Columbus Police Kick CAIR to the Curb
by IPT News • Feb 5, 2009 at 9:52 am
The law enforcement freeze on dealing with the Council on American-Islamic Relations is spreading. Last week, Mary Jacoby’s report for IPT News revealed that the FBI has cut ties with CAIR until officials answer questions about the group’s documented roots in a Hamas support network. Now the Columbus (Ohio) Police Department (CPD) has followed suit.
Last November, CAIR officials were invited to speak to the current class of police training recruits on Islam, which prompted criticisms of the training seminar both inside and outside the police department. CAIR’s status as unindicted co-conspirator in the successful Holy Land Foundation prosecutions and the CAIR-Ohio chapter’s previous fundraising events for the defense fund of convicted cop-killer Jamil Al-Amin were among the concerns cited.
CPD spokeswoman Amanda Ford confirmed Wednesday that CAIR representatives will no longer be used for teaching "cultural diversity" classes at the CPD Police Academy:
"After the latest information that has been received, a decision was made that CAIR reps will no longer be asked to come back for recruit training."
The Columbus FBI office also should be relieved at their agency’s decision to distance itself from CAIR. Despite having enlisted CAIR in 2006 as a leading member of the FBI’s Multi-Cultural Council for the Southern District of Ohio, which includes the Columbus, Cincinnati, and Dayton areas, a meeting hosted by CAIR-Ohio president Asma Mobin-Uddin featuring FBI Special Agents Kevin Bennett, Steve Flowers and Eric Thomas last March had the local office reeling.
The meeting was part of the FBI’s Community Relations Executive Seminar Training (CREST) program and the topic was federal wiretapping. Many Columbus-area CAIR supporters have been upset at the series of arrests and convictions of local Al-Qaeda cell members Iyman Faris, Nuradin Abdi, and Christopher Paul. Despite assurances from the FBI speakers that the phones of local Muslims were not being tapped, a subsequent Arab News article reported that the meeting quickly turned ugly, with Mobin-Uddin having to urge her supporters for restraint and calm as tempers flared and audience members began shouting at the FBI agents.
What remains to be seen is whether other local law enforcement agencies will follow the FBI and CPD’s lead, most notably the Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy, which has regularly featured CAIR speakers at training seminars; and the Ohio Department of Homeland Security, which has sent high-ranking agency members to attend the annual CAIR-Ohio fundraising banquets and featured CAIR displays and speakers at homeland security events.