FBI’s War on Muslims Must End
January 2, 2015
Dir. James B. Comey FBI Headquarters 935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, D.C. 20535-0001
FBI’s War on Muslims Must End
Dear Director Comey,
For some strange reason, it appears that the FBI is focused on Muslims either as targets or, as paths to targets among Muslims in America. It appears to us that when it comes to targeting Muslims, the FBI is most dedicated in its work, but when it comes to looking after the interests of Muslims in America, the FBI is usually found leading the back of the parade.
Muslims are often targeted, coerced or, blackmailed into becoming “informants” who, if they don’t provide lists of suspects, will end up in deeper trouble with the FBI. Even when recently, there was a bomb threat to a local mosque, the local FBI took pains to identify the perpetrator as being a quadriplegic and therefore, not a credible threat. However, it was later discovered that the perpetrator was a healthy person who was never investigated by either the FBI or the local Police.
FBI officials are routinely seen with Muslims who hesitate to ask hard questions and who act more to please the FBI than they do, to address concerns of the Muslim public. Not that pleasing the FBI officials is necessarily a bad thing, but to do so while ignoring what the officials are continuing to do against Muslims, reduces their own credibility among Muslims and thus, makes for less effective contacts within the Muslim communities.
FBI officials take great pains to inform us Muslims that they would like to have a relationship of trust and respect, but our experience does not show either the trust or the respect, as flowing from the FBI to Muslims. Perhaps the best example of this lack of trust or respect, is the fact that the FBI has boycotted CAIR (The Council on American-Islamic Relations), the ONLY effective, Muslim civil rights organization in the US. We are told by the FBI that they will not attend any events hosted by CAIR or events where CAIR is a participant. When asked why, the FBI officials tell us that they had “orders from the top” to stay away from CAIR because “it has some unanswered questions”. When asked for more information, FBI officials turn coy and suggest we ask CAIR. They do not seem to be as reticent when talking about other Muslim suspects.
Director Comey, if there are criminals in CAIR, we demand that you press charges against them and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law and yes, we promise to help you as much as we can. But if the FBI is working on a political angle and if there is nothing of substance in this boycott, then please call it off because it is not only hurting Muslims, it is negatively affecting the FBI’s credibility among Muslims.
Muslims need the FBI on their side and the FBI needs Muslims on their side. In order to get to such a point, we must both (Muslims and the FBI) work hard and actively towards promoting trust and respect for each other. When Muslims do something wrong, we see and expect the FBI to get in touch with us and let us know what the problems are or, see them prosecuting Muslim suspects. However, when the FBI is involved in something wrong, we do not see them as being receptive to criticism or even communication on such topics.
This must stop. We look to you to help start the process of establishing a smooth relationship of real trust and respect that flows mutually and you can start such a process by charging any suspects you may have in CAIR and opening relationship with local CAIR offices…officially, not “discreetly and behind closed doors”.
Director Comey, we sincerely hope you will have a chance to read this letter and act upon it and perhaps, respond to it if time permits. But please do not delegate a response to someone who will offer bland statements that mean little. We look forward to a new year with a results- and actions-based relationship with the FBI.
Jafar H. Siddiqui
American Muslims of Puget Sound