3-7-2011By C. Dixon Osburn
Director, Law and Security Program
Representative Peter King is saying that American Muslims are not fully American in the war against Al Qaeda. He is holding hearings this week singling out the American Muslim community by asking why American Muslims are not doing enough to stop extremism.
Security experts tell us there is a smart way to identify and mitigate national security threats, and a dumb way. The ineffective way is to alienate and isolate communities. The smart way is to build a multilayered defense based on trust that includes government and all Americans.
At Human Rights First, we work with interrogators, military leaders, and other national security experts who know that demonizing a community is not the way to fight terrorism. In fact, it interferes with effective law enforcement efforts.
We’re also working in coalition with American Muslim groups and with others who care about fundamental rights to dispel the myths and combat discrimination against Muslim communities in the United States.
We have been on the Hill nonstop in the lead-up to these hearings, meeting with Members of Congress to provide them with expert research on effective counter terrorism strategies and human rights obligations. Fear is a powerful motivator. It leads people to overreact and make bad decisions. But we can win this, and need your help.
Help us fight this new McCarthyism. It’s part of the problem, not the solution. Donate today to help Human Rights First FIGHT FEAR.
Together, we can stand up for the fundamental principles that have made this country great—religious freedom, pluralism, and tolerance. Human rights and national security are not at odds. We stand united.