Judge Rejects Settlement Over Surveillance of Muslims by New York Police Department

A federal judge has rejected the settlement of a lawsuit stemming from the New York Police Department’s surveillance of Muslims, saying the proposed deal does not provide enough oversight of an agency that he said had shown a “systemic inclination” to ignore rules protecting free speech and religion.

In January, Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, agreed to appoint a civilian lawyer to monitor the department’s counterterrorism activities as a means of settling two lawsuits accusing the city of violating the rights of Muslims over the past decade.

But the judge, Charles S. Haight Jr., in an opinion published on Monday, said the settlement did not go far enough for an agency that had become “accustomed to disregarding” court orders.

“The proposed role and powers of the civilian representative,” Judge Haight wrote, “do not furnish sufficient protection from potential violations of the constitutional rights of those law-abiding Muslims and believers in Islam who live, move and have their being in this city.”

Judge Rejects Settlement Over Surveillance of Muslims by New York Police Department

A federal judge has rejected the settlement of a lawsuit stemming from the New York Police Department’s surveillance of Muslims, saying the proposed deal does not provide enough oversight of an agency that he said had shown a “systemic inclination” to ignore rules protecting free speech and religion.

In January, Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, agreed to appoint a civilian lawyer to monitor the department’s counterterrorism activities as a means of settling two lawsuits accusing the city of violating the rights of Muslims over the past decade.

But the judge, Charles S. Haight Jr., in an opinion published on Monday, said the settlement did not go far enough for an agency that had become “accustomed to disregarding” court orders.

“The proposed role and powers of the civilian representative,” Judge Haight wrote, “do not furnish sufficient protection from potential violations of the constitutional rights of those law-abiding Muslims and believers in Islam who live, move and have their being in this city.”

Aziz Ansari: Why Trump Makes Me Scared for My Family

Today, with the presidential candidate Donald J. Trump and others like him spewing hate speech, prejudice is reaching new levels. It’s visceral, and scary, and it affects how people live, work and pray. It makes me afraid for my family. It also makes no sense.
Xenophobic rhetoric was central to Mr. Trump’s campaign long before the attack in Orlando. This is a guy who kicked off his presidential run by calling Mexicans “rapists” who were “bringing drugs” to this country. Numerous times, he has said that Muslims in New Jersey were cheering in the streets on Sept. 11, 2001. This has been continually disproved, but hestands by it. I don’t know what every Muslim American was doing that day, but I can tell you what my family was doing. I was studying at N.Y.U., and I lived near the World Trade Center. When the second plane hit, I was on the phone with my mother, who called to tell me to leave my dorm building.

Op-ED: The Muslim Silence on Gay Rights

An Afghan-American Muslim walks into a gay club in Florida on Latin night during Pride Month. In my dreams, that is the beginning of another great story of remix, tolerance and coexistence that is possible only in America. In reality, it’s the start of a nightmare massacre fueled by hatred and perpetrated by a man from a group already scarred by a generation of suspicion and surveillance.
Whether Omar Mateen was a militant fighter financed by the Islamic State, a self-radicalized extremist or a lone wolf psychopath with a gun license, the distinction for committing the worst mass shooting in our history now belongs to an American Muslim.
No religion has a monopoly on homophobia. The track record of exclusion and outright abuse of gay men and women in the name of God is a depressing reality across faiths. But we cannot use those analogies to excuse our own shortcomings. Omar Mateen went on a rampage at a gay club out of hatred he attributed to his faith. He shot and massacred Americans for thriving in their safe space, for being among those they love and were loved by, and he did it during both Ramadan and a Pride Month that epitomizes self-love in the face of hate. The toxic cocktail of gun violence, unchecked mental illness and deranged ideology that propelled the massacre at Pulse is a threat to all Americans.
NY Times: http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/06/13/opinion/the-muslim-silence-on-gay-rights.html

Zaki Zayed President of the Islamic community in Valladolid condemns “all violence” perpetrated in the name of religion

Zaki Zayed, the imam of the mosque, President of the Islamic communities in Valladolid expressed his opinion on the acts of violence perpetrated by the ISIS fighters:”Whoever does these atrocities does not belong to any religion. He is not Muslim, but neither is this person Christian or Jew.” Therefore the Imam regrets even the allusion to the name ‘Islamic State’: “Those who make others suffer are not part of Islam.”

Shouldn’t we be ashamed of our suicide terrorists?

For the fourth time in two years time, a Dutch jihadi has committed a suicide attack in Iraq or Syria. It has been said, but not yet confirmed, that Lotfi S. from northern Amsterdam has committed a suicide attack in Fallujah, Iraq.

The question is: shouldn’t we be ashamed when a fellow countryman is capable of such a deed? Or: are we ashamed at all?

According to Paul van Tongeren, professor Ethics, the answer is no, because ‘we don’t identify ourselves with these guys’. There is however a problem with this mechanism of ‘looking the other way’, as has also been stated by Ben Bot, Dutch former minister Foreign Affairs: it is our problem, because our society was not able to prevent these persons from leaving.

The attacks committed by fellow countrymen would probably have a greater impact when it was known how many victims it has caused, if among them are children or if photo’s would be published. But now it is all too abstract.

Pieter Nanninga, researcher on jihadism Rijksuniversiteit in the city of Groningen, shares Bots opinion that Dutch suicide attackers are indeed a Dutch problem too.

Van Tongeren further states that it would be a good if the Dutch government paid her condolences to the families of the victims. Otherwise the We-They distinction would become even stricter, incorporating more than only terrorists or jihadi’s.

How Many French Muslims? Public’s Estimation Incorrect

Following the attacks in Paris that killed seventeen people in three days, Le Monde published an article responding to the “distrust that has spread in public opinion for several weeks.” Using information gathered during an Ipsos study, Le Monde found that the French tended to overestimate the number of Muslims they believed to be living in France, believing the percentage to be 23% when it’s actually 8%.

While France forbids collecting data about religious affiliation, there are differing estimations about the number of Muslims in France. Certain polls say there are around 3 million, not including minors and the elderly. France’s Minister of the Interior recently stated that there are between 4 and 5 million Muslims living in France. In comparison, there are believed to be 11.5 million Catholics. He also stated that there are around 4,500 converts to Islam each year.

According to Minister of the Interior Bernard Cazeneuve and the Observatory Against Islamophobia, anti-Muslim acts have multiplied, with over 50 occurring since the January 7 Charlie Hebdo attacks.

France is 32% Muslim: The chimera that terrifies the French

32% of the French population is Muslim, and the country is composed for 28% immigrants. These are the estimations of the French based on a public opinion survey published in The Guardian. The actual figures show that France is made up of about 10% immigrants and 8% Muslims. Sociologist Nacira Guenif-Souilamas discusses the reasons for these disproportionate results.

“This distorted view takes place within the context of evident misinformation. It allows for a racist ideology to develop and to transform into a self-fulfilling prophecy, that’s to say that one has created problems where there weren’t any. The Muslim becomes an ideal culprit, that which is inexorably linked… to crime, to the monopoly of social benefits, to the failure to comply with republican values or to the equality of men and women.”

Guenif-Souilamas also points to the very real consequences of these collective representations of French Muslims. She argues that a young woman who has a Muslim-sounding last name would have less of a chance of getting a job than another candidate whose last name sounds more Christian. “When we see that veiled mothers are prohibited from accompanying their children on school field trips because they could potentially be guilty of proselytizing, we can say that Islamophobia has invaded all strata of our society,” she says.

However according to demographer Michele Tribalat, the overestimation does not only concern Muslims or immigrants. She argues, “Public opinion has an extremely limited culture and statistical understanding…It is wrong about almost everything and not only about the proportion of Muslims or immigrants.”

“Actions or substantive arguments that enter into conflict with our convictions would not be important if our opinion came from knowledge and was not founded on social proof, that’s to say, on the beliefs of many,” said Tribalat.

However, she adds that “As the Islamic State triumphs in Syria and Iraq it is hard to deny the reality of worries that relate to Islam. The exaggeration of the Muslim presence in public opinion is at the center of these worries.”

Muslims in German parties

April 29

 

Muslims in the Social Democratic Party (SPD) have begun to initiate working groups about the opinion of Muslims about German politics. The goal is to juxtapose the overwhelming prejudice in German public about Muslims being unable to participate in democratic societies. Also, Muslims in the SPD aim at improving the image of Muslims proving their compatibility with democracy. On February 14th 2014, SPD head Siegmar Gabriel and Minister of Integration Aydan Özoguz organized a session for the new initiated “working group for Muslim social democrats”. The working group is expected to be an important step towards the recognition of Muslims and their engagement in German society.

 

A further positive step was the designation of Yasmin Fahimi this January as the General Secretary of the SPD. Fahimi (46) is a German Chemist of Iranian descent.

Three French Opinion Pieces

April 17, 2014

 

Fighting for French Islam: Integration to Islamophobia?

By Farah Mendjour on April 10, 2014

Source: http://www.the-platform.org.uk/2014/04/10/fighting-for-french-islam-integration-to-islamophobia/

 

France, Islam and the ‘Spreading Hatred’: The EU has no extensions for the clash of civilizations that threatens European society

By John Vinocur on April 14, 2014

Source: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303663604579501091034167048?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702303663604579501091034167048.html

 

Viral French film on sexism accused of ‘Islamophobia’

By Nabila Pathan on April 13, 2014

Source:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/life-style/entertainment/2014/04/13/Viral-French-film-on-sexism-accused-of-Islamophobia-.html