Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
News, May 2011
Islamophobia in the US, May 8, 2011:
Speakers Spread Anti-Islam Hate
Video: College Speaker Spreads Anti-Islam Hate (CAIR-WA)
(CAIR-NY) CAIR-LA: Muslim Participation in National Day of Prayer
CAIR Asks S.D. Agency to Drop Conference Featuring Islamophobe
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 5/6/11) --
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is calling on the South Dakota Department of Public Safety (DPS) to drop its endorsement of a national security conference featuring Walid Shoebat, a notorious Islamophobe who claims "Islam is the devil" and that President Obama is a Muslim.
CAIR said the DPS's continued sponsorship of the 2nd Annual South Dakota Homeland Security Conference to be held next week in Rapid City, S.D., would send the message that the department endorses Shoebat's anti-Muslim views.
The Washington-based Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization also expressed concern that law enforcement personnel -- including FBI agents -- who attend the conference will apply Shoebat's extremist views in their security investigations and in interactions with American Muslims.
"South Dakota taxpayers need to know whether their hard-earned dollars are helping to fund a conference that will offer anti-Muslim hate and stereotyping to law enforcement and security personnel," wrote CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper in a letter sent yesterday to DPS Secretary Trevor Jones.
Hooper said Shoebat is scheduled to offer a keynote address May 11 about "Jihad in America" and will lecture conference attendees on "basic Islam theology."
Shoebat once told a Missouri newspaper that he sees "many parallels between the Antichrist and Islam" and "Islam is not the religion of God -- Islam is the devil." (Springfield News-Leader, 9/24/07)
In a Youtube video, Shoebat said, "[I]f Islam is not playing the major role in Antichrist spirit, why do you think the devil wants to appoint somebody connected to Islam in the White House?" He told radio host G. Gordon Liddy, "No one is called Hussein unless he is Muslim. So it is very clear that Barack Hussein Obama is definitely a Muslim."
According to an official who attended a similar Shoebat lecture at a conference in Las Vegas, the solution he offered for the threat of "militant Muslims" was to "Kill them ... including the children."
Shoebat claims to be a former "terrorist," yet the Washington Post noted: "Shoebat ... says he was recruited by the Palestine Liberation Organization as a teenager. In 1977, he has said, he threw a bomb on the roof of the Bethlehem branch of an Israeli bank. The bank, however, has no record of the incident, and it was never reported by Israeli news outlets."
Earlier this year, CAIR called on the Obama administration and Congress to provide oversight for what a new report says is widespread anti-Muslim bias in the training of law enforcement and security personnel nationwide.
CAIR's request for oversight came following the release of an 80-page report, titled "Manufacturing the Muslim Menace: Private Firms, Public Servants, & the Threat to Rights and Security," released by Political Research Associates (PRA) that details a systemic failure to regulate content in counterterrorism training.
According to the executive summary of the report: "[P]ublic servants are regularly presented with misleading, inflammatory, and dangerous information about the nature of the terror threat through highly politicized seminars, industry conferences, trade publications, and electronic media ... a vocal and influential sub-group of the private counterterrorism training industry markets conspiracy theories about secret jihadi campaigns to replace the U.S. Constitution with Sharia law, and effectively impugns all of Islam -- a world religion with 1.3 billion adherents -- as inherently violent and even terroristic."
Washington Monthly magazine published a major investigative article showing similar anti-Islam attitudes by private trainers of law enforcement agencies.
CAIR's New York chapter (CAIR-NY) called on the New York Police Department (NYPD) to investigate how a notorious anti-Muslim propaganda film came to be used in mandatory counterterrorism training.
CAIR made a similar request of counterterrorism and military leaders not to employ Muslim-bashers as trainers following a Washington Post investigative report on post-9/11 government surveillance, which stated: "Seeking to learn more about Islam and terrorism, some law enforcement agencies have hired as trainers self-described experts whose extremist views on Islam and terrorism are considered inaccurate and counterproductive by the FBI and U.S. intelligence agencies."
Last year, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) acknowledged that an anti-Islam film should not have been used in training offered to security personnel by that military law enforcement agency.
CAIR contacted NCIS after receiving a report that a three-day NCIS surveillance detection course at the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C., included the viewing of a propagandistic anti-Islam film.
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.
CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org;
CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, E-Mail: email@example.com
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