CAIRO – Disappointed by a new broken promise by President Barack Obama, US Muslims have denounced a new law keeping the notorious Guantanamo Bay open and allowing indefinite detention of Americans on suspicions of terrorism.
"It is disappointing to see the president once again let Congress impose restrictions on his authority to transfer or federally prosecute prisoners Guantanamo Bay or to close the facility,” the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said in a press release obtained by OnIslam.net.“CAIR believes that Congress has repeatedly maneuvered to prevent the president from closing Guantanamo as he promised to do in his first year in office.”
Obama signed last week the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013 into law that allows the US administration to place certain terrorism suspects into military custody without charge.
The move has significantly toned down Obama’s promises to reverse parts of the bill he objected to, including his own threat to veto it over prohibitions on closing the Guantanamo Bay prison camp.
Obama’s move also wasted efforts, led over the past two months by CAIR and a coalition of civil and human rights organizations to veto the bill.
"We are equally disappointed in Congress for not doing anything to address the controversial threat of indefinite military detention of persons on US soil as authorized by the previous year's NDAA,” the CAIR statement read.
"In the coming year, CAIR urges Congress and the president to work together to address the issues of indefinite detention and the prison at Guantánamo Bay which challenge our nation's commitment to the rule of law and worsens our international reputation.”
Driven by his promises of closing Guantanamo Bay and ending anti-Muslim policies endorsed by his predecessor George W. Bush administration, Muslims overwhelmingly voted for Obama in the 2008 election.
As he prepares for inauguration for a second term, many of Obama’s promises have been left unmet.
American Muslims have also criticized the new law for failing to end Muslim profiling, including indefinite detention.
“At this point in time we certainly do think that this will impact Arab Americans, Muslim Americans as well as anybody deemed to be Arab or Muslim because of the fact of the heightened discrimination this community is facing, the heightened racial profiling that the community is facing,” Abed Ayoub of the Arab American Anti-Discrimination Committee, told Press TV.
“So there is a genuine fear that this provision could be used to harm and used to target Arab American individuals, US citizens or Muslim American citizens.”
Since 9/11, US Muslims, estimated between six to seven million, have become sensitized to an erosion of their civil rights, with a prevailing belief that America was stigmatizing their faith.
Muslims and Arabs have taken the brunt of the Patriot Act and other federal powers applied in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.
In 2011, Obama signed into law a four-year extension of controversial anti-terror powers under Patriot Act.
The Obama administration has also continued policies seen targeting the Muslim community such as police surveillance on the minority and their worship places.Obama has also adopted some controversial policies such as the secret “kill list” of terror suspects, which fuelled fears among many Americans.
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