The Blog:

If Your Name is Ahmed or Fatima, You Live in Fear of NSA Surviellance

In my first piece for The Guardian, I wrote about my reaction as an Arab-American to the NSA/PRISM surveillance leaks –


One of the most common responses from the 66% of American citizens in favor of the NSA‘s data-collection programs is, “I have nothing to hide, so why should I have anything to fear?”

But what if you have nothing to hide but are targeted as a suspect nevertheless?

By that I mean, what if your name is Ahmed, Jihad, Anwar or Abdulrahman? Fatima, Rania, Rasha or Shaima? What if some of your phone calls – which the NSA is tracking with particular interest – are made to loved ones in Pakistan, Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Iran, Lebanon or Palestine? What if the language you speak on these phone calls is not English, but Arabic, Urdu or Farsi, not because it is a special jihadist code, but because it is your native language that you still speak in your home.

In other words, what if you are one of America’s 1.9 million Arab-Americans or2.8 million Muslim-Americans?

Read the rest here.

The article was also featured on HuffPostLive –

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