Muslims For Nader/Camejo

A blog on the Nader/Camejo 2004 Presidential campaigen - exposing the racket of the two corporate parties - with a special focus on issues of concerns for Muslims. This blog is UNOFFICIAL and is NOT endorsed by the official Nader for 2004 presidential campaigen. Blog update daily and several times a day - come back often! Contact:

Monday, August 23, 2004

Policy Issue: Civil Rights

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Jess Ghannam, president of
the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee in San Francisco , in a recent article, speaks out against hate speech and hate crimes:

It has become fashionable to hate in America. Even in cities known for their liberal and progressive views, hate speech is promoted and supported in the media. Bellicose rhetoric streams out of Washington on a daily basis, proclaiming that "we are engaged in a war on terror" and that "our safety as Americans is in danger."

The targets of these rants are Arabs and Muslims, wherever we live, work and worship. Culturally we are consumed by the "war on terror" and its foreign and domestic manifestations. On the international scene, there are the massive assaults and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as political provocations toward Syria, Iran and Palestinians. On the domestic front, we have the Patriot Act, with its secret detentions, profiling of Arab Americans and Muslims and the aggressive activities of the FBI. Read more here

Jess Ghannam also spoke at a Nader/Camejo rally in San Francisco - click here to view the video (broadband only).

Greg Bates, author of Ralph's Revolt, also has an excellent article on Racial Profiling and National Security.

Racial profiling is back. Not that it ever left. But for a time it was unacceptable for commentators to argue that law enforcement should target suspects based on skin color. Today, it's the edgy thing to advocate. This isn't racism, the claim goes, but expediency in the post-911 world.

Of course, it's always the appeal to higher values that allows racism to flourish. Prior to the civil rights movement, for example, many advocates of segregation claimed it was in the best interests of everyone. Blacks benefited from and wanted the system, it was argued. And today, it's easy to see the comparable argument about universal benefits for racial profiling of, say, airline passengers: everyone, even those targeted, is safer when those who fit the profile of a terrorist are subject to increased search. Read more here

The Nader/Camejo campaign has made civil rights a central issue, and in a policy press release calls for passage of a end racial profiling bill, opposing the extension of the Patriots Act (due to expire in 2005) , and a congressional hearing to examine the impact of rules enacted after 9/11 on security and civil liberties.

The campaign calls for:

Passage of the End Racial Profiling Act, championed by Congressman John Conyers, Jr. in the House and Senator Russell Feingold in the Senate, that would dissuade law enforcement from engaging in profiling by requiring collection of race data, and providing legal options to victims of racial profiling.

The Department of Justice to implement regulatory and procedural reforms suggested by its own Office of Inspector General designed to restore constitutional protections in government investigations and handling of detainees.

Congressional hearings on post 9-11 rules and procedures enacted by the Bush Administration in order to examine their impact on security and civil liberties.

Oppose the extension of provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act that are set to expire in 2005. Reinstate the policy of the United States Federal Communications Commission that became known as the "Fairness Doctrine" ­ an attempt to ensure that coverage of controversial public issues by a broadcast station be balanced and fair.

Read more here

These issues are not new, African Americans, Mexican and Central Americans have long experienced racial profiling in the United States. We must find solidarity around this issue because when people are profiled based on their color, religion, ethnicity, all of us lose out. And our society becomes one based on fear - instead, lets find ways to build a democratic society based on peace and justice.