The New Witch Hunt
Civil liberties groups question thesis of Senate Report:
"Violent Islamist Extremism, The Internet,
May, 01 2008 By Chip Berlet
Debbie Almontaser and Hallie Flanagan have more in common than their decision to wear headgear. They both were targeted by public witch hunts for their educational and cultural activities. Both were smeared by small-minded xenophobic right-wingers. Both stood up to their accusers. Both belong in the Bill of Rights Hall of Fame. Flanagan was targeted in 1938, Almontaser in 2007—70 years and the witch hunts are still with us. This time the villain is not alleged communist subversion, but alleged Muslim terrorism. New cast, same script. The underlying frame is called "countersubversion," which has made repeat performances throughout U.S. history.
When Wendy Gonaver was offered a job teaching American studies at Cal State Fullerton this academic year, she was pleased to be headed back to the classroom to talk about one of her favorite themes: protecting constitutional freedoms.
But the day before class was scheduled to begin, her appointment as a lecturer abruptly ended over just the kind of issue that might have figured in her course. She lost the job because she did not sign a loyalty oath swearing to "defend" the U.S. and California constitutions "against all enemies, foreign and domestic."
The Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES) was charged with being a terrorist organization in the 1980s. The accusations were found to be baseless, but CISPES has one again been contacted by the US government. Citing a 1938 act, the Department of Justice is requesting information from CISPES about their relationship with the leftist party in El Salvador, and their organizing work in the country. Elena Botkin-Levy has more.
PRA is an affiliate of:
Unless otherwise noted, all material on this website is copyright 2010 by Political Research Associates
Political Research Associates • 1310 Broadway, Suite 201 • Somerville, MA 02144
Voice: 617.666.5300 • Fax: 617.666.6622 • firstname.lastname@example.org