Islamophobia in USA: NYPD Cops' Training Included an Anti-Muslim Horror Flick
- NYPD Cops' Training Included an Anti-Muslim Horror Flick
By Tom Robbins Wednesday, Jan 19 2011
This month, when a group of New York City police officers showed up for their required counter-terrorism training, they got to watch a movie.
And not just some diddly 20-minute educational film, either. It was a full-length color feature, with more explosions than a Transformers sequel and more blood-splattered victims than an HBO World War II series.
The bad news was that it was a spectacularly offensive smear of American Muslims. The film is called The Third Jihad. It is 72 minutes of gruesome footage of bombing carnage, frenzied crowds, burning American flags, flaming churches, and seething mullahs. All of this is sandwiched between a collection of somber talking heads informing us that, while we were sleeping, the international Islamist Jihad that wrought these horrors has set up shop here and is quietly going about its deadly business. This is the final drive in a 1,400-year-old bid for Muslim world domination, we're informed. And while we may think there are some perfectly reasonable Muslim leaders and organizations here in the U.S., that is just more sucker bait sent our way.
"Americans are being told that most of the mainstream Muslim groups are moderate," says the narrator, "when in fact if you look a little closer you'll see a very different reality. One of their primary tactics is deception."
The message here is that lurking behind those veils and prayer caps is a secret plan to impose a religious order out of the Dark Ages here in the U.S. The favorite image in The Third Jihad—shown over and over—is an enormous black-and-white Islamic flag flying over the White House.
This is pretty toxic stuff, the kind of film likely to spark a picket line at a local theater. In this case, however, the impact is somewhat more sinister, since the audience was law enforcement officers attending a mandatory prep session on what to know about the terrorist threat.
"After it was over, I was thinking, 'What was that?' " said a cop who saw the movie at a training facility used by the department in Coney Island. "It was so ridiculously one-sided. It just made Muslims look like the enemy. It was straight propaganda."
As it happens, police officials agree that this is a "wacky movie," as deputy commissioner Paul Browne said, that never should have been shown to officers. Browne initially insisted that cops had never seen the flick. "It was reviewed and found to be inappropriate," he said. Further checking revealed that the movie had been aired for officers. It was a mistake, Browne said. "It was not approved for the curriculum. It's not shown for any purpose now."
Browne said his information is that The Third Jihad was shown only "a couple of times when officers were filling out paperwork before the actual coursework began." The cop who spoke to the Voice said it was a bit more formal than that: "The instructor introduced it with a warning that some people found it offensive," he said.
As for how many police officers saw it, leaders at the New York office of CAIR—the Council on American-Islamic Relations and one of the movie's primary targets—say they got their own complaint last summer from a police cadet who was also shown the movie.
Zead Ramadan, president of CAIR's New York board, said he raised the matter with police commissioner Ray Kelly when he saw him at a Gracie Mansion celebration of Eid, the Muslim holy day. "I told him we'd had this report about a disturbing movie being shown to police officers. The commissioner seemed concerned, but said he knew nothing about it, that a consultant company handled that part of the training. I said, 'You should review who your consultants are because this is potentially damaging to the city.' He said he would take care of it."
As it happens, Kelly is one of those seen interviewed in The Third Jihad, although he appears to be there just so movie makers can invoke his name and authority. "Our nightmare scenario is nuclear detonation," Kelly says in the film, "and second rung down from that, you might say, is a dirty bomb." Browne thinks this footage was scraped from another source, though producers claim in their promo material that they interviewed him. Also appearing alongside clips of Glenn Beck are former Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge and ex–Clinton CIA director James Woolsey. They merely state that there are indeed bad people out there intending us harm. On the other hand, the movie's DVD version gets a full-throated endorsement from another of its stars, Rudy Giuliani, who calls it "a wake-up call for America."
The movie is the product of a nonprofit company called the Clarion Fund, whose chief business appears to be stoking the flames of religious war. Just before the 2008 presidential election, the fund sent copies of Obsession, an earlier film also depicting murderous Muslim conspiracies afoot in the U.S., to some 28 million swing-state voters. No one has ever confirmed who footed the bill for this mass mailing, but Clarion's tax filings show that sugar-daddies unknown anted up $18 million to do so.
The producer of both films is a man named Raphael Shore, who has also worked with an Orthodox Jewish Israeli group called Aish HaTorah that regularly cites the threat of radical Muslims. Calls to Clarion didn't bring a response last week, but the film's narrator, a Muslim-American doctor named Zuhdi Jasser, was reached at his office in Phoenix. "It's a hard-hitting film," he said, although he voiced a couple regrets with the final product. "I would have given more time to the solutions," said the doctor. "That the solutions can come from within."
NYPD's Muslim Horror Flick Sparks Outcry
NYPD officers shown Muslim-bashing film in counter-terror training
The 'new' rhetoric of Islamophobia
Islamophobes in and outside Congress are claiming that a mass 'radicalisation' of American Muslims is taking place.
MJ Rosenberg Last Modified: 13 Jan 2011 12:42 GMT
New York City's former mayor, Ed Koch, has taken time off from his new career as a film critic to offer a valentine to Rep. Peter King (R-NY), the new chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, for scheduling hearings on the dangers posed by Muslim Americans.
Koch's support for King is not surprising. Koch has always been open about his contempt for Arabs and Muslims and his belief that a war of civilisations is now in progress between Muslims and everyone else. He recently wrote:
For me, the question is this: will the secular Western civilisation shared by America and Europe, which allows us to enjoy life and its creature comforts, still be standing at the end of that war? Or will radical Islam, with an aggressive culture that treasures martyrdom and death over life, prevail.... [italics mine]
For years, Koch, King and others who share their anti-Muslim views hid behind that word: "radical". They said that they have no problem with Muslims as people or Islam as a religion. It is only "radical Islam" or "Islamists" that they can't abide.
Lately that caveat has been thrown to the winds. It is now clear that for Islamophobes (actually Islamohaters), "radical" Islam is just Islam. And "radical" Muslims are just Muslims.
A powerful example was recently offered by HBO commentator Bill Maher. Maher said in October that he was "alarmed" after reading that the most common name among newborns in the United Kingdom in 2009 was Muhammad.
Am I a racist to feel that I'm alarmed by that? Because I am. And it's not because of the race, it's 'cause of the religion. I don't have to apologise, do I, for not wanting the Western world to be taken over by Islam in 300 years?
He then added: "I should be alarmed and I don't apologise for it." (After all, those baby Muhammads will grow up to be adult Muhammads).
Marty Peretz, former editor of The New Republic, did apologise, in a half-hearted way, for writing during the "Ground Zero mosque" controversy that American Muslims should not be protected by the Constitution.
He had written that Muslims simply are not "worthy of the privileges of the First Amendment which I have in my gut the sense that they will abuse."
His subsequent apology was so weak, and his record of race-baiting was so long and vitriolic that Peretz was forced out by The New Republic and quickly hotfooted it out of the United States for Israel where he told New York magazine last month that he could not possibly be a bigot.
[H]e mentioned two close, personal black friends, one who is "so fucking smart," and then a third, a black student whom he had plucked from Harvard and made the circulation director of The New Republic. "I hired Muslims - I hired Fareed Zakaria," he added.
Well, okay then.
Then there is David Harris, president of the American Jewish Committee. Under his leadership, the American Jewish Committee issued a study "proving" that, contrary to the commonly used estimate of six million American Muslims, the correct number is 2.8 million.
And why is Harris worried about Muslim population estimates?
"Six million has a special resonance,'' Harris wrote in a May 21 article in Jerusalem Report magazine. ''It would mean that Muslims outnumber Jews in the US and it would buttress calls for a redefinition of America's heritage as 'Judeo-Christian-Muslim,' a stated goal of some Muslim leaders."
That is some scary "stated goal".
Even more, Harris is worried that the perception that there are as many Muslims as Jews would give Muslims additional political clout, leading Congress to occasionally actually pay attention to them (but unfortunately, that is not how it works).
And now along comes Peter King, who, as chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, is scheduling hearings on the "radicalisation of the American Muslim community". No, not on terrorists or terrorist sympathisers but on Muslims in general.
It's not just people who are involved with the terrorists and extremists, it is people who are in mainstream Islam, leaders of mosques, leaders of Muslim organisations... So, it goes beyond the terrorists and the extremists and also includes those in what others call mainstream Muslim leadership.
King offers no evidence that the American Muslim community has become radicalised (perhaps because there is none).
No, drawing on what the New York Times correctly calls his usual "blather" and "bluster", King simply slanders an entire community. He will follow up with a bunch of kangaroo court hearings in which the usual bigots (Steve Emerson and/or Robert Spencer and/or Daniel Pipes and/or David Horowitz and/or Frank Gaffney, etc.) will show up to inform America that the Muslim family down the block might be al-Qaeda.
This isn't exactly McCarthyism but only in the sense that (1) there actually is a terrorist threat to the United States while the Communist threat was almost pure fabrication and (2) McCarthy never targeted a specific religious or ethnic group.
Of course, it makes sense for King to malign a particular segment of the population, rather than to focus on terrorism itself.
And that is because of Peter King's own record of sympathy for terrorism.
A 2005 profile of King by the conservative New York Sun told the story of King's long and deep involvement with the terrorist Irish Republican Army (IRA) and, even more damning, his support for Irish Northern Aid (NORAID), a US-based group accused of funnelling guns and money to the IRA. According to the Sun:
Mr. King's support for the IRA was unequivocal. In 1982, for instance, he told a pro-IRA rally in Nassau County: "We must pledge ourselves to support those brave men and women who this very moment are carrying forth the struggle against British imperialism in the streets of Belfast and Derry."
King was defending the IRA while it was engaged in serious violence.
[T]he IRA took its campaign to Britain - where London's financial district was twice devastated by bombs - and to mainland Europe, where British NATO bases were frequently targeted. The IRA nearly killed Prime Minister Thatcher and her cabinet with a bomb in 1984, and it assassinated prominent British politicians and members of the royal family.
King's support for the IRA was so outspoken that "[b]y the mid-1980s, the authorities on both sides of the Atlantic were openly hostile to Mr. King. On one occasion, a judge threw him out of a Belfast courtroom during the murder trial of IRA men because, in the judge's view, 'he was an obvious collaborator with the IRA.' When he attended other trials, the police singled him out for thorough body searches."
In 1984, "the Secret Service listed him as a threat when President Reagan made a trip to Nassau County to watch a Special Olympics event."
Fortunately, in the 1980s, there was no headline-seeking House chairman to investigate the entire Irish-American community because of the activities of Peter King and his friends. After all, who could seriously suggest demonising a community of millions of law-abiding citizens because of the actions of a few terrorist sympathisers? NORAID and other IRA-supporting groups were, quite properly, investigated. Not a whole population.
But now here is Peter King determined to find terrorism-supporters under every Muslim bed. Better, he should look in the mirror.
MJ Rosenberg is a Senior Foreign Policy Fellow at Media Matters Action Network. The above article first appeared in Foreign Policy Matters, a part of the Media Matters Action Network.
Peter King's Terrorism Problem
Muslim 'Radicalization' Hearings are Wrong and Misguided
King refuses to expand Muslim hearing's scope
The U.S. role in Gulet Mohamed's detention
BY GLENN GREENWALD
MONDAY, JAN 17, 2011 08:18 ET
I've written several times about the plight of Gulet Mohamed, the American teenager detained without charges more than three weeks ago in Kuwait by unknown captors, relentlessly interrogated about numerous matters of interest to the Obama administration, and, he claims, severely beaten and tortured. One of the central questions of this episode has been this: who is responsible for what has happened to him -- the Kuwaiti government or his own country's government? From the beginning, it seemed highly implausible that a country as subservient to the U.S. as Kuwait would detain and relentlessly interrogate an American citizen without the assent or at least the knowledge of the U.S. Those suspicions were heightened by (a) the strange refusal of the U.S. government to act to help their own citizen (instead repeatedly sending FBI agents to aggressively interrogate him), (b) the interrogation focus on Anwar Awlaki, an obsession of the Obama administration,
and (c) the placement by the U.S. of Mohamed on the no-fly list, preventing his return.
Mohamed's family has been insisting that it is the Americans behind his detention, while State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley denied this and insisted that they have provided Mohamed with consular assistance. But new facts have emerged strongly suggesting that Crowley's denials are false, and that it is indeed the Americans responsible for the 19-year-old's ongoing, due-process-free detention.
When Mohamed was detained, none of his family members knew where he was or what had happened, and learned of it only because -- once he was transferred to a deportation center -- he was able to use an illicitly smuggled cellphone to call family members and journalists (The New York Times' Mark Mazzetti wrote an article about his plight and I posted a recorded interview with him from detention). Once they learned of it, Gulet's older brother, Mohad, traveled from the U.S. to Kuwait to work on securing his release. I spoke with Mohad last night about these new events and the 8-minute interview can be heard on the player below.
On Friday, Kuwaiti officials told Gulet's family that they had no cause or desire to detain Gulet. To the contrary, as Mother Jones' Nick Baumann reported, the Kuwaits told his family that they would release Mohamed and deport him as soon as his family presented a purchased air ticket back to the U.S. (under Kuwaiti immigration law, foreign nationals being deported must travel on a direct flight by plane back to their country of citizenship). Following the Kuwaitis' instructions, Gulet's family purchased and brought to the detention center a one-way ticket on United Airlines from Kuwait to Dulles International Airport in Washington, which was scheduled to depart last night.
Last night, the Kuwaiti deportation officers took Gulet, along with the ticket, to the airport and were prepared to send him back to the U.S. But when he attempted to board the plane, he was told that he was barred from doing so. According to Mohad, no reason was given, but it is presumably due to the U.S.'s placement of him on the no-fly list (which State Department officials, to The New York Times, previously confirmed they had done). As a result, Gulet -- thinking he was finally headed home -- instead was returned to his detention facility, where he remains, and his prospects for release are now very unclear.
What's going on here is a pure travesty. As an American citizen, Gulet has the absolute right to return to and re-enter his country. But by secretly placing him on the no-fly list while he was halfway around the world -- and providing no information about why he was so placed -- the U.S. Government is denying him his right to return. Worse, they know that this action is not only preventing him from returning, but is keeping the 19-year-old in a state of absolute legal limbo, where's he imprisoned by a country that admits it has no cause for holding him and does not want to hold him, yet which cannot release him. The U.S. government has the obligation to assist its citizens when they end up detained without cause; here, they are doing the opposite: they're deliberately ensuring it continues.
If there's any evidence that he has has done anything wrong, he should be charged, indicted, and brought back to the U.S. for trial. What the Obama administration is doing instead is accomplishing what they could not do if he were in the U.S.: holding him without a shred of due process, interrogating him without a lawyer present, and -- if his credible claims are to believed -- using beatings and torture to get the information it wants (or false information: Gulet told me he was very tempted to falsely confess to make the beatings stop). This abuse of the no-fly list is a common tactic used by the U.S. Government to circumvent all legal and constitutional constraints when it comes to its own citizens; this case just happens to be extra viscerally repellent.
Va. teen detained in Kuwait returns to U.S., reunites with family
Hate-crime suspect arrested, placed on immigration hold
A Gresham man accused of harassing and threatening a local Muslim woman is behind bars for allegedly violating an anti-stalking order.
Gresham police arrested Martin Cervantes-Gracida, 30, of Gresham at his home in the 17400 block of Southeast Stark Street at 6:37 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 9.
He also is being held on a United States Immigration hold at the Multnomah County Inverness Jail.
The arrest comes a month after the alleged victim, a 52-year-old woman who lives in the same apartment complex, was granted a protective order against the man.
A Muslim advocacy organization – The Washington state chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations – also requested on Dec. 21 that the FBI investigate a series of alleged hate crimes that led to the anti-stalking order being issued.
FBI Special Agent Craig Mueller is investigating the case after the woman alleged local police did not take seriously her complaints of verbal threats and physical intimidation.
According to court documents, the threats began in early November when the suspect, Cervantes-Gracida, reportedly pushed the woman, trapping her with his body against a wall in their apartment complex’s laundry room.
Two weeks later, he allegedly threatened to shoot her dog and rape her “while you pray with your head on the ground,” the woman reported. He also reportedly confronted her in the parking lot and threatened to kill her, adding, “You snitch, called the cops on me.”
The woman had lived at the complex for a year without any problem until she converted to Islam and began wearing a headscarf.
She also expressed concern that while police helped her, they did not arrest Cervantes-Gracida. She alleges that one police officer told her she should consider not wearing her religious headscarf to avoid angering the neighbor.
Even after obtaining the protective order, strangers tried to open her door and called her daughter to yell profanities over the phone.
After the advocacy group called for an FBI investigation, the Gresham Police Department vowed to review and investigate the case in its entirety and work with the district attorney for possible prosecution. Those cases are still under review by the district attorney’s office, said Capt. Dale Cummins of the Gresham Police Department.
In the latest incident, the woman told police she opened her apartment door to go to the store and saw the suspect standing on the landing in front of her apartment staring at her.
Cummins said Cervantes-Gracida denied stalking the woman, saying he didn’t see her or talk to her. He said he was busy doing laundry that night.
Based on the report, the district attorney’s office has declined to prosecute the case because it can’t be proved the suspect talked to or contacted the woman, Cummins said.
When reached by phone at home, the woman’s adult daughter relayed another incident that allegedly happened on the same night, but that did not appear in the police report, even though she says it was reported to police.
She said that while walking their dogs in the parking lot, the man advanced toward her.
“He was only three or four feet away from me,” said the 29-year-old woman who lives with her mother and also is named in the anti-stalking order. “And he only left when a car pulled in.
“If that car hadn’t come ….” she added, leaving the statement incomplete.
Both mother and daughter hope the arrest of Cervantes-Gracida and the subsequent immigration hold will prevent them from crossing paths again.
“We just want all of this to stop,” the daughter said.
Tulsan accused of hate crime
He sent an intimidating letter to the Islamic Peace Academy, a charge states.
By JERRY WOFFORD World Staff Writer
Published: 12/31/2010 2:26 AM
Last Modified: 12/31/2010 4:59 AM
A Tulsa man is charged with a hate crime for allegedly sending an intimidating letter to the Islamic Peace Academy and posting a video online showing him desecrating a Quran, court records show.
Jesse Quinn Harrison, 33, was charged Tuesday with one count each of transmitting a threatening letter and malicious intimidation or harassment - what Oklahoma statutes call a hate crime.
According to the charges, Harrison is accused of sending a nine-page letter to the Islamic Peace Academy in Tulsa "with the intent to intimidate."
He also made a video that shows him "smearing pork on the Quran and an Islamic religious figure and grilling those items," according to the charge.
The charge states that the video was made to "produce violence directed to others because of their religious beliefs."
A man with the same name and Tulsa address as those listed on the charges posted on Facebook a YouTube video that matches the one described in the charges.
The 5 1/2-minute video, posted to YouTube on Oct. 1, is attributed there to a "Rockwell Porter" - a name the charges list as an alias for Harrison.
The video, which doesn't show its creator's face, intersperses images of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States with the grilling of a Quran, a picture of an Islamic figure and two pork chops. Once the items are grilled, they are stacked on a bun and given to a dog.
The Merle Haggard songs "The Fightin' Side of Me" and "Okie from Muskogee" play in the background.
At the end of the video, a memorial to Michele Heidenberger, a flight attendant who died when terrorists crashed her plane into the Pentagon, is shown on the screen.
According to the charges, Harrison also uses Heidenberger's name as an alias.
The video and a brief anti-Islamic message were posted by Harrison's account on several additional Facebook pages, including those of the White House and the FBI.
On a Dec. 15 Facebook entry, Harrison threatens to "march on the Tulsa Islamic Mosque" on New Year's Eve.
The charges allege that the crimes occurred between Sept. 17 and Dec. 20.
A warrant for Harrison's arrest also was issued Tuesday.
No one was home Thursday evening at the address listed for Harrison on the charges and on Facebook.
A neighbor said Harrison has not been at the residence since last week.
A spokeswoman for the Islamic Society of Tulsa would not comment Thursday.
Muneer Awad, executive director of the Oklahoma Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said he didn't know any details of the case, but he said more hostile rhetoric toward Islam has recently worked its way into the mainstream.
"The rhetoric has not helped," Awad said. "It has forced people to take an extreme stance."
However, he said that although any threat should be taken seriously, cases such as Harrison's are on the fringe.
Many non-Muslims in Oklahoma have good relationships with the Muslim community, he said.
"Whenever instances like this come up, we always have friends from the non-Muslim community to help," Awad said.
Missing character in kids' literature: Muslims
Minnesota educators struggle to find books, especially fiction, depicting Muslim young people in America.
Muslim woman reports attack in car
FBI begins hate-crime inquiry after assault by man outside mosque
The FBI has begun a civil-rights investigation because a Muslim woman said she was harassed and pepper-sprayed outside a West Side mosque Monday afternoon.
The 20-year-old Somali native, who has lived in central Ohio for more than 10 years, met with FBI officials in Columbus yesterday morning. Yesterday afternoon, she gathered with supporters for a news conference at the Columbus chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations on Bethel Road.
Saida J. Said of Grove City wears a niqab, a veil in which only the eyes are visible. She said she was stopped in her car at an intersection on Sullivant Avenue about 1:30p.m. Monday when she noticed that a man in a sport-utility vehicle was watching her. The man followed her to a bank and then into the parking lot outside the Abubakar Siddique Islamic Center at 3437 Sullivant Ave.
The man pulled his white SUV behind her car. He got out and pepper-sprayed Said through her car's side window, yelled racial and religious slurs and profanities and then drove off, she said.
She had headed for the mosque because she was scared and it shares a parking lot with the Westside Mall Cafe, where her brother was working, she said.
"He wanted to hurt me," she said of the man who accosted her. "He didn't care who I was. He just cared that I was Muslim. He said, 'All you Muslims go back to where you came from.'"
The incident was caught on the mosque's surveillance camera.
Such crimes are initially listed as an assault; a trial would determine whether it was a hate crime, said Sgt. Rich Weiner, a Columbus police spokesman. Police are investigating and have not seen a pattern of hate crimes in Columbus, he said.
The FBI will report its findings to the Department of Justice civil-rights division in Washington to determine whether hate-crime charges should be filed, said FBI spokesman Mike Brooks of the Cincinnati field office.
"I can't say that it never happens, but it's not something that happens every week," Brooks said of such attacks.
Romin Iqbal, a lawyer with CAIR's Columbus chapter, said Said's ordeal is part of a pattern of hatred across the nation toward Muslims living in American society.
Said had never experienced such hatred before Monday, she said. "I feel very sad. I'm not angry, I'm just disappointed. I can never forget about this man. I feel like he's still in this room."
Muslim family sues Cook County
Relations (CAIR-Chicago) filed two complaints in Cook County Circuit Court on Wednesday, claiming employees at a park district pool discriminated against a Muslim family from Lyons based on their attire.
NJ Muslim Allegedly Called 'Terrorist,' 'Osama Lover' by State Employee
By BRIAN THOMPSON
Updated 6:56 AM EST, Wed, Dec 22, 2010
Mohamad Khalil was eating dinner with a friend in a downtown Paterson, N.J. restaurant when chilling words were thrown his way, according to a police report.
"Terrorist," "Do you have your bomb belt?" "Are you going to slit my throat? Where is your knife?" were just some of the quotes cited in the police report.
Another was "Osama Bin Laden lover."
The man uttering the words then allegedly turned on Khalil's partner, Sandra Damrah -- an American-born woman who says her father fought in World War Two and her brother in Vietnam-- and told her to "go back to your country."
"Your people are ruining my country," the man allegedly said.
The verbal assault appears to have stemmed from a battle over Khalil's efforts to get custody of his young son.
The man who allegedly made those comments is, according to Khalil, a state Division of Youth and Family Services employee handling Khalil's case. That state worker just happened to see Khalil and Damrah at the restaurant.
At a news conference today, Khalil, 41, said "I'm not a terrorist, I'm a regular person."
He then broke down in tears as he said "I want my son, that's only what I want. I think I have all the reason to have my son with me, give him toys, enjoy with him."
Khalil said DYFS took his son and three other unrelated children a year ago, placing them in foster homes and ignored his pleas to keep his son.
According to James Yee, Executive Director of New Jersey's chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the boy was put in a Christian home and is being raised with Christian cultural values, an instance the group said happens all to often with a state agency that is too often insensitive to keeping Muslim children in Muslim families.
A DYFS spokeswoman said the agency could not comment on the specific religious bias alleged of its case worker because of "confidentiality laws" though it did confirm it is looking into it.
But the agency's Lauren Kidd did say in an emailed statement "DCF(the Department of Children and Families) continues to have an ongoing dialog with CAIR to effectively respond to concerns the organization raised and is committed to serving the Muslim Community."
She added "The Department is committed to have a rich and diverse pool of resource homes, which include foster, kin and adoptive homes, to ensure the most appropriate placement for each child in our care."
Kidd also confirmed that CAIR will participate in a cultural awareness training seminar for DYFS workers next month.
Follow Brian Thompson on Twitter @brian4NY
Three Anti-Islamic Security and Training Companies
Three security and training companies need special scrutiny from the U.S. Justice Department for their role in spreading bigotry within the ranks of law enforcement and counterterrorism agents. Their seminars are so biased and ideologically-driven that not a single dime of tax dollars should be allowed to fund their seminars.
If tax dollars were being spent to train counterterrorism agents about the inherent violence of Christians or Jews, the public outcry and government response would be swift. Our nation's indifference and inaction writes its own indictment of our bigotry against Islam and Muslims.
In the bigoted version of counterterror training about the threat of "radical Islam" in American society every Muslim ends up being a scapegoat for our fears and anxieties in our post-9/11 nation.
Muslim American Girls Taunted, Assaulted At School For Wearing Hijab
Some California schools get a "F" for teaching tolerance, an Islamic civil liberties group is saying. The Greater Los Angeles office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) says it's hearing from students and their parents saying that children are being verbally harassed and tagged with labels like “terrorist” or “jihadi,” just for being Muslim. Girls have reported being physically assaulted for wearing hijab, the traditional headscarf worn by Muslim women.
They're appealing to the public, asking Southern Californians to report school bullying against Muslims, whether they've filed a complaint or are just documenting the incident. Parents should educate themselves and their children about bullying, request and read school policies on bullying and harassment and know the complaint process, the group says. They can also request a copy of CAIR’s “Educators’ Guide to Islamic Religious Practices” (copies of the guide can be requested from CAIR's Washington D.C. office by calling 202-488-8787.)
CAIR-LA's call to action is one of many across the country. The Texas chapter of the council made a similar plea after a 8th-grader who happened to be an Arab-American Muslim, had his jaw broken by a bully who beat while using ethnic and religious slurs.
And in New York, a Muslim teen who migrated to the states with his family from Trinidad reportedly endured a series of beatings between October 2009 and June 2010. Authorities who investigated the case say the bullies called him a “terrorist,” repeatedly punched him in the groin, and spit in his face.
Unfortunately, in this country, it is increasingly tough to be a Muslim. We live in an age where terrorism is front and center, and prominent headlines paint the picture of terrorists plotting and carrying out attack after attack in the name of Allah. Some students obviously have a tough time separating fact from fiction -- as do some adults. The actions of extremists are painting a bull's eye on the back of some Islamic faithful.
CAIR did a poll earlier this year looking specifically at prejudice against Islamic people. It turns out four out of ten Americans admit to being prejudiced against the Islamic religion and its followers while, at the same time, acknowledging they have limited information about either. We fear what we don't know.
Since 9/11, Americans have had a problem embracing, let alone tolerating, Islamic culture. (Need evidence? See the heated debate in New York over the planned placement of a mosque near ground zero.) It takes very little thought to lash out at those who in the minority. So why give them any validation? Bullying Muslim students is not paid restitution for any just cause. It is simply ignorance and should never be tolerated or encouraged. It's time to take a stand against misinformation, intolerance, and brutality. Students can, and do, want want to learn. Let's teach tolerance.
TSA scanners, pat-downs particularly vexing for Muslims, other religious groups