Posted by Arab American Institute on January 20, 2017 in Blog
The worsening trend of the U.S. government treating Arab Americans and American Muslims as communities solely defined by national security is a trend that stands to accelerate under the incoming Trump administration. There is a way that the 3.7 million Arab Americans, 35% of whom are Muslim, can strategically fight back on key issues where national security drivers infringe on our civil rights:
Each of these policy areas have unjustly securitized our communities and infringed on our civil rights. Because national security issues are often discussed out of context and used as a tool of political opportunity, many of these issues provide unique challenges. With these challenges come specific opportunities for advancement and local advocacy.
But this is not just a toolkit for opposition. While there are important moments to vocally and loudly oppose U.S. policies – and we do - we cannot only oppose.
There are around 7 million Americans in full-time federal and state civil service positions. So, even though there may well be many government officials in important roles who might seek to implement bigoted agendas, there are literally millions who will not.
Good people in government will continue to stand with and fight for American ideals that protect and value all communities. We must enlist them in our fight. And much more fundamentally - taxpayers must hold our government accountable. State and local governments provide easy and accessible opportunities for this crucial avenue of engagement.
This is a road map for our community to go from being the so-called “front line of terror” to the “front line of progress.” It lays out how local communities can channel our collective passion, education, and skills into a focused plan to impact local laws and national policy.