Greens For Palestinian Return
- NADER URGES ACTION ON CIVIL RIGHTS VIOLATIONS AGAINST MUSLIM
The Nader Campaign urges the Department of Justice to take action
regarding civil rights violations against Muslim and Arab Americans
According to a report released on March 3 by the Council on American-
Islamic Relations, "The Status of Muslim Civil Rights in the United
States 2004," Muslims in the United States experienced more than
1,000 incidents of asserted harassment, violence and discriminatory
treatment in 2003, a jump of 70 percent over the previous year,
according to a report released by a major Islamic advocacy group.
The report by the Council on American-Islamic Relations attributed
the increase to such factors as unrebutted, off-the-wall Muslim-
bashing on radio talk shows and tensions surrounding the war in Iraq.
The group said it received 1,019 complaints from Muslims last year
concerning discriminatory or violent actions, up from 602 the year
before. The biggest number of incidents had to do with employment and
the refusal to accommodate religious practices. But there were 93
reported hate crimes (i.e., incidents of anti-Muslim violence), more
than double the total in 2002. And there were numerous cases in which
Muslims alleged that laws were applied to them more harshly because
of their ethnic or religious identity.
The report also noted that the implementation of the USA PATRIOT Act
has been associated with abuses. The report points to a number of
questionable national security policies including:
- The rounding up of Muslim Americans and Arab Americans and
residents by the government that blurred the clear distinction
between immigration cases and terrorism investigations. CAIR cites a
report by the Office of Inspector General of the Justice Department
which found that between September 11, 2001 and August 2002 the
government arrested 738 Muslims and Arabs whose entry visas had
expired. In doing so they interfered with their access to lawyers,
blocked access by family members and even denied them the
constitutional right of obtaining information on charges against
them. The Justice Department's own Office of Inspector General also
reported that many were held in inhumane conditions including being
contained in jail cells for 23 hours a day, taunting of prisoners and
slamming prisoners against walls. Security tapes of the Bureau of
Prisons show 308 incidents of physical abuse by staff of federal
prisons. None of these hundreds of detainees were found to have links
- The singling out of Muslim visitors and immigrants by requiring
them to report to government offices to be fingerprinted,
photographed and assigned a registration number or be deported.
Thirteen thousand of the people who complied were still subject to
deportation for violation of minor immigration regulations.
- The CAIR report points to widespread incidents of prosecutorial and
law enforcement bias against Muslims. Violations of local ordinances
for minor offenses like failure to cut lawn, or leaving garbage cans
outside have increased as have discretionary criminal prosecutions.
- Enforcement of the PATRIOT Act has also led to harassment by banks
and financial institutions. People with Muslim or Arab names are
being arbitrarily requested to provide detailed documentation of
their identities as well as financial and tax records.
The Ralph Nader Campaign urges:
- Passage of the End Racial Profiling Act, championed by Congressman
John Conyers, Jr. in the House and Senator Russell Feingold in the
Senate, that would dissuade law enforcement from engaging in
profiling by requiring collection of race data, and providing legal
options to victims of racial profiling.
- The Department of Justice to implement regulatory and procedural
reforms suggested by its own Office of Inspector General designed to
restore constitutional protections in government investigations and
handling of detainees.
- Congressional hearings on post 9-11 rules and procedures enacted by
the Bush Administration in order to examine their impact on security
and civil liberties.
- Oppose the extension of provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act that are
set to expire in 2005.
- Reinstate the policy of the United States Federal Communications
Commission that became known as the "Fairness Doctrine" an attempt
to ensure that coverage of controversial public issues by a broadcast
station be balanced and fair. In the spring of 1987, both houses of
Congress voted to put the Fairness Doctrine into law but President
Ronald Reagan vetoed the legislation.
Greens For Palestinian Right of Return
Leaders of the Green Party of the United States strongly criticized
President Bush and Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry
(D.-Mass.) for their identical positions in support of Israel's
policy of assassination, maintenance of illegal settlements on the
West Bank (a reversal of earlier policy), and denial of the right of
return for Palestinians.
"The Green Party and its candidates have called for Israel to adhere
to international law and U.N. directives and to dismantle the
settlements in the Palestinian territories, and for the right of
Palestinian refuges to return home," said Ben Manski, co-chair of the
Green Party of the United States. An American Jew who grew up in
Israel, Manski received and rejected an IDF draft notice when he
turned 18. "We support efforts toward nonviolent resolution of the
crisis by Israelis and Palestinians who are dedicated to peace and
universal human rights, without which we'll never see security for
either Israelis or Palestinians. These efforts have been eclipsed by
the unrelenting state violence committed by the Israeli military on
orders from the Sharon government, and by a small minority of
desperate Palestinians -- and now by explicit support from the Bush
Administration, under policies apparently dictated by Sharon."
Greens called the plan backed by President Bush, Prime Minister
Sharon, and Sen. Kerry (Meet the Press, Sunday, April 18) that allows
Israel to keep and continue to settle on land seized in the 1967 war
a disastrous setback to efforts for peace.
"We were especially aghast that Sen. Kerry supported the
assassination of Hamas leader Abdel Aziz Rantisi, which Greens called
a summary and extra-judicial execution," said Julia Willebrand, co-
chair of the Green Party's International Committee.
The rejection of the Palestinian right of return by Bush, Sharon, and
now Kerry comes on the heels of a landmark 'Right of Return and Just
Peace Conference' held in Haifa, Israel at the end of March, at which
over 300 Jewish and Palestinian Israeli citizens gathered for the
first time to refute the claim that unconditional support among
Israelis for the right of
Palestinian refugees to return does not exist. Israeli historian
Ilan Pappe, in the final declaration of the 'Haifa Initiative',
stated that, "What the hundreds of people attending the conference
showed was that a growing number of Jews and Palestinians in Israel
regard the implementation of the Palestinian right of return as the
only road to a lasting peace and reconciliation."
"The Green Party continues to support the right of Palestinians to
return to their homes, and regards it as at the heart of the
conflict," says Charles Shaw, media coordinator for the Illinois
Green Party. "Similarly, Israel must return to its pre-1967 borders
as the opener to any peace negotiations. These are significant
differences between our position and that of the Democrats and
Republicans. John Kerry's views are becoming indistinguishable from
those of George W. Bush."
The Green Party of the United States
1700 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 404
Washington, DC 20009.
Forward! 2004: Green Party Presidential Nomination Convention &
Media credentialing for the convention http://www.gp.org/forms/media/
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