16 September 2011 — The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
Washington, DC | http://www.adc.org | September 16, 2011 – The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) expresses deep concern over the FBI’s apparent dismissal of repeated calls from civil rights advocates to cease using any offensive, inaccurate, and inflammatory material as part of its counterterrorism training. Despite past reassurances, the FBI has persisted in its practice of vilifying Islam and Muslim-Americans in its training material.
A recent article appearing on Wired.com, FBI Teaches Agents: ‘Mainstream’ Muslims are ‘Violent, Radical’ exposed that FBI training materials continue to contain false and biased claims that Muslim-Americans are inextricably linked to violence. The article points to specific material and provides detailed examples of the materials being used. One example is a chart correlating the piousness of a Muslim to the likelihood of that Muslim being a terrorist – “contending that the more ‘devout’ a Muslim, the more likely he is to be ‘violent.’” (Examples of other material can be found below)
The use of such material inevitably leads to ineffective policing, a waste of resources, and mistrust between the community and the agency. ADC stands by Mike German’s (ACLU) statement from the article: “Seeing the materials FBI agents are being trained with certainly helps explain why we’ve seen so many inappropriate FBI surveillance operations broadly targeting the Muslim-American community, from infiltrating mosques with agents provocateur to racial- and ethnic-mapping programs […] Biased police training can only result in biased policing.”
ADC Legal Director Abed Ayoub stated, “There is no justification for this material to be a part of the training modules. It is disappointing that despite our efforts to encourage open community dialogue with government agencies, our work is undermined by the FBI’s continuous use of questionable tactics, such as data mapping, infiltration of mosques with agents provocateur, and the continued use of unconstitutional surveillance operations. The FBI must act swiftly to remove any and all offensive, inaccurate, and inflammatory material.”
ADC is calling on the Inspector General (IG) of the FBI to immediately investigate the use of the rabble-rousing training material. ADC also calls on the FBI to immediately cease training seminars, pending investigation by the IG, and to formally take the necessary steps to guarantee that the material given to trainees accurately represents Islam and the Muslim-American community.
ADC will continue to monitor this matter and work with coalition partners to ensure that the community’s concerns are adequately addressed.
Contact: Abed Ayoub
NOTE TO EDITORS: The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), which is non-profit, non-sectarian and non-partisan, is the largest grassroots Arab-American civil rights and civil liberties organization in the United States. It was founded in 1980 by former Senator James Abourezk. ADC has a national network of