All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) Hosts Muslim Community Forum with the Honorable Jeh Johnson, Secretary of Homeland Security: Thursday, June 11, 2015 in Sterling, Virginia

 

Building on and deepening its 14 years of community partnership with all levels of law enforcement, and its ongoing independent efforts for national security, civil rights, and social resilience, on Thursday evening, June 11, the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) hosted a forum with The Honorable Jeh Johnson, Secretary of Homeland Security, and members of his team.

Approximately 100 community leaders, activists, and young people from Virginia, DC, and Maryland mosques and organizations representing several hundred thousand VA/DC/MD Community members participated in the  forum. Participants discussed national security, countering and preventing violent extremism and hate crimes, and protecting civil rights.  The overall spirit was positive and constructive.  The group focused on the key values of shared engagement, partnership, and participation of grass roots citizens, congregations, organizations, and the Department.


ADAMS Board Chair, Rizwan Jaka, introduced the program and reaffirmed Muslim Community partership for National Security, Counter-Terrorism, and Civil Rights
   
ADAMS Quran student and youth recited the verse from the Quran “O humankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of God is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And God has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things)”

ADAMS Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America led a Flag Ceremony, Pledge of Allegiance and Sang America The Beautiful
ADAMS President, Syed Moktadir, welcomed the community leaders and said “We truly appreciate the commitment of community partnership and dialogue demonstrated by Secretary Johnson and his team and
thanked the community leaders for being engaged and at the table.” 
   
ADAMS Executive Religious Director, Imam Mohamed Magid mentioned that Muslim community should be at the table in dialogue and looked at as partners and not suspects. He also discussed the FATWA (religious ruling) Against Terrorism:
The main subject areas of discussion included:

I.  Countering Violent Extremism (CVE)


It was noted that the number of young people potentially susceptible to recruitment to extremism is small (a fraction of a fraction), but that one person radicalized is one too many.  99.999% of Muslim Youth are productive and high achieving citizens, and immune to any threat of radicalization.Discussions occurred around how to engage mental health and human services components into counter-radicalization and counter-violent extremism.  Those few youth susceptible to extremist recruitment have often shown signs of mental health and behavior problems similar to those enticed into other destructive paths, such as joining gangs or getting involved in drugs.  Parents of those who might be susceptible are alerting imams about their concerns, and imams are counseling them to de-radicalize them.  We talked about how we can partner more effectively to counter-radicalize before someone crosses the line, while making sure law enforcement handles anyone planning to do criminal action.


II.  National Security Partnerships between Law Enforcement and the Muslim community


We discussed partnership and trust as key to national security.  Muslim community members are increasingly seen, respected, and engaged as partners, rather than as suspects; we agreed on the importance of cultivating this trend.  Its value has already been actively demonstrated: Some 42% of terrorism arrests have resulted from Muslim community members calling law enforcement: (
http://sanford.duke.edu/centers/tcths/about/documents/Kurzman_Muslim-American_Terrorism_Since_911_An_Accounting.pdf )

III.  Civil rights and Civil liberties


Civil rights issues such as ethnic or religious attire profiling, especially in airports and in travel generally, were discussed.  Also, there was discussion of the increases in hate crimes against mosques and Muslim community members, as well as discussions of DHS’ role in responding to hate crimes.


IV.  Responding to all Violent Extremists


DHS activity to counter other violent extremist groups was another key concern.  An FBI study of terrorism on U.S. soil from 1980 to 2005 found that 94% of terror attacks were committed by non-Muslims:

http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/terrorism-2002-2005/terror02_05#terror_05sum

V.  In Conclusion


The evening drew on a wide range of people and perspectives, unified by all parties’ shared commitment to the safety of the nation, its peoples’ security, the growing partnership between citizens and the Department, and the resilience of its future.  As the evening concluded, the mood was positive, confident, and upbeat.  The ADAMS website will continue to carry news of this work and invitations to related events, and the Center invites you to connect and participate.


REFERENCES:


1. For over 14 years, ADAMS has been a key member of the FBI Washington Field Office (WFO)’s American Muslim Sikh Advisory Committee.  We have consistently encouraged open dialogue and cooperation between the Muslim community and law enforcement, simultaneously protecting our nation’s safety while safeguarding the individual civil rights accorded and guaranteed by the US Constitution.  ADAMS has hosted several Town Hall meetings with the FBI WFO at our mosque, and had many advisory sessions with the WFO director and field agents, sharing mutual concerns and exploring ways of enhancing and strengthening our cooperation.


2. FATWA (religious ruling) Against Terrorism:

    https://www.adamscenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/FATWA_Muslims_Against_Terrorism.pdf

3. ADAMS is a National Community Outreach Partner with the FBI in its Arab/Muslim/Sikh/South Asian-American Category.  See the section “Our Outreach Partners” on the FBI website:

http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/partnerships_and_outreach/community_outreach/outreach_contacts

4.  ADAMS has also been a member of the Department of Homeland Security’s Countering Violent Extremism Working Group:

(
http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/hsac_cve_working_group_recommendations.pdf).

5. 
http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/fbi-field-office-director-james-mcjunkin-leads-by-example/2011/08/30/gIQAxIg3HK_story.html

6. 
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/20/AR2006092001675.html

7. 
http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1129587,00.html

8.  MUFLEHUN – Counter-Radicalization organization – Chaired by Imam Magid (ADAMS) and Humera Khan (Executive Director):

http://www.muflehun.org/

9. ADAMS Hosts Seminar on Preventing Violent Extremism in the Muslim American Community since 2011:

http://muflehun.org/event-internet-safety-workshop-what-parents-need-to-know/

10.  New York Times Article:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/20/us/muslim-leaders-in-us-seek-to-counteract-extremist-recruiters.html

11.  ABC NEWS Interviews:

–  ABC News’ Martha Raddatz speaks to an imam in Virginia fighting attempts by ISIS to lure young Muslim Americans into extremism.

http://abcnews.go.com/ThisWeek/video/countering-isis-recruiting-tactics-29141084
(ADAMS Interviews start at Video Time Period 1:30)

http://abcnews.go.com/US/isis-recruiters-run-virginia-imam-working-counter-message/story?id=29166473

12. All Dulles Area Muslim Society focuses on Religious Freedom Around The World:
 
The All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS), one of the largest Muslim communities/mosques in the DC Metro Area and in the United States, is a non-profit 501c (3) Organization that serves over 6000 families(25,000 people) with 10 branches in Virginia/DC – Ashburn, Crystal City, Fairfax, Greater Gainesville, North Reston, South Riding, Sterling/Herndon, Sully/Chantilly, Tysons Corner,  and Washington DC.   ADAMS is governed by a 13-member democratically elected Board of Trustees that includes both men and women.  ADAMS Provides Religious services & education and social activities to several thousand people a week. ADAMS engages in regular interfaith, government relations, social services and community service, and has one of the largest Cub Scout, Boy Scout and Girl Scout programs in the DC Metro area. ADAMS Coordinates 22 Friday Prayers at 10 Locations. ADAMS Eid Prayers are attended by 15,000 to 25,000 People at 6 ADAMS Eid Holiday Locations. The ADAMS hosts the Adams Compassionate Healthcare Network(ACHN) Office and Clinic. ADAMS has three official seats on ACHN Board of Directors.

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