Sunday, September 18, 2011

FBI training gone wrong?

On September 15th, CNN released an online report which explains how part of our legal entity, the FBI, has stepped into unsafe territory by allowing one of their analysts to give a training which blatantly discriminates and thus violates the rights of Muslims. Though FBI spokesman Christopher M. Allen states that “the instructor who conducted that training block no longer provides training on behalf of the FBI”, the religious discrimination is indisputably there and the likelihood of removing it is quite unlikely. The FBI training for new agents which is being questioned at this point was one which was given by a former FBI analyst whom explained his thoughts and ideologies about Muslims after the September 11th incident in order to better prepare new agents working within the department. The main problem here is that we are talking about a training which was held approximately six months ago. The fact that it went through though it was morally unacceptable, and there was no word about it until recently that an “FBI whistle blower” leaked the information to Wired magazine is completely unacceptable. Some of the statements within the FBI official’s passages are written with the disturbed mentality of one who has become prejudiced due to past events which lead to categorization and judgments of groups and individuals as wholes. Many of the statements expressed put down the religious beliefs of Muslims by stating that they believe that war is needed while peace is something which is temporary and much more. I believe that one of the biggest mistakes which the FBI analyst made was mixing his beliefs about a certain religion, with his job which in this case, constitutes as part of the legal system. Though there was a disclaimer before the slide, which stated this ideology was solely that of the individuals and it did not constitute that of the governments as a whole, the latter is still to blame due to the fact that they did not review the material which would be presented to their employees. If we look back in history, we can date back to the 1800s to find a very common statement which Jefferson made and that is about separation of church and state. Though many people do believe in the prior concept, it seems that some people still do not fully understand it. If religion and state were truly separated, then the state would not really have a say in where and when mosques were built as stated by Zogby. People such as this FBI analyst are wrongfully impacting the minds of people within the state and if he is not reprimanded by the legal system for his discriminatory actions, this will lead to repetitive offenses in similar manners. Though the analyst or FBI may claim that under the 1st amendment, he has the right to freedom of speech, it is also known that an individual has freedom until the point where his inflicts on that of another’s.


Harry R. said...

I agree with Zermeno that generalizations made within the FBI about Muslims may be inappropriate. Such blanket statements do not consider specific circumstances or other factors which can be important. Even so, I understand the need for the FBI to focus on terrorist threats, some of which may be perpetrated by Muslims. While Muslims should not be focused on exclusively, it is important that the FBI consider all the different possible threats to our national security.

Justin E said...

Everyone is entitled to free speech. However, training should be done without letting one's own opinions interfere with the topic at hand. Everyone should be allowed to make their own interpretations. I feel as though the FBI agent may have been forcing his beliefs onto others after reading the article which would be a violation of the separation of church and state.

ChristopherJ. said...

While I believe that the actions of the FBI agent in question were inappropriate, they are understandable. Muslim extremist groups have been trying to carry out terrorist attacks against out country for over a decade now and people are understandably on edge. The agent should have kept his personal opinions out of official business, but that does not mean that there cannot be some sort of focus on possible islamic threats. There has to be a distinction between radical muslims and the islamic community at large; if no such distinction exists, then it becomes discrimination.