In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 8/15/2007) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said today that a new NYPD report on “radicalization” may result in all U.S. Muslims being viewed with suspicion.
CAIR says the 90-page report purports to outline a four-step process of radicalization, but in fact describes ordinary activities, associations and behaviors as indicators of a potential terror threat.
SEE: Police Issue Report on ‘Homegrown’ Terror Threat (NY Times)
In a statement, CAIR Board Chairman Parvez Ahmed said:
“Whatever one thinks of the analysis contained in the report, its sweeping generalizations and mixing of unrelated elements may serve to cast a pall of suspicion over the entire American Muslim community.
“The report lists sites that are likely to be visited by any American Muslim as radicalization ‘incubators.’ The sites listed include mosques, cafes, cab driver hangouts, student associations, nongovernmental organizations, butcher shops, and book stores.
“Despite raising suspicions against ordinary Muslims and the places they visit, the report itself states: ‘There is no useful profile to assist law enforcement or intelligence to predict who will follow this trajectory of radicalization. Rather, the individuals who take this course begin as ‘unremarkable’ from various walks of life.’
“So while labeling almost every American Muslim as a potential terrorist, the report’s authors admit that their findings offer no useful way to identify real terror suspects.
“The report also claims that signs of radicalization include positive changes in personal behavior such as giving up smoking, drinking and gambling. It also makes similar claims about those who wear Islamic attire or a religiously-recommended beard.
“Is Islamic attire or giving up bad habits, which is something recommended by leaders of all faiths, now to be regarded as suspicious behavior?
“American Muslims and their institutions have been working closely with law enforcement officials nationwide on proactive measures to keep our country safe and secure. Muslims are working every day to build a more secure America.
“In 2003, CAIR participated in a joint news conference with the FBI in Florida to urge the public to come forward with information about a terror suspect. In 2005, CAIR coordinated the release of a fatwa, or Islamic religious ruling, that stated in part: ‘All acts of terrorism targeting civilians are haram (forbidden) in Islam. . .It is haram for a Muslim to cooperate with any individual or group that is involved in any act of terrorism or violence. . .It is the civic and religious duty of Muslims to cooperate with law enforcement authorities to protect the lives of all civilians.’
“By promoting stereotypes and unwarranted suspicions, the report’s authors encourage marginalization of and hostility toward the American Muslim community.”
CAIR, America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 33 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. 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, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: email@example.com; CAIR Communications Coordinator Rabiah Ahmed, 202-488-8787 or 202-439-1441, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, E-Mail: email@example.com