NYPD Report at Odds with Federal Law Enforcement
Washington, DC | August 15, 2007 | www.adc.org | The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) expressed disappointment in a report released today by the New York City Police Department (NYPD) intelligence division entitled, "Radicalization in the West and the Homegrown Threat."
ADC National Executive Director Kareem Shora said, "The report is at odds with federal law enforcement findings, including those of the recently released National Intelligence Estimate, and uses unfortunate stereotyping of entire communities. This approach runs counter to successful efforts by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the FBI at building constructive partnerships with these communities." Shora added, "The use of such language by NYPD is un-American and goes against everything for which we stand. We do not want to alienate any segment of any community, and by using that type of language, you are actually aiding the extremists in their recruiting efforts."
Last month, when the National Intelligence Estimate report was released by the White House, ADC joined Muslim, Sikh, and South Asian American organizations in two conference calls with FBI, DHS, Department of Justice (DOJ), and Department of State officials. The discussion included Charles Allen, the Chief Intelligence Officer for the DHS, and John Miller, the FBI‘s Assistant Director for Public Affairs. During the discussion, the officials confirmed these communities, "are prosperous, well-educated, highly integrated, and a true asset in tackling the issues facing our country."
The federal officials assured ADC and the other organizations that there is no evidence suggesting that recent terrorist incidents overseas have any relation to the United States. The officials also stated that these incidents are not and should not be reflective of any specific religion or communities and should not be taken as such by members of the media or the general population. Miller stated, "There has been a long partnership between the government and these communities after 9/11, and that the communities have been active in policing extremism (including by providing information on violent fringe elements that led to arrests in several cases)."
Earlier this year, on March 14, DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff testified before the Senate Homeland Security Committee on the issue of radicalization. Chertoff said, "It is critical that we recognize that American Muslims have been, and will continue to be, a highly valued part of the fabric of our Nation. American Muslims have been outspoken in their opposition to terrorist violence and have been strong contributors to our country for many generations." Chertoff continued, "American Muslims are active participants in our secular democracy and, as with all Americans, we will continue to ensure that they have the freedom to choose the best way to raise their families, receive an education, relate to and participate in government, start a business, and become prosperous in their professions."
ADC emphasizes the need for continued dialogue and cooperation with law enforcement and other government agencies on the federal, state, and local levels in order to combat negative misconceptions and the stereotyping of entire communities based on the actions of a few individuals. ADC reiterates its commitment to continue its work in developing best practices to combat extremism and radicalization, while also protecting civil rights and civil liberties.
ADC also asks members of the media to be mindful of using terminology that associates these terrorist incidents or any generic assessment of national security threats with any specific religion as a whole or any particular ethnic or racial communities. Rather, as the National Intelligence Estimate clearly indicated, these threats are inbound from outside the United States and are threats to all Americans regardless of their race, ethnicity, or religious orientation.