(WASHINGTON, D.C., 8/3/2011) — A prominent national Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization today offered its support for the “objective and holistic” approach taken in the Obama administration’s newly-announced national strategy to counter violent extremism.
The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) welcomed the fact that the strategy on “Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism in the United States” focuses on community-based solutions and addresses all sources of violent extremism.
SEE: Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism
In a statement, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said:
“American Muslims support objective and holistic efforts to ensure that all of our nation’s citizens are safe from violent extremists. Programs that build trust between law enforcement authorities and the communities they serve are crucial to this effort. American Muslims are natural enemies of violent extremists and have a vested interest in preventing any attempts by such predatory individuals to recruit members of our community.
“Our nation faces a number of threats. Al-Qaeda and its allies, white supremacists, violent anti-Muslim extremists, and violent anti-government activists must all be confronted. A successful counter-extremism strategy will avoid the type of collective guilt and community demonization promoted by House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Rep. Peter King (R-NY) and will instead address credible threats based on objective data, not political agendas or personal vendettas.
“Any effective strategy must avoid viewing the relationship between the American Muslim community and government agencies solely through the prism of national security and should recognize Muslims as partners in projecting the best of American principles and values to the world. Our government must also engage with American Muslim institutions and individuals proven to enjoy community support.”
Awad added that a key concern of American Muslims is the use of taxpayer funds to hire anti-Muslim trainers such as Walid Shoebat, Robert Spencer and others. “Use of anti-Muslim trainers poisons local partnerships.”
“Officials of the local, state and federal agencies that seek interaction with American Muslims should not be taught to hate Islam. The federal government must ensure that there are standards and accountability for the funds it disburses,” said Awad.
He noted that CAIR has in the past called on the Obama administration, the 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.
Within the last month alone, CAIR has called on the CIA and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to drop Islamophobic or proselytizing trainers.
CAIR Asks ICE to Drop Trainer Who Seeks to Convert Muslims
Video: FBI Asked Agents to Read Anti-Islam Books (CAIR)
Audio: CAIR Asks Agencies to Stop Using Islamophobic 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 National Legislative Director Corey Saylor, 202-384-8857, E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, E-Mail: email@example.com; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org