Thursday, October 14, 2010

Stephen F. Downs of Project Salam on Repression against Muslims and Peace Activists

Talk Nation Radio for October 14, 2010

Stephen F. Downs of Project Salam on Repression against Muslims and Peace Activists:
Will the 2010 Midterms Lead to an increase in Repression?

Attorney Stephen F. Downs is with Project Salam in Albany, New York. Their new web project is designed to help people understand the magnitude of the problem of U.S. repression against Muslims. They will list hundreds of case histories of Muslims that have been arrested "preemptively" and unfairly, they say.

Produced by Dori Smith
TRT: 29:40
Download at Pacifica's audioport here or at and

Attorney Stephen F. Downs joins us for a discussion about the growing climate of anger toward Muslim Americans. Is it the politics of the right? Right wing candidates are getting a bump from the media’s focus on anger itself as a motivator for casting a vote in the November 2nd election. If many of the more hard right wing candidates that are running actually win, could America become even more repressive toward Muslims that it is now? Already peace activists are being seen as next in line for FBI surveillance and so-called "preemptive arrest". Stephen F. Downs argues that we are in a devastating climate where lies and fear are once again the heart of the matter.

As to the media, there are lies of omission and lies of confusion. At a "Town Hall Meeting" on ABC, Christiane Amanpour framed the debate as a question about Holy War, should Americans Fear Muslims? The media encourages us to draw sides in often militant debates where news coverage has been short on the facts. The emotionally charged words of people like Rev. Franklin Graham provokes a response by claiming that Muslim nations "don't allow" the building of churches, a debate ensues. But news outlets don't clarify. In which Muslim nations are Temples or Churches not allowed?

In fact, in Iraq there are many Muslims, yet ancient Mosques and also Churches survived for hundreds of years before they were destroyed after the U.S. invasion and occupation of 2003. We will be following up with a discussion about the impact of Bush/Cheney policy, preemptive war and occupation, that it is war and occupation that provokes violence, not religion. In upcoming programs we will be taking a look at the real causes of violence in countries with Muslim populations. Dr. Robert Pape and others at the University of Chicago’s Project on Security and Terrorism. have studied the root cause of terrorism, and it's not being Muslim, not reading the Koran, but living under occupation.

Underwriting for this program was brought to you by, political analysis from outside the standard framework. Jeremy R. Hammond is founder and editor of and a recipient of the Project Censored 2010 Award. At, you will find stories about US policy on Iran, negotiating with the Taliban, Gaza, and more.

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