Good News Alert: Illinois Police Departments Cancel Events with Anti-Muslim Trainer
CAIR-Chicago to work with appropriate IL agencies to ensure high standards for qualified trainers on Islam
(CHICAGO, IL, 8/16/2013) — The Chicago chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Chicago) today announced that the Lombard Police Department has joined the Elmhurst and Highland Park Police Departments in cancelling previously-scheduled trainings featuring controversial anti-Islam trainer Sam Kharoba.
CAIR-Chicago commended officials in Lombard for their swift action in addressing the Muslim community’s concerns about the police trainings offered by Kharoba, an unqualified notoriously “biased” expert, and organized by the North East Multi-Regional Training academy (NEMRT). CAIR-Chicago thanked Lombard Village President Keith Giagnorio for his commitment to high standards of training.
CAIR-Chicago also thanked the dozens of callers from the community, as well as partner coalition members from the Jewish, African-American and Latino communities, who expressed outrage at the training and support for CAIR’s outreach efforts. CAIR-Chicago additionally expressed appreciation for the role Moon Khan played in bringing the matter to Lombard officials.
Kharoba teaches extremist views about Islam that are inaccurate and biased. Such views were featured in “How We Train Our Cops to Fear Islam,” an investigative piece published in Washington Monthly’s March/April 2011 edition:
* “When I look at the life of Muhammad, I get a very nasty image,” said Kharoba, pausing to look around the auditorium. The audience was silent. “I am talking about a pedophile, a serial killer, a rapist,” Kharoba said. “And that is just to start off with. Anyone who says that Islam is a religion of peace,” he continued, “is either ignorant or flat out lying.”
* “Islam is a highly violent radical religion that mandates that all of the earth must be Muslim.”
* “When you have a Muslim that wears a headband, regardless of color or insignia, basically what that is telling you is ‘I am willing to be a martyr.’
The author of a series of articles published in the Broward Bulldog in June, 2011, made similar observations:
* [Kharoba] claims radicals can also be identified by 10 to 12 physical markers, such as headbands, types of facial hair, or a prayer bump on the forehead from frequent contact with a prayer mat.”
* [Kharoba] said he shows students more than 50 photos of Jihadists wearing headbands, suggesting that wearing a headband every day is a sign of being a martyr and authorities should use that observation to target suspects.”
In a 2008 speech, Kharoba advanced the conspiracy theory that all Muslims are obligated by faith to “over take the world for militant Islam:”
Officials at CAIR-Chicago cautioned that while Lombard and the other police departments will not be hosting Kharoba to train in their facilities, the fact that NEMRT Executive Director Phil Barkin still supports Kharoba despite his Islamophobic public record is greatly concerning.
In a phone call with CAIR-Chicago’s Communication Coordinator, Barkin stated:
“I believe that this curriculum is accurate and a good program. I will not back down in my support for his curriculum.”
CAIR-Chicago’s Executive Director Ahmed Rehab said:
“We will settle for nothing less than the highest standards of training for our police departments in the great state of Illinois. Counter-terrorism is much too important to be confounded with anti-Islam drivel from a biased and unqualified trainer whose record of false and problematic anti-Islam generalizations has long been exposed. The only thing that is worse than ignorance is disinformation. It is an abomination that state taxpayers would be asked to fund such medieval-inspired disinformation that poses as professional training.”
Rehab noted that nationally, DHS took significant steps to address the issue of anti-Islam trainers issue last year and have now tied DHS grants (as administered through FEMA) with best practices guidance, and vowed that CAIR-Chicago and its coalition partners will work with Illinois authorities to ensure the same standards reform.
“Our previous work with high level officials of the State of Illinois leads us to believe that Illinois has zero-tolerance for hate or bias and so we are optimistic about collaboration to bring about the highest standards and expertise for such important trainings,” Rehab said.
In 2012, CAIR’s Florida chapter asked the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) to stop using Kharoba as a trainer.
An 80-page report by Political Research Associates (PRA), titled “Manufacturing the Muslim Menace: Private Firms, Public Servants, & the Threat to Rights and Security,” details a systemic failure to regulate content in counterterrorism training.
CAIR has worked to oppose the use of biased and inaccurate materials in law enforcement and military training both at the national and state levels. The federal government undertook significant reforms in 2011 after revelations that some federal trainers incorporated anti-Islam prejudice, such as comparing the faith to the Death Star, in their trainings.