LA Times Publishes Op-ed By MPAC President Salam Al-Marayati: ‘The Wrong Way to Fight Terrorism’

October 19, 2011

MPAC announced that the Los Angeles Times today published an opinion column, “The Wrong Way to Fight Terrorism,” by MPAC President Salam Al-Marayati addressing law enforcement and intelligence agencies continued use of anti-Muslim training materials and how this could lead to the collapse of a critical partnership with the Muslim American communit.

READ FULL OP-ED: “The Wrong Way to Fight Terrorism” (LA Times)

In July, numerous FBI documents were found listing the supposed “steps” and “indicators” of “homegrown Islamic extremists” as those who practice Islam. This assessment uses staples of the Islamic beliefs and customs practiced by millions of Muslims on a daily basis as factual evidence of the shift toward violent extremism.

These training documents fly in the face of the FBI’s explicit stance that “strong religious beliefs should never be confused with violent extremism.”

“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,” said Al-Marayati in the op-ed. “It is not enough to just call it a 'very valid concern,' as FBI Director Robert Mueller told a congressional committee this month.

In September, MPAC sent a letter to FBI Director Robert Mueller asking for an explanation on the Islamophobic training, and on Oct. 4, MPAC joined the ACLU and other organizations in sending a letter to the FBI requesting the FBI withdraw documents and reports published by the bureau with biased and flawed information about Islam and Muslims. The letter goes on to ask the FBI to conduct a comprehensive review of intelligence and “issue new guidance clearly stating that religious practices and political advocacy are protected activities under the First Amendment, and are not indicators of future violence.”

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Click here to read the entire op-ed.



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