Since the often violent protests in Ferguson, Missouri that broke out in the wake of the police shooting of Michael Brown, it’s been known that Muslim organizations and activists have expressed sympathy and support for the protestors.
As noted in a post on thedailybeast.com in late August:
The shooting of Michael Brown and the heavy-handed response by the police that followed has struck a nerve among Muslims.
It has motivated American-Muslim leaders to speak out publicly in ways we hadn’t seen before on police misconduct directed against African Americans.
The writer of that post, who identifies himself as a member of the Muslim community, goes on to characterize the Ferguson shooting and the atmosphere surrounding the battle lines that have since been drawn as compelling calls for Muslims to step up and become involved in the controversy.
The St. Louis Chapter of the Council on America-Islamic Relations (CAIR) sent a letter to the Brown family signed by the leaders of the 18 Islamic Centers in the area representing more than 100,000 Muslims.
In it, they expressed their condolences and called for justice, noting: “We know that unarmed black men are killed at an alarming rate in this country.”
Now, according to an investigative piece on foxnews.com, a Washington-based watchdog group is warning that a number of Muslim activists — some with ties to radical organizations — are attempting to co-opt the Ferguson protests.
The Center for Security Policy says it has tracked efforts by groups such as CAIR to link the Ferguson shooting to what they claim are conspiratorial efforts by police to intimidate Muslims.
Using social media, conference calling and traditional outreach methods, leaders of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) are portraying Brown and Detroit mosque leader Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah as African-American victims of police targeting, according to the Washington-based Center for Security Policy (CSP).
In a conference call organized by CAIR-linked “Muslims for Ferguson,” a CAIR official called Abdullah a “Shaheed,” or martyr, and said both he and Brown were victims of a national security apparatus that had “completely gone wild” and engaged in “demonizing and criminalizing Muslims.”
The foxnews.com report notes that Muslims for Ferguson’s Facebook page has offered instruction on protest and media outreach. The group has also reportedly reached out to known radical organizations engaged in the promotion of “black power.”
The group held a news conference call Nov. 17 to discuss activist preparations “on the ground” in response to the grand jury’s decision, when it is announced.
Speakers – who represented such groups as the Organization for Black Struggle – spoke of ways to sustain the momentum of the Michael Brown cause, called for the targeting of federal buildings, but also said protests should be non-violent.
The Center for Security Policy also claims that the youth organizer with the Chicago-based Arab American Action Network is urging black and Latino minorities to look to Muslims as the “gatekeepers of policing” in the United States.
He said “justice” could only be found “in the streets,” and not in “marble halls and marble buildings.”
“Black youth, now, are facing tanks and M16s,” he said. “Under the guise of fighting terrorism, police are now armed as a military force in their neighborhood.”
Photo Credit: twitter
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