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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 9/17/11

FBI training material portrays Islam as an indicator of terrorist activity

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It may be recalled that Spencer Ackerman of the Danger Room reported last July, that the FBI was teaching new recruits about Muslims with a power point presentation that recommended they read anti-Islam books, according to a grainy copy of the PowerPoint obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union's Northern California chapter and the Asian Law Caucus, a San Francisco-based civil rights group.

The two groups filed a Freedom of Information Act request last year inquiring about government surveillance of American Muslim communities. The 62-page document, first reported by the Danger Room, was designed to help agents perform "successful interviews/interrogations with individuals from the Middle East."

Spencer Ackerman says as recently as January 2009, the FBI thought its agents ought to know the following crucial information about Muslims: (1) They engage in a "circumcision ritual." (2) More than 9,000 of them are in the U.S. military (3) Their religion "transforms [a] country's culture into 7th-century Arabian ways."

Ackerman went on to say that the FBI "recommended reading" about Islam included: (a) A much-criticized tome, The Arab Mind, that one reviewer called "a collection of outrageously broad -- and often suspect -- generalizations" (b) A book by one of Norwegian terrorist suspect Anders Behring Breivik's favorite anti-Muslim authors.

Tellingly, the books included on a "Recommended Reading" slide were The Politically Incorrect Guide To Islam and The Truth About Muhammad by anti-Muslim blogger Robert Spencer, who was cited 64 times by the Oslo massacre terrorist Anders Behring Breivik in his manifesto.

It may be recalled that Robert Spencer, who runs anti-Muslim Jihad Watch blog, is the co-founder of Stop the Islamization of America, which "promotes a conspiratorial anti-Muslim agenda," according to the Anti-Defamation League. He is also one of the ringleaders of the protest against the so-called "Ground Zero Mosque" in New York.

Another book cited is The Arab Mind, by Raphael Patai. The Racism Watch organization reported in June 2004 that Columbia University director of African American Studies, Manning Marable, had called for immediate action to be taken to end the U.S. military's use the book. This was followed by a surge of media interest in the book during the summer of 2004. The book was described by Guardian Newspaper correspondent Brian Whitaker as one that presents "an overwhelmingly negative picture of the Arabs." In an article in the New Yorker magazine, Seymour Hersh said that he was told by an academic that the book was "the bible of the neocons on Arab behavior." [Wikipedia] 

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Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
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