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US Muslim Brotherhood Group, Democratic Lawmakers Demand Biden Not Reappoint US Attorney Over Islamophobia Allegations

March 28th, 2021 13:00

The Min­neso­ta chap­ter of the Coun­cil on Amer­i­can-Islam­ic Rela­tions (CAIR) has joined faith lead­ers, com­mu­ni­ty activists, and Demo­c­ra­t­ic law­mak­ers for a press con­fer­ence to demand the Biden admin­is­tra­tion not reap­point for­mer Demo­c­ra­t­ic US attor­ney Andrew Luger to the top fed­er­al pros­e­cu­tor job in Min­neso­ta. Accord­ing to a press release on the CAIR web­site, Luger had past involve­ment in cham­pi­oning a counter-extrem­ism strat­e­gy they deemed “Islam­o­pho­bic.”

March 11, 2021 Dur­ing a his­toric water­shed moment on racial equi­ty and jus­tice, we do not believe we should be reap­point­ing a U.S. Attor­ney who has failed to bring civ­il rights cas­es against offi­cers accused of police bru­tal­i­ty,” Fateh wrote to his col­leagues. “We are also con­cerned about Mr. Luger’s past involve­ment in Islam­o­pho­bic ‘Coun­ter­ing Vio­lent Extrem­ism’ pro­grams which vil­i­fy young Mus­lims and sub­ject them to over­reach­ing sur­veil­lance and entrap­ment by the nation­al secu­ri­ty state.

Read the rest here.

The press con­fer­ence was also joined by Demo­c­ra­t­ic Min­neso­ta State Sen­a­tor Omar Fateh, the first Soma­li-Amer­i­can mem­ber of the Min­neso­ta Sen­ate, who has voiced his oppo­si­tion to Andrew Luger’s poten­tial appoint­ment in Demo­c­ra­t­ic circles.

The CAIR state­ment said the Coun­ter­ing Vio­lent Extrem­ism (CVE) pro­grams were divi­sive and increased “Islam­o­pho­bic bul­ly­ing of Mus­lim Stu­dents in Min­neso­ta.” CVE pro­grams were cre­at­ed in 2011 as part of the Oba­ma Administration’s strate­gic approach to coun­tert­er­ror­ism, work­ing with gov­ern­ments and non-gov­ern­men­tal part­ners to pro­vide com­mu­ni­ty resilience train­ing and inter­ven­ing with youth who were deemed sus­cep­ti­ble to rad­i­cal­iza­tion. CVE pilot pro­grams focused on Minnesota’s Twin Cities, home to a large Soma­li com­mu­ni­ty, most of which are Mus­lim. Civ­il lib­er­ty orga­ni­za­tions and Mus­lim advo­ca­cy groups, includ­ing CAIR, have come out against these pro­grams, accus­ing them of stig­ma­tiz­ing Amer­i­can Mus­lims and cast­ing unwar­rant­ed sus­pi­cion on innocu­ous activity.

From 2014 to 2017, Luger served his first role as US attor­ney for Min­neso­ta under the Oba­ma Admin­is­tra­tion. Over­see­ing a num­ber of high-pro­file cas­es, includ­ing the pros­e­cu­tion and con­vic­tion of nine men from Min­neso­ta for attempt­ing to join the Islam­ic State in Syr­ia, he has received bipar­ti­san sup­port and was endorsed for reap­point­ment by Min­neso­ta Sen­a­tor Amy Klobuchar.

The Coun­cil on Amer­i­can Islam­ic Rela­tions (CAIR) is part of the Glob­al Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, a transna­tion­al Islamist net­work cov­ered by the Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report (GIOR). It describes itself as “a grass­roots civ­il rights and advo­ca­cy group” and as “America’s largest Islam­ic civ­il lib­er­ties group” and was found­ed in 1994 by three offi­cers of the Islam­ic Asso­ci­a­tion of Pales­tine, part of the US Hamas infra­struc­ture at that time. In Novem­ber 2020, the GIOR reported that CAIR had issued a state­ment con­grat­u­lat­ing Demo­c­ra­t­ic Pres­i­dent-elect Joe Biden on his vic­to­ry, vow­ing to hold the forth­com­ing admin­is­tra­tion account­able on Mus­lim inclu­sion and civ­il rights issues.