Muslim Advocates is deeply troubled by the message that the administration is sending by primarily focusing on American Muslims, particularly young American Muslims, at this week’s Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) summit. While the facts show that perpetrators who are Muslim comprise a very tiny fraction of extremist violence in the US, a summit and CVE programs that focus on Muslims send the false and dangerous message to the American people that their Muslim neighbors are a threat to their safety.
As the brutal murders in Chapel Hill tragically remind us, extremist violence cannot be predicted by any religious, ideological, ethnic, or racial profile. Furthermore, the few perpetrators of extremist violence who are Muslim generally do not have deep ties to the American Muslim community that could be addressed by CVE programs. The Tsarnaev brothers, for example, were virtually unknown in the Boston Muslim community and were already known by the FBI and Russian intelligence.
With rising anti-Muslim bigotry, young American Muslims have become targets for hate crimes and discrimination. In just one week, a Rhode Island Islamic School was severely vandalized with hate messages scrawled across the windows and building, and three young American Muslims were murdered in Chapel Hill in what appears to be a hate crime. Furthermore, a 15 year old Muslim teen was brutally run over with a car and killed outside his mosque in December. The killer had an anti-Muslim message on his SUV’s rearview window.
By primarily focusing on Muslims, this summit and government CVE programs undermine the safety of all Americans, including American Muslims, who are living with the very real, well-founded fear that their neighbors may do them harm. Muslim Advocates has urged the administration to broaden the focus of the summit and is extraordinarily disappointed that it has refused to do so.
Muslim Advocates Legal Director Glenn Katon will be attending the summit on Wednesday, Feb. 18th and will be available for media interviews.
Muslim Advocates is a national legal advocacy and educational organization working on the frontlines of civil rights to guarantee freedom and justice for Americans of all faiths. Through high impact lawsuits, policy advocacy, and community education, Muslim Advocates serves as a resource to empower communities and ensures that the American Muslim community is heard by the courts and leaders at the highest level of government. Visit Muslim Advocates at www.muslimadvocates.org and follow @muslimadvocates.