Quoted: on NSA spying on American Muslims

“I think all Americans should be worried about NSA surveillance and the targeting of American Muslims. Because if it is American Muslims today, it is going to be them next.”

Nihad Awad, co-founder and executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, whose emails were tapped by the U.S. government from 2006 to 2008, according to an Intercept report based on the Edward Snowden leaks — the leaks that have shown how the NSA and other spying agencies have gained unprecedented powers from technological tools and advances. Awad is one of the Muslim Americans whose names were revealed in the report as targets of the secret spying; others include academics and lawyers focusing on civil rights for Muslims.

The report is based on a leaked spreadsheet showing 7,845 email addresses — many belonging to foreigners, but some belonging to prominent Americans such as Awad and others — that were monitored between 2002 and 2008. The Intercept also mentions a document instructing intelligence-agency employees how to format memos requesting permission to spy on someone under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. “In the place where the target’s real name would go, the memo offers a fake name as a placeholder: ‘Mohammed Raghead.’ ”

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Justice issued a joint statement this morning in response to the Intercept report: “It is entirely false that U.S. intelligence agencies conduct electronic surveillance of political, religious or activist figures solely because they disagree with public policies or criticize the government, or for exercising constitutional rights.”


Illustration from MCT


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  • jerryJ

    Well, isnt it the Moslems who are doing all the terrorist bombings??? KEEP them on their toes, NSA CIA FBI DHS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • gustavo

    The US government dictatorship spies on everyone, not just the so called terrorists or the Muslims! Every bank account, telephone call and email is accessible to the people that want to control the world! When are the Americans going to rebel?The world would be truly safer and happier if everyone resisted and rebelled against what is happening

  • Steve Hammill

    …ahhhhh, the old slippery slope argument!

    The problem is, we’ve been careening down that slippery slope for as long as I can remember.

    The TLA alphabet soup gangs are equal opportunity offenders.

  • Lou Hodges

    my ex husband is one of the executive supervisors at the NSA, and trust me, he’s listening to everybody – why do you think he’s my ex? I think its hysterical. You have no idea what they are doing, and who they really are –

  • JS

    Spying on Muslims is totally justified. Look around te world – Muslims are at war with everyone else around the globe. Don’t fall for the argument that Muslims are peaceful. They are all Jihadis and would cut your throat – literally as Mohammed did once.
    Muslims should not even be allowed to migrate to USA.

    • Zahara

      Migrate? Are you really that ignorant? What about Muslims like myself who are born here and are truly Americans white Americans. Muslims aren’t just middle Eastern or foreign. Many of are white Americans just like you and your friends. Also the concept of jihad isn’t every Muslim like my self. So before you speak you should research for yourself and not believe what the media portrays one religion. Also in other countries, such as muslim country’s portray Christians as terrible people as well, but I live in a mostly Christian society so I know the difference, this sir is the difference between you and I.

      • JS

        Zahara – Tell me how would I know if a Muslim is a Jihadi or peaceful.. There is no way to tell.

        According to Quran, which I have read from cover to cover there is no concept of peace. Just kill or get killed. “Do not make friends with the non-believers”. Just like the personal life of Mohammed who was cruel and when he won over a tribe in war he was extremely cruel. He killed all the men and kept the women as slaves or concubines. According to Quran, women are inferior to men and husbands have the right to discipline their wives or beat the hell out of them.

        I see all the wars around the world and it always involves Muslims. The Muslim parents encourage their children to become suicide bombers and take pride in it.

        Explain to me why the Muslims kill innocent civilians. It is because of Quran and the intolerance it teaches towards other religion. Personally you may be whatever you are but if you are a true Muslim and follow Quran, you are a Jihadi ready to kill innocent civilians. I feel sorry for you.

        • Zahara

          Ok JS. Believe how you want and think the way you wish it is your right. Please don’t feel sorry for me as I am no oppressed or confused. I am a peaceful person. Also just a FYI people of the book is considered believers so that you be Jews, Christians and Muslims, so you info is incorrect. Also in Islam women have the same rights as a man. So it is what it is. Thanks

          • JS

            Zahara – It is not just a simple question of belief. I am quoting the following paragraphs from your Holy Book – Qoran.
            Sura 4.34 – Men have authority over women because God has made Men superior than women , admonish them and .And if you fear disobedience from woman, beat them.
            Sura 3.118 – Believers, do not make friends with non-believers.
            Sura 2.216 – Fighting is obligatory for you as much as may dislike it.
            Sura 55.52 – Virgins as as fair as corals and rubies will wait for you as Lords blessings.

            There are many Paragraphs similar to the above including about Taqiya – it is acceptable for the Muslims to lie if it advances Islam.

            I did not see any paragraph where Qoran talks about peaceful living. On the other hand I did see a lot about killing and getting killed. Very unusual about a religion that recommends violence and killing.

          • Zahara

            This is a subject that will never have an ending. I simply was offended by you saying muslim shouldn’t migrate here. I didn’t migrate nor did my ancestors. We are true blood Americans to be accurate my family is Native American, so we started here. Yes there is reason to suspect some Muslims and watch them, but that isn’t all of us, nor should everyone be judged on the actions of others. Lastly, I wanted to leave you with full accurate Quran surahs…
            Surah 4:19 Oh you who believe! You are forbidden to inherit women against their will. Nor should you treat them with harshness……… Ect….
            Surah 2:83 …….treat with kindness your parents and kindred, and orphans and those in need; speak fair to the people…. Ect…
            Surah 9:71 … Allah has promised to believers- men and women- gardens under which rivers flow, to dwell theirin, and beautiful mansions in Gardens of everlasting bliss….. Ect…

          • Zahara

            Sorry I ran out of room.
            “And for women are rights over men similar to those of men over women.” [Noble Quran 2:228]

            ‘The Jews say, ‘The Christians have no valid grounds’; the Christians say, ‘The Jews have no valid grounds’; and both quote the Book [of God]. So do those who have no knowledge [of the Book] speak like them. But it is God who will decide between them on the Day of Ressurection about all on which they differ.’
            (al-Baqarah 2: 113)

          • JS

            Zahara – You should get a copy of Koran which was translated before 9/11. Since then the Muslim community and CAIR have funded translations which have been whitewashed. The offensive Suras have been neutralized and made less offensive. Get hold of a copy which was translated before 9/11 and you will get a revelation. Good luck.

          • Zahara

            Thanks for the advice, however I don’t need a translated version I read Arabic, so I can read the real untouched version. Thank you.

  • ed5466

    Going to be everyone else next??? They already do it to everyone else! It’s about time they target the real threat. If not involved in any type of terrorism then you have nothing to worry about. if you are…then worry!