(WASHINGTON, D.C., 1/31/15) — The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today welcomed the withdrawal of an FBI representative from a February event in Texas that was initially sponsored by the anti-Muslim hate group ACT! for America and featured notorious anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist John Guandolo, who claims the CIA director is a secret Muslim agent.
CAIR said the February 13 event, called “Domestic Jihad & ISIS” and hosted by St. Mary's University's Center for Terrorism Law in San Antonio, originally featured a keynote address by a representative of the FBI academy in Qauntico, Va., along with a presentation by Guandolo on “Understanding Shariah & Jihad.”
Original Brochure: Domestic Jihad & ISIS
Last Wednesday, CAIR called on the FBI to withdraw from the event because of Guandolo's appearance and the sponsorship by an anti-Muslim hate group.
The San Antonio Express-News reported today that the event will no longer feature either Guandolo or the FBI representative as speakers and ACT! for America is no longer listed as a sponsor.
According to the newspaper:
“The FBI has canceled its participation in an upcoming St. Mary's University forum on 'domestic jihad' after a Muslim civil rights group criticized the school's Center for Terrorism Law for inviting a speaker it called 'an anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist.'”
“We welcome the withdrawal of the FBI from this event and applaud the decision to drop John Guandolo as a speaker and ACT! for America as a sponsor,” said CAIR-San Antonio President Sarwat Husain. “The discussion of solutions to the plague of terrorism is too serious a subject to be left to conspiracy theorists and hate groups.”
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
Video: Islamophobe John Guandolo Claims CIA Director John Brennan is a Secret Muslim
Last year, CAIR joined a coalition of 75 groups urging the Obama administration to take “immediate action to end the use of anti-Muslim training materials and address anti-Muslim conduct exhibited by agencies throughout the federal government.”
Guandolo and ACT! for America are closely-tied. Guandolo assisted in the creation of the group's “Thin Blue Line Project,” which attempts to offer law enforcement authorities biased and inaccurate material about Islam and Muslims.
ACT! for America leader Hanah Kahwagi Tudor, who goes by the pseudonym “Brigitte Gabriel,” says an American Muslim “cannot be a loyal citizen” and that Islam is the “real enemy.” She once told the Australian Jewish News: “Every practicing Muslim is a radical Muslim.” Tudor also claimed that “Islamo-fascism is a politically-correct word … it's the vehicle for Islam … Islam is the problem.” The New York Times describes her as a “radical Islamophobe” who in the past has made statements like “Arabs have no soul” and “Arabs are barbarians.”
When asked whether Americans should “resist Muslims who want to seek political office in this nation,” Tudor said, “Absolutely.”
The SPLC has named “Brigitte Gabriel” as a member of the nation's “Anti-Muslim Inner Circle.”
In February of last year, Virginia's Rappahannock Regional Criminal Justice Academy rescinded its earlier 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.
In May, 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.
In September, 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 engaged in a sexual relationship with a key witness in a corruption trial targeting a member of Congress.
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.”
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-San Antonio President Sarwat Husain, 210-378-9528, firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, email@example.com; CAIR Communications Manager Amina Rubin, 202-341-4171, firstname.lastname@example.org