The Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act

Posted by Ryan Suto on January 23, 2018 in Blog

In November Senator Durbin introduced the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2017. The bill’s Findings section details the extensive problem of “right-wing extremists,” listing mass shootings, murders, and other attacks on US soil going back to 2012. Notably, the bill references a 2009 Homeland Security report on right-wing extremism which was eventually withdrawn “amid an aggressive political attack on the report from the right.” Because of the emphasis on right wing violence and the reference to 2009 DHS report which singles out groups “leveraging the real estate environment, unemployment, and the election of the first African American...

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Section 702 of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Reauthorized in Congress

Posted by Guest on January 19, 2018 in Blog

By Mollie Todd

Last week, President Trump took to Twitter to provide his opinions on the reauthorization of Title VII- Section 702 of the FISA act. It seemed that the President was originally unaware of what the act was, or that only Section 702 of the bill was being reauthorized. His first tweet claimed that, “This is the act that may have been used…to so badly surveil and abuse the Trump Campaign by the previous administration and others?” Immediately following this statement, President Trump was informed by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan on the differences between foreign and...

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#ArabAmericansLead 2017: Expert panel on hate crimes

Posted by Guest on May 04, 2017 in Blog

By Sam Leathley

Jonathan Smith, from Muslim Advocates, spoke on the issue of hate crimes. He began by emphasizing that hate crimes have risen dramatically since the election (Smith’s organization, Muslim Advocates, has been one of the organizations tracking this rise). Smith highlighted three main points regarding hate crimes: underreporting, the necessity of holding institutions accountable, and the narratives surrounding hate crimes.

Hate crimes are grossly underreported—a phenomenon which can largely be attributed to affected communities’ distrust of law enforcement. Underreporting has worrying consequences: if we do not have an...

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Civil Rights Advocates Renew Efforts to Oust Bannon

Posted by Arab American Institute on April 14, 2017 in Blog
Civil Rights Advocates Renew Efforts to #DumpBannon
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Take Action: Urge Your Members of Congress to Ban Racial & Religious Profiling by Law Enforcement

Posted by Ali Albassam on February 27, 2017 in Blog

U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), along with more than two dozen original cosponsors, has re-introduced his legislation to ban discriminatory profiling by all levels of law enforcement nationwide. S. 411, the End Racial and Religious Profiling Act of 2017 (ERRPA), is designed to enforce the constitutional right to equal protection of laws by ensuring policies and procedures are in place for law enforcement to promote best practices. ERRPA also closes existing loopholes in the DOJ Guidance to ensure federal, state, and local agencies responsible for the enforcement of...

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Support California's Resistance to the Muslim Ban & Muslim Registry

Posted by Kristin McCarthy on February 02, 2017 in Blog

The state of California is taking an early lead in fight back against President Trump's Muslim Ban and any chance of his administration implementing a registry of Arab Americans and/or American Muslims. There are a few bills currently in the state legislature that are strong statements against the policies of the administration that are targeting Muslims. Here’s a quick rundown with links to take action today. AAI commends the ACLU-Northern California’s statement about President Trump’s shameful Executive Order and support of these bills. You can find their statement here.

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Oppose Virginia Bills that are Anti-Immigrant, Anti-Refugee, and Anti-Free Speech

Posted by Kristin McCarthy on February 02, 2017 in Blog

In Virginia, there are several ways Arab Americans can organize against problematic anti-immigrant, anti-refugee policies that are coming down from the Administration and from the Virginia state legislature. Indeed, Virginia bills are actually outflanking Trump to impose discriminatory immigration policies at the state level. While AAI continues to work nationally to challenge the legality, practicality, and implementation of the Muslim Ban – we're calling on Arab Americans in Virginia to work against these what's happening in their state. Please join the ACLU-Virginia's action alert to express your opposition to the following bills (analysis via the ACLU): ...

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Trump's Executive Orders on Immigration & Refugees Are UnAmerican. Here's How We Fight.

Posted by Arab American Institute on January 27, 2017 in Blog

Today, one week into his term, President Trump signed Executive Orders that halt and roll back some of America’s proudest traditions. We must respond now. From suspending the refugee resettlement program, to denying entry to the United States for individuals from Arab and Muslim-majority countries, to adding needlessly stringent requirements on an already robust vetting process, President Trump is not leading. And these orders come after announcements about building the wall and opposing sanctuary cities. America is a proud nation of immigrants. America is a country that has historically welcomed refugees fleeing war...

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Facebook Censorship Remains Problematic Despite Response to Coalition Concerns

Posted by Kristin McCarthy on January 19, 2017 in Blog
Last Fall, the Arab American Institute joined more than 70 civil rights organizations in pushing Facebook to explain and improve its censorship of content. Many activists from social justice movements like the Black Lives Matter movement, the Dakota Access Pipeline protestors, and the Palestinian solidarity movement have complained about content being removed from Facebook without cause. When challenged about the troubling censorship Facebook cited Community Standards, but we wrote to demand more information and improved practices.
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SCOTUS Should Affirm Constitutional Rights Are For All

Posted by Nadia Aziz on January 18, 2017 in Blog

The Obama Justice Department will spend its final 48 hours fighting against the rights of post-9/11 detainees at the Supreme Court later today in the case of Ziglar v Abbasi. At stake is the ability of the detainees to challenge unconstitutional policies by seeking damages from federal officials. The case itself stems from the post 9/11 roundup of hundreds, often based on nothing more than unfounded reports, discrimination, or outright bias. In fact, a Justice Department IG later rebuked officials for the “indiscriminate and haphazard” way in which they erroneously classified many of these individuals as terror suspects....

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