About Me

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Hussam has been a lifelong human rights activist who is passionate about promoting democratic societies, in the US and worldwide, in which all people, including immigrants, workers, minorities, and the poor enjoy freedom, justice, economic justice, respect, and equality. Mr. Ayloush frequently lectures on Islam, media relations, civil rights, hate crimes and international affairs. He has consistently appeared in local, national, and international media. Full biography at: http://hussamayloush.blogspot.com/2006/08/biography-of-hussam-ayloush.html

Saturday, September 30, 2006

FBI Citizens' Academy

A few months ago, I received an invitation to participate in a 10-week FBI Citizen's Academy program. Through my work at CAIR, I get to interact closely with the local FBI office, mainly on cases involving hate crimes against Muslims or counter-terrorism. Actually, CAIR, along with several other Arab, Muslim, Iranian, and Sikh groups and leaders, is part of the Multi-Cultural Advisory Committee (MCAC) which advises the local FBI.

I agreed to join this Academy in the hope that it will help me better understand the FBI and its work. So far, I have attended 4 classes and I have really learned a lot from the information presented to our exclusive group of 30, made up of business, religious and civic leaders.

The relationship between the American Muslim community and the FBI has not always been smooth. I still remember a time, right after 9/11, when our office had to deal with daily reports from Muslims of alleged abuse and harassment by local FBI agents. The early relationship was rocky and built on mis-trust. Fortunately, the Muslim community and the FBI embarked on a genuine and serious effort to build mutual trust, understanding, and cooperation. After all, we all want to protect the country from all harm and we all want to ensure the protection of everyone's civil rights while doing so.

I am sure that there will always be times when disagreements and issues will arise, but at least we now have a constructive mechanism to address them as they happen.

As we invite the FBI to visit our Masajid/Mosques and ask FBI agents to undertake cultural diversity training about Islam to better understand and work with the Muslim community, it is incumbent on us to take advantage of every oppotunity to learn more about the FBI in order to develop a greater appreciation for the important work they do and to build a spirit of true partnership and cooperation. A cooperation that will ensure the safety of our nation and the respect and protection for every person in America.

I certainly recommend that leaders attend this academy.

For more information on the Citizens' Academy, visit:

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