ADC Expresses Serious Concerns Regarding White House CVE Summit
Washington, DC | www.adc.org | February 18, 2015 – The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) has raised grave concerns regarding the White House’s upcoming Summit on Countering Violent Extremism (CVE). The event will highlight efforts to prevent violent extremists and their supporters from committing acts of violence. ADC strongly believes that the framework of the White House’s CVE Summit is insufficient and counterproductive as it engages with the Arab and Muslim American communities through a security lens, rather than a civil rights framework.
The CVE Summit focuses solely on attacks allegedly committed by Muslims while ignoring the recent attacks on the Arab and Muslim communities. While ADC unequivocally condemns violent extremism in any form, ADC is strongly concerned that the framework of the government’s CVE program relies on a flawed model that stigmatizes Arab American and Muslim American communities.
ADC and eight other civil rights and advocacy organizations have publicly raised these and other concerns regarding the CVE Summit in a joint statement issued by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Arab American Association of New York (AAANY), Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Creating Law Enforcement Accountability & Responsibility Project at CUNY School of Law (CLEAR), DRUM – South Asian Organizing Center, Muslim Advocates, National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC), and South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT). The Joint Statement on the CVE Summit can be read here.
In the letter, the groups expressed, “The process for planning and organizing this summit has furthered the sense of mistrust already felt by American Muslim communities. From the outset, the administration has not consulted with a broad range of groups concerning the planning, content, and implementation of CVE. Additionally, the administration has not formally responded to a letter delivered in December by many groups signing this letter today. In fact, up until the last moment, very little information had been provided to participants about the agenda for the Summit.”
Law enforcement resources should be focused on investigating actual crimes rather than monitoring and targeting religious communities. The White House statement highlighted three attacks allegedly committed by Muslims abroad, but failed to mention any of the numerous attacks targeting the Arab and Muslim communities, such as the murder of three Arab and Muslim American students in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
ADC President Samer Khalaf adds: “ADC continues to be contacted by Arab and Muslim Americans who are afraid to report hate crimes to law enforcement because of fear that their rights will be violated. The government must behave in a way so that victims of hate crimes and violent extremism know that government agencies are there to protect their rights and safety, not just monitor their religious and political expression.”
“This focus solely on attacks committed by Arabs or Muslims reinforces the stereotype of Arab and Muslim Americans as security threats, and thus perpetuates hate of the respected communities.”
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