WASHINGTON, Dec. 28, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A prominent national Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization is urging the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Defense Department (DoD) not to use anti-Muslim extremists to train counterterrorism officials.
That request by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) comes following a Washington Post investigative report on post-9/11 government surveillance, which stated: "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)
CAIR-MI: Billions Used to Spy on Americans
CAIR made its requests in letters to DHS Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. Last week, the Washington-based Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization sent a similar request to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.
Video: CAIR Decries Anti-Muslim Police Trainers
The Post's report cited cases of individuals who lack formal training "teaching classes on terrorism and Islam to law enforcement officers all over the country."
SEE: Islam-Bashing Bigots Train Counterterrorism Agents
The Post also noted that the Center for Security Policy, an extremist right-wing think tank – headed by Frank Gaffney Jr. -- 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."
"It is important that the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security have access to accurate and balanced information about Islam and Muslims," said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad.
Awad added that 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.
SEE: Coalition Letter to Director Mueller
Earlier this year, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) acknowledged that an anti-Islam film should not have been used in training offered to security personnel by that military law enforcement agency.
CAIR contacted NCIS after receiving a report that a three-day NCIS surveillance detection course at the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C., included the viewing of a propagandistic anti-Islam film.
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.
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CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, or 202-488-8787, 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