FBI still monitoring Muslims since September 11 ...Why? Featured

By Yusuf Ahmed July 16, 2023 1645
  • 98% of the names on the watch lists are Islamic names and the top 50 names most frequently are all Muslims
  • The names "Muhammad" and "Ali" are mentioned more than 350,000 times in the FBI's database
  • A Muslim mayor was prevented from entering the White House because his name is on the lists!

American Muslims realize that the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other security agencies monitor most of them and spy on their mosques and homes, as they have revealed in many previous incidents. However, the leaking of an official US report revealing the secrets of this surveillance revealed shocking reasons.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) expressed, on July 4, 2023, CE, its shock at the latest secret watch list of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which contains the names of Muslims who have been included in it since the attacks of September 11, 2001, CE, and a copy of it reached CARE. And he asked about the reasons for the continued monitoring and spying on Muslims and their mosques 22 years after the September 11 attacks. Those attacks, which were not carried out by the American Muslim community, but rather by members of the “Al Qaeda” organization, according to American investigations, most American Muslims disagree with them.

Twenty Years Is Enough

The Council on American-Islamic Relations issued a report, on June 12, 2023, titled “Twenty Years Is Enough… A Call to Stop the FBI’s Secret Watch List,” detailing how the FBI used the terrorism screening database to target Muslims.

The Council on Islamic Relations called on US President Joe Biden to take action to address the watchlist after the council’s report found that the vast majority, estimated at 98%, of the names on the watchlist are names for Muslims.

CAIR said: The two names “Muhammad” and “Ali” have been mentioned more than 350,000 times in the FBI database, and the top 50 most frequent names are all Islamic names.

Ghadeer Abbas, a Washington-based senior lawyer at CAIR, commented: The FBI watch list shows that Muslims have been included and been monitored for years. Abbas added, "We have known, for many years, that Muslims are being watched, but seeing this list closely is very shocking."

Abbas told Anadolu Agency, on July 4, 2023, that Muslims are monitored through about 2,500 mosques located in the United States.

Abbas explained that this list clearly shows the existence of espionage operations against Muslims in the United States, continuing from the administration of former US President George W. Bush to the era of current President Biden. He believes that the FBI's practices strongly impact the daily lives of Muslims because the reports are shared with more than 60 countries. It is also shared with private companies, hospitals and universities, leading to restrictions on Muslims and labelling them as potential terrorists in various contexts.

Abbas pointed out that there is no legal basis for such practices against Muslims. He said: Since the FBI has the authority to list names, and there are no legal restrictions on this process, this allows agents to list individuals for any reason. Therefore, he blamed the government's lack of control in this regard, indicating that this reason also justifies the ability to access the secret list containing millions of names belonging to Muslim persons, and to publish its content publicly.

In 2019 CE, a Swiss hacker managed to reveal a secret FBI watch list.

Surveillance causes many problems for Muslims   

Arab America reported on June 25, 2023, that for two decades, secret FBI watch lists have caused trouble and fear within the Muslim community. The site indicated that the individuals on the watch list face many challenges, including travel restrictions, law enforcement, immigration issues, cases of police violence, difficulties in obtaining permits and licenses, and occupational problems that hinder their daily lives and perpetuate their feelings of marginalization and stigmatization.

And the “Global Village Space” website revealed, on July 5, 2023, that the FBI is seeking to force individuals on the watch list to become its informants on Muslims and prominent civil servants and ask them to spy and provide information on the Muslim community.

An example of what Muslims face due to these lists compiled by the FBI, on May 1, 2023, a Muslim mayor was denied entry to the White House to attend the President's Eid al-Fitr party for prominent Muslims in the United States. Among those invited to the White House breakfast was Muhammad Khairallah, mayor of Prospect Park in New Jersey, but he was informed by phone half an hour before his arrival at the White House that he was no longer invited. The Secret Service refused to allow him, and the reason is that he was included in the “FBI” base for Muslim observers, according to the “nbcnewyork 3” website, in May 2023.

Khairallah told TRT World: "I don't know how I got on this FBI list, probably because the majority of people on that list are either Muslims or Arabs." “Or maybe I sneezed by mistake!” he added sarcastically.

Khairallah called for urgent reform and maintenance of the watch list, and stressed the need for a transparent process to allow individuals to defend themselves against any alleged incriminating evidence that was included in the list until they are removed from it altogether. He said, "Reforming the watch list compilation process should be a top priority in the upcoming presidential elections of 2024, and it is crucial for Islamic organizations and the Muslim community to deal with this issue as a major and serious issue."

He added: Federal agents do not provide any explanations regarding the watch list of elected officials, members of Congress or members of the Senate. This lack of transparency exacerbates the situation of Muslim citizens listed by the FBI.

The people on the watch lists face a range of challenges, including travel restrictions, complex immigration issues, police violence, difficulties obtaining permits and licenses, and other occupational impediments that limit their movement and activities.

Why spying?

On February 24, 2023, a report published by the American website “CounterPunch” titled “Spying on Muslims is Good… Spying on Christians is Bad,” stated that there are double standards in dealing with Muslims. The report said: "The American security and media agencies deal with the various American religious groups, especially Muslims, with a "flawed hostile duality", as they consider Christian extremists not terrorists and should not be spied on. On the other hand, however, it considers spying on Muslims as “a useful and necessary matter, and it should not be seen as constituting any violation of their rights and privacy”!

This coincided with the disclosure by the British newspaper “The Guardian”, on February 25, 2023, of a set of leaked documents that refer to a secret group within the British Parliament that leads espionage and smear campaigns against Muslims in cooperation with activists from the Christian far-right. The newspaper pointed out that this espionage has been taking place for more than a decade, and that this organization, called the “New Case Group”), includes former UK Independence Party leader Malcolm Pearson, and former Vice President of the House of Lords from the Conservative Party, Baroness Cox.

Observers believe that the continuation of spying on Muslims and incitement against them in America and Europe has religious roots that extend to the hostility of the extremist evangelical current in America, and supporters of the ideas of crusades in the West, especially Britain and France, towards Muslims.

Others link this to the great supremacy achieved by Western Muslims in various fields after the new generations of immigrants' children became involved in political life and achieved successes, which aroused the wrath of Western extremists against them.

In a report it published on the anniversary of September 11, 2021, the British “Economist” confirmed that the demonization of Muslims in America after those attacks did not prevent their rise and important achievements. The magazine said: "The past 20 years have been a golden period for American Muslims, as their number has increased to 3.5 million, their presence in public life has increased exponentially, and the number of mosques has doubled in the post-2001 era." The magazine pointed out that American Muslims are the most educated religious minority, as the proportion of Muslim doctors in Michigan is 15%, although their number constitutes only 3% or less of the population.

The Economist added: “Do not ask about the numbers of Muslim artists, journalists and politicians who have appeared in recent years, nor do Muslim representatives in Congress, such as Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, the first veiled woman elected to Congress. This is all in addition to the countless numbers of Muslim officials who were elected to school boards and local governments. All of this is evidence of the empowerment of Muslims after those attacks and the strengthening of their presence.

It is known that a large number of American Muslims won the American elections in 2020, so about 71 Muslims won various parliamentary and government positions. They also achieved a new record in the midterm elections in 2022. Of the total of 146 Muslim candidates, approximately 82 candidates succeeded, including 3 representatives in the House of Representatives (General Congress), and 38 in the parliaments of 23 US states.

According to what was revealed by the "Counter Punch" website, those intelligence agencies and the American media consider that spying on Muslims is "a good and acceptable thing", because of the stereotype of them as "extremists"! However, on the other hand, these agencies find that espionage is “bad and unacceptable behavior” if it affects Christians, according to the article. This is because the extremist (white evangelical) Christian in the American custom is considered by some to be a “patriot,” and is not described as a religious extremist! As the Counter Punch website says.

A study conducted by Rice University, on June 30, 2022, showed that Muslims in the United States are 5 times more likely to be harassed by the police because of their religion compared to other religions.

Arjun Sethi, a lawyer in Washington and an activist in the field of civil and social rights, said in an article on the “CNN 26” website, in February 2014: “Spying on Muslims in America became legal after the September 11 attacks, and he explained that Muslims in America lost a right of their rights.” It is the right to privacy.

This happened after a New Jersey federal judge issued a ruling, in 2012, that the surveillance of Muslims by means that do not raise suspicion is permissible according to the Constitution of the United States of America.

Sethi warned that many Muslims in New York live in fear, not because they have anything to hide, but because they want to be left unattended when they pray or when their women wear veils.


Read the report in Arabic






Last modified on Sunday, 30 July 2023 07:14