The Council on American-Islamic Relations aspires to guide public policy toward Muslims and toward this end has published a 127-page PDF document for a seminar, “Islam and Muslims: What Law Enforcement Should Know.” How effective is it?
As usual with CAIR, it contains its share of eyebrow-raising assertions. Some samples:
- “Prayer in Islam serves as a direct link between the worshipper and God. There are no intermediaries between God and the worshipper” (p. 21). Sufis, it appears, are not welcome in CAIR.
- “Muslims may have visited America before Columbus. Petroglyphs found in New Mexico with Arabic inscriptions” (p. 41). CAIR partially buys into a historical fraud.
- “Interaction with Muslim Individuals • Interacting with men.” Three insights follow: “Many men tend to react from gut;” “Some may answer before fully comprehending the question”; and “Honor (shame) and pride may complicate straight-forward answers, sometimes only in an attempt to make your stay short” (p. 50). CAIR’s demeaning generalizations about Muslims suggests it holds them in low regard.
- “Anti-Muslim Sentiments” includes this item from a 2004 poll by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life Poll: “A plurality of Americans (46%) believes that Islam is more likely than other religions to encourage violence among its believers” (p. 72). But that’s not an anti-Muslim sentiment, it’s a countable fact.
- “The Quran speaks to uplifting the status of women. There is not one verse in this holy book that degrades or calls for the oppression of women” (p. 82). Hmm. Try Koran 4:34 for starters.
- “Marital Rights Given to Women: Can initiate divorce” (p. 89). Not so in Islamic law, unless a judge grants her permission to initiate or else her husband concedes this right in a pre-nuptial agreement – both being rare occurrences.
- “There are two types of jihad: The greater/internal jihad is a struggle against one’s own bad character and inner impulses to do wrong. The other/external jihad is struggling to redress wrongs one sees in society” (p. 99). This is total nonsense that ignores jihad’s primary meaning through history, which is to extend Muslim control of territory.
(1) Other than a few pages about “Interaction with Muslim Individuals,” this seminar outline offers a generic outline of Islam unrelated to issues specific to law enforcement such as strip searches, profiling, arrests on material witness charges, and prison discipline. The document mentions not a single arrest.
(2) This lack of focus makes the document far less effective than it could be. Do street cops really need to learn about attitudes to female newborns in pre-Islamic Arabia (p. 81)?
(3) I imagine the typical street cop will suffer through this boring presentation and promptly forget its non-operational apologetics.
(4) In short, CAIR’s “sensitivity training” sessions at the local police station likely do little damage.