MPAC Calls for Meeting with Mueller & Gonzalez
on Surveillance Reports

Washington, DC: The Muslim Public Affairs Council December 27 called for Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and FBI Director Robert Mueller to meet with American Muslim leaders in response to reports of widespread surveillance and radiation monitoring of more than 100 Muslim American mosques, homes and businesses. John Miller, FBI Assistant Director of Public Affairs, said such a meeting to address civil rights concerns is imminent.
SEE: “Widespread Radioactive Surveillance Confirmed” (New York Times, 12/24/05)
Following President Bush's admission and defense of widespread wiretapping since 9/11, last week's US News and World Report documentation of a secret radiation monitoring program has significantly increased concerns of counterproductive counter-terrorism measures.
For the vast majority of American Muslims, the admission that such broad scale surveillance has been sanctioned by the Bush administration will have a significant and negative impact on the inclination of the Muslim American community to cooperate in much-needed counter-terrorism efforts. American Muslims are a crucial part of the solution to keeping their nation safe. The emerging partnership between local Muslim communities and their law enforcement counterparts are not only undermined by such programs, but can be rendered ineffective.
"We are requesting to be informed of and included in discussions about homeland security that affect our communities across this nation," said Salam Al-Marayati, MPAC Executive Director. "The more information we have, the better our ability to help our government protect our nation. As that communication decreases, it is more likely that these very needed communities will feel alienated and excluded from the national public debate."
MPAC has suggested to high-level Bush administration officials that permanent advisory committees of Muslim American leaders should be formulated in order to enhance the government's ability to integrate mainstream Muslims in a more intelligent and nuanced manner. Such advisory councils are already in place in the United Kingdom, where permanent Advisory Councils of British Muslim leaders to Prime Minister Blair and his Home Secretary Richard Clarke have proven effective thus far.
Other organizations, such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), have called for the immediate appointment of an outside special counsel to investigate and prosecute any criminal acts and violations of laws as a result of the National Security Agency's surveillance of domestic targets, as authorized by President Bush.
SEE: "ACLU Calls on Gonzalez to Appoint Special Counsel on NSA Domestic Spying" (ACLU, 12/21/05)
The American Muslim community has been consistent in its contribution to our nation's efforts to combat terrorism and extremism at home while vigorously working for the maintenance of the civil rights and liberties that define our nation. Programs such as the National Grassroots Campaign to Fight Terrorism are testament to the willingness and success of Muslim communities to protect themselves and protect our nation.


Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
2004 . All Rights Reserved.