Tags: War on Terrorism | muslims | federal | community | outreach | war | terror

WSJ: US Muslims at Odds Over Feds' Community Outreach

By    |   Monday, 20 Apr 2015 06:53 PM

A pilot program to help prevent U.S. Muslims from becoming radicalized and taking up terror has opened a rift, with some American Muslims supportive of the White House initiative and others criticizing it as profiling by another name, The Wall Street Journal reports.

"We're being pushed into this law-enforcement framework that’s inappropriate,” said Todd Gallinger, a representative of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR),  at a recent meeting of community leaders at a mosque in Mission Viejo, California. "This is something we need to avoid."

Supporters of what is known as Countering Violent Extremism, or CVE, say it is not a law-enforcement or surveillance operation, but a program designed with input from local organizations to connect Muslims with social services, health services, job opportunities and civic and community-policing organizations that help them integrate into their surroundings.

"CVE is a tool," Salam Al-Marayati, president of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, said at the same mosque meeting, urging Muslims to "leverage CVE so that our community is seen for what it is — that it is part of the solution and has nothing to do with the problem."

Concern over Muslim alienation in America and its role in fostering terrorism has grown in the wake of the Boston bombings, carried out by two immigrant brothers, and incidents including the arrests of six Minnesotans charged on Monday with attempting to fly to Syria to join the Islamic State (ISIS), which is recruiting fighters from non-Islamic countries.

But past episodes of police planting informants and infiltrating local mosques have left some people skeptical. More than two dozen religious and civil-rights groups have publicly opposed or criticized CVE, ranging from Muslim student associations to the American Civil Liberties Union, the Journal reports.

"We have concerns about any program that might violate civil rights, and on the other side, we are very much concerned about individuals falling into the trap of the wrong argument ISIS is putting out there to recruit innocent young people,” said Oussama Jammal, secretary-general of the e U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations. "We’re in a tough position."

As the program expands, it is being embraced by Muslim communities including in Denver and Detroit where young people were accused of trying to join ISIS, the Journal reports.

Metra Salem, an Afghani-American mother of three, told the Journal she supports the plan, saying, "I want my kids to be part of this country. I'm tired of this victim-minority-group, marginalization narrative."

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A pilot program to help prevent U.S. Muslims from becoming radicalized and taking up terror has opened a rift, with some American Muslims supportive of the White House initiative and others criticizing it as profiling by another name, The Wall Street Journal reports.
muslims, federal, community, outreach, war, terror
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2015-53-20
Monday, 20 Apr 2015 06:53 PM
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