Breach of Law, Breach of Security: A Muslim American Analysis of US Counterterrorism Policies

Dr. Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad, Sarah Swick and I all had the opportunity to present papers at this year’s 36th annual conference held by the Association of Muslim Social Scientists. This year’s conference took place at the University of Maryland. Rather than go into detail about my paper, I’ve provided the abstract to my paper below. Keep checking the Minaret of Freedom Institute’s website (www.minaret.org) for the release of our papers!

– Alejandro

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Breach of Law, Breach of Security: A Muslim American Analysis of US Counterterrorism Policies

By: Alejandro J. Beutel*
Minaret of Freedom Institute
www.minaret.org
Abstract: Since 9/11 debates on terrorism and counterterrorism have been poorly informed. Fear and ideology rather than reason and facts have guided our policymakers’ decisions, creating a dichotomy between liberty and security. As a result, the US government has pursued policies that tend to be illegal, unethical and/or invasive. In this paper I argue that the dichotomy between civil liberties versus national security is unsubstantiated, but that the relationship between the two concepts is highly interdependent.

I argue this point in my paper by beginning with a brief history of terrorism and counterterrorism in the US prior to the September 11th attacks. Following that, I will use four case studies to examine current US counterterrorism policies: torture in interrogations, racial profiling, the NSA domestic surveillance controversy, and the use of FBI National Security Letters. Such policies not only erode civil liberties/human rights, but they also harm national security by obtaining dubious information via unethical means, diverting resources from real threats and eroding the important relations between law enforcement officers and ordinary citizens (particularly American Muslim communities). The paper concludes by offering a set of policy alternatives.

Alejandro

Alejandro Beutel is program assistant for the Minaret of Freedom Institute with expertise in religious freedom, democratization and security issues.

2 Responses to “Breach of Law, Breach of Security: A Muslim American Analysis of US Counterterrorism Policies”

  1. Latosha says:

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  2. ImadadDean says:

    Our twitter, FaceBook, and much more are listed on our home page, http://www.minaret.org.

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