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Statement on Report by Glenn Greenwald on NSA Spying

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Muslim Advocates Statement on Report by Glenn Greenwald on NSA Spying

This report confirms the worst fears of American Muslims: the federal government has targeted Americans, even those who have served their country in the military and government, simply because of their faith or religious heritage.  The report clearly documents how biased training by the FBI leads to biased surveillance.

Nearly three years ago, the Obama administration pledged to purge bigoted training materials from federal agencies.  This report clearly calls into question whether that commitment has been fulfilled and the urgent need for re-training of law enforcement officials.  Muslim Advocates calls on the President and Congress to take steps immediately to reform the NSA surveillance program to uphold basic privacy rights and civil liberties that the Constitution guarantees to every American, regardless of faith.

Read More: Muslim Advocates joins 45 civil rights, human rights, privacy rights, and faith-based organizations in a letter to President Obama.

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Muslim Advocates is a national legal advocacy and educational organization working on the frontlines of civil rights to guarantee freedom and justice for Americans of all faiths. Through high impact lawsuits, policy advocacy, and community education, Muslim Advocates serves as a resource to empower communities and ensures that the American Muslim community is heard by the courts and leaders at the highest level of government.  Visit Muslim Advocates at www.muslimadvocates.org and follow @muslimadvocates. 



  • Max_1

    First they came for ____ …
    … But I did not speak up because I was not ____.

  • http://www.masijc.org/ Khalilah Sabra

    Once and Again

    The FBI has used covert operations against domestic political groups since its inception; however, covert operations under the official COINTELPRO label took place between 1956 and 1971.

    COINTELPRO (an acronym for COunter INTELligence PROgram) was a series of covert, and at times illegal projects conducted by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) aimed at surveying, infiltrating, discrediting, and disrupting domestic political organizations.

    Most Americans may believe that COINTELPRO is a thing of the past, but since 9/11,surveillance practices have spiked.

    Muslim-American communities face intense surveillance by the FBI.

    Surveillance based just on religion or ethnicity infringes on people’s constitutionally protected rights to freedom of religion and association.

    Many of the protections that were put in place after the 1960s surveillance abuses have been eroded since 9/11, specifically since the 2001 Patriot Act. Among other things, the 2001 law allows for law enforcement to search telephone, e-mail communications, medical, financial, and other records without probable cause.

    The fact that government can monitor groups without evidence of wrong-doing, has had a chilling effect of the Muslim community.

    The National Security Agency routinely shares raw intelligence data with Israel without first sifting it to remove information about US citizens, a top-secret document provided to the Guardian by whistleblower Edward Snowden reveals.

    Details of the intelligence-sharing agreement are laid out in a memorandum of understanding between the NSA and its Israeli counterpart that shows the US government handed over intercepted communications likely to contain phone calls and emails of American citizens. The agreement places no legally binding limits on the use of the data by the Israelis.

    The primary objective has been to “expose, disrupt, misdirect, or otherwise neutralize” groups and individuals that the US and Israeli officials believe to be subversive.

    The fact that the NSA agrees to provide raw intelligence data to a foreign country contrasts with assurances from the Obama administration that there are rigorous safeguards to protect the privacy of US citizens caught in the dragnet and also endangers the lives of Muslims traveling abroad.

    This type of unwarranted government surveillance should not only be troubling to American Muslim communities but all Americans who support civil rights and liberties. The tactics implored by the NSA clearly runs counter to the core principles of freedom of speech, religion and association which underpin the very fabric of our nation. In the end, these tactics worked to undermine legitimate aspirations of American Muslims who seek freedom, growth and participation in governance.

    Khalilah Sabra

    Executive Director

    Muslim American Society Immigrant Justice Center

  • Lea

    Seems like Snowden, who gave all his documents, that he had stolen, to Glenn Greenwald, may not be the hero that some purport him to be, because it seems that Snowden is not denouncing the way Greenwald is using this material. It also has come to light that most of the documentation pertained to financial transactions, paypal etc. Then the man who owned paypal went into business with Greenwald opening their own corporation media centre, and that after Greenwald spent a great deal of energy on demonising corporate media. Greenwald who was a well paid journalist with the Guardian preferred to join up with paypal’s owner. Why? And how come he has not released the information in those documents, if it is true that Snowden did the darstardly deed for the sake of the American public. Greenwald appears to be very selective about information, and favours the muslim posture of victimisation, with this biased information, probably for no other reason than he is in love with a arab muslim man.