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Patriot Act Gone Amuck

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No surprise here. Power always breeds contempt; contempt for laws, for liberties and for rights. And in this case the script was followed, exactly as many expected.

The Patriot Act, enacted in haste after 9/11 (many congressmen admitted to not even reading the entire law before endorsing it), was going down this route anyway. So, what if it usurped a bit more on civil liberties than what it is actually designed to do (lawfully)! Let me be clear on something: as far as I am concerned 9/11 marked a defeat of the terrorists, because those hijackers may have achieved killing innocent people, but that day they lost the battle for the souls and minds of most of the world’s population, even those Muslims who may have previously considered their ‘jihad’ as being a somewhat justified reaction to the West’s excesses. Hence, while 9/11 was their defeat, the Patriot Act was their victory. And this news of the Patriot Act gone haywire is their second victory.

Smart readers probably have gotten my gist already. Terrorists are waging a way against America. But instead of America holding on to its fabric and its values of liberty, freedom and individual privacies; it gave in to the fear tactics of the Republican neo-con machine and stamped the approval on the draconian act called the Patriot Act. So, who wins when a nation loses what makes up its soul? You guessed it right: the terrorists.

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Back to the story then, it so seems that the FBI illegally used the Patriot Act (which really is oxymoronic since constitutionally speaking, the Act itself is illegal!) to demand personal data on individuals without proper authorization, that it obtain telephone records in non-emergency situations, and the list goes on. These findings were captured in a 126 page audit document that was conducted by the US Justice Department. Interestingly, the requirement for this audit (no it wasn’t done out of Bush’s good will) was actually inserted in the reauthorization of the Act in 2006. I am glad that someone was actually paying attention and was smart enough to provide a counter-check.

Why is this important for Muslims? Well, guess what, nearly every FBI arrest/indictment/fishing-expedition has been targeted at Muslims. So, it may not be entirely out of the realm of possibility that you or I have been the target of this illegal intrusion into yours or my privacy.

Here’s more information from the NY Times, and you can find many more news pieces on google. It is big news and it really NEEDS to be. The (un)Patriot Act doesn’t need to be ‘fixed’, it needs to be ELIMINATED!

Keep supporting MuslimMatters for the sake of Allah

Alhamdulillah, we're at over 850 supporters. Help us get to 900 supporters this month. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

Abu Reem 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 Wharton. He has been involved with Texas Dawah, Clear Lake Islamic Center and MSA. His interests include politics, cricket, and media interactions. Career-wise, Abu Reem is in management in the oil & gas industry (but one who still appreciates the "green revolution").

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