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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Global Reports on Islamophobia

Very few pieces of faith based clothing in Canada have ignited as much impassioned debates as the Muslim practice of the niqab. Covering the woman’s body and hair and leaving only the eyes visible, the niqab has often been problematized as a symbol of Islamic extremism, women’s oppression and lastly the failure of Muslims to integrate. The Canadian Council of Muslim Women (CCMW) is no stranger when it comes to addressing the very issues that affect Canadian Muslim communities, including debates concerning Muslim women and their choice of dress. Committed to the equality, equity, empowerment and diversity of Muslim women and their voices, for more than 30 years the national organization has delivered community based projects and advocated on behalf of Muslim women and their families. CCMW has previously issued position papers about the niqab and also presented our statements to government bodies.  This has resulted in the media, policy officials, community organizations and other inquiring minds asking the Council to weigh in on the debate.The recently proposed Charter of Quebec Values has once again brought religious forms of dress and the question of religious accommodation to the forefront and CCMW’s position on the matter has remained steadfast. While CCMW does not agree that the niqab is a religiously mandatory practice, the Council upholds the right of every woman to dress as she wishes as she has the freedom to interpret her religion as she believes. We denounce any state action which limits the ability of peoples to wear religious clothing as it is not the role nor responsibility of governments to control women’s and men’s bodies and forms of dress. Moreover, CCMW agrees that the accommodation for Muslim women to wear the face veil must be within reasonable limits and that women should show their faces under certain circumstances for the purposes of safety and security, a sentiment that was shared by the overwhelming majority of women in this study.
The findings of this report authored by Dr. Lynda Clarke of Concordia University paint a dynamic, engaging picture of Canadian women who wear the niqab and challenge many of the mainstream presumptions and stereotypes that are presented in the media, policy circles and the wider public. A total of approximately 81 women who wore the niqab participated in this study, 38 of whom responded to online surveys, 35 that participated in focus groups in Mississauga, Montreal, Ottawa and Waterloo and 8 who participated in in-depth individual interviews.

 

FACT SHEET: ENAR Shadow Report 2011/12 on Racism in Europe: Key findings on Muslim communities and Islamophobia 

The European Network Against Racism (ENAR) 2011/12 Shadow Report on racism in Europe includes a special focus on Muslim communities, and an assessment on how these communities experience discrimination and how Islamophobia manifests itself. It represents the first pan-European qualitative survey of Islamophobia. The findings are based on data and information from ENAR’s national Shadow Reports, prepared by ENAR members in 26 European countries. Statistical evidence of discrimination against Muslims is often uneven because not all countries collect such data. Nevertheless, Islamophobia is widespread and prejudice towards Muslims has been more visible than that experienced by other religious or ethnic minority groups. Manifestations of Islamophobia and discrimination against Muslims. Muslims continue to experience discrimination in a range of areas, in particular in employment, education, and access to goods and services.

  • In Ireland, preliminary findings of a study on anti-Muslim racism in Ireland demonstrate that over a third of participants reported they have experienced some form of anti-Muslim hostility. Muslim women were almost twice as likely to be targeted as Muslim men.
  • In Bulgaria, while the overall unemployment rate is around 12%, this ratio is around 35-40% among the Muslim community.
  • In Germany, Muslim pupils, in particular Muslim girls wearing headscarves, reported facing harassment from teachers.
  • A survey undertaken in Lithuania found that 39-40% of respondents would not let accommodation to Chechens, refugees or Muslims.
  • In France, some doctors or other healthcare workers have refused to treat patients because of their ethnic origin or religion; and in some cases doctors have required ethnic minority patients (usually Muslim men with beards and Muslim women wearing the headscarf) to wear ‘neutral clothing’.
  • In Spain, Muslims and people of Arabic origin face greater problems accessing bars and leisure premises compared to other groups.

Muslim women and girls are most affected, in particular in the fields of employment and education, and face double discrimination on the basis of both their religion and their gender.

  • In France, women are the main victims of Islamophobia, with 85% of Islamophobic acts targeting women.
  • In Italy, a Bill was introduced to ban the wearing of veils because it is considered oppressive to women.
  • In the Netherlands, some employers have banned the veil in the workplace, arguing that the ban is justified under equality and human rights laws.
  • In Poland and Spain, Muslim women who wear the hijab are often rejected for public-facing jobs or asked to remove the hijab when dealing with clients.

Islamophobia manifests itself as opposition to, as well as protests against, the building of mosques; criminal damage to Islamic buildings and violence against Muslims.

  • In Austria, there are height restrictions on buildings which are designed to prevent mosques from being built.
  • In Greece, unknown assailants launched multiple arson attacks against several informal mosques as well as ordinary mosques in downtown Athens in 2011.
  • In Bulgaria, Muslims were victims of attacks by activists from the political party ATAKA. Protestors threw eggs and stones at the Sofia mosque and hard objects at people; five worshippers were injured.

Islamophobia is promoted by both extremist political parties as well as mainstream parties to gain votes and popularity generally.

  • In Finland, members of the True Finns Party , including a Member of European Parliament, have been fined by the court for expressing anti-Muslim views on blogs.
  • In Italy, Mr. Mario Borghezio, of the Lega Nord Party and an MEP, recently proposed taxing Muslims who have too many children in order to slow down ‘the great Islamic advance in Europe’.

Islamophobia has been fuelled by some biased media reporting.

  • In the Netherlands, according to the Reporting Centre for Discrimination on the Internet, most of the discriminatory statements reported on the Internet and social media websites were Islamophobic in content.
  • In Belgium, 51% of complaints on the ground of religion targeting Muslims related to the media and internet in 2011.

Recommendations :

  • EU institutions should recognise Islamophobia as a specific form of racism.
  • EU institutions should undertake consultation with experts and civil society on religion and belief discrimination in employment and develop guidelines on “reasonable accommodation” of religious and cultural diversity in the workplace
  • Member State governments should take a courageous approach to tackling hate speech and racist rhetoric in the public discourse and adopt a zero tolerance policy to stigmatising comments and terminology likely to incite violence, racism or other forms of discrimination
  • Member State governments and employers should ensure that any restriction on the wearing of religious and cultural symbols and dress at work is limited to very narrow circumstances, pursues a legitimate goal and represents a proportionate requirement, in accordance with international human rights standards including European Court of Human Rights case-law.
  • EU Member States should adopt without further delays European Commission proposal of 2008 for a Council Directive on protecting equal treatment outside employment irrespective of religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation, which represents one of the main and most complete EU instruments to promote and guarantee genuine equality in the EU.

Fact Sheet

Muslims in Paris

The At Home in Europe Project of the Open Society Foundations focuses on monitoring and advocacy activities that examine the position of minorities in a changing Europe. Through its research and engagement with policymakers and communities, the project explores issues involving the political, social, and economic participation of Muslims and other marginalized groups at the local, national, and European levels. Whether citizens or migrants, native born or newly arrived, Muslims are a growing and varied population that presents Europe with one of its greatest challenges: how to ensure equal rights in an environment of rapidly expanding diversity. Europe is no longer – if it ever was – a mono-cultural and mono-faith continent; its emerging minority groups and their identities as Europeans are an essential part of the political agenda and discourse. Through its reports on Muslims in EU cities, the At Home in Europe project examines city and municipal policies that have actively sought to understand Muslim communities and their specific needs. Furthermore, the project aims to capture the type and degree of engagement policymakers have initiated with their Muslim and minority constituents by highlighting best practices in select western European cities. An underlying theme is how Muslim communities have themselves actively participated in tackling discrimination and whether the needs of specific groups warrant individual policy approaches in order to overcome barriers to equal opportunities.

Islamophobia in the Netherlands

Since 11 September 2001 – and especially since the murder of Theo van Gogh – Muslims and Islam have frequently been unfavourably portrayed at the heart of public debate. Manifestations of Islamophobia can be found on the Internet, in comments by the PVV, and in acts of violence committed against mosques. Dutch anti-discrimination policies are coming under pressure now that this ideology has forced its way to the centre of the political stage. How do negative connotations about Muslims come about? Where are the acts of violence taking place? Is the Netherlands the front line in the ‘clash of civilisations’, as has been claimed by politicians, opinion formers and others in the international arena? Or is it all about an exclusion mechanism? The author states that shifts in the political climate can only be fully understood if racism, ideology, and language are involved in the analysis. Her research for Islamophobia and Discrimination consisted of a study of relevant literature, an analysis of documents, and the gathering of data on the various methods people use to express their views.

On 22 July 2011, a Norwegian Islamophobic right-wing extremist1 carried out a massacre of young social democrats on the island of Utoya near Oslo, resulting in the deaths and injuries of dozens of people. He also planted bombs in Norwegian government buildings, which also led to fatalities. The perpetrator’s motives were ideological: he wanted to bring an end to the Islamisation of Norway and to hit back at those people he believed were responsible for it. His attack was political in nature. His actions were aimed not just at a young multicultural generation and the future politicians among them, but also at the institutions of Norwegian democracy, against the basic values of diversity and openness. As far as is known, the marksman operated alone, but his views and motives are shared by a wider, mostly virtual network that has set itself against Islam and Muslims, as revealed by a widely distributed manifesto with many references, which was written by him. It concerns an Islamophobic ideology that many people and movements all over the world share and disseminate, not least through new media. A significant part of this virtual movement depicts not only Islam and Muslims as the enemy, but also holds social democracy responsible for the perceived Islamisation of Europe. This ideology comes in different guises. There are extremist, extreme, and moderate versions. It was primarily the extremist version that prompted the Norwegian attacker to commit his acts of violence. He is an extremist, in terms of his deeds, his words, and his agenda. Hardly anyone in the Netherlands openly voiced support for what he had done, although a few people did. Messages of approval and understanding for his ideas and motives were more frequently found on Internet forums. There is a ready audience in the Netherlands for an Islamophobic ideology in different variants, be they extremist, extreme, or moderate, as demonstrated from the statements and messages of support in the various new media. Traditional national boundaries count for very little, and they are becoming increasingly meaningless.  Worldwide, the Netherlands is regarded by Islamophobic ideologues as the front line in the ‘clash of civilisations’. When the attacks took place in Norway, this book was already taking shape.

Read more from the author here

The 224-page report from the European Muslim Research Centre, based at the University of Exeter, said that the bulk of incidents went unreported by communities who had lost faith in the authorities to do anything about them.

Released at a conference yesterday at the London Muslim Centre, the report called for “urgent” government action to tackle the problem after years of neglect.Part of a 10-year study into Islamophobia throughout Europe, the report represented “an insight into the grim reality of a lived experience that is insufficiently acknowledged and understood outside of the communities where it occurs”.Authors of the report, Jonathan Githens-Mazer and Robert Lambert, the co-directors of the research centre, said in their introduction: “We argue in this report that much anti-Muslim violence in the UK is predicated on the rhetoric and practice of the ‘war on terror’ that George Bush and Tony Blair launched against ‘an evil ideology’ in the aftermath of 9/11.”Mr Lambert added: “Because the war on terror is viewed as a security risk, Muslims do not have the support that is now widely accepted in other areas of hate crime. Muslims are not requesting special treatment, just equal rights with their fellow citizens.”The report, “Islamophobia and Anti-Muslim Hate Crime: UK Case Studies”, was based on teams of researchers interviewing members of the Muslim community throughout the UK.Although the researchers found well-documented acts of violence perpetrated by followers of right-wing groups such as the British National Party and English Defence League, they said that the majority of attacks were carried out by “individuals who have become convinced and angry by negative portrayals of Muslims in the media”.Random acts of violence and intimidation – including what the report said was a “disturbing” number of incidents involving Muslim women wearing veils were most likely to occur in poor, urban communities.Responding to the report, the communities secretary, Eric Pickles, described Islamophobia and hate crimes as “deplorable” and called on victims to ensure that they reported all incidents to the police.“We want to stop anyone who creates distrust and division in communities, wherever it is. Everyone has the right to go about their daily business without fear of harm or intimidation,” he said. “We want Britain to become an integrated society, where everyone participates and people are not held back by discrimination and intolerance.”John Esposito, a professor of international affairs and Islamic studies at Georgetown University in Washington, who attended yesterday’s conference, said the problem was that “a biased minority in the United Kingdom” refused to acknowledge the legitimate place of Islam in British society.

“Islam is now a European and American religion,” he said. “Muslims are part of the mosaic of western nations; like people of all faiths and no faith, they are entitled to the same rights, duties, opportunities and civil liberties.”

The report does hold out hope for the future. It concludes: “We have every reason to believe that the decency of the overwhelming majority of ordinary UK citizens will eventually undermine and reduce the bigotry of a vocal minority.

“If brave political leadership is forthcoming, then the task will be so much easier.”

Article credit: http://www.thenational.ae/news/world/uk-study-highlights-anti-muslim-hate-crimes#ixzz2OLgZKnjz

The Woolwich attack in May (2013) has led to a spate of hate crimes committed against Muslim communities. These include Muslim women being targeted for wearing the headscarf (Hijab) and mosques being vandalized. These types of hate crimes include more specifically graffiti being scrawled against mosque walls and in some cases petrol bombs being left outside mosques and community centre’s being set ablaze. All these incidents have led to a heightened atmosphere for British Muslims, fearful of reprisal attacks against them because of the Woolwich incident. However, whilst street level Islamophobia, remains an important area of investigation, a more equally disturbing picture is emerging with the rise in online anti-Muslim abuse.Indeed, statistics from the non-profit organisation, Tell MAMA(Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks) has shown that the majority of anti-Muslim hate crimes reported to them have occurred online. Similarly, the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) has revealed that they too have seen a rise in complaints of online anti-Muslim incidents since the death of Drummer, Lee Rigby.

The Woolwich attack in May (2013) has led to a spate of hate crimes committed against Muslim communities. These include Muslim women being targeted for wearing the headscarf (Hijab) and mosques being vandalized1. These types of hate crimes include more specifically graffiti being scrawled against mosque walls and in some cases petrol bombs being left outside mosques and community centre’s being set ablaze2. All these incidents have led to a heightened atmosphere for British Muslims, fearful of reprisal attacks against them because of the Woolwich incident. However, whilst street level Islamophobia, remains an important area of investigation, a more equally disturbing picture is emerging with the rise in online anti-Muslim abuse.Indeed, statistics from the non-profit organisation, Tell MAMA(Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks) has shown that the majority of anti-Muslim hate crimes reported to them have occurred online. Similarly, the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) has revealed that they too have seen a rise in complaints of online anti-Muslim incidents since the death of Drummer, Lee Rigby. This report argues that online Islamophobia must be given the same level of attention and resources as street level Islamophobia. The danger is that this type of cyber hate committed against Muslim communities could lead to actual incidents offline and therefore it should be one of the key priorities for our government and indeed the APPG on Islamophobia to develop a strong knowledge-base in this area.

Part One provides an overview of the community context. It outlines the demographic and socioeconomic profile of Muslims and minority ethnic groups that are the focus of recent anti-terrorism policing. It also notes a number of civil society campaigns challenging the increase and use of counterterrorism powers. Some have been led by mainstream human rights organisations, while others have been led by Muslim organisations. Despite such campaigns, analysis of polling evidence shows broad public support for a wide range of counter terrorism powers and measures. The section notes a number of specific mechanisms that have been created for cooperation and dialogue between the state and Muslim organisations and communities. Part Two outlines the legal framework within which counter-terrorism law and policy operates. The starting point for this is the Terrorism Act 2000 (TA 2000). The provisions of this Act have, however,been amended and added to by new legislation passed in six out the last ten years. New offences were created that allowed individuals to be charged at earlier points in time before an attack was underway. The new offences included acts preparatory to terrorism, attending a place used for training for terrorism, and the indirect encouragement of terrorism. Part Three outlines the wider policy and policing context of counter-terrorism. Details are given of the four strands to the overarching counter-terrorism strategy, CONTEST. Anti-radicalisation policy falls largely in the Prevent strand of CONTEST. The paper outlines the roles and relationships between the different government departments and policing structures that have responsibility for overseeing and implementing counter-terrorism policy and policing. It then sets out the mechanisms for individuals or communities to seek cooperation, dialogue and accountability. Part Four. This includes assessment of the level of threat from terrorism made by the government and security agencies, as well as the evidence of the threat from the number of individuals that have been arrested, charged and convicted of terrorism-related offences. CounterCounter-terrorism policies are not encountered or developed in a policy vacuum, but are influenced by, and in turn shape, the wider political and policy discourse. Part Five therefore explores the wider political context. In particular, it explores the interplay with debates on multiculturalism, integration and immigration and identity.Finally, Part Six outlines some of the existing academic and policy research on the impact of counterterrorism policing and policy.

This report on the anti-Sharia movement in the United States addresses the legalized othering of Muslim communities across the nation through anti-Muslim legislation and bills between the years 2000 and 2016. Within the broader context of rising anti-Muslim sentiment, discrimination, securitization and acts of violence against Muslims and those perceived to be Muslim, this report sheds light on the anti-Sharia movement – part of the more organized, contemporary Islamophobia movement in the US since 2010. As a result of these organized Islamophobia efforts, the anti-Sharia legislation movement has been established, and continues to expand, by an unfounded fear of “creeping Sharia,” proliferated by fabrications, lies, and intentionally misconstrued information surrounding Muslims in the United States.

The impact of these anti-Muslim bills, and the degree to which, when enacted, they affect American citizens and the US legal system, has yet to be fully understood. To help better understand the ramifications of these bills, not just on Muslims, but all citizens, this report:

  • Contextualizes the inception of the anti-Sharia movement, which grew and became influential after 9/11 through the proliferation of anti-Muslim sentiment and racial anxiety
  • Reveals how the anti-Sharia movement formed alliances with other conservative movements to influence state legislation that effectively legalized the othering of Muslims in different parts of the country (2010 – present)
  • Reports on the findings of the United States of Islamophobia database – a comprehensive research tool that identifies and provides detailed information on all anti-Sharia bills introduced in the US state legislatures across the country from 2000 to 2016
  • Uncovers the main themes, patterns, trends and impacts of anti-Sharia legislation and the anti-Sharia movement
  • Proposes cross-sectoral and coalition building efforts
  • Aids the growth of effective, inclusive movements that cross racial and religious lines to stand against othering

The report reveals that anti-Islam groups received more than $119 million in funding between 2008 and 2011. The new report by the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) also identifies 37 organizations dedicated to promoting anti-Islam prejudice in America.

“This report sheds light on the groups promoting Islamophobia in our society and reveals to the reader the impact those groups have on our nation’s discourse about Islam, pluralism and the future of the protections enshrined in the U.S. Constitution,” said Corey Saylor, who directs CAIR’s department to monitor and combat Islamophobia.

Report Findings Include:

  • The U.S.-based Islamophobia network’s “inner core” is currently comprised of at least 37 groups whose primary purpose is to promote prejudice against or hatred of Islam and Muslims. An additional 32 groups whose primary purpose does not appear to include promoting prejudice against or hatred of Islam and Muslims, but whose work regularly demonstrates or supports Islamophobic themes, make up the network’s “outer core.”
  • The inner core of the U.S.-based Islamophobia network enjoyed access to at least $119,662,719 in total revenue between 2008 and 2011. Groups in the inner core are often tightly linked with each other. Key players in the network benefitted from large salaries as they encouraged the American public to fear Islam.
  • In 2011 and 2012, 78 bills or amendments designed to marginalize Muslims and vilify Islamic religious practices were introduced in the legislatures of 29 states and the U.S. Congress. Sixty-two of these bills contained language that was extracted from David Yerushalmi’s American Laws for American Courts (ALAC) model legislation. While the bias motive behind the bills is clear, the presence of an actual problem that needed to be solved was not — even to the legislators introducing the measures. In at least 11 states, mainstream Republican leaders introduced or supported anti-Muslim legislation.
  • There were 51 recorded anti-mosque acts during the period covered by this report, 29 in 2012 and 22 in 2011. Two notable spikes in anti-mosque acts occurred in 2011-2012: May 2011 (7 acts), likely related to the killing of Osama bin Laden, and August 2012 (10 acts), probably all in reaction to the massacre of six Sikh worshippers by a white supremacist in Oak Creek, Wis. By comparison, in June 2010, CAIR published “CAIR: Who we are,” a review of 1,999 CAIR press releases and action alerts spanning 1994-2008. In that report we noted: “Since 1994, CAIR has detailed at least 64 acts of destruction and defilement of Islamic places of worship–including shootings, vandalism, arson, and bombings.”
  • In 2011, after significant pressure from CAIR and other organizations that included crucial reporting by Wired.com’s Spencer Ackerman, federal authorities initiated steps to remove biased and inaccurate material about Islam from law enforcement training materials. Studies and a lack of consequences for most candidates for public office who engage in anti-Muslim rhetoric reveal an unfortunate societal tolerance for prejudicial speech directed at Muslim.

This is CAIR’s second report on Islamophobia in the United States. The first, “Same Hate, New Target,” was published in 2011 and argued that anti-Islam sentiment is a manifestation of problems minorities have faced in the U.S. throughout its history.

In September 2013, CCR published a shadow report submission entitled, Stopped, Seized and Under Siege: U.S. Government Violations of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights through Abusive Stop and Frisk Practices (PDF). The report, submitted before the UN Human Rights Committee on the occasion of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) periodic review process builds on CCR’s advocacy work on stop and frisk and domestic human rights work. Learn more about CCR’s ICCPR work here.

As CCR notes in the report, the Human Rights Committee’s (the “Committee”) interest in the New York Police Department’s (“NYPD”) stop and frisk practices is vital to understanding the U.S. Government’s disregard towards upholding its human rights obligations in the areas of law enforcement, non-discrimination and accountability.

The NYPD’s use of stops is a critical rights issue for many reasons. Stops are both unlawful and discriminatory as they occur overwhelmingly without the reasonable, articulable suspicion of criminal activity as required by the law  and at an alarming rate in communities of color in New York City,  who often feel under siege and harassed by the police.  Stops are often the first interaction that people have with the criminal justice system. They also can lead to potentially grave implications in the lives of New Yorkers.  The NYPD’s abusive use of stops also infringes upon other human rights protections enshrined in the ICCPR, including: the right to be free from discrimination (Articles 2.1 and 26); the prohibition on cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (Article 7); freedom from arbitrary arrests and detention (Article 9); the right to freedom of movement (Article 12.1); the right to privacy (Article 17); freedom of expression (Article 19), and association (Article 22); and the protection of children (Article 24).

CCR hopes this shadow report will provide further information on the gravity of rights violations on the part of the NYPD, and ultimately, the U.S. Government, in light of this periodic review process

CLEAR Project Issues Report on Impact of NYPD Surveillance on American Muslims  March 11, 2013 – American Muslim civil liberties groups released a new report today, Mapping Muslims: NYPD Spying and Its Impact on American Muslims, documenting the devastating impacts of the New York Police Department’s (NYPD) extensive surveillance program that targeted American Muslims throughout the Northeast and spread outrage throughout the nation.Since 2002, the NYPD embarked on a covert domestic surveillance program that monitored American Muslims throughout the Northeast, from spying on neighborhood cafes and places of worship to infiltrating student whitewater-rafting trips – a program that continued despite the NYPD’s own acknowledgment that, over the course of six years, these efforts had not generated a single lead. The report is an unprecedented collection of voices from affected community members reflecting how the NYPD spying and infiltration creates a pervasive climate of fear and suspicion that encroaches upon every aspect of their religious, political, and community lives.The report was prepared by the Muslim American Civil Liberties Coalition, and its partner organizations the Creating Law Enforcement Accountability & Responsibility (CLEAR) project at Main Street Legal Services, Inc. of the CUNY School of Law, and the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF). American Muslim community members delivered the report to NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly and Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence David   Cohen today at 1 Police Plaza.“This report provides a powerful rebuttal to the NYPD and its supporters’ assertion that surveillance is harmless and victimless,” said Diala Shamas, a Liman Fellow at the CLEAR project and one of the report’s authors. “It is a first-of-its kind opportunity to hear directly from affected community members, many of whom would only speak with us on condition of strict anonymity.”“NYPD surveillance has impacted every facet of American Muslim life,” said Nermeen Arastu, a volunteer attorney with AALDEF. “The program has stifled speech, communal life and religious practice and criminalized a broad segment of American Muslims.  The isolationism that comes with being a “spied on” community means that American Muslims are getting a fundamentally inferior opportunity to exercise their constitutional rights.”The extensive, in-depth interviews indicate that fear of surveillance has resulted in a decline participation and level of involvement in religious activities, community and social activities, and Muslim student organizations. The findings document, among other things:

  • Impacts on students on college campuses, including silencing their activism, alienating their student groups, and affecting their academic choices;
  • Suppressing religious spaces, as mosque congregants become suspicious of one another, imams hesitate when advising their congregants, and individuals refrain from appearing overtly ‘Muslim’ to avoid triggering surveillance;
  • Silencing speech and political activism – from engagement in public debates and protests, to friendly coffee-house banter;
  • Damaging the NYPD’s own relationship with American Muslims in New York City, breaching communities’ much-needed relationship of trust with those who are tasked with protecting them.

“This report is critically important reading for all Americans concerned with freedom, justice, and equality in 21st century America,” said Imam Al-Hajj Talib Abdur-Rashid, Majlis Ash-Shura of Metropolitan New York. “It is the authentic voice of real people impacted by unjust policies and procedures, for which Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly remain both defensive and un-apologetic. Further, it is a powerful rebuttal to all who seek to minimize the impact of NYPD surveillance of Muslims as a faith group, even as they strive to do the same with the program known as ‘Stop and Frisk’.”

“As former NYPD Deputy Commissioner for Counterterrorism Richard Falkenrath made clear, ‘the vast majority of the people from [Muslim] communities — the vast, vast majority — are no threat at all and simply want to live in peace and enjoy everything the city has to offer,’” said NYC Councilmember Brad Lander. ”So why is the NYPD constantly surveilling them in mosques, restaurants, cafes, and college student groups?  There’s just too much evidence that the NYPD’s surveillance program has targeted Muslim communities simply based on religion and ethnicity, with no real leads, and — by NYPD Chief Thomas Galati’s own admission — nothing to show for it.  The result is frayed police-community relations, and a profound chilling effect on First Amendment-protected speech and worship. The time has come to pass the Community Safety Act to ban policing based on racial and religious profiling, and to establish an NYPD Inspector General to make sure that the NYPD follows the rules.”

Groundbreaking report lists ‘worst’ Islamophobes, ‘best’ of those pushing back against growing anti-Muslim sentiment.

On Thursday, June 23, 2011, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the University of California, Berkeley’s Center for Race and Gender released “Same Hate, New Target,” the first-of-its-kind annual report outlining the disturbing growth of Islamophobia in the United States during 2009-2010.Based on available data and interviews with experts, the report offers a definition of Islamophobia, an overview of its growing negative impact in the United States and names of individuals and institutions known for promoting or opposing the phenomenon. It has special sections on the manufactured controversy over the Park 51 Islamic community center in Manhattan, the 2010 Oklahoma ballot initiative targeting Islamic principles (Sharia) and Islamophobia in the 2010 elections.The report also offers a vision regarding Islamophobia in America, looks toward the time when being Muslim carries a positive connotation and presents an initial set of recommendations for moving toward that goal.

This report shines a light on the Islamophobia network of so-called experts, academics, institutions, grassroots organizations, media outlets, and donors who manufacture, produce, distribute, and mainstream an irrational fear of Islam and Muslims. Let us learn the proper lesson from the past, and rise above fear-mongering to public awareness, acceptance, and respect for our fellow Americans. In doing so, let us prevent hatred from infecting and endangering our country again.Before we begin, a word about the term “Islamophobia.” We don’t use this term lightly. We define it as an exaggerated fear, hatred, and hostility toward Islam and Muslims that is perpetuated by negative stereotypes resulting in bias, discrimination, and the marginalization and exclusion of Muslims from America’s social, political, and civic life.In the pages that follow, we profile the small number of funders, organizations, and individuals who have contributed to the discourse on Islamophobia in this country. We begin with the money trail in Chapter 1—our analysis of the funding streams that support anti-Muslim activities. Chapter 2 identifies the intellectual nexus of the Islamophobia network. Chapter 3 highlights the key grassroots players and organizations that help spread the messages of hate. Chapter 4 aggregates the key media amplifiers of Islamophobia. And Chapter 5 brings attention to the elected officials who frequently support the causes of anti- Muslim organizing.It is our view that in order to safeguard our national security and uphold America’s core values, we must return to a fact-based civil discourse regarding the challenges we face as a nation and world. This discourse must be frank and honest, but also consistent with American values of religious liberty, equal justice under the law, and respect for pluralism. A first step toward the goal of honest, civil discourse is to expose—and marginalize—the influence of the individuals and groups who make up the Islamophobia network in America by actively working to divide Americans against one another through misinformation.

A new study prepared by the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security has proven that Muslim-American Terrorism has continued to decline throughout 2012. Fourteen Muslim-Americans committed or were charged with terrorist crimes in 2012, down from 21 in 2011, 26 in 2010 and 49 in 2009. TCTHS Director David Schanzer notes that “not only is the number of incidents dropping, but the more recent terrorists are less skilled and have fewer connections with international terrorist organizations than offenders in prior years.”Since 9/11, 193 Muslim-Americans have been arrested or convicted of violent terrorism offenses, making 2011 about an average year for such offenses.“Muslim-American terrorism continued to be a miniscule threat to public safety last year. None of America’s 14,000 murders in 2011 were due to Islamic extremism,” said Charles Kurzman, author of the study and professor of sociology in the College of Arts and Sciences at UNC. “The challenge is for Americans to be vigilant about potential violence while keeping these threats in perspective.”“Those who predicted an inevitable, rapid increase of homegrown violent extremism among Muslim-Americans were wrong,” said David Schanzer, director of the center and professor of public policy at Duke. “While homegrown radicalization is still a problem, the offenders from 2011 were less skilled and less connected with international terrorist organizations than the offenders in the prior two years. Hopefully, the seriousness of this threat will continue to decline in the future.”The study also reported that 462 Muslim-Americans have been arrested for nonviolent support of terrorism since 9/11. The number of offenders has declined dramatically since 9/11, with 343 offenders in the first five years after 9/11 and 119 since then. Eight Muslim-Americans were charged with nonviolent support for terrorism in 2011, down from 27 in 2010.The study also reported that:

  • Of the 20 offenders in 2011, only one was accused of executing a terrorist attack, down from six attacks in 2010 (including the Times Square attempted bombing and five individuals who joined militants in Somalia and Yemen).
  • The 20 offenders from 2011 do not match any ethnic or racial “profile.” They are 30 percent Arab, 25 percent white, and 15 percent African-American. This diversity is consistent with prior years.
  • 40 percent of the offenders in 2011 were converts compared to 35 percent of all offenders since 9/11.
  • Only two of the 20 offenders received terrorism training abroad, compared to eight in 2010 and 28 in 2009.
  • Muslim-Americans continued to be a source of initial tips alerting law-enforcement authorities to violent terrorist plots. Muslim-Americans turned in two of 14 individuals in 2011 whose initial tip could be identified, bringing the total to 52 of 140 since 9/11.
  • 4 out of 20 of the perpetrators in 2011 had military experience. This was a much higher percentage than the group of all offenders since 9/11 (15 out of 193).
  • None of the 2011 perpetrators were Somali-Americans, compared to three in 2010 and 18 in 2009.

A report co-authored by Triangle Center Director David Schanzer, along with Charles Kurzman of UNC and Ebrahim Moosa of Duke, analyzes the extent of terrorist violence by Muslim-Americans since 9/11 and identifies strategies to head off “home-grown” terrorism.  The report is a culmination of two years of research in Muslim-American communities in Seattle, Houston, Buffalo and Raleigh-Durham.

The terrorist threat posed by radicalized Muslim- Americans has been exaggerated, according to a study released Wednesday by researchers at Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

A small number of Muslim-Americans have undergone radicalization since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, the study found. It compiled a list of 139 individuals it categorized as “Muslim-American terrorism offenders” who had become radicalized in the U.S. in that time — a rate of 17 per year.

That level is “small compared to other violent crime in America, but not insignificant,” according to the study, titled “Anti-Terror Lessons of Muslim-Americans.”

To be included on the list, an offender had to have been wanted, arrested, convicted or killed in connection with terrorism-related activities since 9/11 — and have lived in the United States, regardless of immigration status, for more than a year prior to arrest.

Of the 139 offenders, fewer than a third successfully executed a violent plan, according to a Duke University statement on the study, and most of those were overseas. Read the report:”Anti-Terror Lessons of Muslim-Americans”

“Muslim-American organizations and the vast majority of individuals that we interviewed firmly reject the radical extremist ideology that justifies the use of violence to achieve political ends,” David Schanzer, an associate professor in Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy and director of the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security, said in the statement.

In the aftermath of 9/11, however, as well as terrorist attacks elsewhere in the world, the possible radicalization of Muslim-Americans is a “key counterterrorism concern” — magnified by heavy publicity that accompanies the arrests of Muslim-Americans, such as that seen in the wake of the November shootings at Fort Hood, Texas, in which 13 people were killed. Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Hasan, a Muslim born in Virginia, is charged in connection with that incident.

The biggest religion stories of 2011 involved tensions over Islam and questions about faith in presidential politics, especially Mormonism, according to an annual review of religion in the news by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ) and the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life.

Events and controversies related to Islam also dominated U.S. press coverage of religion in 2010. However, coverage of some stories faded in the past year, notably coverage of the sexual abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church, which received much more media attention in 2010.

Compared with topics such as politics and the economy, religion does not typically receive a lot of attention from the mainstream news media, and 2011 was no exception. When religion did make news, it was often because of accusations about extremism or intolerance. For instance, among the biggest individual stories of 2011 were a controversial congressional hearing about the threat of homegrown Islamic terrorism and the fallout after a Florida pastor staged a Koran burning. And one of the top religion and politics stories of the year centered on an incident in which a Texas minister called the Mormon faith a “cult.”

Islam has become a bigger part of the media’s focus on religion in recent years. Six of the top 10 religion stories in 2011 were about Islam. This continues a trend first seen in 2010, when four of the top five religion stories involved controversies related to Islam. In 2007-2009, by contrast, Islam-focused stories generally accounted for a much smaller share of the coverage.

Viewed from another angle – the specific religious faiths on which media coverage focused – Islam again ranked at the top. It was the subject of nearly a third (31.3%) of the religion ”newshole” – the amount of space and time devoted to religion news online, in print, on television and on the radio – in 2011. This was nearly three times the amount that focused on Catholicism (11.3%) and more than three times the amount that focused on Mormonism (9.6%).