(WASHINGTON, D.C., 9/15/16) â€“ The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nationâ€™s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, is questioning whether taxpayer dollars are being used to pay for a daylong training by the Culpeper County Sheriff's Office in Culpeper, Va., featuring two notorious anti-Muslim conspiracy theorists, one of whom claims the CIA director is a â€œsecret Muslim.â€
Culpeper County Sheriff Scott Jenkins is sponsoring the training by former FBI agent John Guandolo and William Federer, author of â€œWhat Every American Needs to Know About the Qurâ€™an,â€ this Saturday at Germanna Community Collegeâ€™s Daniel Technology Center in Culpeper.
In past presentations, Federer has falsely claimed that Muslims are â€œtaking overâ€ neighborhoods, that Muslims have large families so they can go on welfare and that Islam permits the raping of women.
He has also falsely claimed that then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had the â€œglobal goal of establishing Sharia lawâ€ and that Muslims have a â€œsacred obligation to lie.â€
Right Wing Watch: Bill Federer
In 2014, Virginiaâ€™s Rappahannock Regional Criminal Justice Academy rescinded its approval of in-service training credits for state law enforcement scheduled to attend similar training Guandolo conducted in Culpeper.
In an email sent to the Culpeper County Sheriff's Office, CAIR asked:
1. Are any taxpayer dollars being used to host or promote this event? 2. Has any Culpeper County Sheriff's Office staff time or resources been used to host this event. 3. Will any members of the Culpeper County Sheriff's Office attend the training? Are they being asked to attend? 4. Will law enforcement officers attending the training receive continuing education credits with Virginia's Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS)? 5. Since this training involves the subject of Islam and Muslims, have you consulted with anyone in the local Muslim community about the negative impact it may have in terms of fostering Islamophobia resulting in anti-Muslim hate crimes? 6. Will the Culpeper County Sheriff's Office offer additional protection to the local Muslim community because the conspiracy theories promoted by these speakers to a local audience may result in increased Islamophobia?
The Washington-based Muslim civil rights group says it has yet to receive a response.
Backgrounder on John Guandolo:
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), an organization that tracks hate groups in America, describes Guandolo as “a disreputable character, who regularly attacks the U.S. government, claims that the director of the Central Intelligence Agency is a secret Muslim agent for the Saudi government and says that American Muslims 'do not have a First Amendment right to do anything.'”
CAIR Islamophobia Monitor: John Guandolo
Earlier this year, Cedar Valley College in Lancaster, Texas, canceled a training event for law enforcement officers being offered by Guandolo.
Last year, CAIR welcomed the withdrawal of an FBI representative from an event in Texas that was initially sponsored by the anti-Muslim hate group ACT! for America and featured Guandolo.
A sheriff in Kansas decided not to partner with a citizens group sponsoring a Guandolo training after being informed of his conspiracy theories. When a journalist at Kansasâ€™ Wichita Eagle covered the controversy, Guandolo accused the reporter of material support of terrorism.
A number of Arizona police departments decided not to send officers to one of Guandoloâ€™s trainings.
Guandolo left the FBI shortly after reports surfaced that he had engaged in a sexual relationship with a key witness in a corruption trial targeting a member of Congress. In addition, he is documented as having falsified his credentials and work experience.
Major General Tony Cucolo, Commandant of the US Army War College, informed CAIR in an email: â€œMr. Guandolo's claim (in print) that he teaches at the Army War College and any other references (e.g., online) identifying him as an adjunct instructor here are simply untrue.â€
Backgrounder on Anti-Muslim Bias in the Training of Law Enforcement:
Several years ago, following calls for reform by CAIR and other groups after revelations of apparently widespread anti-Muslim bias in the training of law enforcement, security and military personnel nationwide, the Obama administration removed biased and inaccurate materials about Islam from federal trainings.
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.
La misiÃ³n de CAIR es mejorar la comprensiÃ³n del Islam, fomentar el diÃ¡logo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensiÃ³n mutua.
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