Session Type(s): Panel
Starts: Saturday, Jul. 16 3:00 PM (Central)
Ends: Saturday, Jul. 16 4:15 PM (Central)
Since 9/11, officials have used the specter of Muslim terrorists to justify an ever-expanding police state. We’re fed a steady stream of FBI-manufactured plots, exaggerated threats and blanket otherization of Muslims. In the name of protecting us from these vague yet ever-present threats, governments have implemented policies that affect all Americans, including omnipresent surveillance, draconian immigration programs and the use of counter-terrorism resources to intimidate and silence activists. The level of government resources and authority to spy, abuse, detain and disappear has never been greater. We cannot effectively campaign against the police state until we dismantle the Islamophobic policies and narratives that underpin it.
Linda Sarsour is a working woman, community activist, and mother of three. Ambitious, outspoken and independent, Linda shatters stereotypes of Muslim women while also treasuring her religious and ethnic heritage. She is a Palestinian Muslim American and a self-proclaimed “pure New Yorker, born and raised in Brooklyn!” Currently she is the National Advocacy Director for the National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC) and locally serving as the Director of the Arab American Association of New York, a social service agency serving the Arab community in NYC. Linda has been at the forefront of public debate on the NYPD’s blanket surveillance of the Muslim community. She has been featured in local, national, and international media. Linda’s strengths are in the areas of community development, youth empowerment, community organizing, civic engagement and immigrants’ rights advocacy.
Shahid Buttar leads the Bill of Rights Defense Committee and a national grassroots network in their efforts to defend civil liberties and constitutional rights threatened by law enforcement and intelligence agencies. He is a constitutional scholar, grassroots organizer, civil rights lawyer, independent columnist, movement strategist, hip-hop and electronica MC, and poet. Buttar received his J.D. from Stanford Law School in 2003, where he served as executive editor of the Stanford Environmental Law Journal and Larry Lessig’s teaching assistant for Constitutional Law. Shahid’s comments have been featured by news outlets including The Washington Post, The New York Times, USA Today, CNN, al-Jazeera, FOX News, Agence-France Presse, Huffington Post, Truthout, Democracy Now!. In addition to his work leading BORDC, Shahid serves on the advisory bodies of the Rights Working Group, the National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms, the National Campaign to Restore Civil Rights, and South Asian Americans Leading Together.
Vincent Warren is a leading expert on racial justice, criminal justice and discriminatory policing. He is the executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR). He oversees CCR’s groundbreaking litigation and advocacy work, which uses international and domestic law to challenge human rights abuses, including racial, gender and LGBT injustice. Under his
leadership, CCR successfully challenged the NYPD’s Stop-and- Frisk policy, ended long-term solitary confinement in California’s Pelican Bay Prison, and the torture of prisoners in Abu Ghraib prison. Among many other things, CCR is currently challenging the profiling of Muslims, the persecution of LGBTI people in Uganda and developing strategic defenses against immigration raids, as well as providing legal and policy support to Black organizers in the Movement for Black Lives. Previously, Vince was involved in monitoring South Africa’s historic Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings, was a Senior Staff Attorney at the ACLU and a criminal defense attorney for the Legal Aid Society in Brooklyn. He is a graduate of Haverford College and Rutgers School of Law.