Law Enforcement Agencies Slammed for Islamophobic Training Sessions
Training seminars put on by a former FBI agent in February have spotlighted what many see as a growing effort by Islamophobes to influence law enforcement and cast all Muslims as a threat to America.
In Murfreesboro, Tenn., about 100 officers attended a three-day seminar about Islam and the threat of terrorism, taught by former agent John Guandolo.
Guandolo is vice president of Strategic Engagement Group, a nonprofit organization that says it was formed in 2010 “for the purpose of exposing and defeating efforts to subvert the United States Constitution and subjugate the American People.” He has stated in training sessions around the country that Muslims “do not have a First Amendment right to do anything,” according to news reports.
It wasn’t the first such criticism leveled at law enforcement agencies.
In New York City, police came under fire for the way they surveilled mosques and the larger Muslim community, and for showing a rabidly anti-Muslim film to some 1,500 officers. Similarly, the FBI has been sharply criticized for training sessions and materials that denigrated Muslims.
Former FBI agent John Guandolo has been widely criticized for claiming that Muslims in America have no First Amendment rights and suggesting they are interested in "subjugating" the American people.
Afterward, Mike German, a former FBI agent who now works for the ACLU and who once infiltrated American radical-right groups, said: “Seeing the materials the FBI agents are being trained with certainly helps explain why we’ve seen so many inappropriate FBI surveillance operations broadly targeting the Muslim-American community.”