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A few picks from AFSC staff this week:

“Living in the Shadow of Counterterrorism: Meet the Muslim Women Taking on the National Security State,” by Kanya D’Almeida, Rewire

State and federal agencies have targeted people in Muslim communities for surveillance and entrapment. In this Rewire series, the families of people facing terrorism allegations speak out. “For the Duka family and many others, the [Human Rights Watch] report only echoed what they’d known for years: that the FBI’s post-9/11 counterterrorism machine has slowly eaten away at Muslim Americans’ civil liberties and constitutional protections.

According to organizers with [No Separate Justice], this erosion amounts to what is essentially a separate justice system for Muslim Americans, one that runs parallel to the protections enshrined in the Constitution, and one that appears to equate adherence to the Islamic faith with a propensity toward violence.”

“Texas Incarcerates Immigrant Children in Private Prisons They Call ‘Day Care Centers,’” by Mnar Muhawesh, MintPress News

Despite public outcry when photos of migrant children in tiny jail cells were shared on the internet in 2014, Texas continues to hold children and families in terrible conditions in private prisons. This interview between MintPress News’ Mnar Muhawesh and Alejandro Caceres of Grassroots Leadership explores the struggle against privatized immigrant detention and human rights abuses.


“Did LaFaye Gaskins Really Murder Albert Dodson?” by Daniel Denvir, Philadelphia Magazine

Despite evidence of his innocence—and despite a mounting body of evidence that thousands of people are serving time for crimes they did not commit, a Philadelphia man is serving life without parole with no avenue to get back in court:

“There was no physical evidence tying LaFaye Gaskins to the murder of Albert Dodson—no conclusive proof that he ever even met the dead man. The entire case against him rested on the testimony of two dubious eyewitnesses, neither of whom claimed to have seen the actual shooting. And yet jurors took about three hours to unanimously decide that Gaskins was guilty. Seen through the lens of 2016, the evidence appears risible. But social context matters in justice, and in fear-gripped 1990 Philadelphia, the public presumed drug dealers guilty of the worst.”

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