Part of the Obama administration's counter-radicalization strategy released yesterday obliquely references the controversy over anti-Muslim terrorism "experts" who have received generous federal grants for Islamophobic "training" of local law enforcement:
Government and law enforcement at the local level have well-established relationships with communities, developed through years of consistent engagement, and therefore can effectively build partnerships and take action on the ground. To help facilitate local partnerships to prevent violent extremism, the Federal Government is building a robust training program with rigorous curriculum standards to ensure that the training that communities; local, state, and tribal governments; prison officials; and law enforcement receive is based on intelligence, research, and accurate information about how people are radicalized to accept violence, and what has worked to prevent violent extremism. Misinformation about the threat and dynamics of radicalization to violence can harm our security by sending local stakeholders in the wrong direction and unnecessarily creating tensions with potential community partners. We also are working to support and expand community-oriented policing efforts by our state, local, and tribal partners, and to assist them in enhancing cultural proficiency and other foundations for effective community engagement.
This is long overdue. The Senate Homeland Security Committee has already asked the Government Accountability Office to look into the way trainers are selected, but this statement begs the question of why "rigorous curriculum standards" are being implemented a decade after 9/11 and two years into the Obama administration.
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