Civil Rights and Civil Liberties

The Arab American Institute (AAI) endorses policies that make our country strong and secure, while protecting the civil rights and civil liberties enshrined in the Constitution.

The sweeping counterterrorism measures implemented during the emotional aftermath of September 11th were presented as necessary protections, but were based on the false dichotomy of safeguarding our national security or our civil liberties. The result since has been a steady erosion of our most basic freedoms; enforcement measures that foster mistrust; and policies that have proved both unreasonable and ineffective. Many of these initiatives have targeted Arab Americans and continue to be of particular concern, such as the greatly increased powers of search and seizure, enhanced by provisions in the PATRIOT Act and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act; racial profiling; selective law enforcement; prosecutorial discretion; the use of secret evidence; indefinite detention; lack of due process; and refusal of the right of habeas corpus.

AAI advocates for the restoration of our fundamental civil liberties while supporting policies that reflect our core values and principles as patriotic Americans. The federal, state and local officials who work to protect us must demonstrate their commitment to respectfully the civil rights and liberties of all U.S. citizens and legal immigrants. To ensure this, Congress should institutionalize regular oversight of executive departments and agencies; provide formal reports on Executive measures; review controversial counterterrorism legislation and revise or repeal any statute that provides opportunity for egregious civil liberties violations in the name of national security.

AAI Issue Brief on the Arab SpringAAI Issue Brief: Civil Rights and Civil Liberties

AAI Issue Brief: Surveillance

AAI Issue Brief: TSA SPOT Program 

AAI Issue Brief: Anti-Arab Bigotry & Islamophobia

AAI Issue Brief: Anti-Sharia Legislation

AAI Issue Brief: Immigration

AAI Issue Brief: NSEERS 




From AAI

From Washington

From Dr. Zogby