On April 23, 2014 we originally reported that the The Safe Spaces initiative included the concept of “Providing for an area that is off-limits to law enforcement unless the Muslim community grants permission“.
It’s probably not a coincidence that the DOJ announcement comes within a week of MPAC’s new campaign push for Safe Spaces and the American Muslims United Against Violent Extremism: Press Conference
In a video message posted on the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) website, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the DOJ is joining with the White House, the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Counterterrorism Center to ” launch a new series of pilot programs in cities across the nation to help counter violent extremism.” According to Holder, ” These programs will bring together community representatives, public safety officials, religious leaders, and United States Attorneys to improve local engagement; to counter violent extremism; and — ultimately — to build a broad network of community partnerships to keep our nation safe.”
A complete text of the message can be read HERE
Susan Jones of CNSNews.com reported:
Holder said the administration “will work closely with community representatives to develop comprehensive local strategies, to raise awareness about important issues, to share information on best practices, and to expand and improve training in every area of the country.”
He noted that since 2012, U.S. attorneys have held or attended more than 1,700 “engagement-related events or meetings to enhance trust and facilitate communication in their neighborhoods and districts.” The new pilot programs will build on that work, he said.
Holder also announced that the White House plans to host a “Countering Violent Extremism” summit in October.
Holder did not mention Islam or Muslims, and he used the phrase “violent extremism” to describe the “urgent” threat that the nation faces.
Josh Gerstein wrote on Politico.com:
The U.S. Government’s current efforts to stem terrorist recruitment and so-called “lone wolf” attacks by people receptive to extremist rhetoric have been criticized for being unfocused and underfunded. In addition, many experts have questioned whether U.S. Attorneys—the top federal prosecutors in various communities—are best-suited to lead the government’s anti-extremism campaign.
Many leaders in the Muslim community are reluctant to work with prosecutors because of deep concern over Federal Bureau of Investigation sting operations used to target potential terrorists. However, efforts in the U.S. to use means other than traditional law enforcement to intervene with individuals susceptible to extremist messages have been few, due to concerns about civil liberties as well as fears about what could happen if that kind of intervention failed in a specific case.
Holder’s statement Monday seemed to acknowledge some of those concerns. While the outreach efforts are expected to focus primarily on communities with large Muslim populations, his video message made no reference to the religion aside from his use of the acronym for the terrorist group which has grabbed attention for its brutal tactics assembling territory across Syria and Iraq.
COMMENT/ANALYSIS: Expect to see many of the names we mentioned in MPAC’s Safe Spaces: the Trojan Horse Continues to be involved with these new programs. It’s probably not a coincidence that the DOJ announcement comes within a week of MPAC’s renewed campaign push for Safe Spaces and the ADAMS sponsored American Muslims United Against Violent Extremism: Press Conference. MPAC and the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) have been tied to elements of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood.
… a “Trojan horse” with a goal to negatively influence U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies operations.
The threat posed by ISIS and recent news reports of Americans being recruited to join the jihad overseas has presented a major problem for Islamists in the United States – increased scrutiny of mosques. Despite a successful campaign to hinder NYPD’s anti-terror efforts, Muslim special interest groups, such as the Council on American–Islamic Relations CAIR and Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC,) are seeing ground lost as law enforcement and counter-terror agencies place their sights back on suspected mosques.
Having American Muslims run off to be jihadis with a group that beheads American journalists is a public relations nightmare for U.S. based Islamists. The U.S. is the “cash cow” for Islamist fund raising – funds that frequently support terrorist activities in the Middle East. Mosques in the U.S. are critical to the fund raising process. They serve as venues to solicit donations, bases for regional collections, and locations for planning activities. Undue attention is not always desirable.
This week, MSNBC’s José Díaz-Balart interviewed Salam Al-Marayati, president of MPAC regarding “a nationwide intervention program to prevent young American Muslims from being radicalized and joining the fight overseas.”
The referenced program is MPAC’s Safe Spaces Initiative that was introduced in April 2014, mostly in response to the Boston Bombing in 2013. Following a quick overview of Safe Spaces, the discussion focused on ISIS/IS (Islamic State).
The interview can be viewed HERE
We previously reported on the Safe Spaces Initiative and noted that while being pushed as an intervention program, it’s real purpose is to provide a mechanism that insulates mosques and Islamic center’s from the scrutiny of law enforcement and counter-terror agencies. In an article earlier this year, Mr. Al-Marayati stated:
Safe spaces are created for everyone entering our mosques to be able to have difficult conversations. People need to feel comfortable discussing politics or persecution of Muslims in places such as Palestine or Kashmir or drone attacks that harm the innocent in Pakistan or Afghanistan. Safe spaces are needed so that government informants and extremist recruiters are prevented from violating the sanctity of the mosque. In essence, we want to enhance both a spiritual safety and public safety.
The Safe Spaces Initiative can be tied into a several front groups for the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood (MB) such as CAIR and the Muslim American Society (MAS). The author of the “Safe Spaces Tool Kit” is Alejandro J. Beutel – the lead face in MPAC’s organized effort to move U.S. law enforcement towards a community oriented policing model that effectively allows the Muslim community to exercise considerable control and influence. He was a junior fellow with the Minaret of Freedom Institute. According to the Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch, “The Minaret of Freedom Institute [is] a lesser known group tied to the U.S Brotherhood and whose leadership includes Omar Altalib, likely a relative of Hisham Altalib, one of the original leaders of IIIT and the SAAR Foundation“.
In November 2010, researcher Marylin Stern criticized MPAC’s special report “Building Bridges” and related efforts, calling them a “Trojan horse” with a goal to negatively influence U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies operations. Stern notes:
Like the Trojan horse of ancient Troy, MPAC provides cover for jihadists by obscuring the subversive agenda of Islamists like Maher Hathout, Salam al-Marayati, ISNA and CAIR. Upon closer examination, research supports the thesis that contrary to MPAC’s claim to uphold civil liberties, MPAC has exhibited a consistent hostility towards U.S. law enforcement to undermine effective counter-terrorism initiatives by placing themselves between the Muslim community and law enforcement.
Following the 2013 Boston Bombing, we warned that efforts such as The Safe Spaces Initiative would be initiated to protect Islamist self-interest. It’s inevitable there will be more reports of American jihadi’s tied to mosques and law enforcement/related agencies would be foolish to embrace the “we’ll let you know since we know best” programs and ideology being pushed by MPAC.