Category Archives:
War on Terror

What we talk about when we talk about ISIS

Eamon Murphy on
The Atlantic magazine cover

As the U.S. prepares to re-engage more deeply in the Iraq War, including the likely deployment of ground troops to help retake Mosul from Islamic State, there has been a push from mainstream commentators to recommit to an ideological view of our military campaigns in the Muslim world. A splashy cover story in The Atlantic, “What ISIS Really Wants”, offers an intellectual foundation for the reenergized War on Terror, presenting full recognition of ISIS’s “very Islamic” nature as a matter of urgent strategic significance. Eamon Murphy writes the obsession with naming Islam as the enemy of the West is in fact a defense of our own side’s troubled ideology. He says the guiding principle of post-World War II foreign policy — that the course of world events should be influenced, wherever possible, by force — is imperiled by the spectacular failure of the War on Terror, which actually succeeded in creating a transnational army of Islamic terrorists. That Islamic State rose in Iraq, then spread to Syria and Libya, threatens to give war a very bad name.

Muslims’ beliefs are ‘untrue’ and ‘ridiculous,’ ‘Salon’ author says, offering support for Maher’s intolerance

Philip Weiss on
Bill Maher with Ben Affleck and Sam Harris.

Rula Jebreal took on Bill Maher’s Islamophobia, saying that he was offering a literalist and simplistic view of the religion, like jihadists themselves. If you said this about blacks or Jews you’d be fired, she said. Now Salon has backed Maher up with a piece saying that Islamic beliefs are “untrue” and “ridiculous.” Yes and what about the parting of the Red Sea?

ISIS, 9/11, and the terrorism time loop

Deepa Kumar on
President Barack Obama delivers a prime time address from the White House to discuss the US strategy to counter ISIS, Sept. 10, 2014 (Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

As we mark another anniversary of the attacks in 2001, it seems as if little has changed. We appear to be caught in a time loop where history keeps repeating itself again and again. If it was al Qaeda in 2001 that represented the pinnacle of all things evil that animated the US invasion of Afghanistan and later Iraq, today its al Qaeda’s evil twin Islamic State that is prompting air strikes in Iraq and upcoming airstrikes on Syria as well. Virtually absent in the media circus around ISIS is an honest discussion of how the US War on Terror, rather than halting the growth of violent Islamist groups, actually fosters fundamentalism.

Hamas is ISIS for dummies

Philip Weiss on
Boteach ad in New York Times

As you are surely aware, the gruesome murders of American journalists by the Islamic state group in Iraq and Syria have been seized on by demagogues to argue that the US must go to war in the Middle East. Chris Matthews has championed a “nationalistic response” to the killings and faulted Barack Obama for not […]

The death by drone memo: a throwback to U.S. terrorism in Nicaragua

Rémi Brulin on

On September 30, 2011, Anwar al-Aulaki, a radical Islamist cleric and an American citizen, was killed in a targeted drone strike in Yemen. Among the many legal questions raised by such an act, a most important and intriguing one relates to the legal status of certain CIA activities given the existence of 18 USC 119, […]

Why LA needs a city-funded Middle Eastern cultural center

Jordan Elgrably on

This piece is part of a campaign in Los Angeles to convince the mayor to provide funding for a cultural and community center that represents Arab/Muslim communities. Sign a petition in favor here. I must be out of my mind. For the past 13 years, I have relentlessly militated for the creation of a Middle Eastern/North […]

New book explores intersection of Islamophobia and support for Israel

Alex Kane on

We’ve been delighted to feature the work of Elly Bulkin and Donna Nevel, whose articles have investigated how the Israel lobby fuels anti-Muslim bigotry. They have shed much needed light on a vitally important issue that has impacted Muslim educators and mosques. Now, Bulkin and Nevel have a new book out titled Islamophobia and Israel. They […]

In Ramallah, Palestinian Authority cracks down on Salafi anti-negotiation protests

Allison Deger on

As U.S. brokered negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian leaders nearly ruptured last week, in the West Bank the Palestinian Authority was busy cracking down on a Salafi group attempting to stage protests against the talks. Two weekends in a row, after evening prayers at a central Ramallah mosque dozens of Palestinian Authority (PA) riot police […]

Anti-Defamation League exploits fear of Muslims to undermine anti-gay bill

Alex Kane on

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) can’t quit pushing anti-Muslim bigotry.  The latest instance emerged in a peculiar fashion: in opposition to an anti-gay bill in Arizona pushed by religious conservatives. The ADL landed on the side of liberals in opposing the legislation, which would have enshrined the rights of business owners to deny service to gays […]

Even when US drones hit the mark in Pakistan, they’re still counterproductive

Medea Benjamin on

“We will put pressure on America, and our protest will continue if drone attacks are not stopped,” said an angry Imran Khan, leader of Pakistan’s third largest political party, the PTI (the Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf). He was speaking on Saturday, November 23, to a crowd of over 10,000 protesters who blocked the highway used by NATO […]

Showtime’s ‘Homeland’ and the imagination of national security

Deepa Kumar on

The show Homeland began its third season with record-breaking ratings. The show’s creators Alex Ganza and Howard Gordon, who previously collaborated on the wildly popular series 24, seem to have worked out a successful narrative for the War on Terror during the Obama era. If 24 reflected the Bush administration’s cowboy, shoot-em-up (and torture them) […]

The Heart is Not a Weapon: My correspondence with Shukri Abu Baker

Richard Potter on

In 2009, after a previous trial resulted in a hung jury, Shukri Abu Baker was sentenced to 65 years in a United States prison after being convicted of having a role in distributing over 12 million dollars through the charity The Holy Land Foundation in material support to the designated terrorist group Hamas. The trial […]

The victims of drones have come out of the shadows

Medea Benjamin on

At each of the over 200 cities I’ve traveled to this past year with my book Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control, I ask the audience an easy question: Have they ever seen or heard from drone strike victims in the mainstream US press? Not one hand has ever gone up. This is an obvious indication that […]

CUNY Law SJP condemns student suspensions over anti-Petraeus activism

CUNY Law Students for Justice in Palestine on

The following statement was sent in the wake of student suspensions due to activism opposing General David Petraeus’ professorship at the City University of New York. Here’s more on protests against Petraeus at the school. As members of Students for Justice in Palestine at the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law, we […]

Compensation fund meant for Pakistani drone victims going to US-based NGOs instead

Medea Benjamin on

Recent reports on US drone strikes by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the UN have heightened international awareness about civilian casualties and have resulted in new calls for redress. The Amnesty International drone report “Will I be next?” says the US government should ensure that victims of unlawful drone strikes, including family members, have […]

Meet the Arab-American lawyer who the NSA spied on–back in 1967

Alex Kane on

Abdeen Jabara was hardly shocked when the scandal over the National Security Agency’s global surveillance dragnet broke in June. “I was not at all surprised by the Snowden revelations about the NSA,” Jabara, a prominent lawyer and a founder of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, told me in a phone interview. “The United States has this […]

How pro-Israel forces drove two virulent anti-Muslim campaigns

Donna Nevel on

This piece was first published on Alternet. In the years since the 9/11 attacks, attempts to open a mosque, a Muslim cultural center, or an Arabic-themed public school have resulted in full-fledged, sometimes well-coordinated, Islamophobic campaigns that have lasted months or even years and have struck at Muslim and Arab communities in different parts of the […]

Opening shots fired in federal lawsuit against NYPD spying on Muslims

Alex Kane on

The federal courtroom was mostly silent in the minutes before proceedings started, the mood somber as Muslim activists and their allies waited in the area for spectators. But when the judge walked in, sparks began to fly over the lawsuit seeking to end the New York Police Department’s surveillance program that has mapped Muslim communities, […]

Spy on mosques, stay away from synagogues: NYPD surveillance differs based on religion

Alex Kane on

The threat was menacing: the celebrity Rabbi Shmuley Boteach “deserves death,” wrote a Brooklyn Jewish male in an April 2007 posting on a extremist web site. The next year, the same man wrote on “Someone shoot Shmuley Boteach,” the well-known Rabbi who is a close friend of New Jersey Senator-elect Corey Booker, a former […]

A Jewish New Year call for justice for the Muslim community

Donna Nevel on

With increasing revelations about the surveillance and targeting of the Muslim community by the NYPD, the Jews Against Islamophobia Coalition re-commits itself to being an ally and partner with the Muslim community and all communities challenging Islamophobia, racism, and injustice. As many Jews engage during the New Year holidays in a period of reflection and […]

Target Bay Ridge: The NYPD has burrowed deep into the heart of Brooklyn’s Muslim community

Alex Kane on

The spying unleashed on the heart of Brooklyn’s Muslim community has been intense. Muslims in Bay Ridge have seen it all: Informants who have burrowed deep into mosques to take recordings of sermons. Unmarked vehicles that have trailed prominent community members. Secret police documents that detail Muslim-owned businesses in the area. By now, Muslims in […]

10 ways to reduce the threat of terrorist attacks on Americans

Medea Benjamin on

Pakistani tribesmen show a poster of drone strike victims. (Photo: Getty Images via CNN) Declare a moratorium on drone strikes: The head of Al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri, is calling on jihadists to retaliate for US drone strikes in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen. The Yemeni group Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), where the US says […]