Transnational Rights and Security

In an increasingly globalized world, events abroad affect American domestic affairs. International developments and America’s engagement with other countries shapes race relations and religious freedom in the United States.

U.S. foreign policy and military interventions affect how Arab, Muslim, and South Asian communities are treated by the state and private actors.  The War on Terror and military occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan triggered a wave of collective suspicion of and discrimination against persons perceived as Muslims.

Media coverage of the Middle East, South Asia, and other Muslim majority countries defines the American public’s perceptions of Islam, Muslims, and immigrants from those regions.   News stories exclusively through a security lens produce countless stories about Al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, ISIS, and other terrorist groups.  As a result, many Americans are convinced that Muslims, Arabs, and South Asians in America are a fifth column.

Meanwhile, the American public is rarely exposed to the humanity of the average citizen in Muslim-majority countries with similar concerns for their safety, economic prosperity, and dignity.  Nor is the public informed about the role that U.S. support for authoritarians plays in facilitating instability, human rights violations, and political violence.

The Transnational Rights and Security project examines how human rights and security in Muslim-majority countries are interconnected with civil rights, religious freedom, and national security in the United States.

“Toward Empowerment and Sustainability: Reforming America’s Syrian Refugee Policy.
By: Sahar Aziz, Joanna Gardner, Tamara Anaie, Omar Rana


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Revolutionary Islamic Jurisprudence: A Restatement of the Arab Spring

Adnan A. Zulfiqar
Date Written: June 7, 2017

In early 2011, a wave of uprisings swept through the Middle East, ushering in a year of protest and radical change. The events came to be known as the Arab Spring and they forever altered prior conventions. One outcome was the initiation of a vibrant legal discourse on Islamic law’s stance on revolution. It juxtaposed two sides, those advocating rigid adherence to the status quo legal tradition, a rejection of any opposition to the head of state, against those agitating for a more dynamic approach encompassing the public’s desire for freedom, dignity and justice.

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