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Nation Conversations: Betsy Reed and Arun Kundnani on Surveillance of Muslim-Americans | The Nation

Nation Conversations: Betsy Reed and Arun Kundnani on Surveillance of Muslim-Americans

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The American government is currently employing counterterrorism strategies against Muslim communities here in the United States that were first developed by the military for use abroad. In this installment of Nation Conversations, writer and human rights activist Arun Kundnani sits down with Nation executive editor Betsy Reed to talk about why this approach to community outreach can be a double-edged sword: On the one hand, it would seem to represent a softer approach to information-gathering, but on the other, it becomes difficult to separate relationship-building from ill-intentioned surveillance.

Kundnani, who has spent time speaking to former military agents about this type of community-outreach, says that there are two reasons the government has pursued this type of surveillance: "One, to gather intelligence, and two, to manage a narrative of how this community makes sense of what's happening to it." For more from Kundnani's take on the relationships being established with Muslim-Americans, read his new full-length piece in The Nation, The FBI's 'Good' Muslims.

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—Carrie Battan

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