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LEA Letter

LEA Letter

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Published by Fox Staff

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Published by: Fox Staff on Nov 09, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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November 7, 2011To: Minnesota Law Enforcement Agencies
The undersigned Minnesota Somali and Muslim organizations would like to bring to yourattention an upcoming anti-Muslim and anti-Somali training for Minnesota law enforcement,
entitled “Understandin
g the People of Somalia, Their History, Their Culture and Their Lives in
America.” This training is scheduled for November 10, 2011. We believe that because of the presenters‟ lack of academic or sound knowledge about “Islamic Extremism” and “YouthGangs,”
as well as their history of controversial statements against the Somali and Muslimcommunity, your agency
was misled about these presenter‟s qualifications and
attendees willreceive inaccurate and biased information about Muslims and Somalis.The training brochure
refers to Al Shabaab as an “Islamic extremist terrorism” organization and
fails to distinguish between Islam and terrorism. One of the presenters is also referred to as a
speaker on “Islamic extremism.” The Muslim community rejects this biased
labeling of areligion practiced by over 1.4 billion people worldwide.Trainings by unqualified, agenda-driven individuals influence the way peace officers perceiveand treat the American Muslim community, leading to a rise in racial and religious profiling.
Recent reports have highlighted the FBI‟s use of biased experts and anti
-Muslim trainingmaterials nationwide. This problem extends well beyond FBI trainings. The United StatesCongress is now scrutinizing these practices.
See: Congress Grills FBI Chief About Anti-Islam Trainingshttp://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/10/fbi-chief-anti-islam-training/ 
In light of this prevalence of inaccurate and biased information, law enforcement agenciesaround the country must take a closer look at the credentials of purported experts on Muslims,including Somali Muslims, before allowing their officers to be trained by them.The seminar on November 10, 2011, is sponsored by the Center for Somalia History Studies(CSHS), which was incorporated a little over a month ago by former Ramsey County Sherriff Bob Fletcher. As of November 6
, 2011, the organization‟s website contains no information other 
than a brochure and registration information for the upcoming seminar. Because the organizationhas only been in existence for a short time, no IRS information is available.
See: Center for Somali History Studieshttp://centerforsomaliahistorystudies.com
Two of the presenters, Omar Jamal and Dahir Jibreel, have current or former affiliation with theSomali Justice Advocacy Center (SJAC), which was incorporated in 2004. According to IRS
disclosure regulations, “… exempt organizations must make their three most recently filed
annual 990 or 990-PF returns and all related supporting documents available for publicinspection. This public disclosure rule also applies to Form 1023, which is filed to obtain exempt
status.” There are no records for SJAC since its incorporation. We not only question how this
organization receives current and past funding, but we question where participant registrationfees will be going.
Additionally, the presenters‟ credentials are highly questionable. The vast majority of the Somali
population in Minnesota views Omar Jamal and Abdirazak Bihi as unrepresentative of theircommunity and unqualified to speak on the topics outlined in the upcoming presentation.Neither have any academic or practical experience relevant to the topics to be presented.Furthermore, Mr. Jamal is highly controversial and a convicted felon. Mr. Jamal has beenconvicted of lying to immigration officials. As the former Executive Director of SJAC, heacknowledged he did not file proper IRS documentation for his organization, yet boasts of having raised $80,000 in funds one year. He was the only paid staff.
See: When Somalis are in the news so is Omar Jamal (MPR)http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2009/04/24/omar_jamal/ 
Mr. Jamal has no known educational background, and no academic qualifications for hisopinions. Over the last decade, he has made many unsubstantiated hate-inspired and fear-
mongering statements, such as referring to Minneapolis as a “slaughterhouse for immigrants.”
His statements have cast a dark cloud over the Somali population in Minnesota. Mr. Jamal hasfailed to present facts to support his irresponsible allegations. It would be irresponsible fororganizations such as yours to sponsor his fear mongering disguised as discourse.
Abdirazik Bihi‟s media spotlight came about with the news of the “missing Somali men” in
2008. Since that time he has capitalized on these horrendous events by making unfounded andfalse allegations of Al-Qaida recruitment by local Muslim religious leaders. Mr. Bihi even wentso far as to testify against the Somali Muslim community in MN before Congress at a hearingchaired by Rep. Peter King (R- NY), whose platform has been to create hysteria about AmericanMuslims. In 2004, King claimed in an interview with conservative talk radio host Sean Hannitythat "no American Muslim leaders are cooperating in the war on terror," an
d that “80
-85 percentof mosques in this country are controlled by Islamic fundamentalists .... This is an enemy living
amongst us.”
See: Congressman: Muslims „enemy amongst us‟
Both Mr. Jamal and Mr. Bihi have publicly accused local mosques and imams of indoctrinatingyouth to go and fight in Somalia. Not only has the FBI repeatedly cleared local mosques andimams of any such activity, recent trials have clearly demonstrated that any fundraising forterrorism occurred on an individual basis.
According to FBI Special Agent E.K. Wilson, the FBI has not found “any evidence to date that
shows the mosque leadership was involved in the recruiting or radicalization of these guys,".
See: Minneapolis mosque spurned al-Shabaab fundraiser (Pioneer Press)http://www.twincities.com/localnews/ci_19211196

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