Walter Mencken 6:15 p.m., Feb. 28
Civil Liberties Groups Concerned Over Anti-Muslim Training
CAIR-San Diego, the local chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, is leading the charge in a quest to clarify the contents of FBI training materials that have been described by some news reports as “anti-Muslim.”
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s San Diego Branch, American Civil Liberties Union of San Diego and Imperial Counties, Islamic Center of San Diego, Islamic Society of North County, Muslim American Society – San Diego, and several other groups are all signatories of a letter sent to the San Diego FBI office last week seeking clarification on the training practices.
"We are also requesting a reasonable assurance that bigoted trainers and inaccurate, biased training materials are not used to educate FBI agents in San Diego, and an assurance that protocols are in place to prevent the affiliation of anti-Muslim trainers with your office," says a portion of the letter.
Earlier in the month CAIR’s national chapter sent a similar open letter to FBI Director Robert Mueller, requesting that the agency re-visit its training procedures and the biases of its instructors. This after Wired Magazine published alleged excerpts from training materials that “The FBI is teaching its counterterrorism agents that ‘main stream’ [sic] American Muslims are likely to be terrorist sympathizers; that the Prophet Mohammed was a ‘cult leader’; and that the Islamic practice of giving charity is no more than a ‘funding mechanism for combat.’” The article goes on to claim that during training “agents are shown a chart contending that the more ‘devout’ a Muslim, the more likely he is to be ‘violent.’”
The coalition of San Diego groups is requesting a meeting with local FBI officials to review their concerns about agents and Joint Terrorism Task Force members receiving biased training.
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