UPDATE: We're now in discussions with the sheriff and ask that you not contact his office at this time. We've disabled the click-and-send letter for now. Thank you to all those who took action!
Trainer says mosques have 'no right to exist' and that Muslims are commanded to 'hate and despise Jews and Christians'
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 2/20/14) -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called on Virginia Muslims and all those concerned about the proliferation of Islamophobia and other forms of bigotry in our society to contact the Culpeper County Sheriff's Office and ask that it drop a three-day training program on "Jihadi Networks in America" that will be offered next week by John Guandolo, a notorious anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist.
In an article published yesterday by Virginia's Free Lance-Star, an official with the Southern Poverty Law Center -- an organization that monitors hate groups -- said:
"Guandolo, who resigned from the FBI ahead of a misconduct investigation, has made a career out of spreading anti-Muslim conspiracy theories. Most recently, he claimed that CIA director John Brennan is a secret Muslim agent for the Saudis. It's hard to believe that Culpeper County Sheriff's Office would knowingly get involved with such a disreputable figure."
Take action: (As always, be polite and respectful. Hostile comments can and will be used to harm the image of the Muslim community.)
Contact Sheriff Scott H. Jenkins to express your concerns about officers in his department being trained by a notorious Islamophobe and conspiracy theorist who claims the CIA director is a secret Muslim and that American Muslims should not be granted constitutional rights.
Background on John Guandolo's anti-Muslim bigotry:
Guandolo detailed his bizarre claim about the CIA director's alleged conversion to Islam in an interview with another notorious Islamophobe, Robert Spencer.
He also asserts that American Muslims "do not have a First Amendment right to do anything," refers to America's mosques and Islamic centers as "barracks" and falsely claims "it is a permanent command in Islam for Muslims to hate and despise Jews and Christians."
Additionally, an article published by the Tennessean on February 15, 2012, reports Guandolo's belief that mosques are "front organizations for the Muslim Brotherhood with no right to exist."
During a 2012 anti-Muslim training in Tennessee, Guandolo was videoed shoving a local news camera that attempted to record the training. He is linked to one of nation's the most vicious anti-Muslim groups, ACT! for America.
SEE: ACT! for America to Launch Anti-Muslim Website for Law Enforcement
CAIR Islamophobia Backgrounder: ACT! for America and 'Brigitte Gabriel'
Following calls for reform by CAIR and other groups following revelations of apparently widespread anti-Muslim bias in the training of law enforcement, security and military personnel nationwide, the Obama administration removed biased and inaccurate materials about Islam from federal trainings.
An 80-page report by Political Research Associates (PRA), titled "Manufacturing the Muslim Menace: Private Firms, Public Servants, & the Threat to Rights and Security," details a systemic failure to regulate content in counterterrorism training.
Washington Monthly magazine also published a major investigative article showing similar anti-Islam attitudes by private trainers of law enforcement agencies.
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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CONTACT: CAIR Department to Monitor and Combat Islamophobia Director Corey Saylor, 202-384-8857, email@example.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, email@example.com