Thursday, July 18th, 2019

New FBI Program Trains Teachers, Students to Snoop On Muslims

Published on November 5, 2015 by   ·   No Comments
"Teachers in classrooms should not become an extension of law enforcement," said Arjun S. Sethi, an adjunct professor of law at the Georgetown University Law Center. (Photo: Cumminsr/Wikimedia/cc)“Teachers in classrooms should not become an extension of law enforcement,” said Arjun S. Sethi, an adjunct professor of law at the Georgetown University Law Center. (Photo: Cumminsr/Wikimedia/cc)

COMMON DREAMS

Rights groups are charging that a new FBI program to counter “extremism,” expected to be unveiled shortly, employs games and online tools that encourage teachers and students to snoop on—and discriminate against—Muslims, in violation of their most fundamental civil liberties.

Entitled ‘Don’t Be a Puppet,’ the program “leads the viewer through a series of games and tips intended to teach how to identify someone who may be falling prey to radical extremists,” New York Times journalist Laurie Goodstein reported on Monday. “With each successful answer, scissors cut a puppet’s string, until the puppet is free.”

Muslim, Arab, civil rights, and community groups invited by the FBI to “review” the program on October 16 told reporters that Don’t Be a Puppet unfairly targets Muslims.

“Teachers in classrooms should not become an extension of law enforcement,” said Arjun S. Sethi, an adjunct professor of law at the Georgetown University Law Center, in an interview with the Times. “The greatest threat facing American schoolchildren today is gun violence. It’s not Muslim extremism.”

In fact, in the 14 years following the attacks of September 11, 2001, white supremacist and right-wing extremists killed nearly two times as many people in the U.S. than “individuals motivated by Jihadist ideology,” according to a reportreleased by the New America research group earlier this year.

Regarding the FBI’s new program, Michelle Boorstein of the Washington Post reports on Monday:

Details about the Web site were vague. However, some participants described what the FBI showed them at the October meeting. It included exercises like a quiz. The quiz asked students: What would be activities that would concern the FBI? One option asked about a youth posting on Facebook that she intended to attend a political protest. What about a young person posting about feeling emotional about something, was a second. The third, participants described, cited a youth with a stereotypically Muslim-sounding name who ‘posted that he’s going overseas on a mission [and] does anyone want to chat?” said [Hoda Hawa, director of policy and advocacy for the Muslim Public Affairs Council].

“All our hands went up, like: What’s with this?” she said of the meeting.

And the 9/11 Review Commission concluded in May that, because the FBI deals with law enforcement and intelligence, it is not an appropriate agency to prevent violent extremism.

Read More HERE

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