CAIR: Wash. State Agencies Drop Webinar Over Anti-Islam Bias
SEATTLE, May 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Washington state chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-WA) today announced that a webinar on security technology for law enforcement personnel co-sponsored by Security Solutions International (SSI) was canceled after two of the presenters withdrew from the event due to community concerns about SSI's anti-Islam bias.
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SSI's April 29 webinar was to include presentations by employees of Microsoft, ESRI, the Seattle Police Department, and Washington State Patrol. Both law enforcement agencies announced in a community meeting on April 21 that they would withdraw from the event.
Critics have accused SSI of unfairly linking the faith of Islam to terrorism in its presentations. SSI's CEO once told the Seattle Times, "I can't take the responsibility of my course linking their religion [Islam] to terrorism. I think their religion got linked to terrorism a long time ago." An SSI trainer said in a recent webinar, "We pretty much pick on everybody; we particularly pick on Muslims."
In its trainings, SSI has offered misinformation about Islamic history, promoted Muslim "control" and "take over" conspiracy theories, advocated profiling local Muslim communities, and smeared mainstream American Muslim organizations. Despite disclaimers that "not all Muslims are terrorists," SSI presenters claim Islam's "mandate" is to "dominate the world" and refer to the false notion of "Jewish-Muslim hatred."
One training module, titled "Evolution of Islam," includes an image of the "devil."
Presentations also focus on the "legal wing of Jihad in America," as if American Muslim civic engagement is a threat to the nation.
On its web site, SSI promotes the hate-filled Islamophobic video "Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West." The film, which interviews a veritable who's who of Muslim-bashers, has been termed "propaganda" by the Hate Hurts America Multifaith Community Coalition (HHA).
An investigative report in the St. Petersburg Times revealed ties between the film's distributor, the Clarion Fund, and the Israeli group Aish HaTorah.
SEE: Senders of Islam Movie 'Obsession' Tied to Jewish Charity
Israel-Based Group Behind Distribution of Anti-Muslim DVD (CNN Video)
In 2008, the Port of Seattle dissociated itself from cooperating with SSI after learning of concerns about the anti-Islam bias of its presenters. Earlier this year, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority reportedly canceled an SSI seminar because of similar community concerns.
SEE: Does Course on Islam Give Law Enforcers Wrong Idea? (Seattle Times)
"We commend the Seattle Police Department and the Washington State Patrol for listening to community concerns about a group that promotes anti-Muslim stereotypes and conspiracy theories," said CAIR-WA Executive Director Arsalan Bukhari. "Law enforcement agencies nationwide need training that is free of religious and political agendas and that does not promote racial profiling."
SEE: Nightmare Border Crossing for Muslims (KPLU)
Bukhari said CAIR is concerned that military, security and law enforcement personnel nationwide may be receiving agenda-driven Islamophobic training.
CAIR recently asked the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) to investigate a report of anti-Islam bias in the training offered to security personnel by that military law enforcement agency. An NCIS surveillance detection course at the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C., allegedly included the viewing of a propagandistic anti-Islam film that features notorious Islamophobes such as Daniel Pipes, Nonie Darwish and Walid Shoebat.
According to once trainee, the film and the course promoted the theme that "Islam is synonymous with Nazism." The briefing presenter also allegedly used the term "Hajji" as a pejorative in reference to Muslims and stated repeatedly that "Islam is not a religion of peace."
SEE: CAIR Seeks Probe of Anti-Islam Bias in Military Training
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.
CONTACT: CAIR-WA Executive Director Arsalan Bukhari, 206-367-4081 or 206-931-3655, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: email@example.com; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE Council on American-Islamic Relations