July 24th, 2010 13:22 EST
Hate Group Leader Trains Va. Terror Task Force
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called on the FBI and Virginia`s Tidewater Joint Terrorism Task Force to explain why a leader of an anti-Islam hate group was invited to offer training to state and federal law enforcement officers.
Robert Spencer, co-founder of the hate group Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA), claimed in a blog post
today that he "gave two two-hour seminars on the belief-system of Islamic jihadists to the Tidewater Joint Terrorism Task Force" on Wednesday. In a recent interview, Spencer referred to Islam`s Prophet Muhammad as a "con man."
Our nation`s law enforcement personnel should not receive training from the head of a hate group that seeks to demonize Islam and to prevent American Muslims from exercising their rights as citizens," said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. "Robert Spencer is the same individual who claims in his new book that President Obama is waging `war on America.`"
He noted that Spencer recently co-authored the book, "The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration`s War on America," that sounds a "wake-up call for Americans to stop the Obama administration from limiting our hard-won freedoms, silencing our democratic voices, and irreparably harming America for generations to come."
Hooper said the United States Patent and Trademark Office refused to grant SIOA a trademark because: "The applied-for mark refers to Muslims in a disparaging manner because by definition it implies that conversion or conformity to Islam is something that needs to be stopped or caused to cease."
SOIA has come to prominence through shrill opposition to the building of American mosques, anti-Islam bus and taxi advertising campaigns, support for European far-right groups and Islamophobes such as the English Defence League and Geert Wilders, and bigoted anti-Islam statements by its co-leader, Pamela Geller.
Geller has claimed that "Hitler and the Nazis were inspired by Islam" and offered rhetorical support to both accused Serbian war criminal Radovan Karadzic and slain Apartheid-era leader Eugene Terre`blanche.
Geller and Spencer offered support for a call to wipe the nation of Pakistan off the map using India`s nuclear weapons. They both used their blogs to promote a video urging the mass killing of all Pakistanis.
Geller has posted images on her blog that include a fake photograph of Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan in a Nazi uniform, another fake image of President Obama urinating on an American flag and drawings purporting to depict Islam`s Prophet Muhammad as a pig. In a June 25 blog entry, Geller posted a video claiming that Muslims engage in bestiality.
SIOA is an outgrowth of a similar group in Europe that seeks to block the construction of mosques. That group, Stop the Islamization of Europe, "considers Islamophobia to be the height of common sense."
This is not the first incident in which national security personnel received anti-Islam training. The Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) recently acknowledged that an anti-Islam film should not have been used in training offered to security personnel by that military law enforcement agency.
Earlier this year, CAIR`s Washington state chapter announced 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.