New Evidence of Anti-Islam Bias Underscores Deep Challenges for FBI’s Reform Pledge

Following months of denials, the FBI is now promising a “comprehensive review of all training and reference materials” after Danger Room revealed a series of Bureau presentations that tarred average Muslims as “radical” and “violent.”

But untangling the Islamophobic thread woven into the FBI’s counterterrorism training culture won’t be easy. In addition to inflammatory seminars which likened Islam to the Death Star and Mohammed to a “cult leader,” Danger Room has obtained more material showing just how wide the anti-Islam meme has spread throughout the Bureau.

The FBI library at Quantico currently stacks books from authors who claim that “Islam and democracy are totally incompatible.” The Bureau’s private intranet recently featured presentations that claimed to demonstrate the “inherently violent nature of Islam,” according to multiple sources. Earlier this year, the Bureau’s Washington Field Office welcomed a speaker who claimed Islamic law prevents Muslims from being truly loyal Americans. And as recently as last week, the online orientation material for the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Forces included claims that Sunni Islam seeks “domination of the world,” according to a law enforcement source.


American Muslims Ten Years After 9/11 (A View from India)


On the second anniversary of the ghastly tragedy of 9/11 I wrote:

“Two years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Muslim community in America, victim of guilt by association, remains under siege. Profiled, harassed, reviled, attacked, peeped at by the CIA and the FBI, interrogated and permanently controlled at airports, the whole community felt excluded of American society. After the Japanese attack on the Pearl Harbor, more than 110,000 Japanese Americans on the West Coast were imprisoned in 10 relocation camps in the United States. But after 9/11 2001, the whole country is converted into a virtual detention camp for the Muslims by abridging their civil rights.”

Ten years later, this is true today as the seven-million American Muslims remained besieged  through reconfiguration of US laws, policies and priorities in the post-9/11 era. Alarmingly, the post-911 America has become less friendly to Muslims to the extent that they have probably replaced other minorities – Hispanics, Native Americans and Afro Americans – as targets of discrimination, hate and prejudice. Many American Muslims have a story of discriminative treatment ranging from physical attacks, a nasty gaze, casual comments to workplace harassment, burning mosques and the Qur’ān. Muslims have witnessed the ever-growing marginalisation of their communities.

According to a PEW survey released on August 30, 2011, forty-three per cent had personally experienced harassment in the past year. The survey also said that 52 per cent of Muslim Americans complained that their community is singled out by government for surveillance.


U.S. Christian, Muslim leaders to return from seeking hikers’ release

(CNN) — A prominent group of Muslim American and Christian leaders are scheduled to return to Washington Monday, following a six day visit to Iran where top government and clerical officials indicated to them that two American hikers would be released.

“Our goal has been to foster interfaith ties, build a system of understanding and ask the Iranian leadership to show compassion and mercy for the American hikers by allowing them to come home,” said Nihad Awad, national executive director of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) who went to Tehran last week as part of a religious delegation.

The American delegation included Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, Archbishop Emeritus of Washington, the Rt. Rev. John Bryson Chane, Episcopal Bishop of Washington, and Interim Dean of Washington National Cathedral, and former North Carolina State Sen. Larry Shaw, said Awad.


There’s no room for hate at Christian-Muslim get-together in Texas

Christians and Muslims will sing, dine and laugh side by side as neighbors Sunday in Keller.

But one political activist sees nothing fun about the Building Bridges With Fellow Texans event at NorthWood Church.

The idea of Christians and Muslims making friends or having fun together is “heresy” — “repulsive and impossible,” according to a poison-pen e-mail from Dorrie O’Brien of Grand Prairie, who fears Islamic extremism beneath that platter of hummus.

Pastor Bob Roberts, founder and 26-year leader of the Southern Baptist-affiliated church, said he’s almost at a loss for words.

“They’re trying to stop Christians and Muslims from getting together as neighbors,” Roberts said Thursday after O’Brien’s e-mail spread on the Web.

Roberts has blogged at about complaints from “super-fundamentalist angry mean-spirited people who are driven by hate of others more than love of God.”

The event, at 5 p.m., does not include worship, he said. An Irving mosque organized Muslims for the event, timed as a unity gathering after the 9-11 anniversary.


Read more:

“Mixed bag” for U.S. Muslims since 9/11

(CBS News)

It was a Tuesday evening in August 2010 when a 21-year-old art student from suburban New York hailed a taxi cab on a Manhattan street, carrying a couple of notebooks, an empty bottle of scotch and a folding knife. After asking the cabbie if he was a Muslim, the student, Michael Enright, muttered “consider this a checkpoint” before slashing at the driver’s neck and eventually fleeing through the car window.

The driver, Ahmed H. Sharif, survived with relatively minor injuries. Enright, who had actually visited Afghanistan earlier that year as part of a group aiming to promote interfaith dialogue, was arrested and charged with a hate crime.

The attack may well have been the most acute example of anti-Islamic sentiment last summer, but it was hardly the only one. For months, a debate raged over the plan to build an Islamic center within several blocks of the World Trade Center site – with critics weighing in from around the country, including some family members of 9/11 victims. In Florida, the Rev. Terry Jones threatened to burn a Quran if the proposed site wasn’t moved. (Efforts to block the center’s approval failed and Jones, though he backed away from his initial threat, went through with a Quran-burning in March after finding the Muslim holy book guilty of crimes against humanity in a televised “trial.”)


Obama’s Bahrain Backpedaling

editor’s Note: Joost R. Hitlermann is Deputy Program Director for Middle East and North Africa at the International Crisis Group.

By Joost R. HiltermannForeign Affairs

Ever since the Arab Spring began, Washington has been faced with the question of how to ease autocrats from power. After former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was forced from office in February, President Barack Obama said that the United States had been on the “right side” of history, suggesting that that is where Washington would position itself in the Arab world’s transition to democracy. What exactly this should mean in practice remains an unsettled question – especially in states presided over by dictators whose stable rule and pro-U.S. orientation were long-standing cornerstones of U.S. strategy in the Middle East.

This dilemma is particularly salient in the case of Bahrain, a small island kingdom in the Gulf and a longtime U.S. strategic ally. For months now, Bahrain has been engulfed in protests against the repressive rule of the Khalifa family; the most recent demonstrations in late August claimed the life of a 14-year-old boy, the latest casualty in the regime’s drive to restore order.


Why Muslims are Still Mad at America


Editor’s Note: Steven Kull is director of the Program on International Policy Attitudes and author of the recently released book, Feeling Betrayed: The Roots of Muslim Anger at America.

By Steven Kull, Special to CNN

On the ten-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, many Americans are wondering whether the risk of a terrorist attack against America has been reduced.  The picture is mixed. With the death of Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda is weaker.  With revolutions in several Arab countries, frustrations with unpopular autocratic governments – a recruiting theme for terrorist groups – have been mitigated.  But one important contributing factor has not improved – widespread anger at America in the Muslim world.  While views have improved in Indonesia, throughout the Middle East and South Asia, hostility toward the United States persists unabated.

This does not mean that most Muslims support terrorist attacks on America. On the contrary, overwhelming majorities reject terrorism, including the 9/11 attacks, as morally wrong.  Al Qaeda is quite unpopular.


Three Miami-area congregations — Catholic, Jewish, Muslim — to come together to commemorate 9/11



Some positive things came out of a Gainesville preacher’s widely reported burning of a Koran this year. Gainesville, which roundly rejected his bigotry, showed the world the decent, tolerant city it is.

Here in Miami, my own coverage led me to a South Miami-Dade mosque, Al-Ihsaan, whose Gandhi-esque answer to the preacher’s affront was not to lash out but to hand out the Muslim holy book: For every Koran he burned, the mosque would give 114 of them (the Koran has 114 chapters) to the community. Al-Ihsaan’s imam, Tarek Chebbi, asked me to present one to the Rev. Luis Perez, the pastor of Holy Rosary-St. Richard, the Catholic church I attend in Palmetto Bay.

What happened next impressed me as a journalist and heartened me as a Miamian.

Father Perez enthusiastically embraced Imam Chebbi’s invitation of an interfaith partnership, as did Rabbi Mark Kram of a nearby Reconstructionist Jewish temple, Beth Or. Members of all three congregations responded just as positively, and Rabbi Kram made a splendid suggestion: They could attend each other’s services next weekend to commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11. This coming Friday, Catholic and Jewish congregants will be guests at afternoon prayer at Al-Ihsaan; that evening, Catholics and Muslims will go to Shabbat service at Beth Or; and on Sunday, Muslims and Jews will attend a Holy Rosary-St. Richard mass.

Read more: