Friday, July 11, 2014

NSA, the National Spy Agency

Thirteen years ago, on September 11th, there was a horrible terrorist attack on the United States by a Middle Eastern terrorist group called the Al-Qaeda. Today, the after effect of the attack still remains prominent as we wait for the security lines in the airport or have to go through the rigorous process of becoming a United States Citizen. However, there is another after effect that still remains today—the prejudice against American Muslims. Growing up in the United States, I realized I began to take part in this prejudice. Although I had friends that were Middle Eastern, I always thought that terrorists were all Middle Eastern men. Although my views have changed as I matured, this prejudice and racism against American Muslims is still a big problem today.

For years, American Muslims have been under surveillance by the United States government. The sad truth is that often times these American Muslims are only targeted because of the misguided belief that terrorists might be hiding in their midst. This prejudice has been exemplified in airports, jails, and federal investigations. On July 9th, The Intercept reported that the United States Federal Government has been spying on at least five Muslim Americans over four years. They described a spreadsheet containing over 7,000 emails. The Muslim American targets consisted of Hooshang Amirahmadi, a Rutgers University professor who is the president of the American Iranian Council, and Nihad Awad, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim civil-rights organization. The accused Muslims and many others believe that there is no other explanation to the secret investigations other than racism. The acts of the federal government violate the first and fourth amendments in the Bill of Rights. The government is regulating the American Muslim’s freedom of speech as well as their freedom from unreasonable searches.

The main federal department behind the spying is the National Security Agency, or the NSA. Unlike their name, they use modern technology for domestic spying purposes. I don’t believe that this issue only has to do with racism or with American Muslims. The unreasonable searches could happen to anyone anytime without anyone knowing. I believe that the government does not have rights to know our private lives, and therefore is violating our private lives.


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