(CHICAGO, IL, 8/15/13) — The Chicago chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Chicago) today called on Illinois law enforcement authorities to drop Sam Kharoba, a notorious anti-Muslim bigot, as a counterterrorism trainer.
CAIR-Chicago asserts that Kharoba's training materials on Islam are riddled with inaccuracies, sweeping generalizations and stereotypes, that he is unqualified as a subject matter expert on either Islam or countering violent extremism and that his training has elicited disturbingly prejudiced responses from trainees.
“Counterterrorism training is too important to be left to those who promote a bigoted political or religious agenda,” said CAIR-Chicago Executive Director Ahmed Rehab. “Our state's law enforcement agencies should work with credible leaders of the Muslim community to address any issues related to Islam.”
Kharoba is scheduled to give a training session on “Islamist Terrorism” for North East Multi-Regional Training (NEMRT) beginning August 19 in Lombard, Ill. He will also train law enforcement personnel at the Highland Park and Elmhurst Police Departments. The Illinois Terrorism Task Force is funding the training through the Executive Institute of the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board.
CAIR-Chicago says a training manual Kharoba used in the past, “A Law Enforcement Guide to Understanding Islamist Terrorism,” combines vile accusations against Islam, sweeping generalizations targeting all Muslims and factual inaccuracies.
The first chapter of Kharoba's training manual attacks the entire religion of Islam and attempts to prove, through selective evidence, that it is inherently violent. He writes: “Most of us have heard statements similar to 'Islam is a religion of peace' and that 'Muslim radicals hijacked, twisted and altered Islam to justify their Jihad against non-Muslims.' This book will provide definitive proof contradicting these statements and allegations.”
In its 2011 investigative report, “How We Train Our Cops to Fear Islam,” Washington Monthly quoted Kharoba: “'When I look at the life of Muhammad, I get a very nasty image,' said Kharoba … 'And that is just to start off with. Anyone who says that Islam is a religion of peace,' he continued, 'is either ignorant or flat out lying.'”
In 2012, CAIR's Florida chapter asked the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) to stop using Kharoba as a trainer.
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.
CAIR has worked to oppose the use of biased and inaccurate materials in law enforcement and military training both at the national and state levels. The federal government undertook significant reforms in 2011 after revelations that some federal trainers incorporated anti-Islam prejudice, such as comparing the faith to the Death Star, in their trainings.Â
CAIR's soon-to-be-released report, Legislating Fear: Islamophobia and its Impact in the United States, includes and extensive listing of known anti-Islam trainers.
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-Chicago Executive Director Ahmed Rehab, 202-870-0166, firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Legislative Director Corey Saylor, 202-384-8857, email@example.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, firstname.lastname@example.org