Homegrown terrorism more possible than US thought, PhD lecturer Bruce Newsome claims

Dr. Newsome, lecturer on counterterrorism at University of Pennsylvania claims Americans have felt too free, their Muslims too integrated to be able to engender homegrown radicals that would launch attacks against the US. But Dr. Newsome says the jump to radicalism can and is happening in the US, and in a spontaneous manner.

He notes violent jihadists are usually troubled, could be seeking a holy redemption for a troubled past, has interactions with other terrorists, and has been politically marginalized. He says most jihadism is locally inspired and rarely supported by foreign terrorists.

CAIR will release study on surveillance, profiling, and Islamophobia

On December 3, The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) will hold a Washington DC conference to release its 14th annual report, “Seeking Full Inclusion”. The study reviews the state of civil rights for Muslims in the United States.

The Council on American Islamic Relations’ (CAIR’s) new report will also examine the use of Islamophobic rhetoric in the 2008 presidential election and highlight a number of issues of concern to the American Muslim community, including watch lists, surveillance of mosques and new FBI guidelines that allow religious and ethnic profiling.

The study shows that 80 percent of anti-Muslim incidents occurred in 9 states plus the District of Columbia: California Illinois, New York, Florida, Virginia, Ohio, Texas, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania.

CAIR: Senator Arlen Specter cancels speech at anti-Islam event

The Council on American-Islamic Relations announced that Senator Arlen Specter (D-PA) has cancelled a scheduled appearance at an “anti-Islam” conference in Washington DC, hosted by a right-wing think tank headed by Daniel Pipes, who is regarded by many as one of the nation’s leading Islamophobes. Specter was to give the opening address at the conference, but cited a “scheduling conflict.” The premise of the conference, called “Libel Lawfare: Silencing Criticism of Radical Islam,” is that American Muslims are involved in a concerted effort to suppress free speech by misusing the American legal system. “We applaud Senator Specter’s decision to withdraw from this inaccurate, inflammatory and agenda-driven conference,” said CAIR-Philadelphia Executive Director Justin Peyton. “We strongly support free speech and other First Amendment rights, but believe the senator’s appearance at this event would have legitimized views not shared by the majority of Pennsylvanians of all faiths,” said a spokesperson for CAIR.

CAIR releases Results of Muslim Voter Survey: Poll finds 80% of Muslim voters will participate in presidential primaries

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today released the results of a national survey indicating that Muslim voters are civically engaged, remain well integrated in American society and are politically active. Although most are still undecided on their pick for the next president, nearly 80 percent said they would vote in the primaries.

The survey, commissioned by the Washington-based Islamic civil rights and advocacy group, asked 1,000 registered Muslim voters about their demographic profiles, political views and levels of social integration. Respondents were randomly drawn from a pool of some 400,000 registered Muslim voters. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus three percent.

The survey’s results show a family-oriented, highly-educated and diverse group of voters who condemn terrorism and believe anti-Americanism in the Muslim world is a serious problem.

The poll also shows that the more devout Muslim voters are also those who are most likely to believe that Islam and modernity are compatible.

Respondents were asked which issues will most influence their vote. Education was the top pick indicated by 89 percent, followed by civil rights (86 percent), health care policy (85 percent) and the economy (85 percent).

“Our survey shows that most Muslim voters are still undecided on their preferred presidential candidate, yet are politically engaged and extremely likely to vote,” said CAIR spokeswoman Amina Rubin. “This means that a potential bloc of Muslim swing voters in several battleground states is ready to support a candidate who will commit to acting on issues that concern America’s Muslims.”

CAIR’s survey also indicated that many Muslim voters are concentrated in 10 states: California, 19 percent; New York, 13 percent; Illinois, 10 percent; Texas, 9 percent; Virginia, 7 percent; Michigan, 6 percent; Florida, 6 percent; Maryland, 5 percent; Pennsylvania, 4 percent; and Ohio, 3 percent.

The full results of CAIR’s survey may be viewed here.