CAIR Asks DOJ to Review Use of Muslim-Bashers as Terror Trainers

For Immediate Release

CAIR
Contact: 

CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, or 202-488-8787, ihooper@cair.com; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, arubin@cair.com

CAIR Asks DOJ to Review Use of Muslim-Bashers as Terror Trainers

WASHINGTON - A prominent national Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization
today called on Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. to review Justice
Department policies on the reported use of anti-Muslim extremists to
train counterterrorism officials nationwide.

The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations
(CAIR) said an investigative report on post-9/11 government surveillance
published in today's Washington Post states: "Seeking to learn
more about Islam and terrorism, some law enforcement agencies have
hired as trainers self-described experts whose extremist views on Islam
and terrorism are considered inaccurate and counterproductive by the FBI
and U.S. intelligence agencies."

SEE: Monitoring America (Wash. Post)

The Post's report cites cases of individuals who lack
formal training "teaching classes on terrorism and Islam to law
enforcement officers all over the country." One such trainer tells all
his students that Muslims in the United States "want to impose sharia
law here."

Another trainer, a former Muslim who converted to Christianity, told the Post
he warns officers that "you need to look at the entire pool of Muslims
in a community." He recommends that law enforcement authorities "monitor
Muslim student groups and local mosques and, if possible, tap their
phones."

The Post also noted that the Center for Security
Policy, a right-wing think tank that recently published an inflammatory
report targeting American Muslims, has spoken to many law enforcement
forums.

According to the Post: "Government terrorism experts call the views expressed in the center's book inaccurate and counterproductive."

"The use of ill-informed and agenda-driven 'experts' will
inevitably result in law enforcement practices that are based on
misinformation, not on our nation's legitimate security needs," wrote CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad in a letter to Attorney General Holder.

He said the attorney general recently told American Muslims
that "law enforcement has an obligation to ensure that members of every
religious community enjoy the ability to worship ... free from
intimidation, violence or suspicion."

SEE: Holder Calls Terrorism Sting Operations 'Essential' (NY Times)

"Those who view American Muslims as a suspect community should
not be training local, state or federal law enforcement agencies," said
Awad.

He added that another recent investigative report outlined what the writer termed the "Great Islamophobic Crusade" by a growing network of groups and individuals "obsessively fixated on the supposed spread of Muslim influence in America."

A coalition of Muslim, Sikh, Asian-American, and other civil
liberties groups recently called on FBI Director Robert Mueller to
explain why Robert Spencer, a leader of an anti-Islam hate group, was
invited to train state and federal law enforcement officers.

In its letter to Mueller, the coalition outlined Spencer's
bigoted views on Islam and Muslims, including Spencer's reference to
Islam's Prophet Muhammad as a "con man."

SEE: Coalition Letter to Director Mueller

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CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

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