(WASHINGTON, DC, 6/2/20) — The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has joined a coalition of more than 70 civil rights and community organizations in sending a letter to Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf asking him to end an anti-Muslim and deeply flawed $80 million dollar federal surveillance program, named Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention (TVTP), and halt grants to implement the program across the country.
Applications for the grant
program are due June 17 and $10 million in grant funds will be disseminated in
READ THE LETTER: 70+ CIVIL RIGHTS GROUPS TO OPPOSE DHS’ TVTP PROGRAM
“TVTP replicates the agency’s Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) program—a failed, anti-Muslim counterterrorism initiative based on the debunked assumption that certain communities are predisposed toward violence based on their race or faith and allows privacy and civil liberty violations,” said CAIR Director of Government Affairs Robert S. McCaw. “There is no credible evidence that these programs prevent terrorism or violence.”
“Instead of funding schools, hospitals and public infrastructure in the midst of a pandemic, the federal government is allocating $80 million of our tax money to target Muslim communities,” said Fatema Ahmad, Executive Director of the Muslim Justice League and coordinator of the StopCVE Coalition. “Though the CVE framework is meant to divide us, we are building stronger communities that can provide for ourselves without relying on these discriminatory programs.”
“The federal government should not, once again, waste tens of millions in taxpayer dollars on a failed, harmful surveillance program,” said Muslim Advocates Legal Fellow Nabihah Maqbool. “Whether they call it TVTP, CVE or another acronym, these programs are all based on junk science and only serve to unfairly paint American Muslims and other vulnerable communities as criminals and subject them to unnecessary and dangerous over-policing.”
“State and federal collaboration, like that between the California Office of Emergency Services and DHS, is deeply harmful to our state’s immigrant communities and communities of color,” said Hammad Alam, staff attorney at Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus. “There is no reason states like California, which purportedly lead the nation in protecting our most vulnerable communities, should be working closely with federal agencies like DHS to implement programs like CVE and PVE. These programs don’t keep us safe. They only legitimize the surveillance and further marginalization of our communities.”
On May 19, the StopCVE coalition held a “Day of Action” to discourage community groups and law enforcement agencies from applying to the program, aimed at previous CVE grant recipients like the Boston Police Department, Alameda County Sheriff’s Department and the Los Angeles Police Department.
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
La misión de CAIR es proteger
las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia,
y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.