As the nation observed the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, CAIR-Chicago Civil Rights Director Christina Abraham spoke to first year Law School students about the divisive rhetoric surrounding Muslims in America
Abraham was participating in a panel hosted by the National Lawyers Guild called “Disorientation.” The event’s aim was to help foster an understanding of the current state of Islamophobia (the illegitimate fear and prejudice faced by American Muslims), its origins, and its impact on issues like civil rights.
Abraham shared the stage of this high-level discussion with esteemed Northwestern law professor Joseph Marguilez. Marguilez has been heavily involved in fighting for civil rights in post 9/11 litigation. He has worked on such high profile cases as Rasul v. Bush, a landmark Supreme Court decision establishing the U.S. Court system’s authority over Guantanamo Bay, and Munaf v. Geren, extending habeas corpus to U.S. citizens held overseas by American forces.
Abraham engaged the attendees in a dialogue about public discourse and how the media is negatively reshaping America’s legacy. By focusing on recent events like the media frenzy over one small town preacher’s threats to burn the Quran and the emotional furor over a proposed Islamic center in New York, Abraham demonstrated that America is forgetting its old enlightenment principles.
“Rather than acting in accordance to reason and staying true to our proud traditions of tolerance, we’re projecting an image of an America that’s divided, angry, and riddled with domestic disputes,” said Abraham.
Marguilez drew upon his professional experience and discussed how Islamophobia affects our national security. The fear that drives Islamophobia has been cultivated at an increasing rate over the last nine years, and Marguilez explained how this has resulted in unacceptable civil rights infringements.