Calif. Muslims Hold Law Enforcement Training Conference
The Muslim American Homeland Security Congress (MAHSC), along with Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca and the department's Muslim Community Affairs Unit , recently held a one-of-a kind training conference for Southern California law enforcement agencies.
The daylong conference, titled "The Muslim Community and Law Enforcement" and held at the IMAN Center, attracted more than 100 law enforcement personnel and featured sessions on dispelling myths about Islam and Muslims, community outreach and engagement and countering violent extremism.
Participating agencies included the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department, Los Angeles Police Department, Long Beach Police Department, Redondo Beach Police Department, Glendale Police Department, Department of Homeland Security, the National Counterterrorism Center and several other police departments. A message by Janet Napolitano, Secretary for the Department of Homeland Security, was also shared at the conference.
The conference, meant to promote and enhance understanding between law enforcement and Muslims, comes at a critical time, amid reports of widespread spying of American Muslims by the New York Police Department and the use of anti-Islam materials in law enforcement trainings.
CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush, Deputy Executive Director/Staff Attorney Ameena Mirza Qazi and Government Relations Coordinator Adel Syed participated in the conference.
In a statement, Ayloush said: "This ongoing critical dialogue and partnership between Southern California law enforcement agencies and our state's Muslim community sets an example for the rest of the nation to emulate. Like all Americans, Muslims are partners in making our communities safe and vibrant. Conferences such as this one reinforce the need for qualified trainers who can accurately educate about Islam and Muslims, and help prevent unwarranted suspicion of a segment of our country based solely on religion."
MAHSC was founded in 2006 by Los Angeles Area Muslim leaders to build an effective partnership between the LA county sheriff's department and American Muslims and to help strengthen our nation's security. The group's activities include conducting community town hall meetings, trainings and seminars, presentations at Islamic schools, and tours of sheriff's facilities.
The organization is comprised of the following member organizations:
Bilal Islamic Center, Council of Pakistan-American Affairs, Council on American-Islamic Relations - Greater Los Angeles Area, Iranian American Muslim Association of North America, Islamic Center of Hawthorne, Islamic Center of San Gabriel Valley, Islamic Center of South Bay, Islamic Center of Southern California, Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, Muslim American Society, Muslim Public Affairs Council and Omar Ibn Al Khattab Foundation.
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