By: Kameelah Mu’Min Rashad
In Aug 2011, Associated Press journalists Chris Hawley, Adam Goldman, Eileen Sullivan and Matt Apuzzo began publishing a series of detailed reports exposing a decades long secret surveillance program. This program was engineered by the NYPD (with assistance from the CIA) to gather intelligence on entire Muslim communities. Operating under the auspices of the “Demographic Unit”, law enforcement spied on American Muslim citizens all along the Northeastern seaboard— from New Haven, CT to Philadelphia, PA. The extent and reach of this suspicion-less spying extended far beyond the boundaries of New York City; with local officials and police departments seemingly unaware that the NYPD was conducting such far-reaching clandestine activity outside of its jurisdiction.
This series of Associated Reports revealed the surreal and sordid details of a program that read more like a Hollywood Spy/Crime drama- filled with informants, undercover police officers (“rakers and mosque crawlers”), monitoring of masjids, bookstores, homes, cafés, halal meat markets, and other businesses. Muslim Students’ Associationswere also targeted for surveillance –including Yale MSA, City College of New York, Rutgers New Brunswick and UPenn MSA. NYPD informants infiltrated MSA student meetings, chat rooms, online forums and group outings. Based on information obtained by the Associated Press “Student groups were of particular interest to the NYPD because they attract young Muslim men, a demographic that terrorist groups frequently draw from. Police worried about which Muslim scholars were influencing these students and feared that extracurricular activities such as paintball outings could be used as terrorist training.”
In Episode 5 of ‘100 Muslims, 1 Question’ we asked this question to a few American Muslims and these are their responses. “What is your favorite food?”
The world, it appears, has completely lost its mind. It seems that our tiny planet is staged for a complete disaster with the West and Muslim world as the co-stars. What’s sad is that all of these problems are based on misunderstandings and lies spread by hate mongers with one interest: growing their bank accounts. To add insult to injury, citizens from the West and the Muslim world are starting to detest each because they feel the other side is this Great Evil trying to enslave them. Then there are those caught in the middle: the American Muslims, aka, you and I. We’re blessed with the conundrum of being, both, Muslims and Americans. We know that Islam is not about killing the innocent, but, also know that reality tv is not the reality of Western culture. So what’s a brother/sister to do?
By: Daniel Burke
The mosque in Roxbury was crowded past capacity, with about 1,200 college students, urban hipsters and East Africans crowded into the hallways and front stairs.
They wanted to hear Imam Suhaib Webb, resident scholar of the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center and widely considered one of the country’s most influential Muslims, respond to Sam Harris and Bill Maher, who recently called Islam the “mother lode of bad ideas” and compared Muslims to the Mafia.
In Episode 4 of ‘100 Muslims, 1 Question’ we asked this question to a few American Muslims and these are their responses. “What do you struggle with?”
In Episode 3 of ‘100 Muslims, 1 Question’ we asked this question to a few American Muslims and these are their responses.
In Episode 2 of ‘100 Muslims, 1 Question’ we asked some American Muslims about their aspirations and memories of Hajj. These are their responses.
By: Mobeen Vaid
More than any previous year, this past White House Iftar triggered considerable debate within the American Muslim community. Specifically, a growing segment of the Muslim community urged those invited to forego attending upon principle, particularly given the increasing list of domestic and foreign policy concerns that have not only gone unaddressed but appear to be getting systemically worse. This debate was further inflamed during the iftar itself as President Obama incorporated into his address an endorsement of the Israeli State and its “right to defend itself”, a talking point that has been repeated by Israel’s defenders ad nauseam with remarkable resistance to any facts posited to the contrary. Obama’s support for Israel was unsurprising given his previous track record on the topic, but his reaffirming of America’s commitment to it that night was no doubt misplaced in front of a Muslim audience attending an iftar in the midst of one of the deadliest sieges of Gaza in recent history.