English language Arab media reported on an FBI community relations event in Columbus,Ohio sponsored by the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), a part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. According to the report:
The FBI was interrogated for a change yesterday by members of the Muslim community at an event sponsored by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) at the Sunrise Academy in Columbus. Officials engaged in the discourse as part of the FBI’™s so-called Community Relations Executive Seminar Training (CREST) program, which aims to improve relations with minority groups. Scheduled speakers at the event were special agents Kevin Bennett, Steve Flowers and Eric Thomas. The No. 1 concern in the audience was related to federal wiretapping, other forms of privacy invasion and the profiling of Muslims. The report goes on to say that the FBI agents explined that while the FBI does not routinely tap the phones of Muslim citizens it still “views Islamic terrorist groups as the biggest threat to national security ands the groups most likely to instigate a massive terrorist act inside the United States.
This appeared to set off an emotional exchange reported as follows:
Hind, a Saudi attendee wanted to know why the media singles out Muslims and Middle Easterners as ‘terrorists and extremists’ and never used those terms for domestic terrorists. Flowers replied that the media do this because it is sensationalism to use language like that. The head of CAIR in Ohio, Asma Mobin-uddin, tried to calm the attendees when emotions ran high and questions got more heated. She told the FBI agents that this was an indication of the frustrations that the Muslims felt. ‘Many are frustrated because they have filed immigration for their family members but because some people have a certain name, it seems their background checks take much longer,’ she said. She also said that the Muslims also felt that they were singled out and targeted by the media. They were always nicknamed and labeled terrorists, extremists. She hoped that by listening to the Muslims the FBI would be able to take some of their feedback and address them. She also thanked the agents for giving the Muslim community their time and attention.
CAIR, in fact, is one of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood organizations that frequently asserts that U.S. Muslims are targets of various conspiracies and plots directed against them by “special interests.” In addition, the organization has its own problematic relationship with terrorism, having supported the Hamas infrastructure in the U.S. for many years. CAIR itself was an outgrowth of that infrastructure when it was created in 1994. The FBI has frequently participated with CAIR and other U.S. Muslim Brotherhood organizations in recent years.