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
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