“South African Muslim groups have called on the government to scrap a proposed anti-terrorism bill saying it threatened to undermine the nation’s hard-won civil liberties. ‘We urge our government not to take us back to the dark days of fear, suspicion and injustice,’ a host of Muslim organisations said in a joint statement, referring to the country’s apartheid past.”
These groups assert that “many countries . . . had used anti-terrorism legislation, especially in the United States and Britain, to ‘trample on the civil liberties of innocent people, most of them Muslim’.”
I oppose any element of the Patriot Act that is legitimately determined to deny anyone rights that are constitutionally guaranteed. But here and in South Africa, Muslim advocacy groups that protest anti-terrorist measures would have a much stronger case if they were, with all respect for civil rights and religious freedom, actively cooperating with anti-terror efforts. When CAIR puts up instructions at its website on how to report terrorist activity that moderate Muslims may witness in their mosques, I’ll take their protests more seriously.