The FBI’s plan to enlist community leaders in “Shared Responsibility Committees” all across the country with the goal of identifying “radicalized” individuals is raising alarm among civil rights activists.
The Shared Responsibility Committees, known as SRCs, “are expanding the informant program under the guise of an intervention program, which it is not,” said Abed Ayoub, legal director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.
The FBI’s idea is to have social service workers, teachers, mental health professionals, religious figures, and others interdict young people they believe are on a path toward radicalization. The program was first revealed last November, and while details remain scant, it is widely believed to have been developed along the lines of similar “anti-radicalization” programs in the United Kingdom. https://theintercept.com/2016/04/09/fbis-shared-responsibility-committees-to-identify-radicalized-muslims-raises-alarms/
The FBI has extended areas of investigative criminal spaces to now include the Muslim community as they directly target Muslim youth by recruiting parents, teachers, health, social and youth workers to spy on their behalf. The FBI expects that Muslim surveillance cells otherwise known as “Shared Responsibilities Committees” will turn Muslim youth over to authorities in the name of countering extremism and radicalisation. According to the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Lisa O. Monaco, the kinds of behaviors they are expecting to be reported are subtle. “For instance, parents might see sudden personality changes in their children at home—becoming confrontational. Religious leaders might notice unexpected clashes over ideological differences. Teachers might hear a student expressing an interest in traveling to a conflict zone overseas. Or friends might notice a new interest in watching or sharing violent material.”
Government policy makers, Intelligence and policing authorities are of the opinion that American Muslim communities will be more cooperative at establishing a network of Muslim spies than their UK counterparts. It is an established fact that the implementation of Prevent in the UK has failed miserably with only 8.6% of reports originating from within the Muslim community. The vast bulk of reports have been from non-Muslim professionals working amongst the Muslim youth.
Examples of this apparent cooperation with authorities and the Muslim community can be observed in Dearborn, Michigan. According to news reports (http://www.politico.eu/article/how-the-fbi-got-in-bed-with-americas-muslims/) the police department for example makes regular visits to Dearborn’s 38 schools and its many mosques. The Chief of Police, Ron Haddad, sponsors a program called “Stepping Up,” which includes an annual awards ceremony (the next is April 12) for residents reporting crime. At least twice in the past several years, fearing influence from ISIL or online propaganda on their children, Haddad says, Muslim fathers have turned in their own sons. In another case, it was students at a largely Muslim high school calling about a troubled peer.
The FBI has also developed a Website designed to provide awareness about the dangers of violent extremist predators on the internet, that included input from community leaders, educators and students. This website is called, “Don’t Be A Puppet’, that is meant to be used by teachers and students to help the FBI prevent the violent extremism of youth.
The profiling of Muslim youth by teachers and law enforcement will foster a distrust between students and authority figures, who would serve as de facto informants. The example of 14 year old Ahmed Mohamed who brought a homemade clock to school, or a teacher in Texas calling a 7th grader a “terrorist” as he laughed watching ‘Bend It Like Beckham’.
The main objective that secular democratic governments like the US, UK, Australian and other European governments have in policing and criminalising Muslim youth through their network of community spies is to force them to adopt and practice a personal, secularised Islam as a personal faith, equal with other faiths and subordinate them to the prevalent secular democratic system. In turn, the aim is to integrate the youth by involving them in mainstream politics, sports, and culture, diverting them away from key Islamic creedal concepts, and actions such as enjoining the right and forbidding the wrong, adopting the concept of one global Ummah and working for its interests, Khilafah (Caliphate), jihad, accounting the rulers, and presenting the Islamic way of life as a radical alternative to the current order.
Therefore, the battle to integrate Muslim youth into America’s secular liberal society has failed through any form of intellectual conviction relying only upon coercion and compulsion.
Written for the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir by
Tsuroyya Amal Yasna