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.
Its officials participated in DHS town hall discussions in Miami and Tampa, CAIR-Florida announced Thursday.
A discussion at Miami-Dade College included Veronica Venture, the outgoing DHS acting officer for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, and Kareem Shora, 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, organizing multiple events with the group on DHS's behalf. He helped organize a December training event for visiting French police officials with CAIR-FL in conjunction with the State Department.
This marks the latest example of DHS's partnering with CAIR as a Muslim community liaison partner despite its well-documented connection to Hamas – a tie that caused the FBI to sever similar outreach in 2008. CAIR officials have worked to discourage Muslims from cooperating with the FBI.
Both Shora and CAIR oppose to President Trump's vocal support for Israel and desire to counter Islamic terrorism.
Shora urged the U.S. to stop shipping weapons to Israel during its 2006 war with Hizballah because Lebanese civilians we "getting bombed." As executive director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), Shora claimed in 2009 that Muslim charities fell victim to "undue scrutiny" from law enforcement in the effort to cut off funding terrorist groups. He also called the portrayal of Muslims as more "vulnerable" to terrorist recruitment an "unfortunate reality."
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 government has no way of telling whether these outreach programs work, the General Accountability Office (GAO) noted in an April report.
In Tampa, DHS allowed CAIR-FL Executive Director Hassan Shibly to participate in a roundtable with local law enforcement. Shibly played a key role in the December outreach event with the French police along with Shora. He also has made his share of radical statements.
He accuses FBI agents of unjustly killing a Muslim suspect who attacked them after questioning. After independent investigations found no evidence of wrongdoing, Shibly repeated the accusation and is helping the family sue the FBI.
He also opposes FBI sting operations as an "entrapment program targeting the Muslim community" and a form of tyranny that strayed away from the "great ideals of liberty, equality and justice."