WASHINGTON, Nov. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) announced today that 15 of its chapters nationwide have filed 87 separate public records requests about possible Islamophobic training of local, state and national law enforcement personnel.
CAIR is seeking information about state-level trainings that may have used federal taxpayer dollars to fund anti-Muslim trainers, a phenomenon highlighted in recent research and media reports.
Attorney General: FBI Hurt Terror Fight with 'Violent Muslim' Training
In a statement, CAIR said:
"CAIR's public records requests seek to ensure that law enforcement agencies are using qualified trainers who present objective and unbiased information to help protect Americans from violent extremists of all types. We firmly believe that good training leads to good investigations, while biased training leads to biased investigations. We are particularly concerned with ensuring that taxpayer dollars are not wasted on training that is agenda-driven, inaccurate or Islamophobic."
Both Attorney General Holder and FBI Director Mueller have acknowledged that the Department of Justice and the FBI are reviewing their training materials to remove inaccurate and biased information.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which provides most of the Federal funding for state and local training, recently issued a set of recommendations for countering violent extremism training.
SEE: Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Training
Guidance & Best Practices
CAIR has in the past called on the Obama administration, DHS, the Department of Defense, and Congress to provide oversight for apparently widespread anti-Muslim bias in the training of law enforcement, security and military personnel nationwide.
Trainers for American law enforcement and military personnel have included Islamophobes such as Robert Spencer, co-founder of Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA), and "former terrorist" Walid Shoebat.
SIOA has been designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center and CNN aired a two-part series exposing Shoebat as an anti-Islam fraud.
CAIR noted the release of an 80-page report by Political Research Associates (PRA), titled "Manufacturing the Muslim Menace: Private Firms, Public Servants, & the Threat to Rights and Security," which details a systemic failure to regulate content in counterterrorism training.
SEE: Manufacturing the Muslim Menace
Washington Monthly magazine also published a major investigative article showing similar anti-Islam attitudes by private trainers of law enforcement agencies.
SEE: How We Train Our Cops to Fear Islam
A number of recent reports have documented the disturbing growth and promotion of Islamophobia nationwide.
CAIR: Same Hate, New Target
Center for American Progress: Fear, Inc.
Southern Poverty Law Center: Jihad Against Islam
People for the American Way: The Right-Wing Playbook on Anti-Muslim Extremism
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 Legislative Director Corey Saylor, 202-384-8857, E-Mail: [email protected]; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, E-Mail: [email protected]; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, E-Mail: [email protected]
SOURCE Council on American-Islamic Relations