PHILADELPHIA – Aug. 22, 2016 – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is seeking once again to prevent the U.S. law enforcement community from staying abreast of the threat posed by radical Islam. The target of its objections this time around is a counterterrorism briefing organized by the California Association of Tactical Officers (CATO) in San Diego this week, entitled “What Law Enforcement Needs to Know About Islamic Terrorism.”
As usual, CAIR has sought to discredit the event by promoting falsehoods about one of the participating speakers and organizations. Hanif Mohebi, executive director of CAIR’s San Diego branch, wrote a letter to San Diego police chief Shelley Zimmerman claiming that the Clarion Project and its national security analyst invited to speak at the event, Ryan Mauro, are “anti-Muslim” and “Islamophobic.” He subsequently told Breitbart News, “It is exactly like if KKK [were providing] training and then officers go there and get credit for professional development.”
These charges are absurd. The Clarion Project and Mauro have exemplary records of supporting efforts by Muslim reformers to fight Islamic extremism. Clarion was responsible for Muslim reformer Raheel Raza’s appearance last spring on Real Time with Bill Maher. Raza has publicly praised Mauro’s work.
CAIR is seeking to prevent U.S. law enforcement from staying abreast of the threat posed by radical Islam.
This is not the first time CAIR has challenged Mauro for attempting to educate law enforcement about the threat posed by radical Islam. In May, CAIR tried to smear him ahead of a similar police event in New York with claims that American-Islamic Forum for Democracy President Zuhdi Jasser called “patently false” and “defamatory.” Muslim-American political analyst Shireen Qudosi also rose to Mauro’s defense.
I join these and other moderate Muslim voices in rejecting the attack on Mauro’s character by CAIR, a Muslim-Brotherhood-linked Islamist group that polls have shown only 12% of Muslim Americans support. As the Middle East Forum has long emphasized, “radical Islam is the problem, moderate Islam is the solution,” and it is critically important for law enforcement officers to recognize and understand the difference. I urge the San Diego Police Department to continue working with the Clarion Project, Ryan Mauro, and others willing to provide this training.