Agent admits writing anti-Muslim graffiti
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today applauded the Justice Department's swift action against a Secret Service agent who acknowledged responsibility for anti-Muslim graffiti found scrawled in the home of a Dearborn, Mich., terror suspect.
Relatives of the Jordanian-American man arrested last week while allegedly carrying counterfeit checks told the Washington-based Islamic civil rights and advocacy group they found the words "Islam is Evil" and "Christ is King" written on a Muslim prayer calendar attached to the man's refrigerator following a search by the Secret Service and the FBI. On Monday, CAIR wrote a letter to Attorney General John Ashcroft asking him to investigate the incident.
"We are pleased that authorities took such swift action in both investigating this incident and in dealing with the agent involved," said CAIR Communications Coordinator Hodan Hassan. "We hope this sends a signal to the law enforcement community that such bigoted behavior will not be tolerated," said Hassan. She added that this incident highlights the needs for religious sensitivity training for agents involved in working with the American Muslim and Arab-American communities.
Jeffrey Collins, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan told the Associated Press: "This unprofessional conduct by a single agent is a gross aberration and a great embarrassment...This act does not represent the professional and courageous efforts and the overwhelming ability of federal agents and local law enforcement officers who continue in challenging times to do a superb job."
Collins did not identify the agent. After acknowledging his responsibility, the agent was flown to Washington to be interviewed by Justice Department officials. The agent is on administrative leave while the incident is reviewed.