At a "Know your Rights" seminar in Los Angeles last month, a number of Muslims gathered. The message they heard from most speakers: Beware of the FBI!
"As they sipped tea and nibbled on dates, more than 100 men and women listened to a litany of speakers sounding the same message: The FBI is not your friend.
"We're here today to say our mosques are off limits," Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations for Greater Los Angeles, told the crowd last month at an Anaheim mosque.
"Our Koran is off limits," Ayloush said. "Our youth, who they try to radicalize, are off limits. Now is the time to tell them, 'We're not going to let this happen anymore.'
...On Sunday, a coalition of the nation's largest Muslim organizations, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Muslim Public Affairs Council and the Islamic Society of North America, issued a statement demanding that the Obama administration address FBI actions, including what they describe as the "infiltration of mosques," the use of "agent provocateurs to trap unsuspecting Muslim youth" and the "deliberate vilification" of the council.
"It reached a level where we felt we had to do something," said Agha Saeed, chairman of the American Muslim Taskforce on Civil Rights and Elections. "The FBI is doing things which are not healthy. They are creating divisions and conflict, creating a totally negative, Islamophobic image of Muslims in America..."
Representatives from the American Muslim Alliance (AMA), the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA), Muslim American Society-Freedom Foundation (MAS-FF), Muslim Student Association-National (MSA-N), Muslim Ummah of North America (MUNA), the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) took part in Saturday's meeting. Other member and observer organizations were briefed by phone. (note: links added by z)
"...We are fully united in asking the Obama administration to address the following issues: 1. Infiltration of mosques and systematic manipulation of Muslim religious affairs, 2. Use of agents provocateurs to trap unsuspecting Muslim youth, 3. Unfair targeting and deliberate vilification of CAIR, a national Muslim civil rights organization, 4. Use of McCarthy-era tactics, most notably dissemination of Islamophobic analysis by federally-funded 'fusion centers' to local law enforcement agencies."