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"I know Islam better than my own religion."
March 2, 2011 3:41 PM   Subscribe

How We Train Our Cops to Fear Islam. There aren’t nearly enough counterterrorism experts to instruct all of America’s police. So we got these guys instead.
posted by lullaby (69 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
Instead, he took a commercial course in extreme survival skills, with no counterterrorism component.

What's the color of the boathouse at henley?
posted by lalochezia at 3:53 PM on March 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


You remember the Alligator Alley incident?

See, their problem was that they were eating at a Shoney's. Next time, they'll know to talk their terrorist talk while dining at KFC, eating fried chicken like good Americans.
posted by phunniemee at 3:55 PM on March 2, 2011


In Terror at Beslan, Giduck recounts giving a presentation on the 2002 hostage crisis at the Nord-Ost Theater in Moscow. After most of the terrorists were knocked unconscious by the gas that security forces pumped into the building, Spetsnaz, the Russian special forces, came through, methodically shooting each of the terrorists once in the back of the head. Giduck is convinced that as Americans we could do better: we could shoot them twice. Giduck writes of being alarmed when a policeman came up to him after the talk and said that not one of the cops in the room would ever have considered doing this. “I think the first thing we need to do is pass federal legislation exempting law enforcement from any civil or criminal prosecution, any liability at all, for what they do if there is a terrorist attack on U.S. soil,” Giduck writes. “In attempting to prepare the American psyche for the worst possible terrorist act—the taking and killing of children—we must all shed the veil of civility and luxury in which we conduct our lives.”
posted by Avenger at 3:58 PM on March 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


.....err hereford. Clearly I'm not SAS either!
posted by lalochezia at 3:59 PM on March 2, 2011


Every day we shuffle just a little bit further down the road to Weimar.

Just a little bit. Every day.
posted by Avenger at 4:00 PM on March 2, 2011 [13 favorites]


The scary part is that your typical street cop believes this bs. You can counter their arguments with facts but just like fundamentalists, they'll only believe what they want to believe regardless of reality.
posted by Grumpy old geek at 4:02 PM on March 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


You remember the Alligator Alley incident?

I had never even heard of this. That's depressing. Although I have a great idea for a Hungry Hungry Hippos knockoff now.
posted by Hoopo at 4:06 PM on March 2, 2011


I kept waiting for them to get to the actual facts, or at least explain how this guy determined the difference between a secular Islamist & a jihadist. I am hoping that my skimming due to aggravation caused me to miss that section.
posted by kellyblah at 4:12 PM on March 2, 2011


Flannel merchant.
posted by clavdivs at 4:15 PM on March 2, 2011




“From the perspective of operational security, there are two things I am always looking out for: a shaved body and moving lips,” he explained. “

Holy crap.
posted by angrycat at 4:19 PM on March 2, 2011


That's also what I look for in porn.
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:20 PM on March 2, 2011 [31 favorites]


Every day we shuffle just a little bit further down the road to Weimar.

Swing dancing? Greta Garbo?
posted by GuyZero at 4:20 PM on March 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


He doesn’t think American law enforcement is ready for the next terrorist attack. At the end of the day, he said, the question is this: “Can you run fifteen yards on a blood-slicked floor, take aim, and still hit the target?”
Only John Woo can prepare us for the terrorists.
posted by Strshan at 4:22 PM on March 2, 2011 [9 favorites]


Wow. This guy sounds like a con man who's really good at playing on people's fears, department's needs, and getting paid.
posted by entropone at 4:24 PM on March 2, 2011 [12 favorites]


John Woo would do it with two guns while jumping past an explosion.
posted by GuyZero at 4:24 PM on March 2, 2011


Kharoba had no professional experience in law enforcement, no academic training in terrorism or national security, and is not himself a Muslim. But as a Jordanian-born Christian he was able to turn his place of birth into a selling point. When we asked the dean of the Institute of Public Safety why she recruited Kharoba to teach there, her answer was that Kharoba "put the flavor of Middle Eastern culture into it."

Wow! Given how successful this Kharoba guy has been at terrorizing LEOs, someone should run a background check on him.

Thanks for posting this.
posted by vidur at 4:26 PM on March 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


KNOW YOUR MUSLIM! YOUR LIFE MAY DEPEND ON IT! He will stagger and babble when questioned. He will not respect your Badge.
posted by Joe Beese at 4:26 PM on March 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


And doves. Lots of doves.
posted by brundlefly at 4:26 PM on March 2, 2011 [7 favorites]


“I think the first thing we need to do is pass federal legislation exempting law enforcement from any civil or criminal prosecution, any liability at all, for what they do if there is a terrorist attack on U.S. soil,” Giduck writes.

Jesus Christ.
posted by reductiondesign at 4:28 PM on March 2, 2011 [15 favorites]


If a cop were to call up with a Jordanian name not shown in the phone book, Kharoba’s advice would be unequivocal. "Fingerprint him. Take him to prison."

We should get our names into a Jordanian phone book ASAP! Oh wait, I am in Australia. Carry on, Kharoba.
posted by vidur at 4:30 PM on March 2, 2011


Kharoba can tell whether Mahmoud is a Wahhabi (a member of a fundamentalist Islamic sect from Saudi Arabia) just by going through Mahmoud’s trash. There will be no pre-approved credit card offers, because interest is forbidden in Islam.

Because companies that send out pre-approved credit card mail care about the religious backgrounds of people. I have no credit, absolutely ZERO, and I still get that crap.

Kharoba strode forward to the front of the room, his voice slower now, more measured. “Islam is a highly violent radical religion that mandates that all of the earth must be Muslim.”

And Christian missionaries and Mormons who knock on your door just want to be your friend. FFS, just because a religion wants it's believers to proselytize their one truth, and some of such believers think it's be converted or be killed, doesn't mean all believers think the same way.

And praying in an airport? Christians do that, for Christ's sake! Fear of flying, praying that they'll make it to a meeting on time. praying there aren't crying children in the seat next to them for their 6 hour flight.
posted by filthy light thief at 4:30 PM on March 2, 2011 [8 favorites]


I just like to mention something. I have several police officers in my family. None of them are idiots. None of them are Fascists with guns and a badge. I'm guessing that there are other good cops out there. The More You Know...
posted by Splunge at 4:31 PM on March 2, 2011 [20 favorites]


Splunge, I also have police officers as friends and family. The only thing I'd add to your cogent point is that *all* of them seem to have an extremely black & white view of the world. You are either good (a non-suspect), which means "obeying the law as I understand it, someone to be respected", or bad (a suspect), which means "I can take any arguably legal action available to me against you."

They are super fun to hang-out with, unless you are "bad" or may be "bad". The "thin blue line" appears to me to be the line demarcating good & bad in a cop's mind. They are not idiots, they just have an unfortunately simple view of the world.

I think it is due to the training, and I think it is sad.
posted by Invoke at 4:48 PM on March 2, 2011 [12 favorites]


When I was in the military we had idiots like this giving classes. Hell, when I was in high school they allowed idiots to teach. Somehow I managed to learn how to form my own opinions.

And like Splunge, all the cops I have know are decent people.

Seems like this was a profile of idiots. They are everywhere. I fear idiocy more than terrorism.
posted by cjorgensen at 4:49 PM on March 2, 2011 [8 favorites]


I have several police officers in my family. None of them are idiots. None of them are Fascists with guns and a badge.

Unfortunately, Splunge, for every family that has good cops, you get a family (mine) that has a cop who believes that there's an active Satanic conspiracy among Judges, Lawyers, and the ACLU. No shit.
posted by chimaera at 4:50 PM on March 2, 2011 [12 favorites]


lalochezia - there's a good bit of info about the boathouse and "THEM" here ;)
posted by longbaugh at 4:50 PM on March 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Kharoba projected a picture of Ayman Gheith, one of the arrested men, onto the screen. “The first thing is facial hair,” Kharoba said. “Do you see how the moustache is trimmed, and the beard is in a cone shape? It is very common to have this beard, and the moustache will always be the same, just like Muhammad.”

There is only one problem with the Alligator Alley case—a problem Kharoba never mentioned to the class. The incident was a false alarm. The “terrorists” turned out to be medical students on their way to a conference in Miami. They were innocent. After thirteen hours of interrogation, the police released them. Kharoba, however, taught the class that Ayman Gheith was a “textbook case” of Islamic fanaticism.


There's a defamation lawsuit begging to happen here.
posted by Tsuga at 4:51 PM on March 2, 2011 [9 favorites]


I'm guessing that there are other good cops out there. The More You Know...
posted by Splunge at 4:31 PM on 3/2
[4 favorites +] [!]


Have you ever been harassed or brutalized by your family members? No? Perhaps that's why you have such a high opinion of them and others may not.
posted by Avenger at 4:53 PM on March 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


I won't get into a discussion of bad cops here. I know they exist. And there seem to be more "bad" ones than "good ones". I made a single point. BTW I have been harassed and indeed one time beaten by police officers. Not my family members. (ha ha)

That will be the end of my involvement in this thread. If you have any questions, you can MeMail me.
posted by Splunge at 4:58 PM on March 2, 2011


I'm guessing that there are other good cops out there.

Lissen, buddy, I'm tryin' to help you here. But my partner, well, he, you know, he ain't so understanding...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:02 PM on March 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


Have you ever been harassed or brutalized by your family members? No? Perhaps that's why you have such a high opinion of them and others may not.

Were you harassed or brutalized by Splunge's family members? Was anyone? If not, I don't see why we should fear the police related to Splunge or automatically assume that they would hurt someone.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 5:06 PM on March 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


I, for one, would prefer that there very few good OR bad cops, carrying tazers, guns, and nightsticks, who think being dark-skinned and having a beard is an offense worthy of arrest/beating/shooting.

This shit is pretty insane. Thirteen thousand terror attacks? Where the fuck did that number come from? Is he talking about attacks around the world -- including roadside bombings in Iraq or something? What a bunch of sleazy douchedicks.
posted by Saxon Kane at 5:09 PM on March 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


I suspect it is possible to repudiate the stereotyping of [x] by some [y] without stereotyping all [y] in the effort. In fact, I imagine it would make for a better argument.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:09 PM on March 2, 2011 [8 favorites]


Have you ever been harassed or brutalized by your family members? No? Perhaps that's why you have such a high opinion of them and others may not.

Somehow I'm reminded of an exchange between Archie Bunker and Lionel Jefferson. Something involving Lionel asking repeatedly of Archie whether it was bad to classify an entire group of people based on the actions of a few. Archie kept replying that it wasn't.

It was ironic in context.
posted by hippybear at 5:11 PM on March 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Perhaps painting all cops as thuggish dicks is an attempt to show the ridiculousness of painting all brown guys with beards as terrorists.

(My Cuban, i.e. brown, cousin has a beard. He used to make jokey videos of himself as Abdul Gesundheit, blowing up remote-control tanks. That was back in the 1980s. He doesn't do that now.)
posted by notsnot at 5:13 PM on March 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


The False Dichotomies of Bigots Part 1 [warning self link]
posted by nola at 5:24 PM on March 2, 2011


*all* of them seem to have an extremely black & white view of the world. You are either good (a non-suspect), which means "obeying the law as I understand it, someone to be respected", or bad (a suspect), which means "I can take any arguably legal action available to me against you."

This in itself doesn't seem like a problem to me, maybe even necessary/desirable given the nature of cops' work. If we had a bunch of Robocops who could be programmed to precisely distinguish illegal conduct from legal conduct and act accordingly – well, it would be scary as hell, but probably better than the current system. The problem comes in when your background biases – and everyone has them – influence your judgment about which side of that line someone falls on. Take a white 50-year-old woman and a black 17-year-old kid, driving the same Lexus at the same speed – and how many times is the former getting frisked, their trunk searched, maybe arrested for disorderly conduct? How many times the latter? They can fall on different sides of the line even for "good" cops trying to do the right thing, and *that* is the problem.
posted by dixiecupdrinking at 6:01 PM on March 2, 2011


I have no idea who first introduced the idea, but I remember it from one of cstross's books. All LEOs of any level, from the municipal level to the Federal, should have some sort of recording system that is tamper-proof and running whenever they unholster a weapon or under whatever circumstances make the most sense in a professional context. Maybe even 24/7.
posted by feloniousmonk at 6:07 PM on March 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


Because there is no presumption of good faith: by 24/7 I really mean, "whenever they are on duty."
posted by feloniousmonk at 6:08 PM on March 2, 2011


It is a problem, especially when some data confirms our innate biases. As much as we wish there were no teenage black hoodlums with weapons, there are, and so that one time a police officer comes to terms with real danger, real threat it validates all those other preconceived notions. Most people do this anyway. But most people don't have weapons and the responsibility to use them to protect the public. Sadly, most of our communities are like the Hobbit's Shire. The psychology of both war and peace officers must be different than someone who works at Olive Garden or Bank of America. I don't really have a lot of solutions other than we can't do what we're doing now. A police force can't treat a population as an enemy, even if it's psychologically satisfying, because not only is it morally wrong, but it totally removes the purpose of police officers. They are to protect ourselves from ourselves. To serve all of us, in a way, even the criminals (who are also targets of violence). I'm not actually sure I could be a good cop, to be just and firm and merciful and discerning and totally objective, which is probably why I shouldn't be one.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 6:14 PM on March 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Sadly, most of our communities are like the Hobbit's Shire.

Gar! That should be "are NOT like the Hobbit's Shire." I only wish more communities were like the Shire where the law enforcement was really there just to test out beers, get cats down from trees, and recapture stray animals.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 6:17 PM on March 2, 2011


Then he showed a YouTube video of two uniformed men beating a nameless prisoner. “This is what Miranda rights are in the Arab world,” he said.

Um. Were these uniformed men US employees, or contractors, or members of the US armed services? Because nowadays we just don't know.
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:15 PM on March 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


I got down to the bit about the Alligator Alley case and realized I was reading the same article I'd read a bunch of times before about various Satanic panic-type instructors called in by the cops during the 80s. I don't have to hate the police to wish they'd quit hiring these guys to instruct them in things the so-called instructors clearly don't know jack about.
posted by immlass at 7:15 PM on March 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Splunge: “I just like to mention something. I have several police officers in my family. None of them are idiots. None of them are Fascists with guns and a badge. I'm guessing that there are other good cops out there. The More You Know...”

Very true. The thing I liked about this article was that it made this fact clear. It pointed out, for example, that all of these shoddy instructors have little to no actual police training, and are often called out on their silliness by the actual cops. In fact, it sounds like a lot of cops have a lot of reservations about these classes, even if the presenters are very charismatic. But their departments keep paying to put them through the classes. That's not good.
posted by koeselitz at 7:16 PM on March 2, 2011


Despite the fact that online archives show “Islamic Culture and Names” as part of the curriculum through 2008, in response to a Freedom of Information Act request about the course, FLETC maintains it has “no records.

Reading articles like this confirms my worst fears about the true state of America.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 7:27 PM on March 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


As incredibly disconnected as most police are; this will be a nightmare. Bad enough to share a name with a felon (56 people in the state I used to live in with my first and last name = every police encounter is a full on hands on guns freaked out cop seemingly ready to draw and empty a clip into me experience); police matching terrorist names will be Barney Fife on PCP adventures.

Used to respect police. First thing I do now is call 911 as soon as I get approached or pulled over. If I get blown away; at least it will be on tape.

Training police, in anti-terror; by that fool? He's setting Muslims up to be near executed for stopping to pray in public.
posted by buzzman at 7:54 PM on March 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


> Why would anyone be wary of Islam, after all? posted by Chocolate Pickle

You realize that's a bit of bigoted trolling there, right? Most Muslims are against such cowardly acts.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:54 PM on March 2, 2011 [6 favorites]


Then he showed a YouTube video of two uniformed men beating a nameless prisoner. “This is what Miranda rights are in the Arab world,” he said.

Um. Were these uniformed men US employees, or contractors, or members of the US armed services? Because nowadays we just don't know.


Joe: I thought that was an odd comment too, considering that he then goes on to advise cops to do just about everything they can to violate the rights of "suspicious Muslims." So, are we supposed to hate them because they don't observe Miranda Rights, or learn from them?
posted by Saxon Kane at 7:57 PM on March 2, 2011


Then he showed a YouTube video of two uniformed men beating a nameless prisoner. “This is what Miranda rights are in the Arab world,” he said.

That's a damned lie. Alabama is NOT the Arab world.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 8:12 PM on March 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


There will be no brown wax fried-chicken bags, because fried chicken isn’t halal.

Halal KFC.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:22 PM on March 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


There are dozens of halal fried chicken joints in my city.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:25 PM on March 2, 2011


I couldn't find hardly any good food while I spent a week in London (probably because we didn't know where we were going), but we stumbled upon Halal Fried Chicken and it was delicious.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 9:13 PM on March 2, 2011


Ordering guns and ammos and KFC packaging in trash = Exercising 2nd Amendment rights

Ordering guns and ammo and no KFC packaging in trash = CALL IN SWAT!
posted by PenDevil at 9:55 PM on March 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Fun fact: Halal and Kosher food is usually tastier, and much less likely (for religious reasons) to have USDA approved levels of rat filth. Something to think about when choosing between Ballpark and Best's, or KFC and Halal Fried Chicken.

And again, tasty.
posted by Ghidorah at 10:51 PM on March 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


Holy Smokes!

Then again, enduring the courses could be an exercise in Counter-Intelligence.
posted by clavdivs at 10:52 PM on March 2, 2011


It is hard for me to take seriously folks who make comments about how all cops are X or Y; they are demonstrating that they themselves are as bigoted as those they are accusing of bigotry.
posted by Menthol at 11:41 PM on March 2, 2011


So is there no possibility of a giant lawsuit by some Muslim organization against the state of Florida? Surely a police department hiring someone to teach racial profiling must be illegal somehow?
posted by creasy boy at 12:35 AM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Any law enforcement agency paying this dude to pimp his useless information makes me want to lobby for less funding for law enforcement.
posted by hal_c_on at 12:51 AM on March 3, 2011


Kharoba reiterated the need to fight ruthlessly, sharing a story about the government of Syria quelling an uprising in Aleppo by shelling the city and killing more than 7,000 people. It’s a terrible story—but no such thing happened in Aleppo. It happened in Hama, a city about ninety miles to the south, in 1982.

...yeah, I'm thinking the racism and suggested mass murder is more of an issue.
posted by jaduncan at 4:16 AM on March 3, 2011






It is hard for me to take seriously folks who make comments about how all cops are X or Y; they are demonstrating that they themselves are as bigoted as those they are accusing of bigotry.


Not if you believe that the organizational structure of the police service encourages certain traits or behavior.

I've known a lot of cops that were great guys, but I'm still very critical of the police force. You're confusing mistrust of the police as an institution, and mistrust of the police as individual people.
posted by Stagger Lee at 8:54 AM on March 3, 2011


Have you guys seen this? Ugh, the Tea Party can be downright disgusting. Islamophobia is definitely present in this country, and I'm a little scared to see where it's going.
posted by mccarty.tim at 9:03 AM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


mccarty.tim that just ruined my lunch. What the hell is wrong with people. How can these people be so full of hate and live good lives? It must eat them from the inside out.
posted by MrBobaFett at 10:38 AM on March 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


"I think it is due to the training, and I think it is sad." + what Stagger Lee says above.

I'm not buying that it's entirely the training though. I've known enough cops to know that people with a fairly black & white view of things tend to gravitate towards a role in society where they can put their view to work in the service of Justice. Which doesn't make them evil. Two former (only because of time and distance) friends were big city detectives, and both of them are lovely guys; one of them is the only person who can consistently make me laugh my fool head off, which never happens otherwise. But they're also sincere racists, with a very strict view of where the line is for good guy/bad guy. My ex-boss (who I still work with and respect) was an undercover RCMP drug guy for most of his career.

The problem is that we growing up watching tv and reading books that teach us to make those distinctions, and then we hire the people with no other direction in life* to work for the Justice system. Then we train them to follow institutional rules for LEO behaviour, the first of which is, arguably, that protecting the institution IS protecting society.

Finally, taking on an authoritarian role in family life, society, or law enforcement is the easy way to express your personal insecurities about parenting, work, or law enforcement. This is where "Law Enforcement" as a political tool/football dovetails nicely with the expressed intentions of the Tea Party. Hence I'm not surprised by mccarty.tim's post above.

* Nothing wrong with that, but why didn't they become HR directors at 7-11 or whatever?
posted by sneebler at 10:49 AM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well this is depressing, but I guess I shouldn't be surprised. There is an enormous demand for pseudo-experts and pseudo-knowledge in all walks of life.
posted by philipy at 11:37 AM on March 3, 2011


Jesus.
posted by Rhaomi at 2:33 PM on March 3, 2011


> Jesus.

That's some crazy shit right there. Those dumbasses don't know that for the Muslims, they're just reenacting stories straight out of the early days of Islam when the Meccans would harass Muslims in prayer.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:40 PM on March 3, 2011




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