Magazine article Islamic Horizons

SoCal Muslims Seek DHS Answers

Magazine article Islamic Horizons

SoCal Muslims Seek DHS Answers

Article excerpt

MUZAMMIL SIDDIQI, CHAIRman of the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, has asked Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson what guidelines his department has prepared to identify and monitor "religious extremism" and "suspicious behavior."

Homeland Security is deploying the Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) initiative in the greater Los Angeles area.

In his Dec. 1,2014, letter, Siddiqi asked what safeguards are in place "to ensure the constitutional protections for religious and political expressions." And, if there was a judicial or civilian oversight mechanism to ensure that the program operates within the constitutional limitations. If yes, what is it; and if not, why not?

Siddiqi reiterated that concerns and the subsequent anxieties about the program are not theoretical, but real. "They stem out of the recent experiences of our imams (clergy) and lay leaders, mosques and community organizations who were subjected to unwarranted surveillance and intense harassment by various federal law enforcement agencies," he said. …

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