CAIR has urged American Muslims and other people of conscience to contact their elected representatives to request the removal of problematic language in two pending Department of Homeland Security Reauthorisation Acts that single out American Muslims for additional scrutiny over the threat of violent extremism in the United States.
Co-sponsored by Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) and Rep. Peter King (R-NY), each bill (S.1546 and H.R.3116) seeks to create a new coordinator position within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to direct efforts on “counter[ing] homegrown violent Islamist extremism” with particular focus on the “ideology of Al Qaeda and its affiliated groups” in the United States.
In September, CAIR addressed similar concerns over the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee's consideration of the same legislation.
“CAIR believes that creating such a coordinator position would narrowly shift the DHS counterterrorism strategy away from following actual leads and preventing illegal and violent acts, to unconstitutionally monitoring the thoughts and beliefs of American citizens,” said CAIR Government Affairs Coordinator Robert McCaw.
In a recent letter to Senator Lieberman, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano reaffirmed that, “DHS has made it a priority to counter all forms of domestic violent extremism, regardless of ideology,” and that DHS has already established, “the Counterterrorism Advisory Board [led by a Counterterrorism Coordinator] to better coordinate the Department's ... efforts to prevent and protect against foreign and homegrown terrorist attacks.”