conversations, infiltrated Muslim student groups and mosques, cataloged every Muslim in New York with an Americanized surname, and even set up a surveillance hub in New Jersey.

But in a June 28 deposition, Assistant Chief Thomas Galati admitted he never created a lead based on a Demographics report since he arrived 2006 and wasn’t aware of any previous ones.

From AP:

Galati, the commanding officer of the NYPD Intelligence Division, offered the first official look at the Demographics Unit, which the NYPD denied ever existed when it was revealed by the AP last year. He described how police gather information on people even when there is no evidence of wrongdoing, simply because of their ethnicity and native language.

The testimony was part of the Handschu case, a lawsuit that began in 1971 over NYPD spying on students, civil rights groups, and suspected Communist sympathizers during the 1950s and 1960s.

NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake, himself a target of ‘ill-considered’ prosecution, tweeted that the admission demonstrates “willful violation of 4th Amendment. No probable cause. Mere suspicion now justification for all kinds of injustice.” Continue reading

Los Angeles: FBI Sting Lawsuit Blocked by “State Secrets” Doctrine

Behind this plaque are the “state secrets” of Islamophobic and racially profiled sting operations–endorsed as unchallengable and unquestionable by the courts

It was like a James O’Keefe hidden camera operation gone wrong: In 2006, despite no evidence of wrongdoing, the FBI sent informant Craig Monteilh to spy on a California mosque, only to have Ahmadullah Sais Niazi, the guy Monteilh was trying to convince to launch a fake terrorist operation, report the informant to the authorities. (Naturally, in 2009 the FBI then unsuccessfully tried to prosecute Niazi anyway).

The Monteilh-Niazi incident was part of “Operation Flex,” an FBI counterterrorism program that involved surveillance of the Muslim community in Southern California. Three local Muslims, Sheikh Yassir Fazaga, Ali Uddin Malik, and Yasser AbdelRahim, sued the FBI in February 2011 arguing that the FBI violated their constitutional rights. The Obama administration responded by invoking the state secrets doctrine, which often serves as a sort of get-out-of-court-free card for the government, and asking Judge Cormac J. Carney to dismiss the case because it would force disclosure of materials that could jeopardize national security. Carney did just that on Wednesday, accepting the government’s argument that the case would endanger state secrets. In doing so, Carney dismissed the plaintiffs’ argument that embracing the state secrets doctrine in the Monteilh case would lead to a state of affairs where “any practice, no matter how abusive, may be immunized from legal challenge by being labeled as ‘counterterrorism’ and ‘state secrets.'”

“Such a claim assumes that courts simply rubber stamp the Executive’s assertion of the state secrets privilege. That is not the case here,” Carney wrote. “The Court has engaged in rigorous judicial scrutiny of the Government’s assertion of privilege and thoroughly reviewed the public and classified filings with a skeptical eye.”

The case involves two key elements of the Obama administration’s approach to national security: The use of FBI informants and fake terror plots and the aggressive use of the state secrets doctrine to keep its counterterrorism operations secret. As Trevor Aaronson reported in his award-winning story for the September/October 2011 issue of Mother Jones, “With three exceptions, all of the high-profile domestic terror plots of the last decade were actually FBI stings.” Continue reading

FBI: Fabricating threats, false prosecutions, and fear-mongering–in the name of security

The FBI’s ‘Islamic Terrorism’ Fraud

By Sherwood Ross | Aletho News | July 2, 2012

Nearly every major post-9/11 terrorism-related prosecution has involved a sting operation at the center of which is a government informant, The Nation magazine reports.

The publication cites the findings of the Center on National Security at Fordham Law School. The Center has tracked 138 terrorism or national security prosecutions involving informants since 2001.

As the informants work for money or a reduction of their own criminal charges, their testimony may well be tainted. What’s particularly distressing, writes Petra Bartosiewicz, a New York City journalist in the July 2nd issue of the magazine, is that the FBI informants “have crossed the line from merely observing potential criminal behavior to encouraging and assisting people to participate in plots that are largely scripted by the FBI itself.”

The reporter explains that “Under the FBI’s guiding hand, the informants provide the weapons, suggest the targets and even initiate the inflammatory political rhetoric that later elevates the charges to the level of terrorism.” Continue reading

On preparing US police and military for ‘total war’ against Islam

Anti-Islam teachings ‘widespread’ in US law enforcement, campaigners warn

Activists point to past incidents in the FBI and NYPD after military course urged soldiers to prepare for ‘total war’ with Islam
by Ryan Devereaux in New York, guardian.co.uk, Friday 11 May 2012
A course at a military academy that taught US officers to prepare for “total war” with Islam does not represent an isolated incident, campaigners have warned.
The Pentagon moved swiftly to distance itself from revelations that officers in a defense department class were taught that “Hiroshima”-style tactics would be needed to combat the threat from Islam.
“It was totally objectionable, against our values and it wasn’t academically sound,” said General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff.
The class in question was canceled in April and Dempsey noted the instructor responsible for the course, army lieutenant colonel Matthew A Dooley, is “no longer in a teaching status”. Dooley, however, is still employed at the Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia.
Linda Sarsour, executive director at the Arab American Association of New York, said the course is merely the latest example in a proliferation of anti-Muslim teaching materials in law-enforcement agencies. “It’s part of a much larger problem,” Sarsour said, pointing to similar controversies involving the FBI and the New York police department. Continue reading

Mosques, students and NGOs: Journalist blows the lid off police spying on NYC Muslims

September 8, 2011

Two weeks after an Associated Press investigation exposed the New York Police Department (NYPD)’s  ”demographic units” used to spy on a wide array of Muslim New Yorkers, a journalist has published startling new details that reveal the breadth of that operation.  The details are sure to raise new alarms in the Muslim-American community in New York City (NYC) as the tenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks approach.

Leonard Levitt, a long-time writer on the NYPD beat, reports:

The New York City Police Department has been spying on hundreds of Muslim mosques, schools, businesses, student groups, non-governmental organizations and individuals, NYPD Confidential has learned.

The spying operation has targeted virtually every level of Muslim life in New York City, according to a trove of pages of Intelligence Division documents obtained by NYPD Confidential.

The documents do not specify whether the police have evidence or solid suspicions of criminality to justify their watching the Muslim groups.

The breadth and scope of the surveillance described in the documents suggest that the police have been painting with a broad brush and may have targeted subjects without specific tips about wrongdoing.

Specifically, Levitt reveals exactly who the NYPD spied on:

The NYPD’s spying operation has compiled information on 250 mosques, 12 Islamic schools, 31 Muslim student associations, 263 places it calls “ethnic hotspots,” such as businesses and restaurants, as well as 138 “persons of interest,” according to the Intel documents.

Police have singled out 53 mosques, four Islamic schools and seven Muslim student associations as institutions of “concern.” They have also labeled 42 individuals as top tier “persons of interest.”

At least 32 mosques have been infiltrated by either undercover officers, informants, or both, according to documents, which are dated between 2003 and 2006 and marked “secret.”

The NYPD has also been monitoring Muslim student associations at seven local colleges: City, Baruch, Hunter, Queens, LaGuardia, St. John’s and Brooklyn.

The department calls the two student groups at Brooklyn and Baruch colleges “of concern” and has sent undercover detectives to spy on them, the documents reveal. Continue reading

The role of the NYPD in the CIA’s domestic war on Islam

[This Associated Press article combines an exposure of intrusive violations of civil rights by the federal government and NYPD, with a fear-mongering "justification" for ethnic, Arab and Islamophobic profiling, stalking, surveillance, harassment, and fabrications of criminal cases against entire communities.  But a growing country-wide network of solidarity activists is increasingly challenging such practices and justifications. -- Frontlines ed.]

With CIA help, NYPD built secret effort to monitor mosques, daily life of Muslim neighborhoods

By Associated Press

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

In the run-up to the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the Associated Press is out with a detailed look at how the NYPD keeps tabs on “ethnic neighborhoods” in and around New York City. “Ethnic mapping” is one technique the NYPD uses, according to the AP: “They have informants that go in and out of mosques, They’re called ‘mosque crawlers.’ They have undercover NYPD officers who just troll ethnic neighborhoods — they’re called ‘rakers.’ They’re just mapping the human train of the city. They’re job is just to look for hotspots, what’s going on in the cafes, the bars, the clubs, the bookstores of ethnic neighborhoods inside New York City.” “The NYPD denies it trolls ethnic neighborhoods. It says it only follows leads.”

NEW YORK — In New Brunswick, N.J., a building superintendent opened the door to apartment No. 1076 one balmy Tuesday and discovered an alarming scene: terrorist literature strewn about the table and computer and surveillance equipment set up in the next room.

The panicked superintendent dialed 911, sending police and the FBI rushing to the building near Rutgers University on the afternoon of June 2, 2009. What they found in that first-floor apartment, however, was not a terrorist hideout but a command center set up by a secret team of New York Police Department intelligence officers.

From that apartment, about an hour outside the department’s jurisdiction, the NYPD had been staging undercover operations and conducting surveillance throughout New Jersey. Neither the FBI nor the local police had any idea.

Since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the NYPD has become one of the country’s most aggressive domestic intelligence agencies. A months-long investigation by The Associated Press has revealed that the NYPD operates far outside its borders and targets ethnic communities in ways that would run afoul of civil liberties rules if practiced by the federal government. And it does so with unprecedented help from the CIA in a partnership that has blurred the bright line between foreign and domestic spying.

Neither the city council, which finances the department, nor the federal government, which contributes hundreds of millions of dollars each year, is told exactly what’s going on.

The department has dispatched teams of undercover officers, known as “rakers,” into minority neighborhoods as part of a human mapping program, according to officials directly involved in the program. They’ve monitored daily life in bookstores, bars, cafes and nightclubs. Police have also used informants, known as “mosque crawlers,” to monitor sermons, even when there’s no evidence of wrongdoing. NYPD officials have scrutinized imams and gathered intelligence on cab drivers and food cart vendors, jobs often done by Muslims. Continue reading

Norway massacre suspect aired anti-Muslim, pro-Israel views

Anders Behring Breivik: Norwegian Islamophobe, Zionist, anti-communist, anti-multiculturist (i.e., white supremacist)

[This article on the Norway massacre appeared today in the leading English-language Israeli newspaper The Jerusalem Post.  Many Western media outlets initially spread unfounded claims that the bombings and shootings were by "Islamic terrorists." Later accounts have focused on the perpetrator as a deranged, psychotic personality.  More accurately, people world-wide are recognising that the acts have been committed by a deranged, psychotic Zionist, racist, and Islamophic culture and politics. In apparent anticipation of this recognition, and the backlash it will inevitably create, the Jerusalem Post article informs its readers (many of whom are likely adherents of similar Zionist views) about the views of Anders Behring Breivik. -- Frontlines ed.]

 

By BEN HARTMAN, Jerusalem Post
24/07/2011   — 1,500 page manifesto credited to Anders Behring Breivik, accused of killing spree, lays out worldview including extreme screed of Islamophobia, far-right Zionism, and venomous attacks on Marxism and multiculturalism.

Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian who killed nearly 100 people in a combined terror attack Friday that included car bombings in Oslo and a shooting rampage at an island summer camp, held fiercely anti-Islamic and pro-Israel views, according to a 1,500 page manifesto he uploaded before his killing spree Friday.

In the 1,500 page tome, which mentions Israel 359 times and “Jews” 324 times, Breivik lays out his worldview, which includes an extreme, bizarre, and rambling screed of Islamophobia, far-right Zionism, and venomous attacks on Marxism and multiculturalism.

In one passage, he lashes out at the western media which he accuses of unfairly focusing on the wrongdoing of Jews, saying “western journalists again and again systematically ignore serious Muslim attacks and rather focus on the Jews.” Continue reading

FBI and NYPD: Luring the migrant into a fake “terror plot” — then jailing him for decades

Report Documents Fake Terror Threats Concocted by FBI and NYPD

Color Lines, Monday, May 23 2011

Shahawar Matin Siraj immigrated to Queens, N.Y., from Pakistan with his family when he was 16. Siraj began working at his uncle’s Islamic bookshop in Queens where, soon after 9/11, an undercover police officer began coming around and engaging Siraj in conversations about politics and religion. Whatever Siraj said to the officer in those conversations, it was enough for NYPD to soon assign another undercover officer to befriend the young man as well.

That second officer showed Siraj images of victims of American wars in the Middle East and of Guantanamo Bay, and began making up stories about secret terrorist organizations inside the U.S. Over the next year, the undercover agent prodded Siraj to devise a plan to detonate a bomb in New York City, as a means of responding to the U.S. government’s violence. Siraj first agreed but eventually refused to actively participate in the plot, saying, “No, I don’t want to do it.” But after more repeated prodding of the young man, Siraj finally agreed to act as a lookout for others.

A week later, Siraj was called by the NYPD to a police station to deal with an outstanding misdemeanor charge. Upon arrival, he was arrested and charged with conspiracy. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison. The next day, Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested and detained Siraj’s mother, sister and father. His mother and sister spent 11 days and his father six months in a New Jersey detention center. Continue reading

Oakland, California: A People’s Hearing on Racism and Police Violence


Saturday, February 19th & Sunday February 20th

Edna Brewer Middle School
3748 13th Ave, Oakland 94610  (Gym Entrance)
9:00am-5:00pm
Free food both days

The People’s Hearing is an expression of the outrage over the string of Police murders in Oakland and the Bay Area preceding and following Oscar Grants’ murder.  The aim of the People’s Hearing is to eliminate the isolation of the victims of police brutality, unite the peoples and communities targeted by the governments’ repressive policies and practices, and to link local struggles for social justice and human rights with national and international struggles.

Confirmed jurists include John Burris, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, David Gespass, Ajamu Baraka, Bill Ong Hing, Alberto Saldamando and others.

Saturday, February 19th: Keynote by Rachel Jackson

-Session 1 (9:00am):  Racial Profiling

Testimony from Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, Huaxtec, Youth Together, All of Us or None, Community Youth Center and Arab Resource & Organizing Committee

-Session 2 (1:30pm): Police Killings

Testimony from family members of Oscar Grant, Gary King, Andrew Moppin, Derrick Jones and Raheim Brown.

Sunday, February 20th: Keynote by Sanyika Bryant

-Session 3 (9:00am): COINTELPRO to Patriot Act

Testimony from San Francisco 8, Freedom Archives, American Indian Movement, Stop FBI Repression, New Year’s Movement, Haiti Action Committee, Laney Black Student Union and Onyx

-Session 4 (1:30pm):  Organized Resistance

Testimony from New Year’s Movement, Mujeres Unidas, Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, Coalition to Stop the Gang Injunctions, SF Legal Immigrant Legal Education Network/AROC

For more information on the People’s Hearing on Racism and Police Brutality visit www.peopleshearing.wordpress.com

The People’s Hearing is co-sponsored by Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, EastSide Arts Alliance, New Year’s Movement, National Lawyers Guild, Arab Resource and Organizing Center, Coalition for Justice for Oscar Grant, Collision Course Video Productions, Hard Knock Radio, Onyx, African People’s Socialist Party, International Indian Treaty Council, National Conference of Black Lawyers, the National Alliance for Racial Justice and Human Rights, and the US Human Rights Network.

 

Imperial Feminism, Islamophobia, and the Egyptian Revolution*

Meet Asmaa Mahfouz and the vlog that Helped Spark the Revolution

This vlog was recorded on January 18th by Asmaa Mahfouz. She had shared it on her Facebook, and it was so powerful and so popular that Egyptians by the thousands came to Tahrir Square, and the Egyptian government then blocked Facebook . (Translated by Iyad El-Baghdadi, subbed by Ammara Alavi).

————————————————————————————

Feb 11 2011

by Nadine Naber

“. . . I’m making this video to give you one simply message: We want to go down to Tahrir Square on January 25. If we still have honor and want to live with dignity on this land, we have to go down on January 25. We’ll go down and demand our rights, our fundamental human rights…The entire government is corrupt—a corrupt president and a corrupt security force…If you stay home, you deserve what will happen to you…and you’ll be guilty, before your nation and your people…Go down to the street, send SMS’s, post it post it on the ‘net. Make people aware…you know your own social circle, your building, your family, your friends, tell them to come with us. Bring 5 people, or 10 people; if each of us manages to bring 5 or 10 people to Tahrir Square…talk to people and tell them, this is enough! It will make a difference, a big difference…never say there’s no hope…so long you come down with us, there will be hope…don’t think you can be safe any more! None of us are! Come down with us and demand your rights my rights, you family’ rights. I am going down on January 25th and I will say ‘no’ to corruption, ‘no’ to this regime.”

These are the words of Asmaa Mahfouz, a 26 year old woman whose Jan. 18 vlog is said to have helped mobilize the million that turned up in Cairo and the thousands in other cities on Jan 25. Asmaa’s vlog, like the stories of many Egyptian women of this revolution offer up a challenge to two key questions framing U.S. discourse on the Jan. 25 Egyptian revolution:

1) Where are the women?

2) and…”but what if Islamic extremists take over?”

Often ignored in U.S. discussions on Egypt is how protests led by labor unions—many women-based labor unions in the manufacturing cities of Egypt—have catalyzed the Egyptian revolution (Paul Amar, 02-05-11).[ii] The women now holding down Tahrir Square as we speak—are of all ages and social groups and their struggle cannot be explained through Orientalist tropes that reduce Arab women to passive victims of culture or religion or Islam. They are active participants in a grassroots people-based struggle against poverty and state corruption, rigged elections, repression, torture, and police brutality. They are leading marches; attending the wounded, and participating in identity checks of state supported thugs. They have helped create human shields to protect Egyptian Antiquities Museum, the Arab League Headquarters, and one another. They have helped organize neighborhood watch groups and committees nationwide in order to protect private and public property. They are fighting against dictatorship among millions of people-not guided by any one sect or political party—united under one slogan: we want and end to this regime. Master Mimz—protest rapper in the UK best represents my point in the lyrics to her song: Back Down Mubarak…where she states:

“First give me a job—then lets talk about my hijab[iii] Continue reading

Say No to Islamophobia! A Sign-On Statement

Please email info@al-awda.org t0 sign onto this important statement!

To:  All concerned people

Say No to Islamophobia! Defend Mosques and Community Centers! The Fight for Peace and Social Justice Requires Defense of All Under Attack!

There has been an explosion of racist attacks, verbal and physical, on masjids (mosques), proposed masjids, and Islamic community centers around the US. In episodes reminiscent of Kristallnacht, the Nazi destruction of Jewish synagogues and businesses, masjids have been picketed and vandalized and obscenities shouted at worshippers.

On September 11th the Tea Party and its allies plan to demonstrate at the site of the proposed Islamic masjid and community center in lower Manhattan. On the same day, Christian fundamentalists plan a “Burn the Quran” day at a Florida masjid.

Like Hitler before them, these bigots whip up hatred against a religious minority in the midst of an economic crisis. They want to divert popular anger away from the banks and corporations who rob millions of their jobs and homes. Hitler did not only target Jews, and the Tea Party bigots do not only target Muslims. They aim to build a fascist movement against all people of color, immigrants, union members, against the civil and human rights of all.. They must be stopped!

The Islamophobes also want to justify the murderous stream of bombs and missiles the Pentagon rains on the people of Islamic lands in wars that feed corporate contractors at the expense of our schools, hospitals, subways and communities. They want to justify continued U.S. funding of Israeli apartheid and a U.S.-Israeli attack on Iran.

Reactionaries flaunt Islamophobic signs and wave American flags at an anti-mosque rally near the World Trade Center site on September 11, 2010 in New York City.

The Anti-Defamation League, part of the pro-Israel lobby, has allied publicly with this wave of Islamophobia, whose promoters explicitly advocate violence and even genocide. But even mainstream figures who defend some masjids and some Muslim rights on civil liberties grounds helped create a political and social climate that breeds Islamophobia.

After 9/11 the government and media launched a witch-hunt against Muslims and Arabs, encouraging individual violent attacks. Even before 9/11, demonization was used to justify support for Israel’s wars and U.S. efforts to control Arab and Iranian oil.

Since 9/11, as part of the bipartisan “war on terror,” tens of thousands of Muslim men were fingerprinted, questioned and registered. Hundreds were detained with no regard to their constitutional rights, often abused and tortured, in a campaign of preemptive prosecution mirroring the practices in Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib and overseas secret detention centers.Masjids have been subject to FBI and police surveillance, infiltration and intimidation.

We are told that Muslims must be presumed  guilty of “terrorism” until proven innocent – then denied the chance to prove their innocence. The government and media demand hypocritically that “moderate” Muslims denounce and inform on so-called “extremists.”

The Obama administration claims to support the right of the Cordoba Initiative to build the lower Manhattan masjid/center but fuels Islamophobia with the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and a stepped-up campaign of extra-judicial assassinations..

These attacks occur for one fundamental reason: To intimidate those who would oppose Washington’s wars abroad and growing economic misery at home.The government demonizes those who oppose its wars and its support for Israeli apartheid and aggression. It seeks to prepare public sentiment for a US and/or Israeli attack on Iran.

Attacks on Muslims and Arabs mirror the labeling of war opponents as “supporters of terrorism” during US wars in Central America and Vietnam, and the persecution is carried out in the spirit of the round-ups of Japanese-Americans during World War II.

Islamophobia also serves to split potential allies in the fight against the deepening economic crisis. The attacks parallel the persecution and terrorist-baiting of unionists and radicals during previous depressions, as well as of fighters for the freedom of Black, Latin@ and other peoples of color who suffered the worst impact of such crises.

The attacks on Muslims parallel the scapegoating of mostly Latin@ undocumented workers, whose labor is key to the economy but whose status is used to pit workers against each other.

This understanding of the roots of Islamophobia and the resulting attacks impels us to mobilize and speak out whenever there is an attack on any Muslim individual or institution and call on our allies in every social movement to do the same.

We demand:

• End the attacks on masjids and Islamic community centers. Stop the government and media witch-hunt that sparks such attacks.

• End “preemptive” prosecutions and entrapment by government informants.

• Close Guantanamo, US prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the CIA’s secret detention centers.

Free all Arab and Muslim political prisoners at home and abroad.

• End all attacks on immigrant communities, including racial and religious profiling, harassment, detentions, and deportations.

• Stop US wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. End all US aid to Israel. No war or sanctions against Iran.

• Redirect the trillions of dollars from war to funds for jobs, education, healthcare, and humanitarian relief, at home and abroad.

Initial signers: Organizations:

Al-Awda NY: The Palestine Right to Return Coalition

American Iranian Friendship Committee
Council on American-Islamic Relations–Connecticut (CAIR-CT)

Creative Nonviolent Resistance against Injustice (CNRI)

DRUM – Desis Rising Up and Moving

International Action Center

International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network

Justice and Peace in Palestine Alliance (JAPPA)

Albany 
Labor For Palestine

NYC Coalition to Stop Islamophobia

New York City Labor Against the War

Palestine Rights Committee Albany

Palestine Solidarity Caucus of the United National Antiwar Conference

WESPAC

Women in Black Westchester

Women of a Certain Age

Individuals (organizational affiliations for identification purposes only):

Shamshad Ahmad, President, Masjid As-Salam, Albany, NY

Laurie Arbeiter, A.R.T. (Activist Response Team)

Tom Bias, President, Northwest New Jersey Peace Fellowship

Dave Capone

Rick Congress, Gaza Freedom March

Don DeBar
Hedy Epstein

Women in Black, St. Louis, MO & St. Louis Free Gaza Movement

Carol Gay, NJ Labor Against War

Marty Goodman, Transport Workers Union Local 100

Stephen Gross, Texas State University

Stanley Heller, host of “The Struggle” TV News

Fadi Kanaan, JAPPA-Albany

Roberta Koffman, UJP Palestine Task Force -Boston

Jim Lafferty, Director, National Lawyers Guild-Los Angeles

Cecelia Lavan, OP, Women in Black Westchester

Nydia Leaf, New York, NY

David Letwin, Al Awda-NY

International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network

Michael Letwin, Labor for Palestine

Marilyn Levin, New England United

Joe Lombardo, Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace

Jeff Mackler, Co-National Coordinator, National Assembly to End US Wars and Occupations

Joyce McKelvey

Laura Myerson, Cortlandt Manor, NY

Abu Nazem, Delmar, NY

Terry Phelan, Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace

Joan Pleune, Granny Peace Brigade

Bobbi Siegelbaum

Kwame Somburu

Andy Thayer, Chicago Coalition Against War and Racism



Arab Resource and Organizing Center on Racism, Islamophobia and Occupation

9/7/2010

We must exercise unity in the face of ongoing Racism, Islamophobia, and Occupation:

The Arab Resource and Organizing Center acknowledges the increased visibility of Islamophobic violence, and the rise of all other racist and anti-immigrant hate speech and acts of aggression, as being inextricably linked to one another.  We find ourselves in a continued climate of racism and Islamophobia that seeks to blame People of Color for economic and policy-related problems caused by corporate and government greed.

At a time of economic downturn and environmental catastrophe, virulent attacks on all immigrant communities and Communities of Color have become more visible and publicly acceptable in the mainstream, as reflected in the Arizona SB1070, the national anti-immigrant “Secure Communities” Act, anti-Muslim statements from SF Police Chief George Gascon, and the many Islamophobic acts related to the announcement of the Park 51 Community Center in Lower Manhattan.

We are in a time of enhanced enforcement of racist laws when this more overt racism is becoming once again publicly acceptable. However, these attacks are not a new phenomenon, but rather a continuation of a specific type of racism that seeks to label immigrant and Muslim communities as “un-patriotic” and “un-American” and hence less than deserving of equal rights or even of human rights.  In a time of division tactics and wedge politics from both the religious Right and liberal politicians, Communities of Color and working class communities must unite against these racist attacks. Continue reading