Posted by on May 16, 2013 in Blog

Today, AAI learned that an amendment (see below) that would eliminate federal funding for bigoted federal law enforcement training programs and materials has received bipartisan support and will be inserted in the 2014 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations bill. The language was drafted by Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), a member of the House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee who has been a steadfast advocate of minority rights on Capitol Hill.  

The language prohibits the allocation of federal funds to training programs that discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, and religion. It particularly focuses on curbing federal funding to outside contractors that develop training materials about counterterrorism, violent extremism, homegrown violent extremism or domestic violent extremism that give rise to profiling. This is most welcome news, especially because many of the most egregious training materials came from outside groups and individuals that were contracted or consulted by federal agencies. There has been abundant evidence that training, in some cases, was influenced by known islamophobes like Steven Emerson and Frank Gaffney   

The amendment reads:

“The Committee directs that future grant guidance for all homeland security grant programs shall inform recipients that expenditures on any training, programs, presentations, and speakers regarding counterterrorism that include information about violent extremism, homegrown violent extremism or domestic violent extremism, which are acquired from an entity other than the Department, must be consistent with applicable laws with respect to racial, ethnic and religious profiling.”

This amendment is an important step in light of last year’s revelations that a number of federal law enforcement agencies (and the Department of Defense) including the FBI had been using bigoted, inaccurate, and offensive materials about Arabs and Muslims in training programs. The amendment hopefully will provide a precedent to address similar issues in other federal law enforcement agencies. Take a look at the articles below for background on some of the materials referenced in this post. 

Related articles:

FBI Teaches Agents: ‘Mainstream’ Muslims Are ‘Violent, Radical’
Wired, September 4, 2011

Internal FBI Review Eliminates 700 Training Documents
AAI, February 15, 2012

DHS Claims No Connection to “The Third Jihad”
AAI, March 7, 2012

AAI Statement on The FBI’s Guiding Principles: Touchstone Document on Training 2012
AAI, March 28, 2012

Top Ten Ways the US Military can Avoid Teaching Hatred of Muslims
Informed Comment, May 14, 2011

 

 

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