(WASHINGTON, D.C., 7/20/11) -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the second largest investigative agency in the federal government, to drop a trainer who heads an organization that seeks to convert Muslims to Christianity.
CAIR also asked ICE to review the use of taxpayer funds for outside trainers who offer stereotypical and inaccurate information about Islam and American Muslims.
Media reports indicate that Rev. Hicham Chehab, head of the Chicagoland Lutheran Muslim Mission Association (CLMMA), will “give a presentation to U.S. immigration officers at the end of July.” Chehab, who claims to be a former member of the Muslim Brotherhood, has also reportedly given an “antiterrorism course” to the Army Reserve. (NOTE: When contacted by CAIR, Rev. Hicham Chehab said he “cannot give details” about the training. He claims that he is not being paid for the session.)
SEE: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood Member Speaks to Grace Lutheran Church
“While Pastor Chehab is free to engage in missionary activities, it would be inappropriate for him to train government officials who will inevitably interact with American Muslims,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad in a letter to ICE Director John Morton. “We believe training by a person with such obvious bias against Islam and Muslims would only serve to heighten concerns American Muslims have about allegations of mistreatment at our nation’s borders.”
Awad added that CAIR’s Michigan chapter recently announced a decision by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) to launch an investigation into potential civil rights violations and profiling of Muslims by personnel at the United States-Canada border.
“There is a growing concern that many of the government and law enforcement officials American Muslims come into contact with in their daily lives have been negatively influenced by inaccurate and agenda-driven portrayals of their community and their faith,” said Awad.
SEE: DHS to Probe CAIR-MI Complaints on Border Questioning of Muslims
Video: Muslims Say They've Been Harassed at Border (CAIR)
Muslim Border Protest: 'We're Asking for Equal Treatment'
Earlier this week, CAIR called on the CIA not to use one of the Islamophobic counter-terror trainers who were exposed on NPR for allegedly smearing a respected Ohio Muslim.
SEE: CAIR Asks CIA to Drop Islamophobic Trainer
CNN recently aired a two-part series exposing an “ex-terrorist” trainer, Walid Shoebat, as an anti-Islam fraud.
Video: CNN Exposes Walid Shoebat's Terror Training Scam (CAIR)
Part 1, Part 2
CAIR has in the past called on the Obama administration, Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, and Congress to provide oversight for apparently widespread anti-Muslim bias in the training of law enforcement, security and military personnel nationwide.
SEE: CAIR Asks Sec. Napolitano to Probe Use of Islamophobic Trainers
Video: CAIR Decries Anti-Muslim Police Trainers
Trainers for American military personnel have included Islamophobes such as Robert Spencer, co-founder of Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA). SIOA has been designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
CAIR: Muslim-Basher Trains U.S. Military Personnel in Kentucky
Active Anti-Muslim Groups
CAIR noted the recent release of an 80-page report by Political Research Associates (PRA), titled “Manufacturing the Muslim Menace: Private Firms, Public Servants, & the Threat to Rights and Security,” which 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.
SEE: How We Train Our Cops to Fear Islam
CAIR’s New York chapter (CAIR-NY) called on the New York Police Department (NYPD) to investigate how a notorious anti-Muslim propaganda film came to be used in mandatory counterterrorism training.
SEE: NYPD Cops' Training Included an Anti-Muslim Horror Flick
CAIR made a similar request of counterterrorism and military leaders not to employ Muslim-bashers as trainers following a Washington Post investigative report on post-9/11 government surveillance, which stated: "Seeking to learn more about Islam and terrorism, some law enforcement agencies have hired as trainers self-described experts whose extremist views on Islam and terrorism are considered inaccurate and counterproductive by the FBI and U.S. intelligence agencies."
SEE: Monitoring America (Wash. Post)
Last year, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) acknowledged that an anti-Islam film should not have been used in training offered to security personnel by that military law enforcement agency.
CAIR contacted NCIS after receiving a report that a three-day NCIS surveillance detection course at the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C., included the viewing of a propagandistic anti-Islam film.
SEE: CAIR Seeks Probe of Anti-Islam Bias in Military Training
Last month, CAIR and the University of California, Berkeley’s Center for Race and Gender released a report that documents growing Islamophobia in the United States and offers recommendations about how to challenge the troubling phenomenon.
SEE: Same Hate, New Target
Video: News Conference Announcing Release of Islamophobia Report
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 National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, E-Mail: email@example.com