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9/11 Convenient for Expansion of Powers

Nothing really earth-shattering here. Bush's regime has been always one that wanted to expand executive powers, while compromising the basic tenets of the Constitution of the United States.

George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley told Keith Olbermann on Countdown Monday night (hat-tip the Raw Story):

“This administration was seeking a massive expansion of presidential power and national security powers before 9/11. 9/11 was highly convenient in that case… I'm not saying that they welcomed it, but when it happened, it was a great opportunity to seize powers that they have long wanted at the FBI.”

One should note that Turley is the same professor working on Ali Timimi's case PROBONO! While some of our Muslim brethren actively cheer the indictment or suppression of whom they consider the “lunatic” fringe, these American scholars see Timimi's case as a referendum for the basic freedoms and liberties of all Americans. People like Turley are fighting for Timimi obviously not because he is a Muslim scholar, but rather that he is an American citizen. There is a lesson in it for all of us. When we start looking at such cases as being limited to “them” and “others”… that we don't have to worry as long as we remain good, then I have news for you. Yesterday it was them, tomorrow it will be us. How long before the definition of what constitutes unacceptable speech reaches the recitation of the very Qurʾān? When we start getting Attorney Generals who hold spite for Muslims, like quite possibly Mukasey. Unless of course we fight to protect our rights as citizens of this country… to engage in our freedoms of religion and speech. Not violent speech of course, but speech that is protected by the fabric of this country. If you yourself can't do anything, at least support those who are. You could start with CAIR of course! YOU MUST SEE THE FOLLOWING VIDEO:

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About Amad

Amad Shaikh is one of the founders of MuslimMatters, Inc. His identity is shaped by his religion (Islam), place of birth (Pakistan), and nationality (American). By education, he is a ChemE, topped off with an MBA from the Wharton. He was one of the founders of the TDC, and in what seems like a distant memory, he served as the President of U. Houston's MSA. His interests include politics, cricket, and media interactions. Career-wise, Amad is in management in the oil & gas industry (but one who still appreciates the "green revolution").

14 comments

  1. as salam alaykum
    Ironically it’s the Republican party that even claims to promote “less government” but clearly this administration has failed to live up to their agenda.

    On a side note, Ron Paul seems pretty cool. :)

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  2. Wa Alaykum Salaam wrwb,

    Ron Paul does sound good on foreign policy and on many domestic matters, but when it comes to immigration, he seems like your typical Republican, same “illegal alien” rhetoric.

    Kucinich, imo, is the best overall candidate.

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  3. salaam aleikum,

    this is NOT the first such instance of miscarriages of they system passed off as parts of the “war on terror” there are 4 more you neglected to mention:

    1. In Dearborn, Michigan the former prosecutor, Richard Convertino, is himself now under trial for withholding evidence from the defense council and for employing a govt. paid witness (who was known to be a liar) to fabricate evidence against 4 North Africans.
    The smoking gun of evidence against them? One of them drew a picture of an airplane and building in a planner.

    2. in Lakwanna, NY Yemeni kids were convicted due to simply having gone to Afghanistan and allegedly “attended training camps” with the flimsiest of evidence.

    3. The case of John Walker Lindh (the so-called “American Taliban”) who fought with the Taliban against the Northern Alliance back when they were still gettting funded by the Pakistani ISI and the Saudis. Once they were discarded post 9/11 any association with them became criminal.

    4. In Lodi, California it was a govt. paid informant who pushed an ice cream truck driver and his son (both Pakistanis) by cajoling and inciting the guy into saying and doing things which were then played in court and shown as “evidence” that he was on his way to committing “terrorist acts”

    What all 4 cases have in common is that NONE were talked about and defended by so-called “American” Muslim organizations — CAIR, MPAC, ISNA, etc.. In the Dearborn case it was Arab nationalist organizations which took the lead in publicizing it. In the latter three it was the ACLU and other constitutional law groups which took the lead in defending and publicizing their cases.

    Until Muslims and Muslim organizations stop looking out for their own self interest and image (i.e. boasting of having “elected” bush in 2000) only then will things change.

    salaam aleikum,
    Kashif

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  4. waslaam. Fair points Kashif.

    I know this criticism of CAIR is quite common. On the other hand, I think we have to be also fair and recognize that an organization has to look first at its own survivability and its resources. CAIR, for instance, is still relatively small. It also has a relatively limit operating budget. Terrorism cases suck up resources like nothing else. Furthermore, the stigma of such cases, even in the presence of obvious entrapment can really ratchet up the heat. Already CAIR bears the brunt of Islamophobic and Israel-lobby inspired attacks, esp. in the area of “guilty by association”. And already CAIR’s access to national and state political leaders is becoming limited because of the wide reach of these smear tactics. We saw what happened with Barbara Boxer, for instance.

    One can naively say that “who cares”, but if we want CAIR to succeed or any other Islamic organization for that matter, it absolutely has to have strong access to the government at all levels, otherwise the impact will be very low.

    So, one has to be in CAIR’s shoes to understand the difficulty of juggling priorities and picking and choosing cases that fit within (a) its general vision, and (b) its resources (financial and human).

    On the other hand, organizations such as ACLU have more resources and are already positioned such that they cannot be smeared as being ‘terrorist-sympathizers’… (even when smeared as such, it doesn’t stick).

    Again, this post is not about CAIR, but I get disappointed when we focus on what our organizations are NOT doing, while ignoring the great amount of what they are.

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  5. I concur with those who have spoken in support of Rep. Ron Paul. He is one of the few people who can be trusted with both the foreign policy issues and those related to civil liberties. To bad he stands as much chance of becoming president as Ralph Nader.

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  6. You’re probably not helping Turley by conflating him with CAIR. Does EVERY organization that styles itself as “Islamic” deserve to succeed?

    CAIR now appears to me to be an organization that at its core is devoted to promoting enmity rather than equity: stir up the Muslim masses by inventing or exaggerating sectarian differences, then positioning itself as the leader of the community to “defend” them against the very hatred that it fostered – very similar to the those GWU Muslim students who recently confessed, without apology, to slandering a non-Muslim organization for the purpose of gathering the support of Muslims to their cause.

    Whether you decide to support CAIR or not, you should be aware of what purposes your money will probably be put to. Do you really think that CAIR’s primary, or even secondary, concern is equal rights for Muslims at all?

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  7. Do you really think that CAIR’s primary, or even secondary, concern is equal rights for Muslims at all?

    CAIR’s primary goal is equal rights for all American citizens, not just Muslims. At least they are focusing their energies on protecting our civil rights. There are hundreds of occasions where CAIR helped Muslims, in situations of employment, student-life, etc.

    CAIR now appears to me to be an organization that at its core is devoted to promoting enmity rather than equity: stir up the Muslim masses by inventing or exaggerating sectarian differences,

    What sectarian differences? Is there some evidence to suggest that they “stirred up” anything? I mean anyone who has dealt with CAIR knows that they are so inundated with cases of civil-rights violations or other Islamophobic incidents, that they don’t have the time OR resources to invent stuff!

    The same thing CANNOT be said of ADL. With antisemitism extremely rare (and thankfully so) in America, what does ADL do with the tons of money and tons of resources it has (and I am referring to the national one under the character Foxman)… it works for the Israel lobby (publishing a “refutation” of the book under the same name) and goes out attacking and defaming Muslim organizations who seem to be getting any foothold in America. WHY is ADL meddling with CAIR? Since when did it become part of ADL’s charter to attack other organizations? See this.

    Does EVERY organization that styles itself as “Islamic” deserve to succeed?

    Every organization that is Islamic does not deserve to succeed indeed… for instance the Progressive Movement, the Free Muslim Coalition, the Zuhdi Jasser nonsense…. all these fringe elements do NOT represent the majority of Muslims and do NOT deserve to succeed, whilst they are continually pushed to the national screen by the pathetic media organizations because they parrot a good case (and most of them support Israel in one way or the other). On the other hand, organization such as CAIR, ISNA, ICNA, MAS DO in fact deserve to succeed because they are making an impact in the life of many, many Muslims. And it is obvious the goal is to slowly cast a shadow of doubt on each of these organizations, with CAIR bearing the biggest brunt as it is the most in the line of fire.

    I also find it interesting how the approach to destroying CAIR’s reputation and defaming is evolving. First, there were allegations of terrorism… yes some of the people who worked for CAIR were swept into the big fish-net for pretty much being Muslims after 9/11. ANY fair-minded individual can read up the cases of all those indicted and recognize the sheer absurdity (in terms of evidence) in those cases. REGARDLESS, so what? Someone could be working for me and engage in some crime later, how does that make me responsible??

    So, after these allegations didn’t stick with the masses of Muslims, the next technique was to discourage us by telling us that CAIR’s membership was diving (as in the WT article), yet failing to mention that most people just donate and don’t worry about the membership stuff. And finally, we come to tactics like “dear Muslims, support other Islamic organizations”, “CAIR isn’t really serving you”, “CAIR is creating cases out of thin air”, etc.

    Unfortunately for all the CAIR-haters, Muslims actually SEE and FEEL the presence of CAIR and its impact on us… if anything, it provides a sense of there is someone there for us. Solomon2, many of us have not been directly helped by CAIR (not needed it thankfully). But if you talk to the average Muslim, I would say 80% of them will support CAIR’s existence, even if they don’t agree with everything CAIR does. And by the way, most of the disagreement about CAIR is not what they do, but that they don’t do enough… especially in high-profile cases of Padilla, Ali Timimi, etc… so it is not the type of disagreement that you may be envisioning.

    In conclusion, the neocon Muslim groups, the ADLs, and all the other propagandists cannot take the feeling of CAIR’s need and support away. We will continue to support CAIR, not because it is Islamic, but because it is a first-class American civil-rights organization!

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  8. Is there some evidence to suggest that they “stirred up” anything?

    REGARDLESS, so what? Someone could be working for me and engage in some crime later, how does that make me responsible??

    On July 26, 2004, a federal grand jury indicted HLF; Shukri Abu Baker,
    HLF’s Secretary and Chief Executive Officer; Mohammed El-Mezain, HLF’s Director of
    Endowments; Ghassan Elashi, HLF’s Chairman of the Board (as well as the founder of
    CAIR’s Texas chapter)…In addition to charging
    the defendants with providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization, the
    indictment also charges the defendants with engaging in prohibited financial transactions
    with a Specially Designated Global Terrorist, money laundering, filing false tax returns,
    and several conspiracy charges, including: conspiracy to provide material support to a
    foreign terrorist organization…CAIR’s request to strike its name from the government’s co-conspirator’s list is
    moot, since its conspiratorial relationship with the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) was confirmed by testimony and documentary evidence admitted at
    trial –

    The government believes that it has proved CAIR as an organization, not just individual officers, has been a co-conspirator at supporting terrorism, and furthermore that the people responsible are those at the core of the organization.

    the presence of CAIR and its impact on us… if anything, it provides a sense of there is someone there for us.

    Would you feel the need for CAIR if the anti-Muslim sentiment that supposedly has taken off after 9-11 didn’t exist in the first place? I keep thinking of those GWU students: they attempted to create an atmosphere of anti-Muslim sentiment so that they could step in to denounce it, precisely so they could make the Muslim community “embrace” them, and thus gain at least prestige and respect in the eyes of their co-religionists. Once they had gained that, they could simply stop issuing the posters, and thus claim “success” at standing up for Islam: donations, anyone?

    In both CAIR’s case and that of the GWU students we have Muslims defaming non-Muslims to swindle other Muslims. For this CAIR is supposed to be regarded as “a first-class American civil-rights organization?”

    Certainly it is not promoting peace between people of different religions – something this hafiz, once schooled to hate and kill Americans, now considers “doing what is right”.

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  9. The government believes that it has proved CAIR as an organization, not just individual officers, has been a co-conspirator at supporting terrorism, and furthermore that the people responsible are those at the core of the organization.

    Solomon, do you think people are just plain stupid and will let such nonsense pass as fact? EVERYONE and his brother has been labeled an UNINDICTED co-conspirator (I see you conveniently forgot to mention unindicted) because this allows the government go on other fishing expeditions at the other major Islamic organizations, like ISNA for instance. It ABSOLUTELY means zilch and if CAIR was involved as an organization, how long do you think it would have taken the feds to shut it down? I would say about a week!

    And as I ALREADY answered you, before you even threw in more nonsense, that it does NOT matter if someone, active or not, big or small in the organization gets involved in something else OTHER than CAIR. That is not CAIR’s business. Despite that you resorted to the same boring technique. And even then you missed out some important facts:

    This is an INDICTMENT… the trial is not over. Although I will tell you that most likely it will end up in guilt (may Allah help the brothers) because you just have to be a Muslim after 9/11 and have Osama’s picture flashed in front of the jury to get convicted. DID YOU EVEN READ the case details? I bet not. The HLF is being prosecuted for feeding Palestinian orphans. The case sits on the flimsiest of circumstantial evidences. The star witness is an Israeli agent!! Could there be a more flawed trial? How about all those OPEN NY parties supporting the ILLEGAL settlements in Palestine? Going against our own government? Supporting some of the most extreme and intolerant Jewish settlers who desire nothing but to take over Arab land for their warped religious sense (using your lingo, they would be judeofascist, but I won’t drop to your level of discourse).

    Would you feel the need for CAIR if the anti-Muslim sentiment that supposedly has taken off after 9-11 didn’t exist in the first place

    Its sad to see a Jewish person like yourself, having your people in the past subjected to the worst of prejudice and hatred by another group of people, say such things. The fact that you are not EVEN able to admit and recognize the bias and anti-Muslim sentiment in America (ignoring the statistics, surveys, stories and acts of violent speech and physical violence) just shows how far you have to go before even coming to a basic level of understanding of Muslim affairs. I doubt you want to. It seems that your ultimate objective is to believe and make others believe that there is no such thing as Islamophobia, that the majority of Muslims are bad so that they just deserve what they get. I am sure more than 50 years ago, many Germans had shared some of your similar clueless sentiment about what was happening to a minority amongst them.

    As for the GWU students, what they did was for a purpose see here. How the heck was CAIR supposed to know that it was a hoax? And what the heck does they have to do with undermining the 100s of other legitimate cases that CAIR takes care of everyday? Are you so blind in your hatred of CAIR that you can’t even see the other side of this story?

    CAIR’s job is not promoting peace between religions (though it does sometimes help with that too: http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewCulture.asp?Page=/Culture/archive/200710/CUL20071012b.html)

    What the hafiz does (that you threw in in your comment) means to CAIR as much as what the orthodox Jewish racists in this organization mean to other respectable Jewish organizations.

    Get your facts straight: stop the hyperbole, defamation and half-lies or we’ll have to move you on. This is getting boring.

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  10. do you think people are just plain stupid and will let such nonsense pass as fact?

    Yes, because it isn’t obvious that it is nonsense. The only other case of “unindicted co-conspirator” many Americans could remember would be our disgraced President Richard Nixon. Nixon wasn’t indicted because it was necessary for him to be charged by Congress, but fair or not the Watergate scandal cemented in people’s mind that the term “unindicted co-conspirator” means guilty but not charged because politically powerful.

    DID YOU EVEN READ the case details? I bet not.

    Some. HLF is charged with more than just feeding orphans – and feeding orphans can very well be a form of terrorist support; it’s much easier to convince people to throw their lives away if you pledge to support their offspring. The Chinese Nationalists (not the Communists!) pioneered this technique.

    The star witness is an Israeli agent!! Could there be a more flawed trial?

    Your prejudices are not a matter of doubt, Amad. But I doubt such an argument will work on the judges.

    The fact that you are not EVEN able to admit and recognize the bias and anti-Muslim sentiment in America…just shows how far you have to go before even coming to a basic level of understanding of Muslim affairs.

    Yeah, I’m ignorant. That’s one of the reasons why I’m here.

    As for the GWU students, what they did was for a purpose. How the heck was CAIR supposed to know that it was a hoax?

    They couldn’t find anti-Muslim sentiment on campus so they faked it from a specific organization with the poster, just as they confessed. Whether CAIR knew about the hoax or not, do you not agree that CAIR missed an excellent opportunity to loudly and publicly denounce it? By CAIR’s apparent silence, it appears to give a thumbs-up to the students’ efforts. That’s the price a leading civil-rights organization must be expected to pay when its supposed beneficiaries invoke invented prejudice as justification for criminal conduct and the organization remains silent.

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  11. The government believes that it has proved CAIR as an organization, not just individual officers, has been a co-conspirator at supporting terrorism, and furthermore that the people responsible are those at the core of the organization.

    The government has proved nothing, as they have never taken CAIR to court. They’ve just resorted to smearing, insinuation, and guilt by association. None of those things constitute proof of anything.

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  12. Amad, I responded to your questions but they did not appear. Are you filtering them, or did you not receive them at all?


    Since you haven’t backed off from your trolling… throwing around stuff that has nothing to do with the subject, like bringing up the neocon BS term islamofascism on a post that is about a teacher getting her job back… your future comments that are UNRELATED, and only to inflame will be no longer welcome and I will be gladly moderate them. As I said, there are enough venues for you out there to spread your message of hatred and prejudice. Frankly, we more more important stuff to accomplish and don’t have time to deal with your type -Amad

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  13. solomon – your comments went in the spam folder for some reason. i have gone through and put them back, they should now be posted. sorry for the inconvenience

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  14. If we trusted the government on such matters to begin with, we would not support organizations like CAIR.

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