Where is the U.S. Government Getting It’s Information on Islam and Muslims? - updated 8/20/12

Where is the U.S. Government Getting It’s Information on Islam and Muslims?

by Sheila Musaji


There is a well-known group of Islamophobes busily producing and disseminating what is considered by most reasonable people to be anti-Muslim materials.  The American Muslim community has been concerned about the fact that these same individuals and organizations have also been providing poor quality training and information to law enforcement, counter-terrorism agencies, and government agencies.  Many in our community have been particularly concerned about the fact that individuals who are clearly Islamophobic continue to be called on to share their “expertise”.

A few months ago, the Homeland Security Committee announced that there would be a Senate inquiry into the funding of counter-terrorism training, and I wrote an article titled American Muslims welcome Senate inquiry into accuracy and effectiveness of counterterrorism training in which concerns about current training and support for the idea of inquiring into the content and qualifications of the providers of this training were discussed in detail. 

This month, the White House released a new counter-terrorism strategy, and I wrote an article White House Releases “New” Counter-terrorism Strategy in which I said in part

In the section of the government report titled Building Government and Law Enforcement Expertise for Preventing Violent Extremism it says

Government and law enforcement at the local level have well-established relationships with communities, developed through years of consistent engagement, and therefore can effectively build partnerships and take action on the ground. To help facilitate local partnerships to prevent violent extremism, the Federal Government is building a robust training program with rigorous curriculum standards to ensure that the training that communities; local, state, and tribal governments; prison officials; and law enforcement receive is based on intelligence, research, and accurate information about how people are radicalized to accept violence, and what has worked to prevent violent extremism. Misinformation about the threat and dynamics of radicalization to violence can harm our security by sending local stakeholders in the wrong direction and unnecessarily creating tensions with potential community partners. We also are working to support and expand community-oriented policing efforts by our state, local, and tribal partners, and to assist them in enhancing cultural proficiency and other foundations for effective community engagement.

This sounds good, but if it is accurate, then I have to wonder exactly who they are building these strong relationships with.  Certainly not what I believe to be the majority of American Muslims who would tell them that the public pronouncements of truly Islamophobic anti-Muslim venom by elected representatives, government officials, and candidates for public office which are not challenged as they certainly would be if made against any other religious, racial, or ethnic group - does not promote a positive relationship.  See Islamophobia no longer questioned - even by our elected representatives for a lengthy list of such statements.  See The GOP Anti-Muslim Limbo:  How Low Can They Go? for a summary of such statements and a description of how they have escalated in extremity. See The GOP has declared war on American Muslims for a list of incidents that show bias.  See also Elected Representatives & Government Officials Who HAVE Questioned Islamophobia

Certainly, the majority of American Muslims would have told any government agency with which they have a strong relationship that using known Islamophobes to train law enforcement, or the military, or to testify before government agencies as “experts” on Islam and Muslims - does not promote a positive relationship

Relying on such bigoted sources also does not provide any real information about what might legitimately be signs of radicalization within this particular community.  What you will get from the Islamophobes is useless information like that contained in the Shari’a and Violence in American Mosques “study” by David Yerushalmi.  Someone could write an entire article on the ridiculousness of the “watch on the right hand” issue alone.  And, the straight prayer lines as an indicator of anything other than keeping people from bumping into each other requires an article or a humorous YouTube video to show just how nonsensical this is.  There are so many problems with this report that it is difficult to believe that it is meant to be taken seriously.  It seems more like a satirical article that would be published on “The Onion”.  This report belongs in the category of lunatic ravings rather than of serious research, and deserves to be ridiculed along with Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy Shariah in American Courts and Sharia: a Threat to America reports.

The American Muslim has a collection of articles outlining the activities of these Islamophobes and listing direct hateful quotes by them at A Who’s Who of the Anti-Muslim/Anti-Arab/Islamophobia Industry.  Actually, many non-Muslims have also provided documented information about these Islamophobes.

Earlier this year, a Political Research Report was released.  The report was titled MANUFACTURING THE MUSLIM MENACE, and subtitled: Private Firms, Public Servants, and the Threat to Rights and Security.  A petition to Congress and relevant federal and local agencies to ensure that counterterrorism skills training delivered to public servants is accurate, consistent with national security policy, and respectful of constitutional rights.  The report discusses the following individual “trainers” who are a serious concern:  Mark A. Gabriel, Dave Gaubatz,  Walid Phares, Clare M. Lopez, Tawfiq Hamid, Stephen Coughlin, Nonie Darwish, Detective Ebrahim Ashabi, and Walid Shoebat. The report also looks at specif organizations such as International Counter-Terrorism Officers Association (ICTOA), Security Solutions International, LLC (SSI) and The Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies (CI Centre)

The ADL has stated that Brigitte Gabriel’s Act for America, Pamela Geller & Robert Spencer’s Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA), David Yerushalmi’s Society of Americans for National Existence (SANE)  are “groups that promote an extreme anti-Muslim agenda”.  The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated SIOA as a hate group.

It seems obvious that these are individuals who are blinded by hatred and who have a personal agenda.  Nevertheless, these and other individuals who are clearly Islamophobes have been regularly invited by elected representatives and government agencies to provide information about Islam and Muslims. 

There is a reason that the ADL has stated that Brigitte Gabriel’s Act for America, Pamela Geller & Robert Spencer’s Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA), David Yerushalmi’s Society of Americans for National Existence (SANE)  are “groups that promote an extreme anti-Muslim agenda”.  There is a reason that The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated SIOA as a hate group, and that they published Jihad Against Islam and The Anti-Muslim Inner Circle by Robert Steinback in their Summer 2011 Intelligence Report.  There is a reason that Geller and Spencer are featured prominently in the Center for American Progress “Fear Inc.” report on the Islamophobia network in America.  There is a reason that Geller and Spencer are featured in the People for the American Way Right Wing Playbook on Anti-Muslim Extremism.  There is a reason that Geller and Spencer are featured in the NYCLU report Religious Freedom Under Attack:  The Rise of Anti-Mosque Activities in New York State.  There is a reason that Geller and Spencer are featured in the Political Research Associates report Manufacturing the Muslim menace: Private firms, public servants, and the threat to rights and security.  There is a reason that Geller and Spencer are featured in just about every legitimate report on Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred.

Unless the hateful statements made about Islam and Muslims by government officials and elected representatives are publically challenged by other officials and representatives, and unless Islamophobes stop being considered as the go to experts on Islam and Muslims, then this report will have little or no effect on improving relationships with the American Muslim community.

Senators Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) and Susan Collins, (R-Maine), chair and ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee are highly critical of the counter-terrorism training provided to local law enforcement personnel throughout the U.S. who serve as first responders in the war against terrorism. In a strongly worded letter written to Secretary of Homeland Security Napolitano and Attorney General Eric Holder on March 29, 2011, Lieberman and Collins decried the waste of federal funds “being spent on ineffective or poor counter-terrorism training” which they contend is both inaccurate and often inflammatory.” …”We are concerned that at best, the quality of training law enforcement personnel receive is inconsistent, and at worst, is actually detrimental to our efforts to combat homegrown terrorism.”  Source

My initial reaction is that this most recent report is simply an attempt to reassure American Muslims that Al Qaeda is the enemy, not the American Muslim community.  That’s something, but truly building positive relationships will require much more.  As long as one particular form of terrorism is seen as more of a concern than any form of terrorism, and one form of extremism is seen as more of a concern than all forms of extremism, and as long as the finger of guilt is pointed only at the Muslim community as a possible source of such extremism and terrorism there is a problem.  Certainly, radicalization of some elements of the Muslim community is a problem, as is radicalization of some elements of the Christian and Jewish communities, and of elements of various political ideologies.  To focus only on Muslims as a possible source of terrorism really does seem biased and counter-productive.

Alternet questions this focus on only one type of terrorism, and the fact that Federal Government’s Terrorism Database Excludes Anti-Choice Terrorism 

At this point in time, there is no evidence that Islamophobic trainers/advisers and materials have been sidelined, and therefore this remains a serious concern.

Here are a few cases that I know about of elected representatives and government agencies calling on known Islamophobes for information on Islam and Muslims:

How is it possible that when the State of Alaska held a hearing about Sharia law, Alaska, Rep. Carl Gatto thought that Pamela Geller and David Yerushalmi would be reputable witnesses on the “dangers of Sharia”?

How is it possible that Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX), Ralph Hall (R-TX) and State Rep. Jerry Madden (R-TX) could think it made sense to be on the Honorary Host Committee for a Collin County Conservative Republicans 2009 evening with Pamela Geller of SIOA?

How could Rep. Steven King (R-Iowa) defend Pamela Geller of SIOA’s participation in a tea party event.  The Republican believes that Geller “is a credible spokeswoman on these sort of issues,” his communications director John Kennedy tells Mother Jones. “She is a nationally recognized authority on the threat of radical Islam. To extent that her comments [in CAIR’s release] reflect her state of mind, we should err on the side of her as being credible alternative to anything that CAIR has to say”?

How could The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) think it was reasonable to include a presentation “Jihad: The Political Third Rail;” an event created by Atlas Shrugs’ Pam Geller and Jihad Watch’s Robert Spencer?

How could John Bolton endorse and write the foreword for Spencer and Geller’s 2010 book “The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America”  and endorse Geller’s newest book “Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance” about which Bolton said “The First Amendment’s free-speech guarantee is central to America’s character and our fundamental liberties.  Equally important, and stemming from the same philosophical roots, is the Amendment’s twinned protection of religious freedom and its prohibition of establishing religion.  These pillars of liberty are under attack around the world, and even here in America.  If you want to preserve the Constitution, read this book.”

How is it possible that Rep. Michelle Bachmann could believe that Geller was an appropriate person with whom to sit down for an interview?  Geller said about that interview “I had a great interview early this morning with Congressman Michele Bachmann, a Republican Congresswoman from east-central Minnesota, a warrior against Obama’s war on America.    Bachmann really gets it. This is a woman I would gladly follow into battle. She’s a comer. If America is to emerge from this war from within, it will be under the stewardship of great Americans like Bachmann. I am a huge fan.”

How is it possible that Rep. Bachmann could believe that Frank Gaffney is a reliable person from whom to seek advice on policy issues?

How could the DOD think it made sense to provide[/url] a racist training manual to US servicemembers and military contractors on their way to duty in Iraq?

How is it possible that Ilario Pantano a North Carolina Congressional candidate could welcome Geller’s backing of his campaign?  Pantano said “I don’t have any anxieties about Pam Geller,” Pantano said. “She is a patriot. I’m thrilled to have her endorsement.”

How is it possible that Mike Huckabee thinks it appropriate to invite Geller on his television program and give her a platform to spread her hatred “...to build a mosque which embodies the very ideology that attacked us”?

How could former State House Majority leader Adam Hasner express his support for Pamela Geller and Geert Wilders   at a Tea Party event.  “We face right now an existential threat from Sharia compliant Islam” 

How is it possible that Senator Greg Ball (R-NY), chairman of the Veterans, Homeland Security & Military Affairs Committee could hold a hearing titled “Reviewing our Preparedness: An Examination of New York’s Public Protection Ten Years After September 11”  on April 8th, 2011, and think it made any sense at all to call as “experts” Rep. Peter King, Frank Gaffney, and Nonie Darwish.  Eleven democratic senators have sent a letter to Senator Ball objecting to the inclusion of such individuals.  You can see the full text of the letters back and forth here.  For some reason Darwish spoke at the event under the pseudonym “Nahid Hyde.” 

How is it possible that Rep. Sue Myrick (R-NC) could endorse the hate group ACT for America and Brigitte Gabriel?

How is it possible that the U.S. Naval War College could be involved with promoting the film Obsession? As part of CLARION’s supplemental IRS filing page 13 is a letter from Jeffrey Norwitz, Professor, National Security Studies, U.S.l Naval War College, Department of the Navy (and it is on official Dept. of the Navy letterhead) that calls Obsession “...the finest teaching tool yet in educating students ...”, and in the letter he says: “Toward that end, I use the full-length Obsession movie to begin a strategic conversation and generate spirited dialogue.”  And, in addition to using this film at the U.S. Naval War College, he says: “Moreover, I frequently lecture at academic institutions across the United States and to foreign military audiences.  I often use the 12-minute version of Obsession with similar positive results.”  This would appear to be proof that this film is being used at the Naval College. 

How is it possible that the FBI and military organizations think it made sense to put Brigitte Gabriel’s book Because They Hate on the reading list at the FBI Academy and assign it as mandatory reading for Navy SEALs heading to the Middle East?  (This is stated in the introduction of the 2008 edition of Because They Hate)

How is it possible that law enforcement agencies think it makes sense to invite someone like John Guandolo to brief their employees about Islam? 

How is it possible that the NYPD could consider that it made sense to screen The Third Jihad, a spectacularly offensive film to train police officers about Islam?

How could Rep. Allen West, (R-FL) think it appropriate to meet with Brigitte Gabriel head of anti-Muslim group ACT! for America?

How could Rep. Allen West think it made sense to invite Citizens for National Security to make a presentation for Congressmen in the Rayburn House Office Building?

How is it possible that the FBI could recommend Robert Spencer’s books for agents in training as part of a seriously biased training program and include this recommendation in an official training manual?

How is it possible that the FBI could invite Robert Spencer to speak to the Tidewater Joint Terrorism Task Force, a combination of state, federal, and local law enforcement centered in Norfolk, Virginia.

How is it possible that the U.S. military thinks it makes sense to invite Robert Spencer to train U.S. Military Personnel in Kentucky

How is it possible that the US military’s Joint Forces Staff College (JFSC) could think it made sense to invite Brigitte Gabriel of ACT for America to speak as part of the JFSC’s Islam elective for American military and national security personnel.  At that training session she “taught” them that a good Muslim “cannot be a loyal citizen to the United States of America.”  And, they “learned” that a Muslims oath of office is meanlingless because Islam justifies lying. 

How is it possible that the U.S. Air Force Academy could think it made sense to invite Walid Shoebat to speak at a week long conference on terrorism at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs?

How is it possible that the the South Dakota Office of Homeland Security could think it made sense to pay Walid Shoebat to speak to law enforcement officers attending a South Dakota conference on homeland security. 

How is it possible that Rep. Peter King who is holding a series of high profile “hearings” could possibly consider the following as reliable sources of information?:  When asked where he gets his information about Muslims here was his response to Sean Hannity “Hannity asked King to confirm he was saying 85 percent of mosques in America are “ruled by the extremists.”  “Yes,” he replied, “and I can get you the documentation on that from experts in the field. Talk to a Steve Emerson, talk to a [Daniel] Pipes, talk to any of those. They will tell you. It’s a real issue … . I’ll stand by that number of 85 percent. This is an enemy living amongst us.”

How is it possible that Rep. Peter King could defend Pamela Geller and call her a “credible spokesperson”. 

How could Robert Blitzer, retired FBI Counterterrorism Chief and Steven Pomerantz, former Assistant Director of the FBI, former Chief of Counterterrorism of the FBI praise Steven Emerson as a reliable source of information?


How is it possible that according to ACT for America’s Orlando site a number of elected representatives could think it reasonable to appear at ACT’s convention and for ACT to thank “The many Senators and Congressman & Women who support Act for America (e.g. Michelle Bachman, Peter King, Sue Myrick, Bozeman, Franks who spoke to us at our National Convention in D.C. this past month.” 

How is it possible that Rep. Peter King could think it reasonable to appear as the first guest on Brigitte Gabriel’s Act for America’s new television program.

How could Sen. John Kyle of Arizona praise Steven Emerson as “the most authoritative expert on Middle Eastern terrorism in the United States today and whose investigations have uncovered the existence of terrorist groups operating in the United States today…This country owes a great deal of gratitude to him.”

How could Rep. Ed Royce of California say about Steven Emerson “Mr. Emerson has for so long been right on [his] predictions about our long fight against terrorism… Mr. Emerson has shared his very important insights with this subcommittee on a number of occasions in recent years. His expertise is based on daily contact with sources in government and key financial institutions as well as his participation in major terrorist financing cases.”


How is it possible that Rep. Dave Agema of Michigan could think it made sense to invite Kamal Saleem, a man who claims to be a former terrorist to speak at a rally against illegal immigration at the Capitol building in Lansing.


I am hopeful that this situation can be changed, and that we will see these individuals who spread only hatred marginalized.  They certainly have the right to freedom of speech, however that speech should be countered and not promoted.  When elected representatives and government officials continue to rely on such individuals as the source of their information about Islam and Muslims even after so much information about their bias has been provided by so many sources, then it would seem reasonable to conclude that those officials and agencies agree with the hate being promulgated.


UPDATE 8/24/2011

It was reported today by Adam Goldman of the Associated Press that the CIA and the NYPD have been working together on a domestic surveillance project that may go beyond what is legal.  The CIA, is not allowed to spy on Americans but helped to set up this NYPD intelligence unit.  According to the article In just two episodes showing how widely the NYPD cast its net, the department sought a rundown from the taxi commission of every Pakistani cab driver in the city, and produced an analytical report on every mosque within 100 miles, officials said.

This, along with Trevor Aaronson’s report on Mother Jones about the FBI having 15,000 official informants, and half again as many “floaters” primarily in the Muslim community is a serious concern.  This has also been reported on NPR. 

Calculate this and it would seem that there is one informant for about every 40 American Muslims. 


UPDATE 8/31/2011

AP has obtained a copy of a document entitled The Demographics Unit.  You can see a PDF here.  This means that those articles saying that such a unit doesn’t exist are questionable at best.  The “Ancestries of Interest” page is particularly concerning as this can’t be seen as anything other than profiling.  The AP has published another article with updated information NYPD monitored where Muslims ate, shopped, prayed by Matt Apuzzo and Adam Goldman

As Sarah Sayeed of the Interfaith Center of New York said about this news:

If it is all legal, then why is it a problem? One issue is the sense of powerlessness and fear that such surveillance engenders. Police surveillance of any space, whether it is a building or a bar, suggests that something about that space is a cause for concern. We assume that the police, as a law enforcement agency, are there watching out because something illegal has happened there. Common sense tells me that if my place of worship is being watched by the police for terrorism, it is not a place that I should go to. Since the news report last week suggested that every single mosque in New York City had been canvassed and “crawled,” then effectively, there is no mosque in New York City that the police deem safe from terrorism. It seems there is no mosque that I should consider safe for me and my family.

For observant Muslims, drifting away from the mosque creates spiritual dislocation and disconnection from the community. There is also a cost to religious freedom, a growing sense that our choices are constrained. For someone like me, who has grown up in the United States and has a sense of belonging outside the mosque, the loss of not attending the mosque is serious but in a different way. For newer immigrants who feel estranged and rely on their mosque for a sense of belonging, direction, and rootedness, the consequence of staying away is potentially greater alienation. In addition, newer immigrants who come from countries where police are heavy-handed are even more likely to stay away if they believe the police secretly watch the mosque. Given that the NYPD has theorized a role for alienation in radicalization, its initiative to monitor every mosque could ultimately produce the very problem that it claims is a factor in “home-grown” terrorism—more alienation.

Another problem is that the news of NYPD’s use of CIA professionals and CIA-informed methods comes at a low point in its relationship with key community leaders, who increasingly feel marginalized by the Police Commissioner. Many of these organizations and individuals came together to form the Muslim American Civil Liberties Coalition to respond to the NYPD Report on Radicalization, released in 2008. There is a growing frustration among these leaders about the NYPD’s lack of accountability and transparency. Since 2009, leaders have been asking for access to the curriculum the NYPD uses to teach its officers about Islam and Muslims. The requests have been ignored and leaders became more annoyed with recent news about the use of “The Third Jihad” as background video in a training break for cadets. They have asked for websites that the NYPD lists as inciting terrorism. That has also been ignored. They asked about the use of informants. They did not get a response. Without such information, community leaders are unable to make a determination as to whether the Police is an ally, and whether it will do right by the community. The relationship is growing less collegial, with coalition leaders turning increasingly away from dialogue as a viable option, towards media advocacy and considering lawsuits against the NYPD as a more suitable remedy.

Trust is the basis of any partnership. It is generated when partners take the time to listen to each other, to accept each others’ concerns as legitimate and real. In a relationship where there is a clear imbalance of institutional power, such as police having more power than the community, it becomes incumbent on the party with more power to do more of the listening. Listening is required in order to exercise power and authority with justice. Listening and the trust that it engenders can go a long way to create a partnership that will benefit not just the NYPD, but ultimately all of New York.

By ignoring legitimate questions, dismissing community concerns as polemics, and leaving it to investigative journalists to expose its questionable programs, the NYPD has shown a shaky commitment to real and honest partnership. It has shown how little it trusts the Muslim community. Let’s just hope that the currently fractured relationship can be reversed, and it doesn’t turn into a liability. Our collective safety depends upon it.

Eli Clifton also reports on a very troubling question of Funders Behind NYPD’s Mysterious Private ‘Counter-Terrorism’ Foundation paying for Islamophobic trainers.

 

UPDATE 9/15/2011

Ryan J. Reilly reports

Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Susan Collins (R-ME) aren’t messing around when it comes to stopping federal dollars from flowing to anti-Muslim terrorism training. In a letter to Obama on Tuesday, the duo said that if the administration can’t develop criteria to keep bigoted information out of counter-terrorism training, they’ll “consider drafting a legislative mandate or even imposing standards by statute.”

“An initial review by our staff reveals that agencies providing grants to state and local law enforcement lack meaningful standards for counter-terrorism curriculum and an adequate vetting process for individual trainers,” Lieberman and Collins wrote.

“In addition, state and local law enforcement often have little to no guidance from the federal government on what counter-terrorism training should entail,” they write. “The result has often been cases of trainers spewing inaccurate or even bigoted information to state and local law enforcement personnel, stigmatizing Muslim-Americans generally, and in effect, lending support to the false narrative that we are ‘at war’ with Islam.”

“As we have previously stated in letters to this administration, we have serious concerns that improper training may not be isolated occurrences and could be detrimental to our efforts to confront homegrown terrorism,” they write. “Since Muslim Americans are our main allies in the fight against violent Islamist extremism domestically, any training that implies otherwise is both inaccurate and counterproductive.”

And, Adam Goldman has reported more fully on the NYPD spy program.  His article includes this

... police then identified 53 “mosques of concern” and placed undercover officers and informants there, the documents show.

Many of those mosques were flagged for allegations of criminal activity, such as alien smuggling, financing Hamas or money laundering. Others were identified for having ties to Salafism, a hardline movement preaching a strict version of Islamic law. Still others were identified for what the documents refer to as “rhetoric.”

Other reasons are less clear.

Two mosques, for instance, were flagged for having ties to Al-Azhar, the 1,000-year-old Egyptian mosque that is the pre-eminent institute of Islamic learning in the Sunni Muslim world. Al-Azhar was one of the first religious institutions to condemn the 2001 terrorist attacks. President George W. Bush’s close adviser, Karen Hughes, visited Al-Azhar in 2005 and applauded its courage.

Al-Azhar was also a sponsor of Obama’s 2009 speech reaching out to the Muslim world.

This is as frightening as David Yerushalmi’s “Sharia and Violence in American Mosques” being taken seriously by government officials.  That was the report that warned about such ominous signs of Muslim extremism as:  a Muslim man wearing his watch on his right wrist or having a beard, or a Muslim wearing a head covering, or non-Western dress, and gender segregation or straight prayer lines in mosques? 

There are other religious groups who follow many of these same customs including male-female segregation during prayers at their house of worship, covering the head, wearing beards, wearing special clothing, etc.  Logically, unless your point is that all such religious customs are problematic, the implication of this report is clearly that the religion of Islam is being singled out as somehow different from other religions.

If a man covers his head, wears a beard, wears special clothing to pray, follows dietary restrictions, prays in a house of worship where men and women are segregated for prayers and where women cover their heads and dress modestly, then — if he is an Orthodox Jew is that any different than if he is an observant Muslim?  Obviously, to the authors of this report, this is a problem only for Muslims.

Someone could write an entire article on the ridiculousness of the “watch on the right hand” issue alone.  And, the straight prayer lines as an indicator of anything other than keeping people from bumping into each other requires an article or a humorous YouTube video to show just how nonsensical this is.  There are so many problems with this report that it is difficult to believe that it is meant to be taken seriously.  It seems more like a satirical article that would be published on “The Onion”.  This report belongs in the category of lunatic ravings rather than of serious research, and deserves to be ridiculed along with Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy Shariah in American Courts and Sharia: a Threat to America reports.

Spencer Ackerman also released an important, and lengthy article yesterday FBI Teaches Agents: ‘Mainstream’ Muslims Are ‘Violent, Radical’.  Here a few highlights from the article:

— 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.”

— At the Bureau’s training ground in Quantico, Virginia, agents are shown a chart contending that the more “devout” a Muslim, the more likely he is to be “violent.” Those destructive tendencies cannot be reversed, an FBI instructional presentation adds: “Any war against non-believers is justified” under Muslim law; a “moderating process cannot happen if the Koran continues to be regarded as the unalterable word of Allah.”

— Still, at Quantico, the alleged connection between Islam and violence isn’t just stipulated. It’s literally graphed.  An FBI presentation titled “Militancy Considerations” measures the relationship between piety and violence among the texts of the three Abrahamic faiths. As time goes on, the followers of the Torah and the Bible move from “violent” to “non-violent.” Not so for devotees of the Koran, whose “moderating process has not happened.” The line representing violent behavior from devout Muslims flatlines and continues outward, from 610 A.D. to 2010. In other words, religious Muslims have been and always will be agents of aggression.

Read his entire article which includes many links to documents, etc.

CNN also has a video report on this training here

Today: — the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) sent a letter to FBI Director Robert Mueller asking for an explanation on Islamophobic trainings. — CAIR also issued a statement. — Muslim Advocates called for  Inspector General Investigation of FBI Training, as has ISNA and the ADC

UPDATE 9/16/2011

Justin Raimondo reports about one of the FBI “experts”

Indeed, the author of at least one of the FBI “presentations,” one William Gawthrop, was interviewed by WorldNutDaily – birther headquarters – in which he attributed radical Islamist terrorism to the prophet Mohammed’s “mindset.” In the interview, Gawthrop is described as someone “who until recent months headed a key counterintelligence and counterterrorism program set up at the Pentagon after 9/11.” Islam isn’t really a religion, according to Gawthrop, but a “military doctrine.” The Koran is not only a sacred text but also a manual for world conquest:

“’Today the United States and an increasing number of other governments are beleaguered by an expanding array of states, groups and individuals whose goals, actions and norms are animated by Islamic values,’ Gawthrop said. ‘This places the defenders in the unenviable position of having to fight, at the strategic level, against an idea.’

“How do you attack an idea? By hitting ‘soft spots’ in the Islamic faith that, once exploited, ‘may induce a deteriorating cascade effect upon the target,’ Gawthrop says.”

“’Critical vulnerabilities of the Quran, for example, are that it was uttered by a mortal,’ Gawthrop said. ‘Similar vulnerabilities may be found in Muhammad’s character.’”

This reads like a rationale for the worst sort of hate-mongering of the kind one sees on far-right-wing blogs, and the obscene excesses of wackos like Pamela Geller, who ascribe every sort of moral and sexual perversion to the most revered figure of one of the world’s three great Abrahamic faiths. The idea is not to win over Muslims, at home and abroad, to the anti-terrorist cause, but to insult and provoke them to higher levels of violence.

Somewhere close to the lowest rung of Hell, Osama bin Laden is smiling.

Gawthrop criticizes the Pentagon for lacking his own “strategic” understanding of Islam, and predicts that:

“As the jihad spreads …  the government eventually will have to get involved in a such a controversial national education campaign, politically incorrect as it may be. ‘If the United States, moderate Muslim governments and the non-Muslim world seek to engage ideological adversaries on their own ground,’ he said, ‘they will have to develop, use and maintain the full range of capabilities in the ideological component of national power, and address Islam’s strategic themes directly.’”

In other words: hire him to direct a national – nay, international – hate campaign directed at Islam, per se, and the memory and image of the Prophet Mohammed.

Ryan J. Reilly has more on Gawthrop here


UPDATES 9/19-23/2011

Adam Serwer reports that Professional Islamophobe Robert Spencer is angry that the FBI has discontinued anti-Muslim Counterterrorism Training.

The FBI says that the particular presentation by Gawthorp is no longer being made.  But, as Kris Alexander reports that really is just the tip of the iceberg.  Spencer Ackerman also has an update to his original expose. 

And,  Spencer Ackerman and Noah Shachtman now report that The FBI has publicly declared that its counterterrorism training seminars linking “mainstream” Muslims to terrorists was a “one time only” affair that began and ended in April 2011. But two months later, the Bureau employee who delivered those controversial briefings gave a similar lecture to a gathering of dozens of law enforcement officials at an FBI-sponsored public-private partnership in New York City.    And during that June presentation, the FBI’s William Gawthrop told his audience that the fight against al-Qaida is a “waste,” compared to the threat presented by the ideology of Islam itself.  This article includes a video of the June 7th presentation by Gawthorp.  During the lecture Gawthrop compared Islam to Star Wars “death star”. 

Gawthrop is said to have spoken as a private citizen and not as an FBI analyst when he gave the June lecture to an InfraGard group.  Infra Gard’s website is quite interesting.  From their main page InfraGard is an information sharing and analysis effort serving the interests and combining the knowledge base of a wide range of members. At its most basic level, InfraGard is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the private sector. InfraGard is an association of businesses, academic institutions, state and local law enforcement agencies, and other participants dedicated to sharing information and intelligence to prevent hostile acts against the United States. InfraGard Chapters are geographically linked with FBI Field Office territories.

So, Gawthrop is still giving lectures to groups that are in partnership with the FBI - but as a private citizen not as an FBI analyst.  Somehow that doesn’t make me feel any better.

Ackerman continues to investigate and has just published Books, Lectures, Websites: Fresh Evidence for FBI’s Anti-Islam Training which has a great deal more information “showing just how wide the anti-Islam meme has spread throughout the Bureau.”  Here are a few of the key points he turned up

— 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.

— One example is found in the mandatory orientation material for the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Forces, or JTTFs. Those task forces are a nationwide partnership between the FBI, intelligence analysts and state and local police. As of late last week, according to a law enforcement source familiar with the program, new members or those needing a belated orientation saw this description of Sunnism — the largest branch of Islam — as part of their online training course:  Sunni Muslims have been prolific in spawning numerous and varied fundamentalist extremist terrorist organizations. Sunni core doctrine and end state have remained the same and they continue to strive for Sunni Islamic domination of the world to prove a key Quranic assertion that no system of government or religion on earth can match the Quran’s purity and effectiveness for paving the road to God.  That paragraph is contained in orientation material, known as the Joint Terrorism Task Force Orientation v2 course, distributed online through a secure intranet for every member of the JTTFs. That’s approximately 4,400 officials, according to FBI figures, all charged with stopping terrorism. The orientation course is mandatory for every member of the task force.

According to Ackerman some of the materials on the FBI Intranet were truly shocking, and they have screen shots of what was there until very recently when many pages began being “scrubbed”.

All of this is damaging ongoing efforts to build strong relationships with the American Muslim community.  Communities across the country have expressed concerns.  For example, Cleveland and Seattle

The CIA has been actively attempting to recruit Arab Americans, and had run ads in the Arab American News.  After the Arab American News ran a story about the CIA/NYPD spying charges, the CIA abruptly pulled ads from that paper.  According to the Arab American News  The CIA has apologized to the The Arab American News and resubmitted its recruitment ads for the publication’s website.    The announcement comes two weeks after the CIA demanded to have the ads removed in response to an AP story published in the newspaper accusing the agency, along with the NYPD, of spying on American Muslims in the New Jersey and New York area.


UPDATE 12/1/2011

Spencer Ackerman reported a few days ago that the White House has ordered the government to clean up its counter-terrorism training.  He also reported last month that the FBI has “has turned to the Army’s Combating Terrorism Center at West Point to scour the FBI’s training materials, after Danger Room revealed that Bureau specialists were teaching agents that “mainstream” Muslims were likely to be “violent” and radical.” The West Point request represents a frank admission from the FBI that it requires outside help to reform.”

Jerry Markon in the Washington Post reports:

The FBI is using its extensive community outreach to Muslims and other groups to secretly gather intelligence in violation of federal law, the American Civil Liberties Union alleged Thursday.

Citing internal bureau documents, the ACLU said agents in California are attending meetings at mosques and other events and illegally recording information about the attendees’ political and religious affiliations. FBI officials denied the allegations and said records kept from outreach sessions are not used for investigations.

...  Some of the papers show agents speaking at career days, briefing community members on FBI programs and helping them work with police to fight drug abuse. But the files also depict agents as recording Social Security numbers and other identifying information of people after they meet, and, in at least one instance, noting their political views. It appears that the agents are conducting follow-up investigations in some instances, but heavy redactions in the documents make it impossible to determine how far any examination might have gone.

In one case, an agent wrote that he checked California motor vehicle records on someone the agent encountered at a Ramadan dinner at a San Francisco Islamic association. One attendee is described as “very progressive.” Another is called “very Western in appearance and outlook.”

...  The FBI turned the heavily redacted documents over to the ACLU as part of a lawsuit by the civil rights group and two other organizations to uncover what it considers inappropriate or illegal FBI tactics in the fight against terrorism. The ACLU has sued the bureau in four states and is seeking FBI files nationwide under the Freedom of Information Act.

Hina Shamsi, director of the ACLU’s national security project, said some of the actions depicted in the documents violate the Privacy Act, a law that bars federal agencies from maintaining information about activities protected by the First Amendment, such as freedom of speech and association. FBI officials said the law allows agencies to keep information that is considered relevant and necessary to their mission, in certain circumstances.

This is a real concern to all of us who have been involved in community outreach programs with law enforcement.  Even before this most recent ACLU revelation, Salam Al-Marayati of MPAC wrote that

If this matter is not immediately addressed, it will undermine the relationship between law enforcement and the Muslim American community — another example of the ineptitude and/or apathy undermining bridges built with care over decades. It is not enough to just call it a “very valid concern,” as FBI Director Robert Mueller told a congressional committee this month.

...  Such baseless and inflammatory claims shall best be left to those few who share Al Qaeda’s agenda of keeping America in a perpetual state of war with Islam. In other words, the rhetoric of Al Qaeda and these law enforcement trainers are opposite sides of the same coin of hate.

If our law enforcement and intelligence agencies continue to use incorrect and divisive training literature, the crucial partnership between the Muslim American community and law enforcement will slowly disintegrate. According to the Muslim Public Affairs Council’s Post-9/11 Terrorism Incident Database, these partnerships have proved effective in keeping our nation safe. Nearly 40% of Al Qaeda-related plots threatening the American homeland since 9/11 have been foiled thanks to tips from Muslims.

...  I have worked for more than 20 years with law enforcement and Muslim American communities, and one of the biggest consequences of these training sessions and use of this material is the setback of a vital relationship that required years to build. I know justifiable criticism can be levied against some Muslim leaders in America for not aggressively promoting civic engagement, for not being self-critical enough and for not distancing themselves from rabble-rousers. But how can we persuade Muslim American communities to stay at the table when the food on the table is filled with poison?


UPDATE 1/24/2012

An editorial published yesterday in the New York Times In Police Training, a Dark Film on U.S. Muslims raised some serious issues regarding the use of the anti-Muslim film The Third Jihad as a training tool for law enforcement officers:

In January 2011, when news broke that the department had used the film in training, a top police official denied it, then said it had been mistakenly screened “a couple of times” for a few officers.

A year later, police documents obtained under the state’s Freedom of Information Law reveal a different reality: “The Third Jihad,” which includes an interview with Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, was shown, according to internal police reports, “on a continuous loop” for between three months and one year of training.  During that time, at least 1,489 police officers, from lieutenants to detectives to patrol officers, saw the film.

... “The department’s response was to deny it and to fight our request for information,” said Faiza Patel, a director at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School, which obtained the release of the documents through a Freedom of Information request. “The police have shown an explosive documentary to its officers and simply stonewalled us.” 

...  The 72-minute film was financed by the Clarion Fund, a nonprofit group whose board includes a former Central Intelligence Agency official and a deputy defense secretary for President Ronald Reagan. Its previous documentary attacking Muslims’ “war on the West” attracted support from the casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, a major supporter of Israel who has helped reshape the Republican presidential primary by pouring millions of dollars into a so-called super PAC that backs Newt Gingrich.

Commissioner Kelly is listed on the “Third Jihad” Web site as a “featured interviewee.” Paul J. Browne, the Police Department’s chief spokesman, wrote in an e-mail that filmmakers had lifted the clip from an old interview. The commissioner, Mr. Browne said, has not asked the filmmakers to remove him from its Web site, or to clarify that he had not cooperated with them.

...  How the film came to be used in police training, and even for how long, was not clear. An undated memorandum from the department’s commanding officer for specialized training noted that an employee of the federal Department of Homeland Security handed the DVD to the New York police in January 2010. Since then, this officer said, the video was shown continuously “during the sign-in, medical and administrative orientation process.” A Department of Homeland Security spokesman said it was never used in its curriculum, and might have come from a contractor.

...  Mr. Browne said he had been unaware of the higher viewership of the film until asked about it by The New York Times last week.

There is the question of the officers who viewed the movie during training. Mr. Browne said the Police Department had no plans to correct any false impressions the movie might have left behind.

“There’s no plan to contact officers who saw it,” he said, or to “add other programming as a result.”

As with many of these “training” programs, the damage has been done, and simply saying we won’t show it anymore doesn’t undo that damage. 

John Eligon, also of the New York Times reports that Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said Tuesday that whoever decided to show a film depicting American Muslims as extremists to nearly 1,500 city police officers “exercised some terrible judgment.”


UPDATE 1/25/2012

And, now the Times has turned up even more on the cover up of this incident.

The New York City police commissioner, Raymond W. Kelly, through a top aide, acknowledged for the first time on Tuesday that he personally cooperated with the filmmakers of “The Third Jihad” — a decision the commissioner now describes as a mistake.

...  Deputy Commissioner Paul J. Browne told The New York Times on Monday that the filmmakers had relied on old interview clips and had never spoken with the commissioner.

On Tuesday, the film’s producer, Raphael Shore, e-mailed The Times and provided a date and time for their 90-minute interview with the commissioner at Police Headquarters on March 19, 2007. Told of this e-mail, Mr. Browne revised his account.

“He’s right,” Mr. Browne said Tuesday of the producer. “In fact, I recommended in February 2007 that Commissioner Kelly be interviewed.”

...  The Police Department’s admission suggests a closer relationship between it and the provocative film, which has drawn angry condemnation from Muslim and civil rights groups, than officials had previously acknowledged.

Mr. Browne said that the director of the film, Erik Werth, whom he described as part of an “Emmy-nominated ‘Dateline NBC’ team and Clinton administration staffer on security matters,” asked to speak to the commissioner for a cable film on “foiled terrorist plots and the current threat matrix.”

Mr. Shore, in a follow-up e-mail, cast doubt on this explanation. “Mr. Browne,” he said, “was informed that the interview was for a documentary on radical Islam.”

The AAI and MPAC have both released statements regarding the seriousness of this training problem. 

UPDATE 5/19/2012

The LAPD at least has agreed to major training reforms. 

A great deal of information has come out in the past few months about training about Islam and Muslims in the military primarily due to research by Spencer Ackerman of Wired.  Please see Is the U.S. Military “at war with Islam”? for background and references about this serious problem. 


UPDATE 8/20/2012

Glenn Greenwald has published The Sham “terrorism expert” industry which is lengthy and provides much important information.  Here is a passage from that article, and I recommend reading the entire article

Shortly prior to the start of the London Olympics, there was an outburst of hysteria over the failure to provide sufficient security against Terrorism, but as Harvard Professor Stephen Walt noted yesterday in Foreign Policy, this was all driven, as usual, by severe exaggerations of the threat: “Well, surprise, surprise. Not only was there no terrorist attack, the Games themselves came off rather well.” Walt then urges this lesson be learned:

[W]e continue to over-react to the “terrorist threat.” Here I recommend you read John Mueller and Mark G. Stewart’s The Terrorism Delusion: America’s Overwrought Response to September 11, in the latest issue of International Security. Mueller and Stewart analyze 50 cases of supposed “Islamic terrorist plots” against the United States, and show how virtually all of the perpetrators were (in their words) “incompetent, ineffective, unintelligent, idiotic, ignorant, unorganized, misguided, muddled, amateurish, dopey, unrealistic, moronic, irrational and foolish.” They quote former Glenn Carle, former deputy national intelligence officer for transnational threats saying “we must see jihadists for the small, lethal, disjointed and miserable opponents that they are,” noting further that al Qaeda’s “capabilities are far inferior to its desires.”

In the next paragraph, Walt essentially makes clear why this lesson will not be learned: namely, because there are too many American interests vested in the perpetuation of this irrational fear:

Mueller and Stewart estimate that expenditures on domestic homeland security (i.e., not counting the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan) have increased by more than $1 trillion since 9/11, even though the annual risk of dying in a domestic terrorist attack is about 1 in 3.5 million. Using conservative assumptions and conventional risk-assessment methodology, they estimate that for these expenditures to be cost-effective “they would have had to deter, prevent, foil or protect against 333 very large attacks that would otherwise have been successful every year.” Finally, they worry that this exaggerated sense of danger has now been “internalized”: even when politicians and “terrorism experts” aren’t hyping the danger, the public still sees the threat as large and imminent.  As they conclude:

… Americans seems to have internalized their anxiety about terrorism, and politicians and policymakers have come to believe that they can defy it only at their own peril.  Concern about appearing to be soft on terrorism has replaced concern about seeming to be soft on communism, a phenomenon that lasted far longer than the dramatic that generated it … This extraordinarily exaggerated and essentially delusional response may prove to be perpetual.”

Which is another way of saying that you should be prepared to keep standing in those pleasant and efficient TSA lines for the rest of your life, and to keep paying for far-flung foreign interventions designed to “root out” those nasty jihadis.

Many of the benefits from keeping Terrorism fear levels high are obvious. Private corporations suck up massive amounts of Homeland Security cash as long as that fear persists, while government officials in the National Security and Surveillance State can claim unlimited powers, and operate with unlimited secrecy and no accountability. In sum, the private and public entities that shape government policy and drive political discourse profit far too much in numerous ways to allow rational considerations of the Terror threat.

* * * * *

But there’s a very similar and at least equally important (though far less discussed) constituency deeply vested in the perpetuation of this fear. It’s the sham industry Walt refers to, with appropriate scare quotes, as “terrorism experts,” who have built their careers on fear-mongering over Islamic Terrorism and can stay relevant only if that threat does.

These “terrorism experts” form an incredibly incestuous, mutually admiring little clique in and around Washington. They’re employed at think tanks, academic institutions, and media outlets. They can and do have mildly different political ideologies — some are more Republican, some are more Democratic — but, as usual for D.C. cliques, ostensible differences in political views are totally inconsequential when placed next to their common group identity and career interest: namely, sustaining the myth of the Grave Threat of Islamic Terror in order to justify their fear-based careers, the relevance of their circle, and their alleged “expertise.” Like all adolescent, insular cliques, they defend one another reflexively whenever a fellow member is attacked, closing ranks with astonishing speed and loyalty; they take substantive criticisms very personally as attacks on their “friends,” because a criticism of the genre and any member in good standing of this fiefdom is a threat to their collective interests.

On a more substantive level, any argument (such as Walt’s) that puts the Menace of Islamic Terror into its proper rational perspective — namely, that it pales in comparison to countless other threats (including Terrorism from non-Muslim individuals and states); that it is wildly exaggerated considering what is done in its name; and that it is sustained by ugly sentiments of Islamophobic bigotry — is one that must be harshly denounced. Such an argument not only threatens their relevance but also their central ideology: that Terror is an objective term that just happens almost always to mean Islamic Terror, but never American Terror.

Thus, Walt’s seemingly uncontroversial article was published for not even 24 hours when it was bitterly attacked for hours on Twitter this morning by Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, and it’s not hard to see why. Looking at Gartenstein-Ross’s reaction and what drives it sheds considerable light onto this sham “terrorism expert” industry.

Gartenstein-Ross’ entire lucrative career as a “terrorism expert” desperately depends on the perpetuation of the Islamic Terror threat. He markets himself as an expert in Islamic Terror by highlighting that he was born Jewish, converted to Islam while in college, and then Saw the Light and converted to Christianity. During his short stint as a Muslim, he worked at the al-Haramain charity foundation in Oregon — the same one that was found to have been illegally spied upon by the Bush NSA — but became an FBI informant against the group because — as he claimed in a book,”My Year Inside Radical Islam”, which he subsequently wrote to profit off of his conduct — he was horrified by “the group hatreds and anti-intellectualism of radical Islam.”

He is now listed as an “expert” at the neocon Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (the group’s list of “experts” is basically a Who’s Who of every unhinged neocon extremist in the country). Gartenstein-Ross is specifically employed by the Foundation as something called “Director of the Center for the Study of Terrorist Radicalization.” According to his own bio, he also “consults for clients who need to be at the forefront of understanding violent non-state actors and twenty-first century conflict” including for “major media companies, and strategic consultations for defense contractors” and “also regularly designs and leads training for the U.S. Department of Defense’s Leader Development and Education for Sustained Peace (LDESP) courses, the U.S. State Department’s Office of Anti-Terrorism Assistance, and domestic law enforcement.”

Unsurprisingly, Gartenstein-Ross — like so many “terrorism experts” in similar positions — is eager to depict Islamic Terror as a serious threat: he knows where his bread his buttered and does not want the personal cash train known as the War on Terror ever to arrive at a final destination. If you were him, would you?

In 2009, he wrote a study entitled “Homegrown Terrorists in the U.S. and U.K.” which, needless to say, was only about Muslims: an “examination of 117 ‘jihadist’ terrorists in the United States and the United Kingdom” which “concludes that religious beliefs” — namely, Islam –”play a role in radicalization.” In 2011, he wrote a book entitled Bin Laden’s Legacy: Why We’re Still Losing the War on Terror, which argues that “despite the death of Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda remains a significant threat.” He has hyped the ludicrous alleged Iranian Quds Forces plot against the Saudi Ambassador (explaining that ”Holder weighing in on the plot’s connection to Iran means the administration is deadly serious about it”), and recently touted Nigeria as the “next front in the war on terror.”

To be sure, Gartenstein-Ross is more nuanced and sophisticated than the standard neocon “terror expert” cartoon — his 2011 bin Laden book argues against wasteful counter-terrorism programs that are out of proportion to the actual threat, and he has, to his credit, publicly opposed some of the more crass Islamophobic attacks — but if the War on Islamic Terror disappears, so, too, does his lucrative career as a “terrorism expert.” In that regard, he’s a highly representative figure for this industry.

Walt’s clearly expressed and uncontroversial argument about the exaggerated Terror threat prompted hours of angry derision and personal mockery today from Gartenstein-Ross (who ironically often holds himself out as the Beacon of Civil Discourse). It began this way:

Tweet

 

Gartenstein-Ross then demanded that Muslim Terror be taken more seriously than Walt suggests: “terrorists actually put 3 bombs on passenger planes since 2009.” He was then joined by fellow “natsec” clique members for hours of swarming group mockery aimed at Walt (that’s how they typically behave). Gartenstein-Ross continuedForeign Policy ”should rename Walt’s blog ‘An Ideologue in an Ideological Age.’ The idea he transcends ideological blinders is laughable.” Professor Walt, he then said, is “far less rigorous than his reputation suggests” and “the gap between perception & reality is rather astounding.” Then: “when an academic starts blogging it’s often easy to tell if that ‘authority’ is undeserved.”

All this public impugning of Walt’s reputation, scholarship and character over the crime of pointing out that the threat of Islamic Terror is wildly overstated by people who have an interest in perpetuating the threat. It’s as though Gartenstein-Ross and his friends were eager to jump up, wave their arms, and prove Walt’s argument by identifying themselves as precisely the fear-mongering culprits he was criticizing.

Exactly the same thing happened this week in response to Juan Cole’ssuperb post entitled “Top Ten differences between White Terrorists and Others,” pointing out all the revealing differences in how white perpetrators of violence are talked about versus non-white (especially Muslim) ones. Cole’s argument was every bit as threatening to the vested interests of the “terror expert” industry as Walt’s was, as it reveals the ugly truth that the hysteria over the Muslim Threat is motivated far more by Islamophobic bigotry and subservience to U.S. Government militarism than any rational policy assessments or high-minded scholarship.
This was too much to bear for J.M. Berger, a self-described “specialist on homegrown extremism” and author of “Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam,” which, in his words, “uncovers the secret history of American jihadists” — meaning Muslims, of course. “American Muslims have traveled abroad to fight in wars because of their religious beliefs,” says the book’s summary. (Symbolizing how relentlessly incestuous this clique is, Gartenstein-Ross randomly took a moment out of his attack on Walt today to pimp what he called Berger’s “valuable book”). Like Gartenstein-Ross, Berger avoids the more overt forms of anti-Muslim rhetoric, often stressing the need to distinguish between Good Muslims and the Terrorist kind, but he spends his time doing things like shrieking about the Towering Menace of Anwar al-Awlaki and generally hopping on whatever Muslim-Terrorism-is-a-Grave-Danger train that comes along.

Berger denounced Cole’s piece as “80 percent BS, 20 percent fair points” and said it was composed of “lazy generalizations.” Specifically, Berger complained that when a Muslim launches a violent attack, there are “whole stories dedicated to AQ being fringe and Islam being peaceful,” but when there’s a violent attack by a white shooter, “no one does stories about how white people are mostly peaceful and non-racist” (apparently, the true victims of unfair media coverage of Terror attacks are white people, not Muslims). He insisted, needless to say, that white perpetrators of violence are depicted as lone nuts while attacks by Muslims are depicted as part of a broader Terror threat only because it’s so true. It’s vital to Berger that Islamic Terror continue to be perceived as a vital, coordinated national security threat or else J.W. Berger and his “expertise” will cease to matter.

The key role played by this “terrorism expert” industry in sustaining highly damaging hysteria was highlighted in an excellent and still-relevant 2007 Washington Post Op-Ed by Zbigniew Brzezinski. In it, he described how the War on Terror has created an all-consuming Climate of Fear in the U.S. along with a systematic, multi-headed policy of discrimination against Muslim Americans based on these severely exaggerated threats…

SEE ALSO:

ACLU: FBI Guilty of Massive Racial Profiling Operations, Adam Serwer http://motherjones.com/mojo/2011/10/aclu-fbi-guilty-massive-racial-profiling-operations
ACLU report on FBI and surveillance http://www.aclu.org/blog/national-security/fbi-lowers-surveillance-bar-yet-again
ACLU Lens: FBI Using Biased Counterterrorism Training Materials http://www.aclu.org/blog/national-security-religion-belief/aclu-lens-fbi-using-biased-counterterrorism-training
ACLU: Mapping the FBI: Uncovering Abusive Surveillance and Racial Profiling http://www.aclu.org/mapping-fbi-uncovering-abusive-surveillance-and-racial-profiling
ACLU rep troubled by pervasive anti-Muslim prejudice in FBI http://www.toledoblade.com/Religion/2011/10/22/ACLU-rep-troubled-by-anti-Muslim-prejudice.html
ACLU says FBI uses profiling against Muslims, other minorities, Jerry Markon http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/aclu-says-fbi-uses-racial-profiling-against-muslims-other-minorities/2011/10/20/gIQAN3Ob1L_story.html?hpid=z3

America And The War On Islam?  http://www.eurasiareview.com/11052012-america-and-the-war-on-islam-oped/

American Muslims Cooperation With Law Enforcement, Sheila Musaji http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/american-muslims-cooperation-with-law-enforcement

American Muslims welcome Senate inquiry into accuracy and effectiveness of counterterrorism training, Sheila Musaji http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/anti-muslim_law_enforcement_training

Anti-Muslim Bigot and Fanatic Robert Spencer Explains Islam to the FBI and the Tidewater Joint Terrorism Task Force, Robert Dreyfuss http://www.thenation.com/blog/37952/anti-muslim-bigot-and-fanatic-explains-islam-fbi-and-tidewater-joint-terrorism-task-force

The Anti-Muslim Congressional Mafia, Sheila Musaji http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/muslim_mafia/

Anti-Muslim hate rally summons the ghosts of Jim Crow, Max Blumenthal http://www.islamophobiatoday.com/2011/03/07/max-blumenthal-anti-muslim-hate-rally-summons-the-ghosts-of-jim-crow/

Anti-terror lessons of Muslim Americans, Duke University study http://sanford.duke.edu/centers/tcths/documents/Anti-TerrorLessonsfinal.pdf

Anti-Terrorism Training Draws Scrutiny (The Washington Times)  http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/mar/29/anti-terrorism-training-draws-scrutiny/

Are Muslims “The Enemy Within?”, Sheila Musaji http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/are_muslims_the_enemy_within1/

Are the Republican Presidential Wannabes the new Imperial Wizards?, Dr. Abdul Cader Asmal http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/are_the_republican_presidential_wannabes_the_new_imperial_wizards

At Allen West-Sponsored Event, Group Paints Thousands Of Muslims As Terrorists, Ryan J. Reilly http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/07/at_allen_west-sponsored_event_group_paints_thousands_of_muslims_as_terrorists.php

At Orange County Hate Rally, GOP Councilwoman Says She Wants Marines To Send Muslim Families To ‘Paradise’  http://thinkprogress.org/2011/03/03/hate-rally-muslim-charity/

Attorney General Holder: FBI Hurt Terror Fight With ‘Violent Muslim’ Training, Spencer Ackerman http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/11/holder-fbi-islamophobia/

Attorney General Holder firmly committed to eliminating anti-Muslim training http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/10/doj_official_holder_firmly_committed_to_eliminating_anti-muslim_training.php

Bankrupt in Ideas, US Republican Contenders Demonize Islam for Political Gain http://www.aljazeerah.info/Opinion%20Editorials/2011/April/4%20o/Bankrupt%20in%20Ideas,%20US%20Republican%20Contenders%20Demonize%20Islam%20for%20Political%20Gain.htm

Boykin Backs Out of West Point Appearance, Sheila Musaji http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/boykin-backs-out-of-west-point-appearance

Paul Broun and Dr. Strangelove, Cynthia Tucker http://blogs.ajc.com/cynthia-tucker/2009/10/15/paul-broun-and-dr-strangelove/?cxntfid=blogs_cynthia_tucker

Herman Cain Needs to Read the Constitution of the U.S., Sheila Musaji http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/herman_cain

CAIR Decries Anti-Muslim Police Trainers http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxX5y7zX8RU
CAIR Seeks Probe of Anti-Islam Bias in Military Training http://tinyurl.com/2awmz5n
CAIR: Same Hate, New Target http://tinyurl.com/66enzm8
CAIR Files Multi-State Records Requests on Anti-Muslim Law Enforcement Trainings http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/cair-files-multi-state-records-requests-on-anti-muslim-law-enforcement-trainings-133886103.html

Can a Good Christian Be a Good American?, Sheila Musaji http://www.theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/can_a_good_christian_be_a_good_american/0016805

Center for American Progress CAP releases report “Fear Inc., the Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America”, Sheila Musaji http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/cap-releases-report-fear-inc.-the-roots-of-the-islamophobia-network-in-amer

CIA FBI NYPD spying on American Muslims http://yourjewishnews.com/10341.aspx

Civil rights and the patriot act (TAM article collection) http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/civil_rights_and_the_patriot_act/

Citizens for National Security and Rep. Allen West Bring Islamophobia to Congress, Sheila Musaji http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/cfns

Civil rights and the patriot act (TAM article collection) http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/civil_rights_and_the_patriot_act/

Claim that all terrorists are Muslims ignores history, Sheila Musaji http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/claim_that_all_terrorists_are_muslims_ignores_history/ 

Coalition to Challenge NYPD Use of Anti-Muslim Film http://www.aljazeerah.info/Opinion%20Editorials/2011/March/28%20o/Islamophobia%20in%20the%20US,%20March%2026,%202011,%20Coalition%20to%20Challenge%20NYPD%20Use%20of%20Anti-Muslim%20Film.htm
Coalition Letter to Director Mueller http://www.cair.com/Portals/0/pdf/coalition_letter_to_FBI.pdf
Collins, Lieberman demand answers on anti-Muslim police trainers, Esther Kaplan http://www.theinvestigativefund.org/blog/1479/collins,_lieberman_demand_answers_on_anti-muslim_police_trainers

Congressmen Speak at Hateful Anti-Muslim Protest, Lee Brenner http://hypervocal.com/news/2011/disturbing-video-congressmen-speak-at-hateful-anti-muslim-protest/ 

The Consequences of Islamophobia, in the U.S. and Abroad, John Esposito http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/the-consequences-of-islamophobia-in-the-u.s.-and-abroad/0018759

Conservative Republicans and Islam: A New Crusade for Votes and Funds, John L. Esposito and Sheila B. Lalwani http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-l-esposito/conservative-republicans-_1_b_836750.html

Counterproductive Counterterrorism: Counterproductive CounterterrorismHow Anti-Muslim Bias is Undermining America’s Homeland Security, MPAC http://www.mpac.org/publications/policy-papers/counterproductive-counterterrorism.php

Countering Islamophobic Law Enforcement Training (video - Thom Hartmann & Alejandro Beutel from MPAC talk about experts like Walid Shoebat and the danger such prejudiced rhetoric)  http://www.faithinpubliclife.org/blog/alejandro_beutel_on_walid_shoe/

Dangerous Lessons in Islamophobia at the FBI, Julian Sanchez http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/dangerous-lessons-in-islamophobia-at-the-fbi/

Gen. Dempsey On Military Anti-Islam Class: ‘Totally Objectionable, Against Our Values’, Ali Gharib http://thinkprogress.org/security/2012/05/10/482235/dempsey-islamophobia-totally-objectionable/

Do Bible Verses on Rifle Scopes Represent Christianity?, Sheila Musaji (with article collection on Christians and the military) http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/bible_verses_on_rifle_scopes

Documents show NY police watched devout Muslims, Adam Goldman http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hE7olAeX9iUnh0LxCS2EjpniIXRw?docId=fd1a04fa820c44bd820aae6bc75d33e3

DOD rails Rolling Stone for publishing pictures, Fred Childers http://www.ksla.com/Global/story.asp?S=14338461

Does the most recent military scandal reflect a deeper problem? , Sheila Musaji (with a TAM article collection)  http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/what-is-our-military-culture

Does Course on Islam Give Law Enforcers Wrong Idea? (Seattle Times)  http://tinyurl.com/565v8y

Elected Representatives & Government Officials Who HAVE Questioned Islamophobia, Sheila Musaji http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/elected_representatives_government_officials_who_have_questioned_islam

Enough is Enough: The anti-Muslim Training Tide Must Turn, MPAC http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/enough-is-enough-the-anti-muslim-training-tide-must-turn

Evangelical Christian missionaries embedded with American combat troops in Afghanistan, Mikey Weinstein http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/evangelical_christian_missionaries_embedded_with_american_combat_troops_in_/

Excerpts from anti-Islamic military course http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-501706_162-57432137/excerpts-of-anti-islamic-military-course/

Existing reports and studies on radicalization in the American Muslim Community (TAM article collection) http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/relevant_reports

FBI defends invitation to Robert Spencer http://www.islamophobia-watch.com/islamophobia-watch/2010/8/31/fbi-defends-invitation-to-robert-spencer.html
FBI: Does the FBI Teach Agents that Mainstream Muslims are “Terrorist Sympathizers?”, Don Byrd http://www.bjconline.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4633&Itemid=134
FBI ends up offending Muslims at outreach workshop, Emily Heffter http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2016171004_copworkshop11m.html
FBI: US attorney general invokes state secrets privilege in suit Calif. Muslims filed against FBI http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/on-faith/us-attorney-general-invokes-state-secrets-privilege-in-suit-ca-muslims-filed-against-the-fbi/2011/08/02/gIQAhg1LqI_story.html
FBI ‘Islam 101′ Guide Depicted Muslims as 7th-Century Simpletons http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/07/fbi-islam-101-guide/
FBI Lesson Plan: Muslims Are Terrorist Sympathizers, Will Oremus http://slatest.slate.com/posts/2011/09/15/fbi_islam_training_mainstream_muslims_are_violent_terrorist_symp.html
FBI Recommended ‘Complete Idiot’s Guide,’ Anti-Muslim Books To New Agents http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/07/fbi_recommended_complete_idiots_guide_anti-muslim_books_to_new_agents.php
FBI teaches new recruits to read ‘anti-Islam’ books http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/8668284/FBI-teaches-new-recruits-to-read-anti-Islam-books.html
FBI Teaches Agents: ‘Mainstream’ Muslims Are ‘Violent, Radical’, Spencer Ackerman http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/09/fbi-muslims-radical/all/1
FBI defends invitation to Robert Spencer http://www.islamophobia-watch.com/islamophobia-watch/2010/8/31/fbi-defends-invitation-to-robert-spencer.html
FBI: Anti-Muslim Bigot and Fanatic Explains Islam to the FBI and the Tidewater Joint Terrorism Task Force, Robert Dreyfuss http://www.thenation.com/blog/37952/anti-muslim-bigot-and-fanatic-explains-islam-fbi-and-tidewater-joint-terrorism-task-force
FBI: Okay, Fine, We’ll Do Something About That Anti-Muslim Training, Adam Serwer http://motherjones.com/mojo/2011/09/fbi-okay-fine-well-do-something-about-anti-muslim-training
F.B.I. Scrutinized for Amassing Data on American Communities, Charlie Savage http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/21/us/aclu-releases-fbi-documents-on-american-communities.html?_r=2&src=tp&smid=fb-share
FBI Suggests Anti-Muslim Ideologue Robert Spencer As Recommended Reading, Ryan Lenz http://www.splcenter.org/blog/2011/07/28/fbi-using-anti-muslim-ideologue-as-recommended-reading-for-agents-in-training/
FBI to Expand Domestic Surveillance Powers as Details Emerge of Its Spy Campaign Targeting Activists, Amy Goodman http://www.democracynow.org/2011/6/14/fbi_to_expand_domestic_surveillance_powers
FBI teaches new recruits to read ‘anti-Islam’ books http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/8668284/FBI-teaches-new-recruits-to-read-anti-Islam-books.html
FBI Teaches Agents: ‘Mainstream’ Muslims Are ‘Violent, Radical’, Spencer Ackerman http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/09/fbi-muslims-radical/all/1
FBI Training Materials Treat “Islam” As The Enemy, Adam Serwer http://motherjones.com/mojo/2011/09/fbi-training-materials-treat-islam-enemy
FBI: The New FBI Powers: Cointelpro on Steroids, John W. Whitehead http://www.rutherford.org/articles_db/commentary.asp?record_id=716
FBI Using Anti-Muslim Literature To Train Counterterroism Agents, Doug Mataconis http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/fbi-using-anti-muslim-literature-to-train-counterterroism-agents/
FBI’s Key Muslim Ally, Mohamed Elibiary: Bigoted Briefings ‘Make My Job Harder’, Spencer Ackerman http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/09/u-s-muslims-fbi-cooperation/
FBI’s new investigative guidelines raise concerns, Pete Yost http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5h38oVLIN8QBLccpsQBj6Cz5NKchw?docId=800edac0370140ae9059814e08171aaf 
Federal Bureau of Idiocy, Justin Raimondo http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2011/09/15/the-federal-bureau-of-idiocy/

Federal Funds For Counterterrorism Training Pay For Anti-Muslim Instructors, Ryan J. Reilly   http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/03/federal_funds_for_counterterrorism_training_pay_for_anti-muslim_instructors.php

Fort Hood Tragedy, Islam, and America, Sheila Musaji   (with extensive article collection) http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/fort_hood_tragedy_islam_and_america

William Gawthrop, The FBI Trainer Promoting War Against Islam, Paul Woodward http://www.eurasiareview.com/20092011-the-fbi-trainer-promoting-war-against-islam-oped/
William Gawthrop, FBI Analyst: Aim For Islam Like Air Shafts On Jihadists’ Death Star (VIDEO), Ryan J. Reilly http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/09/fbi_analyst_aim_for_islam_like_air_shafts_on_jihadists_death_star_video.php
William Gawthrop, WND’s Terrorism Expert Now Training FBI Agents, Ryan J. Reilly http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/09/wnds_terrorism_expert_now_training_fbi_agents.php

God Squad Blasts Congressman Royce, Matt Coker http://blogs.ocweekly.com/navelgazing/a-clockwork-orange/god-squad-blasts-congressman-r/

GOP Anti-Muslim Limbo:  They’ve Lowered the Bar Again!, Sheila Musaji http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/gop_lowers_the_anti-muslim_limbo_bar
GOP congressman teams up with anti-Muslim group, Justin Elliott http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2011/07/07/allen_west_terrorism/index.html
The GOP has declared war on Muslims, Sheila Musaji (with extensive TAM article collection) http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/the-gop-has-declared-war-on-american-muslims

Growing anti-Muslim hatred in the U.S., Glenn Greenwald http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2011/03/03/hatemongering

John Guandolo, terrorism “expert”, Sheila Musaji http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/guandolo

Hatred against do-gooder American Muslims in Orange County, Juan Cole http://www.juancole.com/2011/03/hatred-against-do-gooder-american-muslims-in-orange-county.html

How we train our cops to fear Islam, Meg Stalcup and Joshua Craze http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2011/1103.stalcup-craze.html#Byline

I Have… In My Pocket… A List of Members of the Muslim Brotherhood…, Spencer Ackerman http://spencerackerman.typepad.com/attackerman/2011/07/i-have-in-my-pocket-a-list-of-members-of-the-muslim-brotherhood.html

The Idiot’s Guide to Foreign Wars (Iraq Edition), Adam Weinstein http://motherjones.com/mojo/2011/03/iraq-transitional-handbook

If you want to screen Muslims as potential terrorists, you’ll have to target blacks, William Saletan http://www.slate.com/id/2302812/

Individuals on FBI Terrorist Watchlist Not Targets of Investigation, Jesselyn Radack http://www.whistleblower.org/blog/31-2010/1515-individuals-on-fbi-terrorist-watchlist-not-targets-of-investigation

Is the Obama Administration Serious about Anti-Muslim Demonization in Law Enforcement?, Thom Cincotta http://liberty-beat.blogspot.com/2011/08/is-obama-administration-serious-about.html

Is the U.S. Military “at war with Islam”?, Sheila Musaji (with article collection and background)  http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/anti-muslim-military-training

Islam-Bashing Bigots Train Counterterrorism Agents http://tinyurl.com/29bsgc9

Islamophobia, Real or Imagined (TAM article collection) http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/islamophobia_real_or_imagined

Islamophobia no longer questioned - even by our elected representatives, Sheila Musaji (includes collection of statements by elected representatives, government officials, and military leaders)  http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/islamophobia_no_longer_even_questioned

Jesus killed Mohammed: The crusade for a Christian military, Jeff Sharlet http://www.harpers.org/archive/2009/05/0082488

Justice Department Official John Marsh: Muslim ‘Juries’ Threaten ‘Our Values’, Spencer Ackerman http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/10/islamophobia-beyond-fbi/all/1

“Kill Team” War Crimes in Afghanistan, Sheila Musaji http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/kill_team

Peter King’s Civics Lesson for American Muslims, Sheila Musaji http://www.theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/peter_kings_civics_lesson_for_american_muslims/0018429
Answers to Peter King’s Claims About the American Muslim Community, Sheila Musaji (includes a list with links of TAM articles and responses to each of King’s hearings and issues raised)  http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/answers_to_peter_kings_claims_about_the_american_muslim_community
Peter King’s Fourth Hearing Targets Muslims in the Military, Sheila Musaji http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/peter-kings
Rep. Peter King: Police Should Target Muslims Because They’re Responsible For 90% Of Terrorism, Eli Clifton http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/rep.-peter-king-police-should-target-muslims-because-theyre-responsible-for

LAPD Agrees to Major Police Reforms, MPAC http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/lapd-agrees-to-major-police-reforms

Manufacturing the Muslim Menace http://tinyurl.com/4qeretq

Mapping Sharia Project Goes Beyond Islamophobia to Raving, Paranoid, In(SANE)ity!, Sheila Musaji http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/mapping_sharia_sheila

Meet William Gawthrop: ICTOA Promotes Another Counter-Terror “Expert”, Richard Bartholomew http://barthsnotes.wordpress.com/2011/07/27/meet-william-gawthrop-ictoa-promotes-another-counter-terror-expert/

Military class suspended for view on Islam http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/05/10/military-class-suspended-for-its-view-on-islam/

Military to Officers: Use ‘Hiroshima’ Tactics for ‘Total War’ on Islam http://tinyurl.com/cf2hnkd

MPAC Enough is Enough: The anti-Muslim Training Tide Must Turn http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/enough-is-enough-the-anti-muslim-training-tide-must-turn

MRFF Commends Long-Overdue U.S. Military Order to Eliminate Anti-Islam Training Materials
MRFF Submits Statement to Hearing on Homegrown Terrorism Threat to Military Communities In the U.S.  http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/mrff-statement
MRFF Denounces Representative Rick Womick’s Call to Ban Muslims from U.S. Military http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/mrff-denounces-representative-rick-womicks-call-to-ban-muslims-from-u.s.-mi

Muslim Advocates Statement on “Racial Profiling in America”  http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/muslim-advocates-statement-on-racial-profiling-in-america

Muslim Americans and Law Enforcement Partnerships, MPAC http://www.mpac.org/programs/government-relations/dc-news-and-views/muslim-americans-and-law-enforcement-partnerships.php

Muslim-Basher Trains U.S. Military Personnel in Kentucky http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/01/17/idUS26202+17-Jan-2011+PRN20110117

Muslim Groups: FBI Response to Islamophobia Scandal Not Good Enough, Adam Serwer http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/09/fbi-response-islamophobia-scandal

Muslim Students Challenge Allen West’s Anti-Islamic Speaker on Capitol Hill http://thinkprogress.org/security/2011/07/26/278407/muslim-students-challenge-anti-islamic-speaker/

Muslims targeted in U.S. terrorism cases, report says, Raja Abdulrahim http://articles.latimes.com/2011/may/19/nation/la-na-muslim-report-20110519

NCIS asked to investigate a report of anti-Islam bias in training program, CAIR http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/ncis_asked_to_investigate_a_report_of_anti-islam_bias_in_training_program

The Neo-Crusaders, Neal AbuNab http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/the_neo_crusaders/

New Concern About Bias in Counterterror Training (NPR), Dina Temple-Raston http://tinyurl.com/4tpxvzy

New Documents Reveal FBI’s Islamophobic Counterterrorism Training, Eli Clifton http://thinkprogress.org/security/2011/09/15/319772/fbi-islamophobic-training/

New Evidence of Anti-Islam Bias Underscores Deep Challenges for FBI’s Reform Pledge, Spencer Ackerman http://m.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/09/fbi-islam-domination/all/1

New video emerges of US troops cheering wildly as innocent Afghan civilians are blown up, Andrew Gregory http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2011/03/29/new-video-emerges-of-us-troops-cheering-wildly-as-innocent-afghan-civilians-are-blown-up-115875-23023103

NY Muslims feel targeted despite alliance promise, Eileen Sullivan http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/08/25/2374186/ny-muslims-feel-targeted-despite.html

NYCLU Charts Rising Anti-Muslim Trends in NY State http://www.ny1.com/content/news_beats/politics/145738/nyclu-charts-rising-anti-muslim-trends

NYCLU mosque white paper - religious freedom under attack http://www.docstoc.com/docs/91827119/NYCLU-Mosque-White-Paper

The NYPD, the CIA, and “The Third Jihad”, Sheila Musaji http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/nypd
NYPD Cops’ Training Included an Anti-Muslim Horror Flick http://tinyurl.com/5vyc4fs 
NYPD ethnic tracking included citizens http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hOQ39X0OLlkIzQiI7TaaqlatTrhA?docId=e0e7aa13a4064dd48ee434416f9c49c1
How the NYPD Slipped Blanket Surveillance of American Muslims Past the Courts—and the People, Aziz Huq http://www.thenation.com/article/163633/how-nypd-slipped-blanket-surveillance-american-muslims-past-courts%E2%80%94and-people
NYPD Spied on U.S. Citizens Without Any Evidence of Crimes http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/218440/20110922/nypd-spying-nypd-surveillance-nypd-muslims-nypd-cia.htm
NYPD’s Cooperation With CIA Lacks Effective Oversight, Civil Liberties Groups Say, Matt Sledge http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/31/nypd-cia-demographics-unit-oversight_n_943967.html?ref=mostpopular

Not so fast, Christian soldiers, Mikey Weinstein and Reza Aslan http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/asection/la-oe-aslan22aug22,1,2971273.story?coll=la-news-a_section&ctrack=5&cset=true

Obama Orders Government to Clean Up Terror Training, Spencer Ackerman http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/11/obama-islamophobia-review/

Onward Christian Soldiers, Max Blumenthal http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2003/04/15/in_touch/index.html

PRA Report: “Manufacturing the Muslim Menace: Private Firms, Public Servants, & the Threat to Rights and Security,” details a systemic failure to regulate content in counterterrorism training. http://tinyurl.com/4qeretq

Politicians and protestors condemn U.S. Muslims, Cahir O’Doherty http://www.irishcentral.com/story/ent/manhattan_diary/politicians-and-protestors-condemn-us-muslims-117395123.html 

Reps. Royce And Miller Legitimize Religious Bigotry http://politicalcorrection.org/blog/201103030015 

Reports, Surveys, and Polls:  TAM has a regularly updated collection Existing Reports, Polls, and Studies on Islam, Muslims & Radicalization.  Here are those relating specifically to the Islamophobia Industry and the impact of their propaganda:

ACLU report Blocking faith, freezing charity: chilling Muslim charitable giving in the “War on Terrorism financing” 
ACLU report Nothing to Fear: Debunking the Mythical “Sharia Threat” to Our Judicial System 5/2011
Bureau of International Information Programs report Muslims in America: A statistical portrait 
CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations) reports: Western Muslim minorities: Integration and disenfranchisement; The status of Muslim civiil rights in the U.S. 2009: Seeking Full InclusionThe mosque in America: A national portrait; and CAIR and the University of California, Berkeley’s Center for Race and Gender (CRG) report Same Hate, New Target:  Islamophobia and its impact in the United States  6/23/11
— The Center for American Progress (CAP) report UNDERSTANDING SHARIAH LAW:  Conservatives’ Skewed Interpretation Needs Debunking, by Wajahat Ali and Matthew Duss.
Center for American Progress report Fear Inc.: The roots of the Islamophobia Network in America.  Article about the report, with article collection here 8/26/11
Communique Partners report Western Perception of Islam and Muslims 2005
Hope Not Hate Campaign report Counter-Jihad’ Movement profiles over 100 individuals who are central to the international anti-Muslim network
— The Institute for Social Policy and Understanding published A Portion of the People: Islam in a ‘Christian’ America
MAPOS The Muslim American public opinion survey by Matt A. Barreto, University of Washington and Karam Dana, Harvard University
MPAC published Counterproductive counterterrorism: How anti-Muslim bias is undermining America’s homeland security 
New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) White Paper Religious Freedom Under Attack:  The Rise of Anti-Mosque Activities in New York State charts rising anti-Muslim trends.  8/2011
People for the American Way (PFAW) report The Right Wing Playbook on Anti-Muslim Extremism  7/2011
Political Research Associates report Manufacturing the Muslim Menace: private firms, public servants, and the threat to rights and security 
Political Research Associates report Toxic to Democracy: Conspiracy Theories, Demonization, & Scapegoating by Chip Berlet
SPLC published Jihad Against Islam and The Anti-Muslim Inner Circle by Robert Steinback in their Summer 2011 Intelligence Report 6/11
SPLC has a list of active anti-Muslim groups by state.

Royce Stands With Religious Bigots while Sanchez Stands Up For Religious Freedom and Civil, Chris Prevatt http://www.islamophobiatoday.com/2011/02/17/royce-stands-with-religious-bigots-while-sanchez-stands-up-for-religious-freedom-and-civil/

Kamal Saleem, the Fraud!, http://mujtahed.wordpress.com/2010/10/17/kamal-saleem-the-fraud/
Kamal Saleem’s Fanciful Conversion Figures http://thefactsaboutislam.blogspot.com/2010/10/abnsat-hoax-kamal-saleems-fanciful.html

Second anti-Islam military curriculum surfaces http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/05/12/11675222-al-jazeera-second-anti-islam-military-curriculum-surfaces?lite

Security and Trust vs. Suspicion and Scapegoating, Hesham Hassaballa http://www.middle-east-online.com/english/?id=48220

Selective Counterterrorism Practices Threaten Social Mobility of American Muslims, Sahar Aziz http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/selective-counterterrorism-practices-threaten-social-mobility-of-american-m

Senate Committee Stresses Need for Greater Partnership Between Law Enforcement and Muslim Americans, MPAC http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/senate_committee_stresses_need_for_greater_partnership_between_law_enforcem

“Senators Seek Accurate, Effective Counterterrorism Training” (Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs) http://www.hsgac.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Press.MajorityNews&ContentRecord_id=022400b1-5056-8059-7631-782f7c4c592e

Senior U.S. General Orders Top-to-Bottom Review of Military’s Islam Training, Spencer Ackerman http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/04/military-islam-training/

The Shocking Way US Cops Are Trained to Hate Muslims http://www.alternet.org/rights/150209

Shoebat says we need to choose war ‘We Need to Choose War!’  http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2006/7/27/174342.shtml
Shoebat omits instances of kindness http://www.dailynexus.com/article.php?a=13205
Al-Qaida not a fringe opinion among Muslims, Shoebat tells South Dakota security conference http://www.islamophobia-watch.com/islamophobia-watch/2011/5/12/al-qaida-not-a-fringe-opinion-among-muslims-shoebat-tells-so.html
Anti-Islam Air Force Academy Speaker a ‘Fraud’  (Walid Shoebat, Kamal Saleem and Zak Anani) http://www.muslimmilitarymembers.org/article.php?story=20080207030741376
Shoebat, Saleem, and Anani - Three Arab Villages Are Missing Their Idiots, Sheila Musaji http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/walid_shoebat_kamal_saleem_zacharia_anani
Would three former terrorists be invited by the U.S. Air Force Academy to speak?  http://www.mmdnewswire.com/three-former-terrorists-2871.html

Soldiers inAfghanistan given Bibles, told to “hunt people for Jesus” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/05/04/soldiers-in-afghanistan-g_n_195674.html

The Shocking Way US Cops Are Trained to Hate Muslims http://www.alternet.org/rights/150209

South Dakota Police Hear that Islam is “Inherently Violent”, Richard Bartholomew http://barthsnotes.wordpress.com/2011/05/13/south-dakota-police-hear-that-islam-is-inherently-violent/

Southern Poverty Law Center SPLC report: Jihad Against Islam http://tinyurl.com/3qsv2v8

Robert Spencer: Gov’t Officials Conversion to Islam like “joining the Nazi Party during WW II” (about a CIA counterterrorism chief), Sheila Musaji http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/robert-spencer-and
The Politically Incorrect Guide to Robert Spencer, Sheila Musaji http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/the_politically_incorrect_guide_to_robert_spencer/
Robert Spencer and the Muslim “Borg”, Sheila Musaji http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/robert_spencer_and_the_muslim_borg

Teaching police to fear Islam, Alyona Show (video) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=keExZ4i-w8w&feature=relmfu

Terrorism Training Casts Pall Over Muslim Employee, Dina Temple-Raston http://spencerwatch.com/2011/07/22/terrorism-training-casts-pall-over-muslim-employee/

That Islamophobic FBI Training Is Just the Tip of the Iceberg, Adam Weinstein http://www.opednews.com/populum/linkframe.php?linkid=138010

Thompson panel says targeting Muslim Americans will backfire http://www.fiercehomelandsecurity.com/story/thompson-panel-says-targeting-muslim-americans-will-backfire/2011-11-18#ixzz1fJqd9SdW

Top Secret America a Washington Post study http://projects.washingtonpost.com/top-secret-america/articles/monitoring-america/5/ 

Top U.S. Officer: Stop This ‘Total War’ on Islam Talk, Spencer Ackerman http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/05/dempsey-islam-irresponsible/

Unit’s Autonomy May Be Why FBI Missed Bias, Dina Temple-Raston http://www.npr.org/2011/09/29/140902739/units-autonomy-may-be-why-fbi-missed-bias

US counter-terrorism training ‘presents Islam as inherently violent’, Ed Pilkington http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/mar/09/us-counter-terrorism-training-islam

US military course taught officers ‘Islam is the enemy’  http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/may/11/us-military-course-islam-enemy

U.S. Afghan atrocities reflect poorly on all, Tony Norman http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11088/1135456-153.stm

US Air Force Pays Fake “Terrorism Experts” Speakers To Bash Islam ? http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/02/08/452610/-USAF-Pays-Fake-Terrorism-Experts-Speakers-To-Bash-Islam-

U.S. Army Apologizes Over Graphic Afghan Photos http://www.rferl.org/content/us_army_apology_graphic_afghan_photos/3540081.html
US Army’s ‘fatwa’ on Islam and challenges before the Muslim world, Fatima Tanveer http://twocircles.net/2012may20/us_army%E2%80%99s_%E2%80%98fatwa_islam_and_challenges_muslim_world.html

U.S. military instructor suspended over Islam course, David Alexander http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/20/us-usa-defense-islam-idUSBRE85J1F120120620

U.S. soldiers’ ‘kill team’ killed Afghanis, used body parts in poker games: report, Corky Siemaszko http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/2011/03/28/2011-03-28_us_soldiers_kill_team_accused_of_murdering_afghani_civilians_for_sport_report.html?r=news

US counter-terrorism training ‘presents Islam as inherently violent’, Ed Pilkington http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/mar/09/us-counter-terrorism-training-islam

Video Proves Proselytization Rampant at U.S. Military Bases, Mikey Weinstein http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/video_proves_proselytization_rampant_at_us_military_bases/ 

The war against Islam, James Carroll http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2005/06/07/the_war_against_islam/

War against tolerance, Chris Hedges http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20080211_the_war_against_tolerance/

‘War on Terror’ Rhetoric Sounds Like War on Islam, Parvez Ahmed http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/war_on_terror_rhetoric_sounds_like_war_on_islam

War with Islam training ‘not surprising’  http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_9720000/9720257.stm

What do Navy Seals “learn” by shooting at a target depicting a Muslim woman?, Sheila Musaji http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/what-do-navy-seals-learn-by-shooting-at-a-target-depicting-a-muslim-woman

What Does the F.B.I. Know About Islam?, Amy Davidson http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/closeread/2011/09/the-fbis-islamic-phantom.html?mbid=gnep

What everyone “knows” about Islam and Muslims, Sheila Musaji http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/what_everyone_knows

Where is the U.S. Government Getting It’s Information on Islam and Muslims?, Sheila Musaji (with TAM article collection)  http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/where_is_the_u.s._government_getting_its_information_on_islam_and_musl

White House intervened to block notorious Islamophobes addressing security conference http://www.islamophobia-watch.com/islamophobia-watch/2011/10/6/white-house-intervened-to-block-notorious-islamophobes-addre.html

White House Releases “New” Counter-terrorism Strategy, Sheila Musaji http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/law_enforcement_training_on_islam_and_muslims

Why Zionists promote anti-Muslim law enforcement trainings, Alex Kane http://mondoweiss.net/2011/04/why-zionists-promote-anti-muslim-law-enforcement-trainings.html

Whether or not a ‘kill squad’ is to blame, civilian deaths often go unreported, Julius Cavendish http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/julius-cavendish-whether-or-not-a-kill-squad-is-to-blame-civilian-deaths-often-go-unreported-2252474.html

Why Do They Hate Us?, Sheila Musaji http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/why_do_they_hate_us_-_tam_article_collection1/

Why is Halliburton Building Internment/Detention Camps?, Sheila Musaji http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/why-is-halliburton

Why Zionists promote anti-Muslim law enforcement trainings, Alex Kane http://mondoweiss.net/2011/04/why-zionists-promote-anti-muslim-law-enforcement-trainings.html

Witness for Jesus in Afghanistan http://informationclearinghouse.info/article22544.htm

Writers Cited in Breivik Manifesto Have Spoken at US Military Colleges as Anti-Terrorism Experts. Chris Rodda http://www.truth-out.org/writers-cited-breivik-manifesto-have-spoken-us-military-colleges-anti-terrorism-experts/1312137721

Your Taxes Fund Anti-Muslim Hatred, Chris Hedges http://www.truth-out.org/your-taxes-fund-anti-muslim-hatred/1305042147


Originally published 6/2011


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