Secretary Jeh Johnson made a bit of history over the weekend by being the first cabinet level secretary to address the Islamic Society of North America's (ISNA) annual conference. A high level address is an important milestone for politically active and socially engaged citizens who happen to be Muslim, a group that doesn’t always receive such serious attention. But it’s not lost on us that the first cabinet member to address ISNA is the Secretary of Homeland Security, someone whose daily job is to talk about security, security concerns, security programs, etc. Designating this duty to Secretary Johnson – out of all the cabinet Secretaries – makes sense given the approach DHS has taken with its new (well, new to us) framework for domestic counterterrorism, called "Countering Violent Extremism" (CVE). We can't criticize Secretary Johnson's speech, it was nice. But the words DHS uses to talk to American Muslims have never been our point of contention, what we need to talk about is the programs they are implementing which wrongfully cast terrorism suspicions on the entire community and which have securitized our government's relationship with American Muslims. But when the Secretary tells the attendees, “I am not here to talk CVE with you,” it is a confusing departure from his normal agenda of traveling across the country to promote CVE and creating fun hashtags like #DHSinDearborn. We get it. We all want to be safe and the world is a dangerous place and DHS does important work that protects all of us from harm. It remains unfortunate that we continue to be told CVE is part of that effort, that CVE is successful, and that American Muslims communities require it. While the words the Secretary offered to the attendees at ISNA may be fine, we can’t abide the ideas and framework CVE is normalizing in our government. And it seems some at ISNA agreed

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