A petition organized by a Newark nonprofit urging Muslims to limit social outreach with the FBI has provoked a national debate within the Muslim community about how to deal with law enforcement.
The curb proposed by the petitioners - eliminating joint FBI town halls and other meet-and-greet events - is largely a response to the FBI’s restricting its work with the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the largest Muslim civil rights group.
The petitioners say their stand on behalf of CAIR, which has an extensive presence around the country and in the Bay Area, has larger meaning for all Muslim institutions.
“We’re fighting against being relegated to second-class citizenship,” said Agha Saeed, chairman of the Newark-based American Muslim Taskforce on Civil Rights and Elections, the coalition of national Muslim organizations that issued the March 17 petition.
Let me just point out here that this CAIR on whose behalf Muslims are expressing indignation, and which they apparently feel does represent them, is the same CAIR that tried to make it possible to identify and sue John Doe samaritans who report suspicious behavior. (See the case of the Flying Imams.) More recently — though both these examples are just drops in the bucket — CAIR asked President Obama to curb freedom of speech in the country. Back to the original article:
…A federal official speaking on condition of anonymity told The Chronicle that the FBI is limiting its contact with CAIR because one of its founders was named as an “unindicted co-conspirator.”
[The Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, a coalition of 70 mosques] collectively issued a statement on Feb. 11 saying it would stop doing social outreach with the FBI because of the agency’s new policies toward CAIR. […]
In “True Blood,” HBO’s hit series about vampires, one of the messages is that “they’re not all like that.” Meanwhile, the society in the show grapples with whether it can live with vampires in its midst. The main vampire Bill is a good one, demonstrating that truly, “They’re not all like that.” But that doesn’t keep people from dropping like flies and others from being “converted” to the vampire species, which demands loyalty to its own kind above humankind — and has its own, parallel system of rules and laws.
The immediate problem, however, is that it is the vampires’ nature to kill. For them, not killing takes more restraint than it does for others. And when vampires “nest” together (the good vampire Bill purposely lives alone), it’s a recipe for chaos in the town that they happen to live in.
All of which underscores that living among vampires is like navigating a mine field. Consciously or subconsciously on the part of the writers, the show — based on a best-selling series of books — is a parable for our times.
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