Its Michigan state director still considers a Detroit imam who preached jihad and violence against law enforcement to be a peaceful man. The FBI doesn't consider the organization to be an appropriate liaison partner because of documented links between its founders and the terrorist group Hamas.
But a Department of Homeland Security program Thursday in Dearborn, "Countering Violent Extremism," prominently featured the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
"We welcome opportunities to engage the Department of Homeland Security to discuss ways to make America safer while addressing concerns about 'profiling' of American Muslims," CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid said in a statement. "We believe that such working groups should be comprehensive in scope at the community level to address all potential extremist threats to our nation."
Walid has spent considerable time and energy during the past year blasting various government agencies for their role in the death of Luqman Abdullah, a Detroit imam killed during an FBI raid in 2009. According to the government, Abdullah told his followers at his mosque to carry weapons and not to be afraid to use them and frequently made comment indicating his readiness to use violence against law enforcement.
Last month, Walid publically criticized a Department of Justice review of the Abdullah shooting for failing to validate his suspicions that the shooting was flawed. In condemning the report, Walid criticized the use of informants in FBI investigations - a tool that is considered invaluable by law enforcement for preventing terrorism.
Walid has also legitimized suicide bombings as possibly being "the only choice" for oppressed peoples and downplayed the threat of Hamas rocket fire. Most recently, the CAIR director called any Middle East peace talks not involving the U.S. designated terror group bogus.
It's a curious choice of partnership for a workshop against extremism.