—FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—
JAMAICA, New York (September 21, 2011) – The Islamic Circle of North America issued a press release today addressing the FBI’s biased trainings on Islam and Muslims.
“As Americans we are appalled at the recent findings made public regarding the FBI training workshops. The Bureau’s training documents and briefings indicate not only a severe lack of sensitivity, but more seriously paint an alarming picture of misunderstanding about Islam and the American Muslims.
The FBI’s approach to training clearly pushes for the use of religious profiling and entrapment. We cannot expect agents to deal with the American Muslim community in a rational and balanced way if their training teaches them to view and treat each American Muslim as a potential terrorist.
The FBI is lending its support to the Islamophobic industry by inviting known Islamophobes to train law enforcement officials, and is in turn promoting bigotry against the American Muslim community. Our taxes are being used to distort the image of American Muslims, and it must stop now.
ICNA calls on the FBI to review its current policies and stop inculcating its agents with bias against American Muslims. The FBI should essentially involve Muslim leadership in its training, and make its manuals available to Muslim leadership for review. Muslim leaders are willing, as always, to cooperate with officials to provide accurate information on Islam.
Recent investigations indicate a greater trend amongst law enforcement agencies in which American Muslims are profiled and their Constitutional rights compromised. The FBI, CIA and NYPD’s venture into religious profiling and spying has created a mistrust of law enforcement amongst American Muslims; these agencies must now work to rebuild this trust and repair their relationships with the Muslim community.”
Today marks the 20th anniversary of the tragic events of September 11, 2001. It serves as both a reminder of one of the most traumatizing occurrences to unfold on American soil and as a testimony to the resilience of every community living here in America.