Launched in 2007 as an edgy e-newsletter chronicling the Middle East’s underground civil rights scene, The C.R.I.M.E. Report stands for “Civil Rights in the Middle East” – a reminder that advocating for basic rights sometimes lands Middle Easterners in jail. As a briefing on alleged “crimes,” the newsletter spotlights the setbacks and successes of the region’s expanding civil rights movement. Interviews with diverse activists appear under a regular section called “WANTED,” along with quick links to stories of citizens “under surveillance” and reformers mobilizing as “organized crime.”
The Report addresses two often-overlooked aspects of reform. (1) Civil rights – not democracy: Individual rights must be guaranteed for all people; otherwise, elections can simply enshrine repressive regimes. (2) Grassroots efforts – not foreign policy: As members of an open society, Americans are working outside of government to partner with Middle Eastern activists.
The C.R.I.M.E. Report does not cover geo-political hot topics like the Iraq War, the Arab-Israeli-Iranian conflict, and theological debates. Such issues receive extensive coverage, and people who disagree over them can still unite to support civil rights reformers.
We welcome reader feedback and hope the newsletter sparks readers’ activist spirit. Ultimately, our goal is to make you a “Partner in CRIME” – an engaged participant rather than a mere bystander to civil rights history in the making.