May 12th, 2010 10:08 EST
Anti-Islam Film Should not Have Been Used in Training
A prominent national Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization today said the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) has acknowledged that an anti-Islam film should not have been used in training offered to security personnel by that military law enforcement agency.
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"We welcome NCIS`s efforts to ensure that our nation`s military and security personnel receive training that is free of political or religious agendas and does not provide inaccurate or biased information," said Nihad Awad, national executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
In March, Awad contacted NCIS Director Mark D. Clookie after receiving a report that a three-day NCIS surveillance detection course at the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C., included the viewing of a propagandistic anti-Islam film.
SEE: CAIR Seeks Probe of Anti-Islam Bias in Military Training
In a May 7 letter to Awad, Director Clookie wrote in part:
"[W]e have reviewed whether the video, "Obsession: Radical Islam`s War Against the West" should have been shown to the class. This video is not part of the curriculum for this course and should not have been shown. Please know that NCIS has no tolerance for derogatory comments about any religious, racial, ethnic, or cultural group...I am very much aware that respect for religious and cultural values is critically important. NCIS prides itself on its own diversity and on its respect for the religious and cultural values of others."
Those interviewed in "Obsession" constitute a veritable who`s who of Muslim-bashers. Speakers include Walid Shoebat, who once told a Missouri newspaper that he sees "many parallels between the Antichrist and Islam" and "Islam is not the religion of God -- Islam is the devil." (Springfield News-Leader, 9/24/07)
Others interviewed in the film include Nonie Darwish, a self-styled "former Moslem" who wrote that "Islam is cruel, anti-women, anti-religious freedom and anti-personal freedom in general," and Daniel Pipes, who warned a Jewish convention of the "true dangers" posed by "the presence, and increased stature, and affluence, and enfranchisement of American Muslims." (American Jewish Congress, 10/21/2001)
Another "Obsession" interviewee, Brigitte Gabriel, told the Australian Jewish News: "Every practising Muslim is a radical Muslim." She also claimed that "Islamo-fascism is a politically-correct word...it`s the vehicle for Islam...Islam is the problem."
When asked whether Americans should "resist Muslims who want to seek political office in this nation," Gabriel said:
"Absolutely. If a Muslim who has -- who is -- a practicing Muslim who believes the word of the Koran to be the word of Allah, who abides by Islam, who goes to mosque and prays every Friday, who prays five times a day -- this practicing Muslim, who believes in the teachings of the Koran, cannot be a loyal citizen to the United States of America."
According to one NCIS trainee, the film and the course promoted the theme that "Islam is synonymous with Nazism." The briefing presenter also allegedly used the term "Hajji" as a pejorative in reference to Muslims and stated repeatedly that "Islam is not a religion of peace."
In his letter to CAIR, Director Clookie wrote that "both instructors strongly deny making such comments."
CAIR has expressed concern that military, security and law enforcement personnel nationwide may be receiving agenda-driven Islamophobic training. Last week, CAIR`s Washington state chapter announced that a webinar on security technology for law enforcement personnel co-sponsored by Security Solutions International (SSI) was canceled after two of the presenters withdrew from the event due to community concerns about SSI`s anti-Islam bias.
CAIR is America`s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.