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Friday, February 08, 2008

Anti-Muslim prejudice makes no one safer

Forum says US tactics in war on terrorism tar innocent people

Islamophobia looks like this: Maher Arar, a Syrian-born software engineer living in Canada, tried to catch a connecting flight home to Ottawa in 2002, but was detained in New York City.

U.S. authorities, given false information, thought he was an extremist with al-Qaida links.

Arar was questioned, then deported to Syria, where he was interrogated and tortured for 10 months. Afterward, he was exonerated and returned home.

He sued Canadian authorities and the U.S. government.

David Cole, one of his attorneys, told a Cincinnati audience Sunday about "Islamophobia" - the fear, distrust and hatred of Muslims. Cole and several other panelists said it's a growing byproduct of the war on terror and the erosion of American civil liberties. [Link]

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