Sep 30, 2014 — This report is available on CD/DVD in ASCII Text, Adobe PDF, and Microsoft Word 2010. Arab and Muslim-Americans spurred by the reactions to the September based in the U.S. named Morris Sadek dubbed an excerpt into Arabic specified task but “must return to Darul-Islam as soon as the task is
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SEPTEMBER 2014BRIEFING REPORT U.S. COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTSU.S. COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Washington, DC 20425 Of˜cial BusinessPenalty for Private Use $300Visit us on the Web: www.usccr.gov Federal Civil Rights Engagement with Arab and Muslim American Communities
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U.S. COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is an independent, bipartisan agency established by Congress in 1957. It is directed to: Investigate complaints alleging that citizens are being deprived of their right to vote by reason of their race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, or national origin, or by reason of fraudulent practices. Study and collect information relating to discrimination or a denial of equal protection of the laws under the Constitution because of race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, or national origin, or in the administration of justice. Appraise federal laws and policies with respect to discrimination or denial of equal protection of the laws because of race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, or national origin, or in the administration of justice. Serve as a national clearinghouse for information in respect to discrimination or denial of equal protection of the laws because of race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, or national origin. Submit reports, ˜ndings, and recommendations to the President and Congress. Issue public service announcements to discourage discrimination or denial of equal protection of the laws.MEMBERS OF THE COMMISSION Martin R. Castro, Chairman Abigail Thernstrom, Vice Chair (term expired November 2013) Roberta Achtenberg Todd F. Gaziano (term expired December 2013) Gail L. Heriot Peter N. Kirsanow David Kladney Michael Yaki Marlene Sallo, Staff Director U.S. Commission on Civil Rights1331 Pennsylvania Ave NW Suite 1150 Washington, DC 20425 (202) 376-7700 www.usccr.gov This report is available on CD/DVD in ASCII Text, Adobe PDF, and Microsoft Word 2010. Please call (202) 376-8128. You may download this report from www.usccr.gov
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President Barack Obama Vice President Joe Biden Speaker of the House John Boehner The United States Commission on Civil Rights ( ˝the Commission ˇ) is pleased to transmit our briefing report, Federal Civil Rights Engagement with Arab and Muslim -American Communities . The report is also available in full on the Commission ˇs website at www.usccr.gov . The purpose of the report is to examine federal efforts to eliminate and prevent civil rights violations, including incidents of hate crimes, prejudice, bias, stereotyping and travel discrimination against Ar ab and Muslim -Americans spurred by the reactions to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington . The Commission heard testimony from experts and scholars in the field and made findings and recommendations as follows: Findings : · While the United States government has taken important steps to work with the American Muslim community, many American Muslims still feel their civil rights are violated through stereotyping, profiling and other forms of discrimination and are r eluctant to report civil rights and labor violations. 1 · Ethnic, religious and racial profiling has led to the wide -spread singling out of Arabs and American Muslims by Customs and Border Patrol, the Transportation Safety Administration and the Federal Burea u of Investigation. 2 · In the last ten years, the Muslim community has seen a rise in anti -Muslim sentiment, anti -Muslim discrimination and policies that unfairly impact American Muslims. One example is the oftentimes secret placement of Muslim Americans on government watch lists. 3 · Training materials often used by federal government agencies mislead the American public by presenting a homogeneous view of the Muslim community which often excludes many from the American Muslim community. 4 1 al -Suwaij Testimony, Briefing Transcript , p. 13; Rehman Testimony, Briefing Transcript , pp. 40 -41. 2 Zogby Written Statement, Briefing Report , pp. 42 -43. 3 Rehman Written Statement, Briefing Report , pp. 68, 79; Aziz Written S tatement, Briefing Report , p.118. 4 al -Suwaij Testimony, Briefing Transcript , pp. 13 -14; Rehman Written Statement, Briefing Report , pp. 69, 77 -78.
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· Federal government outreach efforts focus only on a portion of the American Muslim community, those who are Arabs (which represent 18% of the Muslim community), while excluding African American Muslims (25% of the Muslim community), South Asians (15% of the Muslim community) and other American Muslims of Persian, Bosnian and other descent. 5 · Overzealous government monitoring programs have eroded the confidence of American Muslims in law enforcement and to law enforcement efforts. 6 · Materials used by federal government agencies to train law enforcement officials and other service professionals are insensitive to the cultural diversity of the American Muslim community and often feed the fear about the American Muslim community. 7 · American Muslims have played an important role in pr otecting our nation and in partnering with government and law enforcement to ensure a safer country while at the same time preserving civil liberties in their communities. A Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security study indicates that in one -thi rd of the violent terror attacks thwarted since 9/11, law enforcement was first tipped off to the plot by American Muslim communities. 8 · There are two trends in addressing major civil rights and national security challenges: the ˝suspect trend of engagement ˛ which encourages aggressive intelligence and surveillance activities; and the ˝partnership trend of engagement ˛ where local communities have developed strong relationships with law enforcement agencies and local government agencies. 9 · Fear of government s urveillance has created a chill over freedom of expression and freedom of association on college campuses and congregations for American Muslims. The American Civil Liberties Union identified over 60 incidents of anti -mosque activity throughout the nation in the last six years, and the Pew Forum on Religious and Public Life indicated that from 2009 to 2011, there were at least 35 proposed mosques and Islamic centers that encountered local resistance. In addition, according to the Justice Department, since 2 000 there have been 24 cases concerning mosques under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized 5 al -Suwaij Testimony, Briefing Transcript , p. 14. 6 Zogby Testimony, Briefing Transcript , pp. 21 -22; Rehman Written Statement, Briefing Report , p. 76. 7 Ibid., p. 22 -23. 8 Marcus Testimony, Briefing Transcript , p. 33. 9 Tarin Testimony, Briefing Transcript , pp. 33 -37.
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between the ages of 12 -17. 80 percent reported being bullied w ith 75 percent saying it happened more than once. 17 · During 2001 -2006, Muslims brought the greatest number of religious discrimination claims under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000. 62 of the 229 cases analyzed were brought by Muslims, 27 percent of all cases. 18 · Federal programs which intertwine civil rights protections with other policy and legal priorities undermine efforts to reduce prejudice and discrimination against American Arabs and Muslims. 19 · There has been a backlash ag ainst Americans identified as, or mistakenly perceived to be, Muslim and/or Arab. For example, Muslims and people thought to be Muslim have been removed from airline flights because fellow passengers were nervous or fearful; mosques have been subject to va ndalism and arson; persons suspected of being Arab or Muslim have been subjected to violent, sometimes fatal attacks. 20 · Arab and Muslim Americans have contributed greatly to, and are an important part of, the diverse fabric of America. 21 · There exists discrim ination against Muslim prisoners in American penal institutions. Panelist Kenneth Marcus cited recent empirical research that Muslim litigants who file claims of religious discrimination are much less likely to prevail in court than non -Muslim litigants, p articularly if they are Muslim prisoners compared to non -Muslim prisoners. 22 · The federal government’s “counter -radicalization” efforts create a danger of creating a government -approved “Official Islam,” which adversely impacts religious freedom and potentia lly violates the Establishment Clause. 23 17 Rehman Written Statement, Briefing Report , p. 74. 18 Marcus Written Statement, Briefing Report , p. 52 . 19 Federal Civil Rights Engagement with Muslim and American Communities Post 9/11 Executive Summary, Briefing Report , p. 3. 20 Ibid., pp. 3 -4. 21 Ibid., p. 4. 22 Marcus Testimony, Briefing Report , p. 11. 23 Rascoff Testimony, Briefing Report , p. 22.
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Recommendations : · Federal government agencies, including but not limited to, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) should expand their outreach efforts to the American Muslim community beyond the mosques and Imams to encompass the vast diversity of perspectives, experiences and ethnicities of the community. 24 · In order to create a comprehensive and unified message and approach across the federal government for outreach and training purposes, federal agencies should collaborate with local government agencies and advocacy groups that regularly engage and serve the diverse American Muslim community. 25 · Congress should allocate funds to DOJ, DHS, the FBI and other agencies to expand their outreach efforts at the local level and to increase access to the redress processes. · The following are useful recommendations presented by Professor Sahar Aziz that lend a thoughtful and instructive view to improving the federal agency engagement with the American Muslim community: 26 · The government should not use community engagement meetings in furtherance of national security surveillance, investigative and prosecutorial objectives, but rather to dev elop trust and robust relations with constituents towards the shared goal of protecting individual rights and public safety for all Americans. · Increase independent oversight of use of informants in counterterrorism. · Counterterrorism trainers and training m aterials should be vetted through a transparent and professional process wherein individuals with the requisite educational and professional qualifications are selected to train those tasked with the important task of protecting us from danger. · Government engagement efforts should be ˝de -securitized ˛ to holistically focus on the host of social, economic, and political factors that affect the vitality of Arab and Muslim communities. 24 al -Suwaij Written Statement, Briefing Report , p. 37; Aziz Written Statement, Briefing Report, p. 132; 25 Tarin Written Statement, Briefing Report , p. 67. 26 Aziz Written Statement, Briefing Report , pp. 132 -133.
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· Government engagement programs should be subject to citizen and Congressiona l oversight to ensure stated objectives are in fact met and government resources are not wasted. · The following are useful recommendations presented by panelist Asim Rehman which offer insightful suggestions gained from professional experience and collabora tion with other advocacy organizations servicing the American Muslim community: 27 · Request that the Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and other law enforcement agencies and departments: · Rigorously enforc e all guidelines and rules prohibiting the use of race and racial profiling in all law enforcement activities and extend such prohibitions to religion and religious profiling. · Require a factual predicate before the commencement of investigation or assessme nt and require heightened supervisory approval for assessments or investigations implicating First Amendment protected activity, including the use of informants and agent provocateurs in houses of worship. · Review all training materials and purge all use of materials with hateful and stereotypical depictions of Islam and Muslims. · Continue local outreach efforts with Muslim communities, but forbid all offices engaging in such outreach from maintaining and sharing information gained through such efforts for in vestigative or surveillance purposes. · Establish effective remedial measures to receive and adequately address civilian complaints, particularly with respect to surveillance and monitoring. · Educate local law enforcement partners about the need for non discr imination in law enforcement and investigate local law enforcement partners when civil liberties failures persist. · Request that the DHS conduct a thorough investigation of how Muslims are being interrogated and searched at the border and prohibit Customs a nd Border Patrol officers from asking questions related to First Amendment -protected activity. 27 Rehman Written Statement, Briefing Report , p. 85.
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· Request that the Justice Department and Treasury Department issue agency orders providing a safe harbor for well -intentioned donors and to establish a single, us er-friendly database for determining whether an entity or individual is on a Prohibited List. · Request that the Justice Department dedicate additional resources and personnel to bullying prevention programs and to hate crimes reporting, investigation and prosecution. · The FBI should use the Muslim community as a resource in designing training, as the Department of Homeland Security has done. 28 · In order to address discrimination against Muslim prisoners, appropriate reforms must address the balance between pris on security and homeland security versus the wide prevalence of discrimination. 29 · The federal government should improve its tracking and prosecution of hate crimes against American Arabs and Muslims. 30 · The federal government’s counter -radicalization programs must be revised so as not to infringe on religious freedom or violate the Establishment Clause. · The standards and information by which American citizens are placed on the No -Fly List, Selectee List or on the Watch list must be made clear and shared with t he person placed on the list, without compromising security issues. · Placement on the No Fly List should be subject to judicial review or oversight. · The TRIP process should be substantially improved and there should be a process by which Americans who are placed on those lists have a meaningful opportunity to challenging their placement on lists that result in the delay or denial of their right to trav el 28 Zogby Testimony, Briefing Report , p. 10. 29 Marcus Testimony, Briefing Report, p. 11. 30 Rehman Testimony, Briefing Report , p. 14.
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