Saturday, September 24, 2011
FBI apologizes for calling mainstream Muslims ‘violent,’ but anger remains
Some American Muslims are not happy with the FBI’s apology for an incident in which a trainer at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va., told 37 agents in an April session that “mainstream” Muslims are likely to be terrorist symphathizers, that the prophet Muhammad was a “cult leader,” and that the more “devout” a Muslim the more likely he is to be “violent,” Wired reports.
In a statement, the FBI says the training segment in question has been discontinued, the instructor who conducted it was fired, and that they believed it was an isolated instance, according to Wired.
But Muslim groups say that’s not good enough.
This isn’t a one-time event,” Julia Shearson, director of the local Council on American-Islamic Relations, said in an interview with Cleveland.com Wednesday. “It’s a systemic problem across federal law enforcement agencies as well as state agencies.”
At a press conference in Washington Friday morning, several groups called for internal reforms of the agency. Participants in the event included the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, Defending Dissent Foundation, and the Islamic Circle of North America Council for Social Justice.
Wired.com’s blog Danger Room, which first reported about the trainer, said that it has also found a second instance in June of an FBI employee delivering a lecture filled with anti-Muslim bias.
During the more recent presentation, the FBI’s William Gawthrop called the fight against al-Qaeda a “waste” in comparison to the fight needed against the ideology of Islam itself, Wired.com said.
“If you remember Star Wars, that ventilation shaft that goes down to into the depths of the Death Star, they shot a torpedo down there. That’s a critical vulnerability,” Gawthrop told his audience.
He then pointed his laser pointer at the words of “Holy Texts” and “Clerics” on a PowerPoint slide, saying, “We should be looking at, should be aiming at, these.”