Shockingly, the advisory committee that likely influenced these guidelines includes numerous individuals affiliated with the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood.
The document says it is a list of “tips for federal, state and local government and law enforcement officials organizing CVE [Countering Violent Extremism], cultural awareness, counter-radicalization, or counterterrorism training.” It was produced by the Department of Homeland Security Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties in cooperation with the National Counterterrorism Center.
The DHS suggestions in the document include :
"Don’t use training premised on theories with little or no evidence to support them. Examples (from the report “Manufacturing the Muslim Menace”) of unsubstantiated theories include :
a. Many mainstream Muslim organizations have terrorist ties.
b. Mainstream Muslim organizations are fronts for Islamic political organizations whose true desire is to establish Sharia law in America. Muslim Americans are using democratic processes, like litigation and free speech, to subvert democracy and install Sharia law."
The report, “Manufacturing the Muslim Menace,” depicts concerns about the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood as the fabrications of anti-Muslim bigots. Moreover, it defends the Brotherhood, saying it is a moderate group that wouldn’t use front groups in America.
The Federal Government Itself Provides Evidence to the Contrary
In reality, solid evidence exists to the contrary – evidence ironically from the federal government’s own determinations as well as documents from the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood itself including a 1991 U.S. Muslim Brotherhood explanatory memorandum that explicitly states: “[O]ur work in America is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within.”
The Brotherhood memorandum lists “our organizations and the organizations of our friends.” The list includes “mainstream” Muslim-American groups—the very same groups which appear to have influenced these very same Department of Homeland Security guidelines (see below).
Specifically, the federal government designated the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) as unindicted co-conspirators in the trial of the Holy Land Foundation for financing Hamas. Federal prosecutors labeled these three mainstream groups as U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entities in 2007. In 2009, the designations were upheld by District Court Judge Solis because of “ample” evidence linking them to Hamas.
The Clarion Project has broken numerous stories about other Islamist groups doing exactly what the DHS dismisses in the current training document as “unsubstantiated theories.”
For example, a Pennsylvania-based group, Sankore Institute of Islamic-African Studies International (SIIASI), tells Muslims to engage in "litigation jihad" to advance Sharia law in America.
A California-based group, the Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA), which issues authoritative fatwas, or religious declarations, said in a 2007 Arabic paper presented at one of its conferences it recommends that Muslims become judges and use deception to implement sharia law to the best of their ability. To call their rulings unsettling would be a gross understatement.
These are important facts but the DHS guidelines would leave law enforcement personnel ignorant of them.
DHS: Don't Use Moderate Muslims to Train About Counterterrorism
On the topic of “Muslim Reformers,” the DHS document had this to say:
"Don’t use trainers who answer primarily to interest groups. For example, trainers who are self-professed “Muslim reformers” may further an interest group agenda instead of delivering generally accepted unbiased information."
This is a chilling reflection of how the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood-linked groups have succeeded in marginalizing their competitors. (See The Clarion Project.org’s CAIR Lashes Out at Non-Islamist Muslim Group where CAIR labels their competitors as being part of an “Islamophobia” network.)
In fact, the Brotherhood groups have become treasured partners of the Obama Administration, while their opponents have been shut out of the policy process. Radical Islamists with known connections to terrorism have had an open door to the White House, but moderate Muslims are not among the list of invitees.
It would appear that the Brotherhood’s strategy of marginalizing their competitors has been successful. One needs only to look into who helped write these guidelines for the DHS to understand this document.
Here is where it gets really scandalous. The only listed law enforcement source is the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department Muslim Community Affairs Unit. The Department is led by Sheriff Lee Baca, one of the top allies of CAIR and a frequent speaker at its fundraisers.
The only listed “community” source is a report by the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), an ally of the recognized U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entities that was similarly founded by Brotherhood ideologues.
In 2003, MPAC opposed the designations of Hamas and Hezbollah as Foreign Terrorist Organizations. The MPAC report that was used by the DHS as a source for these guidelines portrays the Brotherhood as a moderate counterforce to Al-Qaeda.
Who Wrote the Guidelines
These guidelines are almost certainly the product of the DHS Working Group on Countering Violent Extremism. The body made recommendations on this topic in spring of 2010, not long before the guidelines were written.
Take a look at some of the Working Group’s 26 members:
Imam Mohamed Magid” src=”/wp-content/uploads/ImamMohamedMagid.jpg” style=”width: 140px; height: 120px; margin: 5px; float: right;” title=”Mohamed Magid” />Imam Mohamed Magid, President of ISNA, a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity. In 2004, he reacted to investigations and prosecutions of Brotherhood-linked groups by accusing parts of the U.S. government of being “intent on dismantling Muslim organizations and bringing them down.”
Omar Alomari, who was the Community Engagement Officer for the Ohio Department of Public Safety’s Office of Homeland Security. He produced a short book for his office that showed he was working with seven Brotherhood-linked groups: CAIR, ISNA, MPAC, Islamic Circle of North America, Muslim Students Association, Muslim American Society and the Muslim Alliance in North America. The lattermost group is led by the radical Imam Siraj Wahhaj. Dr. Zuhdi Jasser said that Alomari's book is filled with “classic Islamist propaganda.” He was fired from his position in 2010 because he did not disclose his previous firing from Columbus State Community College for sexual harassment.
Dalia Mogahed of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies. In 2008, she said that the scrutiny of CAIR and ISNA is part of a campaign “to silence, you know, institution-building among Muslims. And the way to do it is [to] malign these groups. And it’s kind of a witch hunt.” She also said that “Islamophobia” is “a grave danger to America as a whole.”
In March 2012, she said on Twitter that one reason that Syrian dictator Bashar Assad’s supporters should abandon him is because he cannot provide “resistance to Israel.”
Nadia Roumani, director of the American Muslim Civic Leadership Institute. Its list of speakers includes numerous people connected to the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood, such as Imam Zaid Shakir, whose radicalism is well-documented. Its current fellows include CAIR official Zahra Billoo, who supports Hamas’ rocket attacks and the elimination of Israel. Its alumni include many individuals tied to Islamist groups.
Deputy Chief Michael Downing, Commanding Officer of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Counter-Terrorism and Criminal Intelligence Bureau. He has worked with MPAC and was recorded in 2011 saying that, although he is “sure” the Brotherhood exists in America, “the message is not to demonize the Brotherhood here.”
Richard Cohen, President and CEO of the Southern Poverty Law Center. The organization brands critics of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood as anti-Muslim.
Amazingly, the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood and its defenders have been put in a position to influence what law enforcement learns about them. Their Muslim and non-Muslim critics have been sidelined.
Don't Focus on Islamist Ideology as a Cause of Terrorism
Tellingly, the guidelines also eliminate any focus on the Islamist ideology as a cause for terrorism. Instead, according to Homeland Security, counter-terrorism training of law enforcement bodies should focus solely on violent tactics:
"Don’t use training that equates radical thought, religious expression, freedom to protest, or other constitutionally-protected activity, with criminal activity. One can have radical thoughts/ideas, including disliking the U.S. government, without being violent; for example, trainers who equate the desire for Sharia law with criminal activity violate basic tenets of the First Amendment."
"Don’t use programs that venture too deep into the weeds of religious doctrine and history. While interesting, such details will only be of use to the most specialized law enforcement personnel; these topics are not necessary in order to understand the community."
"Don’t use training with a political agenda. This is not the time to try to persuade audiences, for example, on views about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, reformation within Islam, or the proper role of Islam in majority Muslim nations."
In the words of John Cohen, the DHS Countering Violent Extremism coordinator, from November 2011, "We’re not using [the word] 'radicalization.' Our focus is not to police thought but to prevent violence."
If these guidelines are followed, that may be close to impossible. Moreover, our security personnel will be left believing that labeled U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entities are the solution and their “Islamophobe” critics are the problem.
Ryan Mauro is the ClarionProject.org’s National Security Analyst, a fellow with the Clarion Project and is frequently interviewed on Fox News.