Reflecting on a tumultuous year of Occupy movements and the Arab Spring, the U.S. government has passed not one, but two new anti-protesting laws. With the exclusion of single word – from “willingly and knowingly” to simply “knowingly” – the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act is further restricting Americans first amendment rights.
Civil Rights Director Christina Abraham spoke at the Midwest Regional Conference of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression on February 12.
“I thought that NPR did the right thing,” Ahmed Rehab said. “They have a reputation to protect, and clearly his unobjective and sensational characterizations were not a good fit for their objective standards of journalism.”
Rehab says comments like those made by Williams encourage the stereotypes that generate fear of Muslims.
“There seems to be a refusal and willful ignorance when it comes to the simple notion that Muslims are not one in the same with terrorists,” he said.
“My column on the Council on American-Islamic Relations drew the expected range of response,” writes Neil Steinberg. “There was much castigating me as a “useful idiot” blind to the gathering Islamic peril (one reader recommended a book by Brigitte Gabriel that’s actually called They Must Be Stopped, which sounds like the title of a 1950s B-movie about giant ants).
“But there were a surprising number of thoughtful, warm, humane responses, and not just from Muslims grateful to seeing themselves depicted as human beings.”
Why do Westerners succumb to anti-Muslim fear? It’s a natural reflex — certainly what terrorists expect when they claim their acts are in the name of Islam. They want to drive a wedge between the cultures, lest a harmonious blending undercut their extremism and deprive them of the enemy they crave. It’s a partnership, the terrorists and the fear-mongers, working in harmony and tacit agreement.