DEMAND DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (DHS) Secretary jeh johnson TO TREAT MUSLIM AMERICANS WITH DIGNITY AND RESPECT, BY RESCINDING PLANS TO PILOT COUNTERING VIOLENT EXTREMISM (CVE) PROGRAMS IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA.
Government-led CVE programs are ill-conceived, ineffective, and stigmatize the Muslim American community.
Local and federal law enforcement agencies have primarily viewed the Muslim American community through the lens of national security and counter-terrorism, and CVE is a continuation of this discriminatory practice.
By creating CVE programs solely for the American Muslim community, DHS will further stigmatize the Muslim community by reaffirming the false narrative that the Muslim community is inherently violent and at a heightened risk for terrorism. American Muslims demand to be treated as equals, and not as a collective suspect group.
While the current framework for a CVE program in Southern California gives no details about the mechanics of the program, previous CVE programs have been based on the flawed "radicalization theory." According to this theory First Amendment activities like religious views and practices and political opinions would be viewed as indicators of tendency for violent extremism. Thus, CVE programs would burden First Amendment activities, and deputize religious leaders, social workers, and non-policing members of the community to report individuals for innocuous activities. This scheme of self-policing will result in self-censorship and destruction of trust amongst the community.
With the history of use of informants and agent provocateurs by the FBI in Southern California, the requisite trust for a community policing program does not exist. CVE will not replace these egregious practices, but rather would be an added layer of monitoring of the community by law enforcement.