FBI ‘Islam 101 Guide Depicted Muslims as 7th-Century Simpletons

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    FBI ‘Islam 101′ Guide Depicted Muslims as 7th-Century Simpletons | Danger Room | Wired.com


    As recently as January 2009, the FBI thought its agents ought to know the following crucial information about Muslims:

    They engage in a “circumcision ritual”
    More than 9,000 of them are in the U.S. military
    Their religion “transforms [a] country’s culture into 7th-century Arabian ways.”
    And this was what the FBI considered “recommended reading” about Islam:

    A much-criticized tome, The Arab Mind, that one reviewer called “a collection of outrageously broad — and often suspect — generalizations“
    A book by one of Norwegian terrorist suspect Anders Behring Breivik’s favorite anti-Muslim authors.
    All this is revealed in a PowerPoint presentation by the FBI’s Law Enforcement Communications Unit (.pdf), which trains new Bureau recruits. Among the 62 slides in the presentation, designed to teach techniques for “successful interviews/interrogations with individuals from the M.E. [Middle East],” is an instruction that the “Arabic mind” is “swayed more by words than ideas and more by ideas than facts.”

    The briefing presents much information that has nothing to do with crime and everything to do with constitutionally-protected religious practice and social behavior, such as estimating the number of mosques in America and listing the states with the largest Muslim populations.

    Other slides paint Islam in a less malicious light, and one urges “respectful liaison” as a “proactive approach” to engaging Muslims. But even those exhibit what one American Muslim civil rights leader calls “the understanding of a third grader, and even then, a badly misinformed third grader.”

    One slide asks, “Is Iran an Arab country?” (It’s not.) Another is just a picture of worry beads.

    “Based on this presentation, it is easy to see why so many in law enforcement and the FBI view American Muslims with ignorance and suspicion,” says Farhana Khera, the executive director of Muslim Advocates, a legal aid group. “The presentation appears to treat all Muslims with one broad brush and makes no distinction between lawful religious practice and beliefs and unlawful activities.”
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