The United States federal government should substantially curtail its domestic religious surveillance of Muslims
First, Racialized surveillance homogenizes communities, destroys democracy, and leads to authoritarianism
Mujahid 4 - Abdul Malik, American Muslim religious leader, activist, film producer, 2004 (“In a Virtual Internment Camp,” Soundvision, Available online at http://www.soundvision.com/article/in-a-virtual-internment-camp-muslim-americans-since-911, Accessed on 7/13/15)
Conclusion: Our country is in the grips of a threat greater than terrorism. Democracy is eroding and it seems no one cares. We are heading down a road which will ultimately lead to a country where no one is safe and no one is secure. Right now it is a small minority that is being targeted but Americans would do well to remember that our post-9/11 laws and policies can apply to any and all. Muslims in this country are being persecuted solely on the basis of their religious affiliation but because of our secretive government, complicit media, and hate-spewing public figures Americans are unaware of most things and don't care about what they do know. The Bush administration has refused to release Patriot Act-related records to Congress; it has refused to release the names of detainees or open their court hearings to the public; it is relying increasingly on secret evidence and exemptions under the Homeland Security Act to the Freedom of Information Act. We now have a secretive government acting outside the scrutiny of the public and its representatives. Since the Attorney General has declared a war on the streets of America against Americans, authentic information about the casualties and collateral damage have disappeared. In 1942, 110,000 Japanese-Americans were herded into internment camps. They were singled out because of their race and country of origin. They were declared enemies of the state and lived, imprisoned in these camps, until the end of World War II. Only recently has our government apologized for this outrage. But less than a decade after apologizing for this injustice, America has once again embarked upon a campaign that has severely undermined the civil rights of a minority community. This time, the fear and suspicion are aimed at Muslims and brown-skinned men. But rather than putting this new enemy in actual internment, their imprisonment is virtual. The walls of this virtual internment camp are the interrogations, home invasions, detentions and arrests, special registration, closed courts and their secret evidence, deportation, and discrimination that Muslims have faced since 9/11. This virtual internment camp is sustained by fear and hate, as well as a potent mixture of wartime racism, religious bigotry, and intolerance. Most Americans seem to feel that sacrificing other people's liberty is fine as long as it means security for themselves. We should heed the words of one of this nation's founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin, when he said, 'Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.' A sustainable democracy requires an active and educated citizenry. Passivity and apathy will end up being worse enemies for us than any terrorist group. Our lack of engagement and lack of caring for our neighbors makes it easier for our government to enact laws and make policies that will make America less free, not just for some shunned and humiliated minority, but for us all.
Second, US democracy is modeled internationally
Lijhpart 2k—Arend Lijhpart, Former President of the American Political Science Association, 2000 (“Democracy in the Twenty-First Century: Can We Be Optimistic?,” Available online at http://www.nias.knaw.nl/en/new_3/new_1/new_2/18Uhlenbeck.pdf, Accessed on 7/17/15)
I strongly believe that my native country provides the better model for viable and vital democracy. But, of course, the American model is the much more visible and better known model – and strongly advocated as the ideal model by many of my fellow American citizens. A good, although admittedly extreme, illustration is Steven G. Calabresi’s (1998, 22) statement that the American constitution “has proved to be a brilliant success, which ... parliamentary democracies all over the world would do well to copy”. He gives most of the credit for the economic and military prowess of the United States to the American form of government, and continues: “The rest of the world is quite rightly impressed with us, and it is thus no accident that the United States of America has become the biggest single exporter of public law in the history of humankind. Almost wherever one looks, written constitutions, federalism, separation of powers [that is, the presidential system], bills of rights, and judicial review are on the ascendancy all over the world right now – and for good reason. They work better than any of the alternatives that have been tried.” I agree with Calabresi that the American model has been extremely influential and also that parts of it – the concise written constitution, federalism, bill of rights, and judicial review – have been beneficial. But, of course, I strongly dissent from his praise for presidentialism (see also Ackerman 2000). A curious omission from Calabresi’s list is the majoritarian electoral system, but I confidently assume that he favours this feature of the American model, too – and I dissent just as strongly.
Third, Democratic reform spills over – success in one region will influence others – Empirics prove
Hanson 5—Victor Davis Hanson, military historian and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, 2005 (“Why Democracy?,” February 11th, Available online at http://www.nationalreview.com/hanson/hanson200502110738.asp, Accessed on 7/17/15)
The democratic idea is contagious. We once worried about the negative Communist domino theory, but the real chain reaction has always been the positive explosion of democracy. Once Epaminondas curbed Spartan autocracy, suddenly Mantinea, Megalopolis, and Messenia went democratic and the entire Peloponnese began to adopt consensual governments. When Portugal and Spain flipped, it had an enormous positive effect on moving change forward in the Spanish-speaking world of Latin America — as liberty spread, once-right-wing Chile and left-wing Nicaragua were freed. The Soviet republics and Eastern European satellites without much warning imploded in succession — more quickly even than the Russians had once enslaved them in the late 1940s. It is not a neocon pipedream, but historically plausible that a democratic Israel, Palestine, Turkey, Afghanistan, and Iraq can create momentum that Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, and eventually even a Syria or Iran would find hard to resist. Saudi Arabia's ballyhooed liberalization, Mubarak's unease about his successor, Libya's strange antics, Pakistan's revelation about nuclear commerce, and the Gulf States' talk of parliaments did not happen in a vacuum, but are rumblings that follow from fears of voters in Afghanistan and Iraq — and a Mullah Omar dethroned and Saddam's clan either dead or in chains.
By solving for the homogenization of Muslims and by expanding our democratic values allows us to solve for the key factors that lead to genocide
Mcdoom, Omar Shahabudin, 9-1-2014, London School of Economics, UK"Dartmouth Get It," Political Geography, Vol. 42 pg. 34-45 //MV
Second, scholars have argued regime type matters because autocracies and democracies impose different constraints on the exercise of the state's massive power (Harff, 2003, Horowitz, 1976 and Rummel, 1995). Institutionalist and normative causal logics exist. In the institutionalist explanation, autocracies are better able to commit genocide because effective power is often concentrated in a single institution (e.g. the Presidency), whereas in democracies it is often diffused across multiple institutions. In the normative explanation, democracies are less likely to commit genocide because they generally respect human rights and value tolerance, whereas autocracies, especially totalitarian regimes, generally do not. Weaker constraints give the ruling elite stronger control of the state's power. Lastly, scholarship has highlighted elite strategy because the decision to commit genocide often results from the calculation of the privileged few who control the state's power (B. A. Valentino, 2004). Genocide has for instance been considered a survival strategy or a calculated response to a threat posed to the ruling elite's control of the state's power (Figueiredo & Weingast, 1999). Extreme threats generate extreme responses. Together, these three ideas point to the importance of elite control of the state's power. This control matters not only at the national level, but at the local level too. For in localities where the extremist elite's control is weak, resistance to the pressure for violence will be high.
Democracy checks state repression
Davenport 14 (Christian Davenport, Political Science Professor at the University of Michigan, August 22 2014, “Stopping State Repression: An Examination of Spells, 1976-2004,” Social Science Research Network //MV)
In contrast, we find that democratization significantly contributes to the termination of repressive spells. If one is trying to stop state repression, therefore, then they should consider how best to move the government toward full democracy. These findings on democratization reinforce the general interest with democracy that has been put forward throughout history as a resolution to state repression. The democratization finding is consistent with our argument that it takes something major and connected with core reasons for repression, such as regime-change, to terminate repression 35 spells that are underway. Taken together, the results suggest the importance of identifying and preventing the onset of repressive behavior, given that challenges to terminating repression. This work should reorient not just scholarship on the relevant topic but also public policy, advocacy, activism as well as discussion. Implications for researchers. Influenced by the current study, scholars interested in stopping state repression should incorporate regime change into their standard repertoire of resolutions. There is some discussion of the level of democracy and state repression but there needs to be more discussion of movement toward democracy as a solution to ongoing repressive action. Our research also suggests that there should be greater discussion of preferential trade agreements and their influence on state repression. Again, there is genera discussion of the topic but this relationship should specifically be raised in the context of ongoing repressive spells. In contrast, discussions of economic sanctions, military intervention, naming and shaming and signing/ratifying international treaties – standard topics whenever any repressive spells are being discussed, should be reduced.
First, the FBI conducts unwarranted surveillance of Muslims which propogates Islamophobia and categorizes all Muslims as “terrorists”
(Spencer Ackerman is an analyst for the Wired. “FBI TEACHES AGENTS: ‘MAINSTREAM’ MUSLIMS ARE ‘VIOLENT, RADICAL” http://www.wired.com/2011/09/fbi-muslims-radical/. Date Accessed- 07/17/15. Anshul Nanda)
THE FBI IS teaching its counterterrorism agents that “main stream” [sic] American Muslims are likely to be terrorist sympathizers; that the Prophet Mohammed was a “cult leader”; and that the Islamic practice of giving charity is no more than a “funding mechanism for combat.”¶ At the Bureau’s training ground in Quantico, Virginia, agents are shown a chart contending that the more “devout” a Muslim, the more likely he is to be “violent.” Those destructive tendencies cannot be reversed, an FBI instructional presentation adds: “Any war against non-believers is justified” under Muslim law; a “moderating process cannot happen if the Koran continues to be regarded as the unalterable word of Allah.”¶ The FBI’s Islam Training Documents¶ Militancy Considerations¶ Strategic Themes and Drivers in Islamic Law¶ Doctrinal Basis for Jihad¶ Chart: Violence and Adherence to the Torah, Bible and Koran¶ These are excerpts from dozens of pages of recent FBI training material on Islam that Danger Room has acquired. In them, the Constitutionally protected religious faith of millions of Americans is portrayed as an indicator of terrorist activity.¶ “There may not be a ‘radical’ threat as much as it is simply a normal assertion of the orthodox ideology,” one FBI presentation notes. “The strategic themes animating these Islamic values are not fringe; they are main stream.”¶ The FBI isn’t just treading on thin legal ice by portraying ordinary, observant Americans as terrorists-in-waiting, former counterterrorism agents say. It’s also playing into al-Qaida’s hands.¶ Focusing on the religious behavior of American citizens instead of proven indicators of criminal activity like stockpiling guns or using shady financing makes it more likely that the FBI will miss the real warning signs of terrorism. And depicting Islam as inseparable from political violence is exactly the narrative al-Qaida spins — as is the related idea that America and Islam are necessarily in conflict. That’s why FBI whistleblowers provided Danger Room with these materials.¶ Over the past few years, American Muslim civil rights groups have raised alarm about increased FBI and police presence in Islamic community centers and mosques, fearing that their lawful behavior is being targeted under the broad brush of counterterrorism. The documents may help explain the heavy scrutiny.¶ They certainly aren’t the first time the FBI has portrayed Muslims in a negative light during Bureau training sessions. As Danger Room reported in July, the FBI’s Training Division has included anti-Islam books, and materials that claim Islam “transforms [a] country’s culture into 7th-century Arabian ways.” When Danger Room confronted the FBI with that material, an official statement issued to us claimed, “The presentation in question was a rudimentary version used for a limited time that has since been replaced.”¶ But these documents aren’t relics from an earlier era. One of these briefings, titled “Strategic Themes and Drivers in Islamic Law,” took place on March 21.¶ The Islam briefings are elective, not mandatory. “A disclaimer accompanied the presentation stating that the views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. government,” FBI spokesman Christopher Allen tells Danger Room.¶ “The training materials in question were delivered as Stage Two training to counterterrorism-designated agents,” Allen adds. “This training was largely derived from a variety of open source publications and includes the opinion of the analyst that developed the lesson block.”¶ Not all counterterrorism veterans consider the briefings so benign. “Teaching counterterrorism operatives about obscure aspects of Islam,” says Robert McFadden, who recently retired as one of the Navy Criminal Investigative Service’s al-Qaida-hunters, “without context, without objectivity, and without covering other non-religious drivers of dangerous behavior is no way to stop actual terrorists.”¶ Still, at Quantico, the alleged connection between Islam and violence isn’t just stipulated. It’s literally graphed.¶ An FBI presentation titled “Militancy Considerations” measures the relationship between piety and violence among the texts of the three Abrahamic faiths. As time goes on, the followers of the Torah and the Bible move from “violent” to “non-violent.” Not so for devotees of the Koran, whose “moderating process has not happened.” The line representing violent behavior from devout Muslims flatlines and continues outward, from 610 A.D. to 2010. In other words, religious Muslims have been and always will be agents of aggression.¶ Training at Quantico isn’t designed for intellectual bull sessions or abstract theory, according to FBI veterans. The FBI conducts its training so that both seasoned agents and new recruits can sharpen their investigative skills.¶ In this case, the FBI’s Allen says, the counterterrorism agents who received these briefings have “spent two to three years on the job.” The briefings are written accordingly. The stated purpose of one, about allegedly religious-sanctioned lying, is to “identify the elements of verbal deception in Islam and their impacts on Law Enforcement.” Not “terrorism.” Not even “Islamist extremism.” Islam.¶ According to this FBI training, religious Muslims have been and always will be agents of aggression.¶ What’s more, the Islamic “insurgency” is all-encompassing and insidious. In addition to outright combat, its “techniques” include “immigration” and “law suits.” So if a Muslim wishes to become an American or sues the FBI for harassment, it’s all just part of the jihad.¶ On Tuesday, the leaders of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security, Joe Lieberman (I-Connecticut) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), warned that law enforcement lacks “meaningful standards” to prevent anti-Islam material from seeping into counterterrorism training. Some FBI veterans suspect the increased pressure on American Muslims has a lot to do with the kind of training that Quantico offers.¶ “Seeing the materials FBI agents are being trained with certainly helps explain why we’ve seen so many inappropriate FBI surveillance operations broadly targeting the Muslim-American community, from infiltrating mosques with agents provocateur to racial- and ethnic-mapping programs,” Mike German, a former FBI agent now with the American Civil Liberties Union, tells Danger Room after being shown the documents. “Biased police training can only result in biased policing.” (Full disclosure: This reporter’s wife works for the ACLU.)¶ The chief of the Training Division, Assistant FBI Director Thomas Browne, came into his current job in January. His official biography lists no terrorism expertise beyond serving as a coordinator for a bureau “Domestic Terrorism Program” in Tennessee sometime in the last decade.¶ It is unclear what vetting process the FBI used to approve these briefings; if any Muslim scholars contributed to them; and what criteria Quantico uses to determine Islamic expertise. “The development of effective training is a constantly evolving process,” says FBI spokesman Allen. “Sometimes the training is adapted for long-term use. This particular training segment was delivered a single time and not used since.”¶ Several of these briefings were the work of a single author: an FBI intelligence analyst named William Gawthrop. In 2006, before he joined the Bureau, he gave an interview to the website WorldNetDaily, and discussed some of the themes that made it into his briefings, years later. The Prophet “Muhammad’s mindset is a source for terrorism,” Gawthrop told the website, which would later distinguish itself as a leader of the “birther” movement, a conspiracy theory that denies President Obama’s American citizenship.¶ At the time, Gawthrop’s major suggestion for waging the war on terrorism was to attack what he called “soft spots” in Islamic faith that might “induce a deteriorating cascade effect upon the target.” That is, to discredit Islam itself and cause Muslims to abandon their religion. “Critical vulnerabilities of the Koran, for example, are that it was uttered by a mortal,” he said. Alas, he lamented, he faced the bureaucratic obstacle of official Washington’s “political taboo of linking Islamic violence to the religion of Islam,” according to the website.¶ Back then, however, Gawthrop didn’t work for the FBI. He had recently stepped down from a position with the Defense Department’s Counterintelligence Field Activity. That agency came under withering criticism during the Bush administration for keeping a database about threats to military bases that included reports on peaceful antiwar protesters and dovish Church groups. It is unclear how Gawthrop came to work for the FBI.¶ Through an intermediary, Gawthrop told Danger Room that he was unavailable for comment before our deadline.¶ ‘Instead of looking for indicators of nefarious behavior, you have a sweeping generalization.’¶ The FBI didn’t always conflate terrorism with Islam. “I never saw that,” says Ali Soufan, one of the FBI’s most distinguished counterterrorism agents and author of the new memoir The Black Banners, who retired from the bureau in 2005. “Sometimes, toward the end of my time, I started noticing it with different entities outside the FBI. You started feeling like they had a problem with Islam-as-Islam, because of the media. But that was a few people, and was usually hidden behind closed doors.”¶ Soufan, a Muslim, has interrogated members of al-Qaida and contributed to rolling up one of its cells in Yemen after 9/11. But by the logic of the FBI’s training materials, Soufan’s religious practices make him a potential terrorist.¶ McFadden, the former NCIS counterterrorist, has a lot of respect for his FBI colleagues, who he believes are ill-served by these Islam briefings. “These are earnest special agents and police officers who want to know how do their job better,” McFadden says.¶ Too often, McFadden says, counterterrorism training becomes simultaneously over-broad and ignorant. “Instead of looking for indicators of nefarious behavior, you have a sweeping generalization of things like, for instance, the Hawala system,” McFadden explains. “It’s a system that most of the developing world and expatriates from it use to move money around, including terrorists. But you can’t say the whole hawala system is about terrorism, just like you can’t say that Islam as a whole has anything to do with bad behavior.”¶ McFadden, a Catholic, believes that obsessing over obscure Koranic verses is as useful a guide to terrorist behavior as “diving into the rite of exorcism” is to understanding Catholicism.¶ On April 6, barely two weeks after the “Islamic Motivations for ‘Suicide’ Bombers” briefing at Quantico, FBI Director Robert Mueller defended the bureau’s budget before a congressional committee. Among his major points: the FBI needs cooperation from American Muslims to stop the next terrorist attack.¶ “Since September 11th, every one of our 56 field offices and the leadership of those offices have had outreach to the Muslim community,” Mueller said. “We need the support of that community … our business is basically relationships.” That is exactly the opposite message sent in the training rooms of Quantico, where the next generation of FBI counterterrorism is shaped.
Second, Islamophobia legitimizes the violation of human rights and oppression of the other—this causes the worst forms of structural violence