From Oakland to New York City we know that the Muslim community has been spied on, we have had infiltrators and informants in our mosques, we have been singled out at political protests and we have even had people in our community entrapped by the FBI.
This Tuesday the Oakland City Council will vote on building one of the United States largest spying centers, the proposed $10.9 Million dollar Department of Homeland Security Funded ‘Domain Awareness Center.’ This Spy center would “will aggregate and monitor video feeds and real-time data from nearly 1,000 cameras and sensors aimed at anyone, including those not suspected of any wrongdoing, throughout Oakland. This includes cameras and sensors at the Oakland port, on the highway, in schools, and other locations. Additionally, the DAC will analyze the aggregate data with other software, such as license plate recognition, thermal imaging, social media feeds, gunshot detectors, and other information along with 24/7 monitoring and geospatial security mapping. It will also store and allow sharing of data.” (Adam Hudson).
Over the last thirteen years the Muslim community has faced an unprecedented level of spying in our communities with at least 15,000 paid FBI informants and 45,000 unpaid informants, more than ten times the size of any counter intelligence program (COINTELPRO) in the history of the United States (Mother Jones – “The Informants“). The Domain Awareness Center would take spying to a whole new level for all people in Oakland, especially for Muslims and political dissidents as was recently reported by the ACLU of Northern California that shows how the Oakland Police Department explicitly targets political activists during protests by using information gathered through spying. We have seen a number of these cases at the Lighthouse where our members have been racially, religiously, and politically profiled and targeted during protests such as the case of the Trayvon 2.
Imam Zaid Shakir the Imam of the Lighthouse Mosque stated that, “One of the greatest societal checks in Islam is the protection of and freedom of movement. The prosed city-wide surveillance
center to combat violent crime is clearly a pretext for a deeper and more pernicious agenda, as violent crime is not city-wide. If we lose our privacy and freedom of movement and assembly, grassroots community organizing will become impossible. This concerns everyone in Oakland and Muslims should be in the lead in voicing opposition.” It is also stated clearly in the Qur’an “do not spy on one another” (49:12).
To speak at the city Council meeting you must fill out a speaker card before hand online or in person. You can sign up here and do the following:
* Select Comm/Council Name: City Council
* Enter the meeting date: 02-18-14
* Enter the agenda item number: 13-
For more info, see the Facebook event page here.