An Obama administration strategy for building contacts in Muslim communities is taking heat from the left and the right, amid increasing concerns about homegrown Islamic terrorism.
Under the program, which extends one begun under President George W. Bush, U.S. law-enforcement officials meet frequently with Muslim groups to discuss their concerns about discrimination. The hope is that such outreach prevents extremist recruitment of young men by showing good will alongside efforts to investigate plots.
"Striking the right tone in countering violent extremism is something we have to be very careful about," said B. Todd Jones, the U.S. attorney in Minneapolis, who undertakes activities such as attending Ramadan fast-breaking dinners and helping Muslim Americans navigate the immigration bureaucracy.Sounds Jim dhimmi, er dandy. But how has it been working out from the Muslim American p.o.v.?
Some Muslims, meanwhile, think the outreach is cover for recruiting spies and doesn't fit with harder-edged tactics such as sting operations. "The FBI's activities are sending a troubling mixed message to the community," said Farhana Khera, president of a San Francisco legal group called Muslim Advocates, which warns Muslim Americans against speaking to law enforcement without a lawyer present.Oh well. At long as the samosas at the Ramadan fast-breaking repasts are tasty and piping hot who cares if the suck-up is a bust?
Update: Canucki law-enforcement is into tasty samosas and mixed messages, too.