U.S. Congressman Ellison questions FBI’s Mueller about treatment of U.S. Muslims

Posted on April 29, 2008

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From a House Hearing held Wednesday. The full exchange is pasted below:

HOUSE COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY HOLDS A HEARING ON OVERSIGHT OF THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION

APRIL 23, 2008

Key Lines:
1) MUSLIMS DO ASSIST LAW ENFORCEMENT
Mueller: “And every opportunity I have, I re-affirm the fact that 99.9 percent of Muslim-Americans or Sikh-Americans, Arab-Americans are every bit as patriotic as anybody else in this room, and that many of our cases are a result of the cooperation from the Muslim community in the United States.”

2) MUELLER TAKES ELLISON’S POINT THAT PUBLIC UCC DESIGNATIONS HURT LAW ENFORCEMENTS OUTREACH, COOPERATION AND TRUST-BUILDING EFFORTS
ELLISON: That allows me to go on and ask my question. By naming all these 306 individuals and organizations as unindicted co- conspirators, naming them explicitly, what impact did that have on your effort to build better relations in the Muslim-American community?

MUELLER: I’m not certain it had any impact.

ELLISON: I mean, do you…

MUELLER: I have not heard about an adverse impact as a result of that particular case.

ELLISON: OK. Well, let me ask you this. I mean, there are groups on — the groups that were named in there, there was no verdict against them, because they were unindicted, right?

I mean, do you think — what kind of effect do you think — message it sends to them, in terms of your ability to reach out to the community, gain cooperation, gain trust? Don’t you think it might have a deleterious effect? Doesn’t your common sense tell you that?

MUELLER: I understand what you’re saying. I take your point.

ELLISON: Also, you know, in the Muslim community, America has a great Muslim community, several million people. And the post-9/11 world, there’s been greater attention on this community. I’m sure you wouldn’t dispute that.

My question is, how important are outreach efforts in the Muslim community, given that the overwhelming number of Muslims condemn, are opposed to terrorism, or would be happy to report on somebody who was committing, plotting terrorism? How important are outreach efforts into the Muslim community for the FBI? [more]

Please click here to read the transcript of the whole exchange between Congressman Ellison and FBI Director Mueller.

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