Muslim Organizations Unite to Oppose FBI Tactics
By Hazem Kira
Washington, DC: Following a meeting in Washington, DC, the American Muslim Taskforce on Civil Rights and Elections (AMT), a national coalition of major Islamic organizations, issued a statement re-affirming opposition to FBI tactics and government policies targeting the Muslim community.
Representatives from the American Muslim Alliance (AMA), the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA), Muslim American Society-Freedom Foundation (MAS-FF), Muslim Student Association-National (MSA-N), Muslim Ummah of North America (MUNA), the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) took part in the meeting. Other member and observer organizations were briefed by phone.
Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), two organizations that had differed with other national organizations, on “consideration” of suspending ties with the FBI, too have closed ranks with the rest of the community.
“This shows increased maturity of community organizations and leadership,” noted community activist Dr. Muhammad Ashraf Toor said.
National Muslim organizations are asking for “a good faith effort by the Obama Administration to stop the use of abusive tactics by the law enforcement agencies.” Muslim leaders are asking that Attorney General Eric Holder for a meeting “to find mutually-satisfactory solution to the simmering problems.”
The American Muslim Taskforce statement reads:
"We reaffirm our commitment to being full partners in the defense, development and prosperity of our homeland, the United States.
"We also reiterate our determination to continue to work for greater unity and mutual cooperation among ourselves and with like-minded fellow Americans. We recognize that we may have different approaches to the varied challenges facing our community and country, yet our resolve to advocate on behalf of our community remains solid.
"We are fully united in asking the Obama administration to address the following issues: 1. Infiltration of mosques and systematic manipulation of Muslim religious affairs, 2. Use of agents provocateurs to trap unsuspecting Muslim youth, 3. Unfair targeting and deliberate vilification of CAIR, a national Muslim civil rights organization, 4. Use of McCarthy-era tactics, most notably dissemination of Islamophobic analysis by federally-funded 'fusion centers' to local law enforcement agencies."
“This new consensus was necessitated by the denial of our constitutional rights, our religious freedoms and our equal status as citizens,” says Dr. Agha Saeed, National Chair of the American Muslim Taskforce. “Those trying to de-Palestinianize the Muslim identity and politics by, among other things, inducing false conversions to Islam, are burning down the bridges that both the citizens and law enforcement agencies need.”
The growing despair of Muslim community about the violation of all aspects of their First Amendment rights– religious, speech, and petition – is beginning to receive wide swath of national and international media coverage. So far, the Washington Post, CNN, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Christian Science Monitor and the San Francisco Chronicle as well as Al-Jazeerah, Al Arabia, and Al-Ahram have covered it.