(WASHINGTON, D.C., 2/6/18) — The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called on the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to revise or drop a draft report that initially urged authorities to target Sunni Muslim legal immigrants and permanent residents for long-term religious profiling and surveillance.
The draft report, produced at the request of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Kevin McAleenan, stated that there would be “great value for the United States Government in dedicating resources to continuously evaluate persons of interest” and suggesting that immigrants to the United States be tracked on a “long-term basis.”
In the report, CBP identifies Sunni Muslim American residents as being potentially “vulnerable to terrorist narratives,” based on a set of risk indicators, such as being young, male, and having national origins in “the Middle East, South Asia or Africa.” A CBP spokesperson told Foreign Policy that the report is a “first draft” that is undergoing revisions.
In a statement reacting to the draft report, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said:
“This draft report clearly singles out a specific group for unconstitutional profiling and surveillance based solely on religious and ethnic stereotyping. It ignores the main extremist threat to our nation — that of violence committed by white supremacists — and politicizes an important issue in a transparent attempt to make national law enforcement policy conform to the Trump administration’s anti-immigrant and Islamophobic agenda.”
According to the Religion News Service:
“[T]wo independent studies issued last month show that the number of Muslim Americans associated with violent extremism in 2017 continued to fall, and the number of Americans killed by white supremacists in the U.S. last year was far higher than those killed by Muslim extremists. More specifically, over the last decade 71 percent of all terrorism-related fatalities have been linked to domestic right-wing extremists, while 26 percent of the killings were committed by Islamic extremists.”
CAIR said it has witnessed an unprecedented spike in hate incidents targeting American Muslims and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump as president.
The Washington-based civil rights organization has also challenged a number of the Trump administration’s Islamophobic, discriminatory and anti-immigrant policies. It recently welcomed the resignation of an administration official who made remarks disparaging African-Americans, Muslims, immigrants, and other minority groups.
Community members are being urged to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR’s Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or by filing a report at: http://www.cair.com/report
CAIR launched an app to share critical “know your rights” information and to simplify the process to report hate crimes and bias incidents. CAIR is urging American Muslims and members of other minority groups to download the app and utilize this resource to stay informed and empowered.
For a quick download of CAIR’s civil rights app, click here: http://www.cair.com/app
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
La misiÃ³n de CAIR es mejorar la comprensiÃ³n del Islam, fomentar el diÃ¡logo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensiÃ³n mutua.
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