The basis for this posting is “H.R. 1955 Could Spell Trouble for Muslim Civil Rights” by Ibrahim Abdil-Mu’id Ramey via the Muslim American Society:
WASHINGTON, D.C. (MASNET) March 25, 2008 – In October 2007, by a landslide vote, the U.S. House of Representatives allowed the passage of H.R. 1955-otherwise known as the ‘Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007’.
Ah, another law, another name aimed at scaring us. Much like the Patriot Act, it may well be a law aimed at stripping more of our rights, as American citizens. What won’t the Congress and current Administration try to do to us?
Given the overwhelmingly politically-charged notion of the words “violent” and “terrorism”, it does not come as a great surprise that so many members of Congress chose to vote for the bill-even if they had private reservations about the content and implications of the proposed legislation. The bill has subsequently been sent to the Senate for ‘discussion’.
The thing is, it’s our fault, isn’t it? We’ll stand by and watch this piece of legislation be passed. Some of us will oppose the bill as well as we can, but it’ll be passed (almost certainly). Our members of Congress can’t be seen as being soft on ‘radicalization’ and ‘terrorism’ after all.
The first part of the proposed law will create a National Commission on the Prevention of Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism, its membership to be appointed by the majority and minority leaders of the Senate and the House of Representatives, together with, of course, the President (who will be George Bush, as you know, until January 20, 2009). The current version of the bill stipulates that members of the proposed commission should have security clearance, which, by the way, might be problematic for any of the 200-plus national Muslim leaders and organizations caught up in the net of the Department of Justices’ current un-indicted co-conspirator craze.
Let’ hope that the Senate comes to its senses. It’s not likely, of course. Can we expect the Senate to not pass this piece of legislation? I don’t think so.
The second part of the proposed law will create a university-based Center of Excellence for the Study of Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism. The mandate for this new institution is not exactly clear, but it is likely to be populated by the same people who brought us the Iraq invasion of 2003 and the torture camp at Guantanamo.
A government funded think-tank. Just what we need. I should think that John Bolton will somehow be appointed to it. Just think: Your money will be going to support the rejects from W’s administration, and their fellow travellers. And we’ll be paying for it.
The article goes on to point out that the commission won’t have subpoena power, which means that it will be toothless as far as oversight of what surveillance goes on. We’ll get a nice paperback out of it, and we’ll hear how many violent and radicalize American citizens there are.
There are a few dissident voices, of course:
Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), until recently a candidate for his party’s nomination for President of the United States, expressed grave reservations about the impact of H.R. 1955 on civil liberties in America, stating that the proposed legislation, “sets the stage for further criminalization of protest. This is the way our democracy, little by little, is being stripped away from us.”
Again, Dennis is right the first time. If you support him, go to his campaign site. There you can donate or volunteer for his re-election campaign. If you prefer, you can donate via my ActBlue page for Dennis!
Representative Ron Paul, a Texas Republican and former presidential candidate with strong libertarian leanings, voiced his concern that the proposed law might lead to new restrictions on freedom of use of the internet, and could be an “unwise and dangerous weapon in search of a real problem.”
Say what you will about Rep. Paul, but he’s usually on the right side on these issues.
Major organizations, including MAS, CAIR, ICNA, MPAC, MSA, and numerous other civil rights organizations, are meeting and exchanging information on the progress of this proposed legislation as it makes its way through the Senate. The final form of the bill has yet to be determined, but any legislation of this nature, given the climate of fear, the continuous war against Muslim nations, and evidence of attempts to curtail some of our freedoms, should be a grave concern for the entire Muslim community and civil liberties advocates as well.
The thing is that it’s not just the Muslim community that needs to be worried. Anybody who protests anything will be able to be looked at. Imagine how protesters at the major party conventions will be treated. This is a slap against dissent against the status quo. It’ll be interesting to see how our remaining Presidential candidates vote on this legislation.
Originally posted here: http://rjones2818.blogspot.com/2008/…