The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) has issued a press release criticizing a recently released New York Police Department report entitled “Radicalization in the West: The Homegrown Threat.” The release stated that:
Whatever one thinks of the analysis contained in the report, its sweeping generalizations and mixing of unrelated elements may serve to cast a pall of suspicion over the entire American Muslim community.
What seems to have drawn the ire of CAIR are the parts of the report that attempted to identify venues for radicalization such as mosques and bookstores and behavioral indicators such as giving up smoking, drinking, and/or gambling. While the report clearly was discussing these venues and indicators in the larger context of radicalization, the CAIR release takes them out of context and suggests that since these venues and behaviors are also part of “ordinary” Muslim life, they will raise suspicions against Muslims in general. The release concludes by citing a fatwa against terrorism issued in July 2005 by the Fiqh Council of North America that CAIR helped facilitate and which suffered from all of the same shortcomings discussed in a prior post about Muslim Brotherhood views on violence.