On January 8, 2006, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales met with leaders of the Muslim and Arab American community, including Muslim Advocates Executive Director Farhana Khera, a former counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee.
In response to the apparent rise in anti-Muslim bigotry, Muslim Advocates urged the Attorney General and the administration to make public statements reminding Americans that our nation, which was founded by those fleeing religious persecution, has a rich heritage of religious freedom and diversity.
Muslim Advocates also highlighted the need for oversight of the terrorist watch list database and how individuals are being selected for inclusion in the database. Racial, ethnic and religious profiling by law enforcement is a continuing concern, and the community and law enforcement need to find effective ways to address the issue, Muslim Advocates said.
In addition, leaders raised issues such as the continuing chilling effect of law enforcement activities on Muslim nonprofit operations and charitable giving, the need to terminate the NSEERS/Special Registration program, and the application of the recently enacted Military Commissions Act to justify the continued indefinite detention of individuals arrested on U.S. soil.
The Arab American Institute (AAI), American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Muslim Public Affairs Council, and the Islamic Society of North America also attended the meeting. Muslim Advocates expresses its gratitude to AAI for facilitating this meeting. [Email from Muslim Advocates]
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