Stop spying on Muslim-Americans

Co-authored with Deepa Kumar The U.S. government has been snooping on prominent members of the Muslim-American community, according to documents released by National Security Agency whistle-blower Edward Snowden and publicized in a story by Glenn Greenwald and Murtaza Hussain of the online publication Intercept. That story reveals that the NSA and FBI covertly monitored the emails…

No NSA reform can fix the American Islamophobic surveillance complex

Muslim Americans likely make up the bulk of US domestic spy targets. This is what it’s like for innocent citizens to live in fear. Better oversight of the sprawling American national security apparatus may finally be coming: President Obama and the House Intelligence Committee unveiled plans this week to reduce bulk collection of telephone records.…

Boris Johnson’s radicalisation myth-making

London mayor Boris Johnson’s suggestion this week that children of Islamic extremists be taken into care to prevent their being radicalised illustrates perfectly our collective failure to understand the problem of terrorism. After 9/11, so-called terrorism experts funded by governments and neoconservative think-tanks invented the concept of radicalisation to try to explain the violence being…

Homeland and the Imagination of National Security

Homeland’s key accomplishment is to naturalize the workings of the national security state in the Obama era. Co-authored with Deepa Kumar. The show Homeland began its third season with record-breaking ratings. The show’s creators Alex Ganza and Howard Gordon, who previously collaborated on the wildly popular series 24, seem to have worked out a successful narrative for the War on Terror during the…

The disturbing implications of the NYPD’s defense of its Muslim spying program

The New York Police Department (NYPD)’s program of widespread spying on Muslims is currently on trial in a federal courtroom in Manhattan. Civil rights lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union, the CLEAR project of CUNY School of Law and the New York Civil LIberties Union are representing Muslim organizations and individuals in New York…

Radicalisation: the journey of a concept

Since 2004, the term ‘radicalisation’ has become central to terrorism studies and counter-terrorism policy-making. As US and European governments have focused on stemming ‘home-grown’ Islamist political violence, the concept of radicalisation has become the master signifier of the late ‘war on terror’ and provided a new lens through which to view Muslim minorities. The introduction…

Blind Spot? Security narratives and far-Right violence in Europe

This paper discusses the challenges of countering far-Right political violence in the wake of the terrorist attack carried out by Anders Behring Breivik in Norway in July 2011. With brief case studies of Britain, the Netherlands, Denmark and Belgium, it argues that classic neo-Nazi groups are being supplemented by new ‘counter-jihadist’ far-Right movements, which use…

Multiculturalism and its discontents: Left, Right and liberal

Attacks on multiculturalism from across the political spectrum reduce the complex history of settlement and interaction in the UK to a simple narrative of excessive British tolerance and increasingly disruptive immigrant communities. The liberal version of this ‘integrationist’ discourse emphasizes the Enlightenment values associated with secularism, individualism, gender equality, sexual freedom and freedom of expression…