Personalizing civil liberties abuses

It’s sometimes easy — too easy — to think, talk or write about the assault on civil liberties in the United States, and related injustices, and conceive of them as abstractions. Two weeks ago, the Editorial Page Editor of The New York Times, Andrew Rosenthal, wrote that ever since the 9/11 attacks, the United States has created “what’s essentially a separate justice system for Muslims.” That should be an extraordinary observation: creating a radically different – and more oppressive – set of rules, laws and punishments for a class of people in the United States based on their religious affiliation is a disgrace of historic proportion. Yet here we have someone occupying one of the most establishment media positions in the country matter-of-factly observing that this is exactly the state of affairs that exists on American soil, and it prompts little notice, let alone protest.

Glenn Greenwald puts some names – Maher Arar, Tariq Ramadan, Sami Al-Arian, James Yee, Gulet Mohamed, Kalifah Al-Akili among them – to the US state’s suppression of Muslim civil liberties.

Salon, 16 April 2012