Censorship by PR groups
By Dr. Aslam Abdullah
Last week someone called and introduced herself as a Department of Homeland Security official and asked if The Muslim Observer could run an interview with Dan Sutherland, one of the officials of the Department.
I said, welcome. A few days later, I found out that the call was made by a public relations organization and not by the department. I also received an email message suggesting that I should adopt a particular direction in the interview.
I sent the public relations organization the following questions. I called to check the status of the interview. I was told that the questions were being reviewed. I called again. I was told that the questions were being reviewed. Obviously, the PR organization didnâ€™t like the questions. They censored it. They muzzled the voice of citizens. The irony is that they were paid by the Bush Administration to muzzle the voice of American citizens.
Here is a list of questions that were posed to the department. You be the judge if these questions could in any way be considered dangerous.
1. Does the Homeland security maintain records of people detained at the airport, deported and prosecuted for terror related charges?
2. Does the homeland security give out ethnic background of people detained, questioned arrested or deported or persecuted during the last one year?
3. Does the HLS have information about sleeper cells in the country? What is being done to uncover those sleeping cells, if there are any.
4. How effective has been our terror campaign so far. How many terror plot has the HLS has uncovered in the last one year.
5. How many Muslims are working on key position at the department?
6. Despite repeated assurance, Muslims are often singled out at airports and questioned extensively, while other passengers are given a green light. Is there a deliberate policy to target airlines passenger of particular ethnic groups, or religious background?
7. If no such policy exists, then why 8 out of 10 people stopped at the airport happen to be Muslims.
8. Is it true that the terror watch list used at the airport was primarily designed by an Israeli company Sever news networks and newspapers have reported that?
9. How many times the department has held dialogue with Muslims and other religious communities over the past one year on issues pertaining to security of the nation.
10. What would make a Muslims a suspect free American citizen?
11. How many mosques and Islamic centers has the department officials visited during the last year?
12. What has been the impact of that?
13. Mosques and Islamic centers are under attack in several states. What is being done to prevent hate crimes against Muslims and Sikhs and others?
14. It was reported that mosques were monitored for radioactive material during the last one year? Did the department ever monitor any church or synagogues or any other place of worship for that purpose?
15. Does the monitoring of mosques indicate that the department believes that mosques are potential suspects in any future terror act?
16. Did the monitoring ever reveal any suspicious material from any mosque?
17. What kind of cooperation did the department expect from Muslims and people of other faiths?
Probably, we can have other questions also.
We want to know the answers of these questions. Will the Department of Homeland Security or the Justice Department care to answer?