Archive for discrimination

Dearborn Anti-Islam Conference Discriminates Against Muslim Women it Claims to Save

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon Blogs with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 3, 2012 by loonwatch

Omar Baddar and a host of other organizations responded to the hateful anti-Islam and anti-Arab conference put on by professional bigots Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer. The founders of SIOA crassly titled the event, “Jessica Mokdad Human Rights Conference.” Seeking to manipulate and abuse the memory of a young Muslim girl who was murdered by her step-father.

Her murder had nothing to do with Islam, but the hate-mongerers insist on trying to smear Islam at any opportunity.

In the following video we get the facts. We see how discriminatory and racist to the core the anti-Islam brigades behind the “conference” really are! We also see how scared they are of confrontation and being challenged on their hateful bigotry:

Texas Schools Association Discriminates against Muslims as Well as Jews

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , on March 7, 2012 by loonwatch

A really egregious story out of Texas:

Texas schools association discriminates against Muslims as well as Jews

A Houston Islamic academy was denied membership to the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools after being grilled about the Koran and the mosque located at Ground Zero.

Iman Academy applied for membership to TAPPS in 2010, but the association denied the school’s request. After being rejected two years ago, Principal Cindy Steffens did not go public with the story, but The New York Times uncovered the Houston academy’s name last week and ran an article about the controversy.

TAPPS represents more than 220 private schools in the state. The association drew national attention last week after refusing to reschedule a basketball game for a Jewish Orthodox day school Robert M. Beren Academy in Houston, which could not play at the time because the players observed the Sabbath. After the parents threatened legal action, Beren was allowed to play its semi-final game.

The Iman Academy received a questionnaire as part of their application to apply for the TAPPS. Steffens said the questionnaire had provocative and loaded questions, including how the school addresses Christmas. Among the questions sent to Iman Academy and the other Islamic schools that applied were:

  • Historically, there is nothing in the Koran that fully embraces Christianity or Judaism in the way a Christian and/or a Jew understands his religion. Why, then, are you interested in joining an association whose basic beliefs your religion condemns?
  • It is our understanding that the Koran tells you not to mix with (and even eliminate) the infidels. Christians and Jews fall into that category. Why do you wish to join an organization whose membership is in disagreement with your beliefs?
  • How does your school address certain Christian concepts? (i.e. celebrating Christmas)
  • Does your school teach that the Bible is corrupt? When was the  Bible allegedly polluted? Does the Koran actually  state that the Bible is polluted?
  • What is your attitude about the spread of Islam in America? What are the goals of your school in this regard?

In 2004, two other Islamic schools applied for membership and received a response letter that they perceived as hostile to their faith. They chose not to answer the questions, but Iman Academy did.

School officials were invited to an interview before the TAPPS board in November 2010, and Steffens said one board member said he wanted to discuss the “elephant in the room.” She said the board asked questions that seemed irrelevant to joining an association to play sports, such as asking her opinion about the mosque located near Ground Zero in New York City.

Steffens said another board member told her, “I know all Muslims are not terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims.”

Houston Chronicle, 6 March 2012

NYPD Document: Gather Intel Info at Shiite Mosques

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , on February 2, 2012 by loonwatch

NYPD

This story just gets worse and worse. I doubt Muslims in New York will trust the NYPD again, it will take a long time to repair the damage:

NYPD document: Gather intel info at Shiite mosques

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Police Department recommended increasing surveillance of thousands of Shiite Muslims and their mosques, based solely on their religion, as a way to sweep the Northeast for signs of Iranian terrorists, according to interviews and a newly obtained secret police document.

The document offers a rare glimpse into the thinking of NYPD intelligence officers and how, when looking for potential threats, they focused their spying efforts on mosques and Muslims. Police analysts listed a dozen mosques from central Connecticut to the Philadelphia suburbs. None has been linked to terrorism, either in the document or publicly by federal agencies.
The Associated Press has reported for months that the NYPD infiltrated mosques, eavesdropped in cafes and monitored Muslim neighborhoods with plainclothes officers. Its spying operations were begun after the 2001 terror attacks with help from the CIA in a highly unusual partnership.

The May 2006 NYPD intelligence report, entitled “US-Iran Conflict: The Threat to New York City,” made a series of recommendations, including: “Expand and focus intelligence collections at Shi’a mosques.”

The NYPD is prohibited under its own guidelines and city law from basing its investigations on religion. Under FBI guidelines, which the NYPD says it follows, many of the recommendations in the police document would be prohibited.

The report, drawn largely from information available in newspapers or sites like Wikipedia, was prepared for Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly. It was written at a time of great tension between the U.S. and Iran. That tension over Iran’s nuclear ambition has increased again recently.

Police estimated the New York area Shiite population to be about 35,000, with Iranians making up about 8,500. The document also calls for canvassing the Palestinian community because there might be terrorists there.

“The Palestinian community, although not Shi’a, should also be assessed due to presence of Hamas members and sympathizers and the group’s relationship with the Iranian government,” analysts wrote.

The secret document stands in contrast to statements by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who said the NYPD never considers religion in its policing. Kelly has said police go only where investigative leads take them, but the document described no leads to justify expanded surveillance at Shiite mosques.

The document also renews debate over how the NYPD privately views Muslims. Kelly has faced calls for his resignation recently from some Muslim activists for participating in a video that says Muslims want to “infiltrate and dominate” the United States. The NYPD showed the video to nearly 1,500 officers during training.

Documents previously obtained by the AP show widespread NYPD infiltration of mosques. It’s not clear, however, whether the May 2006 report prompted police to infiltrate the mosques on the list. One former police official who has seen the report said that, generally, the recommendations were followed but he could not say for sure whether these mosques were infiltrated.

A current law enforcement official, also familiar with the report, said that since it was issued the NYPD learned that Hezbollah was more political than religious and concluded that it’s not effective to monitor Shiites.

Both insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the program.
Neither David Cohen, the NYPD’s top intelligence officer, nor department spokesman Paul Browne responded to emails or phone calls from The Associated Press this week.
Iran is an overwhelmingly Shiite country, but Shiites are a small percentage of the U.S. Muslim population. By contrast, al-Qaida is a Sunni organization and many U.S. leaders consider Shiite clerics as allies in the fight against homegrown extremism. Shiites are often oppressed overseas and many have sought asylum in the West.

The document is dated just weeks after Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told Congress that, “We may face no greater challenge from a single country than from Iran.”
Even now, the U.S. remains particularly concerned with Iran, not only because of its nuclear research but also because intelligence officials don’t believe they know how Iranian sympathizers inside the United States would respond if the two countries went to war. By far, the largest group of Iranians in the U.S. lives in or around Los Angeles. Yet the NYPD, with a smaller Iranian population that police estimated at about 8,500 in New York City, shared the concerns about reactions to an open military conflict.

Asad Sadiq, president of the Bait-ul-Qaim mosque in the Philadelphia suburb of Delran, N.J., said the NYPD was being unfairly broad.

“If you attack Cuba, are all the Catholics going to attack here? This is called guilt by association,” Sadiq, a dentist, said after seeing his mosque in the NYPD document. “Just because we are the same religion doesn’t mean we’re going to stand up and harm the United States. It’s really absurd.”

The AP showed the document to several veteran counterterrorism analysts. None said they had seen anything like it.

“It’s really problematic if you make a jump from a possible international conflict to saying therefore we need to monitor Shiite mosques writ large,” said Brian Fishman, the former research director at West Point’s Combatting Terrorism Center. “It doesn’t follow.”

For instance, the NYPD analysts focused much of the report on the Alavi Foundation, a New York nonprofit group that the federal government has since accused of being secretly controlled by the Iranian government. Analysts then looked at a mosque where Alavi members prayed and that police say may have been linked to an effort to buy information about rocket technology for Iran.

There is no explanation, however, for how those suspicions warranted expanding surveillance to other Shiite mosques, including those far outside the department’s jurisdiction in Connecticut and New Jersey.

“Any time that you begin to isolate certain communities from a policing perspective because you think there’s risk, you have the potential that somebody overreaches,” said Robert Riegle, a former Department of Homeland Security analyst who oversaw efforts to work with state and local agencies.

At the Al-Mahdi Foundation mosque in Brooklyn, worshippers intoned their prayers Wednesday while touching their foreheads to disks of clay on the floor, a Shiite tradition.
“After 1,400 years, the Shias are being targeted in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Pakistan, everywhere,” imam Malik Sakhawat Hussain said after being told that his mosque was in the NYPD document. “If U.S. authorities become suspicious of the Shias, I would say we are a very oppressed community of the world.”

At the Masjid Al-Rahman, a prayer hall in the basement of a Brooklyn apartment building, manager Abo Maher was surprised to see his mosque on the NYPD’s list of Shiite locations.
“This isn’t even Shia,” he said. “Their information is wrong.”

The police department’s Demographics Unit, the secretive squad of plainclothes officers used to monitor restaurants, social clubs and other gathering spots, found similar issues in Iranian neighborhoods, one former NYPD official recalled.

Muslims make up only a fraction of New York’s Iranian community so squad members returned from their rounds in Iranian neighborhoods and reported finding Jews and Christians, the former official said.

Sadiq, the New Jersey mosque president, said about 250 families — mostly Pakistanis and Indians and few Iraqis — attend his mosque. Every few years, he said, an FBI agent stops by, introduces himself and asks whether there’s been any radical rhetoric in his mosque and whether he knows anyone with connections to Iran. The most recent meeting was just Wednesday, he said, and the NYPD would be welcome if it came openly.

The intelligence unit operates in secrecy with little outside oversight. The City Council is not told about secret intelligence programs. And though the unit operates under the auspices of a federal anti-drug task force and receives federal money, it is not overseen by Congress. The Obama administration, including the Justice Department, has repeatedly sidestepped questions about whether it endorses the NYPD’s tactics.

“They think that they can do whatever they want and get away with it,” Sadiq said.
The document also suggests a broader international intelligence mission than the department has previously acknowledged. The NYPD has officers stationed in 11 foreign cities such as London, Paris, Madrid, and Tel Aviv, where they work with local police and act as the NYPD’s eyes and ears overseas.

In their recommendations for the foreign liaison unit, analysts wrote that officers should: “Focus international intelligence collection on the Iranian threat, to include the activities of the IIS, Hezbollah, Hamas etc. throughout Europe and the Middle East.”

NYPD officers abroad are not supposed to be spies and do not answer to the U.S. director of national intelligence or the CIA station chiefs who coordinate America’s efforts to gather intelligence on Iran. In fact, the NYPD’s international officers aren’t even paid by the department. Rather, the program is paid for through a nonprofit foundation that raises money from corporate donors.

It has not previously been known that the NYPD would consider gathering overseas intelligence on Iranian intelligence services. The police department does not disclose details about the inner workings of the international program to the City Council, to Congress or to U.S. intelligence agencies.

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart: Terror-Free All American Muslim

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 14, 2011 by loonwatch

Jon Stewart

Terror-Free All American Muslim

On tonight’s Daily Show, Jon Stewart took a look at the controversy surrounding TLC’s new show, All American Muslim, and the Tampa-based group that hates it. Because the Muslims depicted in the show aren’t shown to be terrorists bent on destroying America, the Florida Family Association can’t abide it. Like most zealots, all they want is their stereotypes reinforced. Is it too much to ask for Bravo to whip up a season of the The Real Martyrs of Jalalabad? Sheesh.

http://media.mtvnservices.com/mgid:cms:video:thedailyshow.com:404235

The Daily Show
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Muslim-Americans Banished by Government, Banned from Air Travel and Told They Can Swim Back

Posted in Feature, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 19, 2011 by loonwatch

Much has been said (not enough though) about how the imperial government in the White House can assassinate U.S. citizens without trial (see Glenn Greenwald’s discussion here).  For now, the main targets of this presidential assassination program are Muslim-Americans living abroad.

But there is another far more common way that the U.S. government infringes on the rights of Muslim-Americans who travel abroad: the modern-day equivalent of banishment.  The way it works is this: you’re a Muslim-American who decides one day to travel abroad to (let’s say) visit family.  After a few weeks, you decide it’s time to head back home, the United States of America.  But as you try to board the plane at the airport, you’re informed that your flight has been canceled and that you need to talk to the American embassy.  After a few days of being left in mystery, you might be told that you were put on a no-fly list.  But you’ll never be given any explanation for why you were put on this list or how to get off of it.

It’s difficult to say how many Muslim-Americans have faced this fate.  The ACLU says it has been contacted “by a dozen people” in a similar situation with “half of them” stranded abroad:

The American Civil Liberties Union says it has been contacted by a dozen people who say they have been improperly placed on the no-fly list since December, half of them Americans abroad.

“For many of these Americans, placement on the no-fly list effectively amounts to banishment from their country,” said Ben Wizner, a senior staff attorney with the A.C.L.U. He called such treatment “both unfair and unconstitutional.”

The actual numbers are almost certainly much higher:

Exactly how many people are on the government’s lists is unclear. Some of the most recent estimates, from late 2009, state that about 400,000 individuals are on the “watchlist,” which requires a “reasonable suspicion” that the person is known or suspected to be engaged in terrorist activities. A much smaller number — about 14,000 — is on the “selectee list,” meaning they will likely have to undergo rigorous screening to travel. And officials estimated that 3,400 individuals, including roughly 170 U.S. residents, are on the no-fly list.

We won’t ever actually know how many (unless Wikileaks informs us) since the Most Transparent Administration Ever™ won’t ever tell us, much like how we won’t ever know how many civilians our drones kill.

All of this prompted the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the largest Muslim-American civil rights group, to issue a “travel advisory” to Muslim-Americans warning of the threat of “forced exile.”  So, if you Fly While Muslim (FWM) and travel abroad, you risk assassination and forced exile.

Can you imagine how absolutely, positively angry we’d be if Iran gave these two options to Jewish-Iranians traveling abroad?

*  *  *  *  *

The latest case of forced exile seems especially egregious since it may involve the government targeting a Muslim father’s children.  Here’s a report from MSNBC:

Muslims often put on no-fly list without explanation

Landing on the U.S. government’s watchlist can be a legal, bureaucratic nightmare

McLEAN, Va. — The calls have reached a point of repetitive regularity for civil rights lawyer Gadeir Abbas: A young Muslim American, somewhere in the world, is barred from boarding an airplane.

The exact reasons are never fully articulated, but the reality is clear. The traveler has been placed on the government’s terror watchlist — or the more serious no-fly list — and clearing one’s name becomes a legal and bureaucratic nightmare.

On Monday Abbas sent letters to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and FBI Director Robert Mueller requesting assistance for his two most recent clients. One is a resident of Portland, Ore. who is trying to fly to Italy to live with his mother. The other, a teenager and U.S. citizen living in Jordan, has been unable to travel to Connecticut to lead prayers at a mosque.

“All American citizens have the unqualified right to reside in the United States,” Abbas wrote Monday in a letter to secretary of State Hillary Clinton seeking a change in status for the client in Jordan.

Abbas, a lawyer with the Council on American-Islamic Relations, tries to piece together the reason why a client has been placed on the list. Perhaps a person has a similar name to a known terrorist. Maybe their travels to Yemen or some other Middle East hot spot have garnered suspicion. Maybe they told the FBI to take a hike when they requested an interview.

Ultimately, though, the reasons are almost irrelevant. From Abbas’ perspective, the placement on the no-fly list amounts to a denial of a traveler’s basic rights: U.S. citizens can’t return home from overseas vacations, children are separated from parents, and those under suspicion are denied the basic due process rights that would allow them to clear their name…

“The amount of people who experience tragic, life-altering travel delays is significant,” said Abbas, who estimates he gets a call at least once a month from a Muslim American in dire straits because their travel has been restricted.

Government officials, of course, see it differently. They say they have a Traveler Redress Inquiry Program that lets people wrongly placed on the no-fly list, or the much broader terrorist watchlist, fix their circumstances.

More broadly, the government has argued in court that placing somebody on the no-fly list does not deprive them of any constitutional rights. Just because a person can’t fly doesn’t mean they can’t travel, the government lawyers argue. They can always take a boat, for example.

Or perhaps they can swim across.  Or maybe they can build a bridge across the ocean out of Lego pieces.  Or why not drill an underground hole from China?

They can always take a boat!?  Are you effing kidding me!?

The article goes on:

“Neither Plaintiff nor any other American citizen has either a right to international travel or a right to travel by airplane,” government lawyers wrote…

Exactly how many people are on the government’s lists is unclear. Some of the most recent estimates, from late 2009, state that about 400,000 individuals are on the “watchlist,” which requires a “reasonable suspicion” that the person is known or suspected to be engaged in terrorist activities. A much smaller number — about 14,000 — is on the “selectee list,” meaning they will likely have to undergo rigorous screening to travel. And officials estimated that 3,400 individuals, including roughly 170 U.S. residents, are on the no-fly list.

Calls and emails to the Department of Homeland Security and State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs were not returned.

Of course not.  State Secrets and all.

And near the end of the article:

In another case, an 18 year-old U.S. citizen living in Jordan with his parents was bounced from an EgyptAir flight to New York. Amr Abulrub had planned to lead Ramadan prayers at a Connecticut mosque.

After a few days of confusion, Abulrub learned from airline officials that the U.S. government had instructed EgyptAir to cancel his ticket. U.S. embassy officials in Amman have subsequently told Abulrub he can travel under certain restrictions, including a requirement that his flight to the U.S. be booked on an American airline. But Abulrub is leery of traveling at all for fear that he won’t be allowed to go back to Jordan.

Abulrub’s father, Jalal Abulrub, suspects his son has come to the attention of U.S. authorities because of his own writings. Jalal is a Salafist scholar who has sometimes written provocative articles and antagonized Christian evangelists he believed were disrespectful to Muslims. While Jalal says his family is Salafist — generally considered a fundamentalist sect of Islam — he is quick to point out that he has a long history of writing in opposition to the ideology espoused by Osama bin laden and al-Qaida.

“I am not going to let this go,” Jalal said, referring to his son’s inability to travel. “We don’t allow anyone to oppress us.”

Amr Abulrub is the latest victim of the modern day banishment system enacted by the United States.  And he might have been placed on that list due to the writings of his father, Jalal Abulrub, a conservative Muslim preacher.  Jalal Abulrub is known for debating Evangelical Christians, and even though some of his articles might seem abrasive, they are no more so than those Christians he debates with.  More specifically, Jalal Abulrub has consistently denounced Al-Qaeda, terrorism, and the targeting and killing of civilians (unlike the majority of American Christians who accept the idea).

Is the government targeting a man’s children?  I don’t know.  Jalal Abulrub certainly thinks so, and it certainly deserves investigation.  But we’ll never know, since everything is a state secret.

*  *  *  *  *

Here is the bottom line, enunciated by CAIR:

“If the F.B.I. wishes to question American citizens, they should be allowed to return to the United States, where they will be able to maintain their constitutional rights free of threats or intimidation,” Mr. Awad wrote.

If the government wants to arrest and try them in court, that’s fine too.  But leaving them in limbo makes no sense, and runs completely contrary to everything this country was founded upon.  And that’s the rub of this Abulrub situation: the government is telling these same Muslim-Americans that they can travel back to the U.S. on a boat.  If they really were terrorists or involved in anything terrorism-related, then why would the government still allow them back if they take a different mode of transportation?  This proves that the government really has nothing on them, and that this entire thing is just one big farce.

*  *  *  *  *

Check out this disgusting anti-Muslim website (BareNakedIslam) which boasts the title:

“MUSLIM ‘NO FLY’ list has unintended (but welcome) consequences — ‘Forced Exile’

Hatred makes people take great delight in the sickest of things.

When White is Right: Asian people 42 times more likely to be held under terror law

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , on May 24, 2011 by loonwatch

This reminds me of something from The Guardian in 2010:

Black people are 26 times more likely than whites to face stop and search

Analysis of government data shows shocking discrepancy in stop and search figures for England and Wales

Black people are 26 times more likely than white people to be stopped and searched by policein England and Wales, the most glaring example of “racial profiling” researchers have seen, according to an international report.

The analysis of government data has brought claims of discrimination from campaigners who say the findings corroborate concerns that black and Asian Britons are being unfairly targeted. The US civil rights activist Jesse Jackson, who arrives in London today to launch a campaign aimed at curbing what he says is stop-and-search discrimination, described the figures as “astonishing”.

The figures relate to stop-and-searches under Section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, which was introduced to deal with football hooligans and the threat of serious violence. It allows police to search anyone in a designated area without specific grounds for suspicion.

Analysis by the London School of Economics and the Open Society Justice Initiative found that there are 41.6 Section 60 searches for every 1,000 black people, compared with 1.6 for every 1,000 white people – making black people 26.6 times more likely to be stopped and searched. Asians were 6.3 times more likely to be stopped than whites, according to the analysis of Ministry of Justice figures for 2008-09…

And now this, also from The Guardian:

Asian people 42 times more likely to be held under terror law

People from ethnic minorities more likely than white people to be stopped under schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act

People from ethnic minorities are up to 42 times more likely than white people to be the target of a counter-terrorism power which allows the stopping and searching of the innocent yet grants them fewer rights than suspected criminals, official figures seen by the Guardian show.

The power is contained in schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000, which allows police to stop people at ports and airports for up to nine hours without the need for reasonable suspicion that they are involved in any crime.

The figures have led to accusations that police have resorted to “ethnic profiling”, which they deny.

British Muslims have given written statements to the Guardian alleging that the police and the security service MI5 are abusing the power by holding people and pressing them into becoming spies.

Those stopped have no right to maintain their silence, and failure to answer questions can be a criminal offence.

Questioning can begin without a lawyer present and those stopped must pay for one themselves if they want legal representation.

The authorities fear the random nature of schedule 7 means a legal challenge could see the power struck down for being arbitrary, a counter-terrorism official said. This is what eventually happened to the part of the act that allowed stop and search in the street without any suspicion, which was ruled unlawful by human rights judges.

The uncovering of official figures by the Guardian is the first time an ethnic breakdown of who is stopped under schedule 7 has been made public.

The calculation that 42 times as many Asians are stopped as white people is based on comparing the percentage of Asians in the UK population to the percentage of those stopped under schedule 7. Ethnic breakdowns for those entering and exiting the UK are not available.

The disproportionality faced by ethnic minorities is at its most pronounced where a person is stopped and questioned for over an hour. White people make up 19% of stops, Asian people 41%, black people 10% and others (including Middle Eastern and Chinese) 30%.

Asians make up 5% of the UK population, black people 3% and others 1%. White people make up 91% of the population.

Where people are stopped and held for under an hour, the breakdown is: white people, 45% of stops; Asian people, 25%; black people, 8%; other ethnicities, 22%.

One of those stopped, Asif Ahmed, 28, said he was asked to spy after landing at Edinburgh airport.

He said he was separated from his wife and taken to a room and told he must answer questions about his beliefs and faith. “They asked if I would like to work with special branch, to keep an eye on the Muslim community in Edinburgh. They asked me three times. They said do it covertly.”

Despite official claims that profiling on the basis of ethnicity is banned by the police, the official figures give strength to the argument that people are having their human rights infringed on the basis of what they look like and which god they pray to. Those stopped can also have their DNA taken and stored.

Ben Bowling, professor of criminology at King’s College London, said the data undermines claims ethnic profiling is not being used. “They lend weight to the view that ethnic profiling is going on,” he said. “The use of these powers at the border should be based on reasonable grounds and in ways that are properly transparent and accountable. At present they are opaque and unaccountable and seem little more than arbitrary and discriminatory, especially from the point of view of the person detained without reason.”

One person subjected to a schedule 7 stop has provided a written statement alleging an MI5 officer tried to recruit him as a spy. When he refused, he says he was threatened with torture abroad.

Another, Alam Sheikh, 29, was stopped under the counter-terrorism power in January at Gatwick airport after a short holiday with friends in Morocco.

He was baffled when asked by police if he was involved in the Arab uprisings: “They asked do you know anyone who is part of the protests?

“One of my friends is a trainee lawyer. Even he was shaking. It wasn’t fair. Most of us were smartly dressed. It wasn’t like we were wearing Arab clothing or beards.”

An exact figure on the disproportionate use of schedule 7 is difficult to arrive at because no figures are kept on the ethnicity of people entering and leaving the UK. Police forces have claimed releasing an ethnic breakdown of figures force by force could damage national security, and thus have previously refused to release them when requests were made under freedom of information legislation.

The figures published on Tuesday were released following a freedom of information request from the Federation of Student Islamic Societies.

In 2009 the National Policing Improvement Agency issued guidelines to officers about the use of the power, warning against ethnic profiling. “Examining officers must take particular care to ensure that the selection of people for examination is not based solely on their perceived ethnic background or religion,” the agency said. “The powers must be exercised in a manner that does not discriminate … to do so would be unlawful.”

The guidelines make clear that ethnic profiling would damage the police: “Officers should be aware that the way in which people are selected has a potentially far-reaching effect on the public and their acceptance of counter-terrorism powers.

“Misuse of the powers can damage the relationship between the police and sections of the public.”

But even some serving officers say the official selection criteria given to police makes it more likely officers will seek out those linked to Muslim communities. The guidelines talk of basing selection on “any information on the origins and location of terrorist groups” and “possible current, emerging and future terrorist activity”.

Zaheer Ahmad, president of the National Association of Muslim Police said: “We are concerned about the disproportionality reflected in the number of people stopped from ethnic backgrounds – we have seen no acceptable reason as to why this is taking place. The police service must take an intelligence-based approach to minimise the impact of this power on the travelling public.”

In 2009-10, 85,557 people were stopped and examined at UK borders under the schedule 7 powers. The government said: “A very low percentage of 220 million passengers travelling through UK ports were stopped, with only 0.03% of those travelling being examined.”

John Donlon, the Association of Chief Police Officers’ national co-ordinator for ports policing, said: “Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 is important legislation in support of national security work at ports.

“The examining officers’ code of practice enforces that the examination of a person cannot be based solely on perceived ethnicity or religion. Activity is intelligence-led and officers deployed at ports do not single out particular ethnic groups for examination.”

We must keep White People Safe.

U.S. Monitoring 11 Sites for Possible Discrimination Against Muslims

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , on September 23, 2010 by loonwatch

(via. Reuters)

U.S. monitoring 11 sites for possible discrimination against Muslims

The U.S. Justice Department has said it is monitoring 11 cases of potential land-use discrimination against Muslims, a sharp increase in cases under a federal law designed to protect religious minorities in zoning disputes.

In a report on discrimination against mosques, synagogues, churches and other religious sites, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division said on Tuesday it has monitored 18 cases of possible bias against Muslims over the past 10 years.

Eight of those have been opened since May, around the time when plans for a Muslim community center and mosque near the former site of the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan seized media attention and caused a national political uproar. “This fact is a sober reminder that, even in the 21st century, challenges to true religious liberty remain,” the report said.

The report made no mention of the planned Muslim center in New York, known as Cordoba House. A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to discuss monitoring activities but stressed that no investigations were under way in those cases.