September 16, 2005
Washington, DC — In a speech to the Heritage Foundation earlier this week, Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney suggested that US anti-terror agencies should be wiretapping mosques and placing close surveillance on foreign students as a means of combating terror. In his remarks, Governor Romney said ” ”How many individuals are coming to our state and going to those institutions who have come from terrorist-sponsored states? Do we know where they are? Are we tracking them?” He continued, “How about people who are in settings — mosques, for instance — that may be teaching doctrines of hate and terror, are we monitoring that? Are we wiretapping? Are we following what’s going on.”
The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) is alarmed at Governor Romney’s remarks, which advocate for national origin and religious profiling. The ramifications of these type of comments are tantamount to fueling further mistrust and bitterness between the immigrant communities and law enforcement agencies. Romney has presidential aspirations in 2008.
ADC President Mary Rose Oakar said, “In addition to the practice being an assault on American values, we know that blanket profiling based on race, ethnicity, gender, religion, or national origin is an ineffective tool of combating terror,” Oakar continued, “It is vital that we strike a balance between national security and respecting individual freedom and liberty. ”
The ADC-Massachusetts Chapter will hold a press conference today, with other civil liberties and community organizations, at the Governor’s Office in the State Capitol to address Romney’s remarks. Organizations joining ADC will include the Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation (Boston Chapter), the American Civil Liberties Union, the Massachusetts Immigration Refugee Advocacy Coalition, and the Islamic Society of Boston.
For more information about the press conference please contact Ms. Caline Jarudi at the ADC Boston Office to 617-262-8902 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
September 16, 2005