Amid Misinformation On Islam, Who Should Do Anti-Terrorism Training?


Tennessee police officers and deputies will gather in Nashville in two weeks for training on how to fight terrorism, reports The Tennessean. They'll hear from experts from the national Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council and the Combating Terrorism Task Force at West Point. Muslim speakers will explain Islam and its code of conduct. What they won't hear at the event, organized by the U.S. Attorney, is anyone from Strategic Engagement Group, the Virginia-based nonprofit that is training the Rutherford County Sheriff's Office this week. Its leaders have drawn criticism for painting Muslims as violent believers who follow a law not protected by the Constitution.

Rutherford County Sheriff Robert Arnold defended a training event led by the group this week, saying there are few courses available about Islam and terrorism. Finding training isn't a problem, anti-terrorism experts say. Finding the right training is. “There is a lot of misinformation out there from people who don't understand Islam,” said Jonathan White of the Homeland Defense Initiative at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Mi. Last year, the New York City Police Department showed the film The Third Jihad, which says Muslims are waging a modern holy war, to nearly 1,500 officers as part of its anti-terrorism training. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg denounced that move.

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