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Muslims say group’s police training maligns faith

12 July 2012 General 6 Comments Email This Post Email This Post
Muslim Americans have a strong role in the US, but anti-Islamic sentiment continues.

Muslim Americans have a strong role in the US, but anti-Islamic sentiment continues.

by MATT SEDENSKY, Associated Press

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Law enforcement officials across Florida have been repeatedly exposed to training on Muslim extremism “full of inaccuracies, sweeping generalizations and stereotypes,” a complaint filed Wednesday claims.

The classes have maligned the Prophet Muhammad and promulgated mistruths about Islam, according to the Council on American-Islamic Relations and a number of mosques and smaller Muslim organizations.

“It’s troubling, un-American and frankly, quite possibly illegal training,” said Hassan Shibly of CAIR, which focused its criticisms squarely on one man, Sam Kharoba, who has led a variety of classes for police through his Counter Terrorism Operations Center. “It makes us less safe and less free.”

Kharoba called the claims “manufactured distractions” and said his training “is based on historical facts found in the most respected and authentic Islamic religious texts.”

“CTOC challenges these critics to a public debate to find any factual flaws with our training material,” he wrote in an e-mail to The Associated Press.

Under a public records request, CAIR said it found Kharoba held at least 21 separate trainings for state law enforcement agencies since 2005, some of them sanctioned by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. They say he uses a training manual that says “Muhammad lived a diabolical life” and that Osama bin Laden “did not hijack or twist Islam.”

CAIR also points to an article last year in Washington Monthly in which Kharoba is quoted telling an audience “When I look at the life of Muhammad, I get a very nasty image … I am talking about a pedophile, a serial killer, a rapist.”

In a statement released after that article was published, Kharoba said the writers “hand-selected a few statements without context to slander law enforcement trainers.” He says he makes clear that “not all Muslims are radical.”

Last March, Sens. Joe Lieberman and Susan Collins wrote a letter to Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and Attorney General Eric Holder, citing the Washington Monthly article.

“We are concerned with recent reports that state and local law enforcement agencies are being trained by individuals who not only do not understand the ideology of violent Islamic extremism but also cast aspersions on a wide swath of ordinary Americans merely because of their religious affiliation,” they wrote.

Kharoba said Wednesday that more than 20,000 law enforcement officers around the country have undergone training by his organization in the past decade and that feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. He said about 100 Muslim officers have been among the students and that none of them complained about the material.

The Muslim groups called for FDLE to end its relationship with Kharoba in news conferences in Tampa and Pembroke Pines on Wednesday.

Gretl Plessinger, a spokeswoman for FDLE, confirmed Kharoba has been used for counterterrorism instruction “and has received positive feedback from those taking his course.” She said the agency will review CAIR’s concerns but that FDLE “does not have authority for all law enforcement training in Florida.”

In a biography included in the documents CAIR obtained in its public records request, Kharoba describes himself as a Christian who was born and raised in Jordan, later moved to the U.S., and who started his training program after the Sept. 11 attacks. Florida Department of State records show the organization is run out of his Cape Coral home.

Original post: Muslims say group’s police training maligns faith

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6 Comments »

  1. How would this training, regardless of the man’s views on Mohammad, be concidered illegal?

  2. How wud u feel if I started up trianing cops while preaching jesus is nasty,murderer,paedophile,rapist etc..thats the problem.by ol means train ol u want..y drag religion slamming into it

  3. Would not matter how I felt, the question is would it be illegal. These people are adults, they have the ability to discriminate information given to them and make informed judgments based upon their education and experience. I am not saying the material may not need to be changed, but to comment that is may be illegal is, frankly, a little bit silly. Currently the U.S. does not have laws that make the disparaging of any religion a crime. People do say bad things about Jesus, and I simply have to accept that they have a right to make said comments. People will and are saying bad things about Mohammad but as Muslims you simply have to accept the fact they have a right to make such comments. That is part of the price one pays and one of the privileges one has as a citizen of the United States.

  4. Well u can.accept religion being battered for ur “privilage” of being american..i will not.freedom of speech goes both ways, if they av a “right” to insult n abuse reliogion as freedom of speech,so do I to defend my religion.. dont religious ppl have the same rights..dont be a hypocrite

  5. Yes, you have the right to defend your religion. You do not have the right to assault or kill someone because you don’t like what they re saying.

  6. Defend away Nill, so long as you do it verbally.

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