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Groups to Dem Leaders: Reject Calls to Spy on Pro-Palestine Protesters

Letter Urging End to Warrantless Spying Endorsed by 65 BAMEMSA Groups

Washington, DC — On Friday, the International Day To Combat Islamophobia, 65 movement groups, civil rights groups and organizations serving Black, Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim and South Asian (BAMEMSA) communities sent a letter calling on Democratic congressional leaders to reject calls to spy on pro-Palestine protesters and close policy loopholes that allow for the warrantless surveillance of these and other activists. The letter follows a recent report from Wired revealing that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner (R-OH) cited the presence of protesters calling for a ceasefire in Gaza at Sen. Chuck Schumer’s home as a reason for Congress to reauthorize surveillance authority, known as Section 702 of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), that has vastly expanded warrantless government spying on BAMEMSA communities after 9/11. The organizations were convened by Muslims for Just Futures and Muslim Advocates.

“We strongly reject the use of anti-Palestinian, anti-Arab and anti-Muslim racism by congressional members to justify keeping the backdoor-search loophole in Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA),” states the letter. “We reject the continued use of mass surveillance, which utilizes racist and Islamophobic logics against all of our collective communities. We also reject any ‘must pass’ legislation that reauthorizes FISA and allows for spying on the millions of protestors who have joined marches calling for a permanent ceasefire and an end to the genocide of Palestinians.”

“Sixty-five organizations across social movements are calling on Congress to stop using anti-Palestinian, anti-Arab and anti-Muslim racism to further expand mass surveillance,” said Darakshan Raja, executive director of Muslims for Just Futures. “Our communities have been irreparably harmed by mass surveillance policies. This continues to perpetuate an unjust system that harms all communities.”   

“It is shameful and telling that Chairman Turner relied on anti-Palestinian racism and repressive instincts to justify continuing a warrantless spying program that targets and criminalizes Black, Muslim, Arab and other racialized peoples,” said Muslim Advocates Senior Policy Counsel Sumayyah Waheed


Muslim Advocates is a national social-justice, legal-advocacy, and educational organization that works with and for Muslim and other historically marginalized communities to build community power, fight systemic oppression, and demand shared well-being.

 Muslims for Just Futures (MJF) is a grassroots organization that builds power in Muslim communities through collective care, organizing, advocacy, and movement-building.