Trump Continues Policy of Engaging Radical Islamic Group
Donald Trump might be the president of the United States, but the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) continues to treat the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) as a credible outreach partner.
CAIR officials recently participated in DHS town hall discussions in Miami and Tampa, according to an announcement by CAIR-Florida (CAIR-FL).
One of the discussions, at Miami-Dade College, featured Veronica Venture, the outgoing DHS acting officer for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, and Kareem Shora, a section chief of the DHS Community Engagement Section.
Venture and Shora are both holdovers from the Obama administration.
Shora enjoys close relations with CAIR-FL, and has organized multiple events with the group on DHS’ behalf. For example, he helped organize a December training event for visiting French police officials, in conjunction with the State Department.
These recent events are the latest examples of DHS partnering with CAIR as a Muslim community liaison, despite its well-documented connection to Hamas — a tie that caused the FBI to sever similar outreach to CAIR in 2008. CAIR officials have also worked to discourage Muslims from cooperating with the FBI.
Both Shora and CAIR also oppose support for Israel, as well as US efforts to combat terrorism.
Shora urged the US to stop shipping weapons to Israel during its 2006 war with Hezbollah, because Lebanese civilians were “getting bombed.” And as executive director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), Shora also claimed in 2009 that Muslim charities fell victim to “undue scrutiny” from law enforcement officials who were trying to dry up funding to terrorist groups.
The two Florida DHS programs indicate that the Trump administration has yet to change course on the Obama administration’s controversial Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) program. The US government has no way of telling whether this outreach program works, the General Accountability Office (GAO) noted in an April report.
At the Tampa event, DHS officials allowed CAIR-FL Executive Director Hassan Shibly to participate in a roundtable with local law enforcement officers. Shibly also played a key role in the December outreach event with the French police, despite having made his share of radical statements.
For example, he accused FBI agents of unjustly killing a Muslim suspect who attacked them after being subjected to questioning. After an independent investigation found no evidence of wrongdoing, Shibly repeated the accusation, and is now helping the family sue the FBI.
Shibly also opposes FBI sting operations as an “entrapment program targeting the Muslim community,” and a form of tyranny that has strayed away from the “great ideals of liberty, equality and justice.”