Muslims in America are no strangers to being placed on no fly or terror watch lists, but they soon may have something else to contend with- electronic monitoring.
According to Adrienne Masha Varkiani of Think Progess Rudy Giuliani, former New York City mayor and current Donald Trump supporter has voiced that he believes monitoring Muslims on the federal watch list via electronic monitoring tags is an “excellent idea”.
“I would think that’s an excellent idea,” Giuliani told reporters at a press conference, according to NJ Advance Media. “If you’re on the terror watch list, I should you know you’re on the terror watch list. You’re on there for a reason.”
This comes at the heels of the attack where a Normandy priest was killed and where one of the suspects was monitored via electronic tag after being placed on France’s watch list. Giuliani has suggested that Trump use the same measures despite its clear failure in this case.
Varkiani elaborates that ”The terrorism watch list and no-fly list are notorious for ethnic and religious profiling, and many innocent people end up on the list — but Giuliani’s comments come as no surprise given his own penchant for surveillance of the Muslim community, another ineffective practice, during his time as New York’s mayor.”
Surveillance of the Muslim community in New York grew exponentially after the 9/11 attacks, and according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), involved the mapping of Muslim communities, heavy photo and video surveillance, police informants, and entire databases with personal information about innocent Muslims. The ACLU has deemed the surveillance “unconstitutional” and said it contributes to an “atmosphere of fear and mistrust” — but perhaps equally important, such methods are wholly ineffective. According to a 2012 report from the Associated Press, in six years of spying on Muslims, listening to their conversations, and cataloging mosques, the NYPD didn’t get a single lead or begin even one terrorism investigation.
Additionally, Think Progress previously reported;
Before September 11, 2001, the no-fly list, which names people who are banned from boarding flights in or out of the U.S., contained 16 people. A leak revealed that that number had grown to 47,000 as of 2013. Most of those names were added after President Obama took office. The broader terrorist watch list maintained by the Terrorist Screening Center has an even more expansive scope; the estimated number of people on the list has ranged from 700,000 to more than 1.5 million, figures which include Americans and foreigners.
Pandering to the fear of many Americans, Trump has also called for the creation of a Muslim Database, requiring Muslims to register racially profiling them, and also for an outright ban all Muslims, including Muslim Americans. Varkiani stated that “He has also suggested that Muslims know about attacks before they happen and do nothing to stop them and said that Obama, who he has repeatedly called a Muslim, is allowing Muslims to commit attacks like the one in Orlando last month.” All of Trump statements are wholly untrue, dangerously pitting American citizens against one another in an environment of mistrust solely for a place in office.
Should the electronic monitoring of Muslims come to pass, it will just be another item added to the roster of unconstitutional laws which have been implemented in the name of the “War on Terror” that have proved not only ineffective, but counter productive when creating as mentioned an “atmosphere of fear and mistrust”. With the violation of privacy of ordinary Muslims, who’s next? Once the precedence is set, it opens the door for other marginalized populations to be subjected to the same.
(By Tasha Sharifa)