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FBI meets with Muslims, others

November 19, 2006

http://www.infocusnews.net/content/view/525/137/

On November 19, members and leaders from the Muslim, South Asian and Arab communities gathered in Anaheim for the second townhall meeting with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Organized by the bureau and the Multicultural Advisory Committee (MCAC), the town hall aimed to foster dialogue between the Muslim and Arab communities and the FBI.

Community members had the opportunity to ask questions of the agents who represented the departments of public corruption, hate crimes, and recruitment, among others.
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Tareef Nashashibi, President of the Arab-American Republican party moderated the session in which community members asked about immigration status changes, naturalization delays, online predators, and interviews coming from the FBI. Assistant Director, Stephen Tidwell, took most of the questions.

"This meeting served to build understanding," said Sharaf Mowjood, government relations coordinator for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). "But at the same time, no one from the community shied away from asking challenging questions, which will only foster a positive relationship between the FBI and the community." The FBI and MCAC both wanted more townhalls to be put on and organized within the Muslim, South Asian and Arab communities to continue the dialogue.

Muslim Americans are the first line of defense in the War on Terror, and by working closely with law enforcement, they are playing an integral role in strengthening our nation’s security," said Hussam Ayloush, executive director of CAIR-LA.

Government officials including Richard Chavez, Mayor Pro Tem of Anaheim, and Stephen Thornton ,District Director from Congressman Gary Miller’s office, Rima Nahshashibi, vice chair of the Democratic Party of Orange County, and Anaheim Police Chief John Walters attended the meeting at the Anaheim community center. Community leaders from CAIR, Shura Council of Southern California, Al-Fatiha Islamic Center and West Coast Islamic Society were also present along with many others.

By Khalid Ghazi
Southern California InFocus

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