February 25, 2010
The Guardian

This Tide Of Anti-Muslim Hatred Is A Threat To Us All

by Seumas Milne

If young British Muslims had any doubts that they are singled out for special treatment in the land of their birth, the punishments being meted out to those who took part in last year's London demonstrations against Israel's war on Gaza will have dispelled them. The protests near the Israeli embassy at the height of the onslaught were angry: bottles and stones were thrown, a Starbucks was trashed and the police employed unusually violent tactics, even by the standards of other recent confrontations, such as the G20 protests.

But a year later, it turns out that it's the sentences that are truly exceptional. Of 119 people arrested, 78 have been charged, all but two of them young Muslims (most between the ages of 16 and 19), according to Manchester University's Joanna Gilmore, even though such figures in no way reflect the mix of those who took part. In the past few weeks, 15 have been convicted, mostly of violent disorder, and jailed for between eight months and two-and-a-half years - having switched to guilty pleas to avoid heavier terms. Another nine are up to be sentenced tomorrow.

The severity of the charges and sentencing goes far beyond the official response to any other recent anti-war demonstration, or even the violent stop the City protests a decade ago. So do the arrests, many of them carried out months after the event in dawn raids by dozens of police officers, who smashed down doors and handcuffed family members as if they were suspected terrorists. Naturally, none of the more than 30 complaints about police violence were upheld, even where video-evidence was available. . . .


FACTS: Realpolitik and Terrorism

"Texas Terrorists' Plot to Kill thousands," The Wisdom Fund, January 8, 2004

[Brinkema found the three men guilty. As a result of the finding of being labeled "terrorists," the men now face prison terms of fifty to one hundred years.

Yet plainly, these men are no terrorists, as I will explain below. Instead, defense attorneys have made a convincing case that the men were indicted and convicted primarily because they are Muslims.--Elaine Cassell, "Is Playing Paintball and Firing Legal Guns Terrorism? Three Disturbing Convictions Strongly Suggest Discrimination Against Muslim Americans,", March 25, 2004]

Enver Masud, "'Islamo-fascism' is an Oxymoron," The Wisdom Fund, October 25, 2005

Brian Doherty, "Post-9/11 Prosecutions End With a Whimper," Reason Online, Septtember 11, 2006

"Like the Sears Tower Plot, JFK Plot More Talk Than Action," The Wisdom Fund, June 4, 2007

"Bush Administration Exploited Terror Plots For Political Gain," Huffington Post, February 23, 2008

"Reflecting Upon Independence Day: Justice in America," The Wisdom Fund, July 4, 2009

Yvonne Ridley, "Aaafia Siddiqui: The Truth About Justice," The Wisdom Fund, February 8, 2010

[Joseph Stack deliberately flew an airplane into a building housing IRS offices in Austin, Texas, in order to advance the political grievances he outlined in a perfectly cogent suicide-manifesto.

All of this underscores, yet again, that Terrorism is simultaneously the single most meaningless and most manipulated word in the American political lexicon. The term now has virtually nothing to do with the act itself and everything to do with the identity of the actor, especially his or her religious identity. It has really come to mean: "a Muslim who fights against or even expresses hostility towards the United States, Israel and their allies." That's why all of this confusion and doubt arose yesterday over whether a person who perpetrated a classic act of Terrorism should, in fact, be called a Terrorist: he's not a Muslim and isn't acting on behalf of standard Muslim grievances against the U.S. or Israel, and thus does not fit the "definition."--Glenn Greenwald, "Terrorism: the most meaningless and manipulated word,", February 19, 2010]

[There are scores of patriot groups, but what makes Oath Keepers unique is that its core membership consists of men and women in uniform, including soldiers, police, and veterans. At regular ceremonies in every state, members reaffirm their official oaths of service, pledging to protect the Constitution - but then they go a step further, vowing to disobey "unconstitutional" orders from what they view as an increasingly tyrannical government.--Justine Sharrock, "Oath Keepers and the Age of Treason: Glenn Beck loves them. Tea Partiers court them. Congressmen listen to them. Meet the fast-growing 'patriot' group that's recruiting soldiers to resist the Obama administration,", March/April 2010 Issue]

[One person crashes a plane into a building in an attempt to commit mass slaughter and his crime gets some modest attention. Another expresses an intention to kill someone, is arrested, and gets vastly more reporting and discussion. That's quite a discrepancy. . . .

But then came Sept. 11, 2001, and the frame changed again. Terrorism was about Islamic religious fanatics.

If Joseph Stack had done exactly what he did for the same reason in 1996, the news coverage would have been massive and everyone in the world would know his name. But he did it in 2010, when he and his motives didn't fit the popular narrative of what terrorism is.--Dan Gardner, "Jihad Jane is media catnip," Montreal Gazette, March 17, 2010]

[Words are powerful. They have meanings beyond the dictionary and impact beyond their immediate use. Perhaps that's the lesson for all of us in the Hutaree affair. Next time we see an irresponsible label or epitaph and we do not protest, the same stone could ricochet and hit us.--S. Amjad Hussain, "Labels have power that can rebound on user," Toledo Blade, April 19, 2010]

Clark Canfield, "FBI: Passenger on airliner claimed he had dynamite,", April 28, 2010

Katie Brandenburg, "Terror case bias alleged: Albany council members call for Justice Department review of FBI prosecutions of Muslims," Albany Times Union, April 30, 2010

[As Faisal Shahzad, a Pakistan-born American, grabbed international headlines last week for an alleged terrorism attempt in New York's Times Square, other suspected terrorists received much less media coverage as they appeared before a judge in Detroit.--Bilal Randeree, "The US' home grown terror,", May 9, 2010]

Walied Shater, "Compassion, prejudice and American Muslims," Washington Post, May 15, 2010

VIDEO: "Entrapment or Foiling Terror? FBI's Reliance on Paid Informants Raises Questions about Validity of Terrorism Cases,", October 6, 2010

[The FBI claims that of the 83 terrorist attacks in the United States between 9/11 and the end of 2009, only three were clearly connected with the jihadist cause.--Franklin Lamb, "Congressman Peter King's Great Muslim Scare,", March 12, 2011]

[Post-9/11, Muslims have been ruthlessly targeted. Paid informants have infested mosques and their communities to entrap them. As a result, over 200 were persecuted on bogus terrorism related charges..--Stephen Lendman, "Entrapping Innocent Muslims,", June 19, 2011]

Thom Hartmann, "The 10 DAY manhunt for a known terrorist ignored by MSM,, June 22, 2011

DemocracyNow!, August 25, 2011

[The FBI has built a massive network of spies to prevent another domestic attack. But are they busting terrorist plots - or leading them?--Trevor Aaronson, "The Informants,, August 25, 2011]

The National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms

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