Muslim community leaders are worried that some elected officials in Arizona and across the country are stoking a rise in Islamophobia in the wake of recent beheadings and other terrorist acts by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria militant group, says the Arizona Republic. They cite as just one example a training session Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery scheduled for Friday that purports to teach law-enforcement officers in the Valley about the threat of Islamic terrorists.
The training session has drawn criticism from the ACLU and a cross-section of religious leaders because it will be led by a former FBI agent, John Guandolo, who critics say spreads anti-Muslim rhetoric. Muslim leaders say other elected officials are fanning anti-Muslim sentiments by perpetuating claims that ISIS-trained terrorists are on the verge of entering the U.S. through Mexico. One Muslim leader said those claims, which have been dismissed by federal officials, are being used “to score political points.”