Posted by on September 15, 2011 in Blog has obtained documents with some pretty disturbing revelations about internal FBI counterterrorism training. According to the documents, the FBI teaches its agents that “main stream [sic]” American Muslims are likely to be terrorist sympathizers. One of the presentation notes reads as follows:

“There may not be a ‘radical’ threat as much as it is simply a normal assertion of the orthodox ideology… The strategic themes animating these Islamic values are not fringe; they are main stream.”

Spencer Ackerman, the journalist behind the exclusive scoop on the story, discussed the revelations with Rachel Maddow:

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Though this is the latest disturbing development in law enforcement training (which AAI President Jim Zogby will be on CNN to discuss this evening at 5:40pm EST), it is hardly the only one. Two months ago in Countdown, we highlighted CNN’s exposé of Walid Shoebat, a fraudulent and anti-Muslim “terrorism expert” who was getting paid thousands of dollars by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to speak to agency employees about the threats of terrorism. Around the same period, we also highlighted NPR’s story on a shady individual who was hired to train Ohio’s local police law enforcement on terrorism prevention, only to focus his suspicion instead on a prominent Muslim American who did outreach for the State Department.

This is exceptionally disturbing. It is one thing for Islamophobia to spread among the uneducated, but it is something else entirely for it to become an integral part of our law enforcement and counter-terrorism strategy. American Muslims are part of the American social fabric, and their cooperation is crucial to keeping America safe from real threats. Treating the entire American Muslim community as suspect only fuels the mutual mistrust that undermines our security and embodies a religious discrimination that undermines our very values and what we stand for as a country. We thought that much should have been obvious by now, but clearly it isn’t.

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