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Erik Love


The FBI’s War on Fake Terrorism

[Masjid al-Ikhlas, Newburgh, NY. Image by Daniel Case.]

As part of the effort to prevent terrorist attacks, the FBI has a program in which agents recruit undercover informants who then “listen” for developing terror plots. Two new reports show how this preventative program has run amok, possibly entrapping vulnerable people to justify its own existence. Human Rights Watch (HRW) found that most US terrorism prosecutions are “an illusion” created by the authorities. The groundbreaking HRW report was released just after the premiere ...

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Looking Suspicious: The Profiling of Muslim Americans

[Omar Mohammedi, fourth from right, New York City Human Rights Commissioner, joins a press conference with Muslim leaders excluded from a meeting with New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly on 9 March 2012 at police headquarters in New York. Mohammedi was among a few select leaders who met with Kelly over the police department's spy program in Muslim communities across the Northeast. Photo by Bebeto Matthews/AP Photo]

Profiling is a tactic used by police and security agencies in which people are treated as suspicious because of their racial or religious identity and subjected to heightened scrutiny. By 2000, there was a bipartisan consensus in the United States that the pervasive use of such tactics was inherently discriminatory and therefore unjust. Then 9/11 happened, and profiling got a new lease on life. Racial and religious profiling of Arabs and Muslims intensified, and remains a ...

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On Racial Literacy: "A White Side of Black Britain"

[Cover of France Winddance Twine,

France Winddance Twine, A White Side of Black Britain: Interracial Intimacy and Racial Literacy. Durham: Duke University Press, 2011. Despite the central role they play in our lives, the intimate spaces of family life have unfortunately remained beyond the reach of most sociological research. This empirical blind spot has led to a surprising lack of knowledge around how people, in their private spaces shared with loved ones, think and act about social issues. There are some ...

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Entrapment and Racialization: The "Homegrown" Canard

[Ahmed Ferhani, left, and Mohamed Mamdouh, right. Image from]

A new report out today from New York University School of Law’s Center for Human Rights and Global Justice (CHRGJ) describes how American counterterrorism efforts have singled out Muslim Americans by “sending paid, trained informants into mosques and Muslim communities.” The report finds that some 200 terrorism-related prosecutions have relied upon informants, resulting in plenty of convictions that have been proudly trumpeted as hallmarks of  a successful ...

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What Wasn't Said at Senator Durbin's Hearing on “The State of Muslim Civil Rights in the US”

[Senator Durbin at press conference before hearings. Image from ForwardSTL]

Senator Dick Durbin, the senior Democrat from Illinois, held a historic hearing last week on “The State of Muslim Civil Rights in the U.S.” The hearing, called by Durbin as the Chair of the Senate’s new Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights, took place on March 29, 2011 – and it was reportedly the first-ever Congressional hearing on these issues. Durbin said that he called the hearing because of recent increasing bigotry against Muslims, including ...

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The Peter King "Radicalization of Muslims" Hearing and American Democracy

[Peter King. Image from AP.]

Republicans clearly think that they have found a political winner in Muslim-bashing. Peter King, Republican representative from New York’s Third Congressional District (in Long Island), is the new chair of the House Homeland Security Committee. He was way ahead of the Muslim-bashing curve. Most Republicans didn’t get excited about the possibilities of using an anti-Muslim platform as a wedge issue until 2010, after the wild popularity of the "Obama is a secret ...

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Entrapping American Muslims

[Image from Beyond the Curtain]

2010 will likely be remembered by American Muslims as the most challenging year since 2001.  While anti-Islamic rhetoric has been part of American culture for quite some time, this year brought a massive resurgence in Islamophobia.  Less than ten months before the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, civil rights for Muslims in America have perhaps never been in greater peril than they are now.  In addition to hate crimes like pipe bombs and arson at ...

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Erik Love


Erik Love is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology at Dickinson College and a recent graduate of the University of California - Santa Barbara. His research centers on Arab, Muslim, Sikh, and South Asian American civil rights and civil liberties advocacy work.