Stepping up the Resistance to U.S. Islamophobia

As Peter King, the new chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, steps up the U.S. government attack against Muslims living in the U.S., saying that he will “rely on Muslims to make his case that American Muslim leaders have failed to cooperate with law enforcement officials in the effort to disrupt terrorist plots,” it becomes crucial to strengthen our organizing against the witchhunts targeting Muslim, Arab, and South Asian people.

The assault is coming in varying degrees from both Democrats and Republicans as the dominant cultural narrative in the U.S. has increasingly become one that equates Muslims with terrorism and denies that terrorism can ever be perpetuated by white people (e.g. Jared Loughner, Ted Kaczynski, Timothy McVeigh, Joe Stack). When reminded that acts of terrorism in the U.S. are carried out by a comparatively very small number of Muslim-Americans, and that terrorist acts committed by white men should be considered as such, King responded,  “That, to me, is political correctness at its worst. If we included these other violent events in the hearings, we’d be sending the false signal that we think there’s a security threat equivalency between Al Qaeda and the neo-Nazi movement, or Al Qaeda and gun groups. There is none.”

As cases of FBI entrapment of Muslim people living in the U.S. in “homegrown terror” plots continue while members of white supremacist groups who murder U.S.  court judges and take aim at U.S. Congressmembers are not viewed as a “significant” enough security threat to make it into a national hearing on domestic terrorism, we are left to wonder–how far will our government go to explicitly and tacitly support the rising tide of white supremacy in the U.S.?

Below is a follow-up article on an event organized by WRL along with the Coney Island Avenue Project and the South Asia Solidarity Initiative in December about the U.S. government entrapment of Muslim men in several alleged “terrorist plots” that were envisioned and financed by paid U.S. government agents.

On FBI Entrapment and Human Rights

December 10, 2010

It was on this day in 1948 that member countries of the UN General Assembly, including the U.S., adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. During and since its founding, the U.S. has violated what is now considered human rights law and these violations continue today.

As the Obama administration continues to uphold and, in some cases, expand policies of the Bush administration that militarize our communities and incarcerate and torture people on the basis of race, religion, or ethnic identity, we are seeing the lengths that the U.S. government will go to in order to justify its “war on terror.”

Speakers at the NYC event on FBI entrapment

On December 4, the War Resisters League in collaboration with South Asia Solidarity Initiative and the Coney Island Avenue Project hosted an event on FBI entrapment in so-called “homegrown terror” cases in New York and New Jersey. Our event brought together members of the South Asian community in Brooklyn, friends, family members, and supporters of people incarcerated on “domestic terrorism” charges in NY and NJ, and members of the African-American community, including organizers with the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, who have experienced and witnessed FBI entrapment for many years.

Community members participated in a screening of the film “Entrapped,”by Democracy Now! journalist Anjali Kamat and Jacquie Soohen of Big Noise Films, and joined us along with Anjali Kamat for a discussion afterwards about the ongoing struggle against FBI entrapment in the U.S. We were also joined by Bobby Khan, organizer with the Coney Island Avenue Project, an organization formed in November 2001 to advocate for South Asian and Muslim communities who have suffered from the anti-immigrant backlash in the wake of 9/11, Alicia McWilliams, aunt of one of the Newburgh Four, and Kamau Franklin, lawyer with the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement.

As cases of FBI entrapment are revealed again and again, it becomes imperative that we work in our local communities to support the organizing of those most targeted by the FBI, including Muslims and people of color, and to question dominant U.S. state narratives about “homegrown terror.” The ongoing evidence of agent provocateurs organizing terrorist plots, recruiting in many cases young Muslim men through months of intense pressure and financial assistance, and convicting those people as terrorists speaks to the extent of the U.S. commitment to creating a domestic climate of fear of Muslims in service to U.S. war and occupation abroad.

Members of Coney Island Avenue Project speak on Dec. 4

On Human Rights Day, we must push the U.S. government to be accountable to the principles that it violates on a daily basis, as it takes away the lives and freedom of  innocent people living here, in order to justify the need to

take away the lives and freedoms of people living everywhere.

To find out how to host a similar film screening or event in your area, contact WRL Organizing Coordinator Kimber Heinz at kimber@warresisters.org.

2 responses to “Stepping up the Resistance to U.S. Islamophobia

  1. He’s right in a sense. There isn’t an equivalence between Muslim terrorists and domestic neo-fascist terrorists. We’re far more likely to be killed by the latter.

  2. Pingback: Stepping up the Resistance to U.S. Islamophobia (via The War Resisters League Blog) « OntheWilderSide

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