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CAIR Says Arizona Police Association’s Islamophobic Training May Put Muslim Community at Risk

CAIR National logoLaw enforcement training to be offered by anti-Islam conspiracy theorist John Guandolo who falsely claims U.S. mosques are ”˜organizing for armed confrontation with law enforcement’

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 4/25/17) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called on the Arizona Police Association (APA) to cancel a scheduled training event to be offered next month by notorious Islamophobe and anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist John Guandolo, who falsely claims U.S. mosques are planning armed attacks on law enforcement authorities and churches.

CAIR says Guandolo is putting local Muslim communities at risk by making the false claim recently that, “Mosques/Islamic Centers are organizing for armed confrontation with law enforcement, shoring up physical defenses where they see likely confrontation and increasing their pre-attack surveillances of churches and other targets.”

SEE: Guandolo’s Quote

He also recently bizarrely claimed that when a Delaware Imam (Islamic religious leader) touched his nose during the pledge of allegiance before a legislative session, that was part of “civilizational jihad” by American Muslims.

Guandolo’s hate group Understanding the Threat (UTT) is scheduled to hold a law enforcement training May 16-18 in Mesa, Ariz., at the invitation of the Arizona Police Association (APA). The training is reportedly “POST Certified,” meaning it fits curriculum standards set by the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board.

In a letter to APA Executive Director Dr. Levi Bolton, CAIR wrote in part”

“Given the most recent demonstrably false and off-the-wall claims by Mr. Guandolo, coupled with his long history of Islamophobic conspiracy theories, this training should be canceled and future trainings should feature instructors who will offer accurate and objective information. No law enforcement officer should receive continuing education credit for such biased, counterproductive and inaccurate ”˜training.’”

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.'”

According to the SPLC, “Guandolo works closely with ACT! for America, the largest grassroots anti-Muslim group in the country.” ACT for America’s anti-Muslim bigotry was highlighted recently in a Washington Post exposé.

Last year, a Texas college canceled a similar event. The college’s decision came following a request by CAIR’s Dallas-Fort Worth chapter.

Backgrounder on Islamophobe John Guandolo:

In 2015, 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.

Virginia’s Rappahannock Regional Criminal Justice Academy rescinded its approval of in-service training credits for state law enforcement scheduled to attend a training Guandolo was conducting in Culpeper, Va., after being made aware of his anti-Islam rhetoric.

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 Kansas’ 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 Guandolo’s trainings.

Guandolo left the FBI shortly after reports surfaced that he had allegedly 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: “Mr. 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.”

The Washington-based Muslim civil rights group is asking Muslim community members to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR’s Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or by filing a report at: http://www.cair.com/civil-rights/report-an-incident/view/form.html

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 misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.

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CONTACT: CAIR-AZ Civil Rights Director Liban Yousuf, lyousuf@cair.com, 602-301-7618; CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw, 202-742-6448, rmccaw@cair.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, ihooper@cair.com  

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