For Immediate Release
US: Hearings on Muslim Americans Encourage Discrimination
WASHINGTON - Hearings of the US House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security on the alleged radicalization of the Muslim American community threaten to unjustly conflate Islam with violence and encourage discrimination against a minority population, Human Rights Watch said today.
There are 2.5 million Muslims living in the United States. At a time when Muslims in great numbers in the Middle East and North Africa have risked injury and death to peacefully protest for freedom and human rights, these hearings send the wrong message, Human Rights Watch said.
“The US Congress has a powerful voice that will be heard by every Muslim peacefully demonstrating for freedom in Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya,” said Antonio Ginatta, US advocacy director at Human Rights Watch. “Congress should not be in the business of evaluating the patriotism or loyalty of a religious community."
Human Rights Watch is one of the world's leading independent organizations dedicated to defending and protecting human rights. By focusing international attention where human rights are violated, we give voice to the oppressed and hold oppressors accountable for their crimes. Our rigorous, objective investigations and strategic, targeted advocacy build intense pressure for action and raise the cost of human rights abuse. For 30 years, Human Rights Watch has worked tenaciously to lay the legal and moral groundwork for deep-rooted change and has fought to bring greater justice and security to people around the world.