Muslim Advocates Urges Mayor Buttigieg to Drop Support for Flawed Profiling Program

DHS ‘Countering Violent Extremism’ Program Based On Junk Science, Will Be Turned Against Vulnerable Communities Again

WASHINGTON, DC — The following is a statement issued today from Muslim Advocates Executive Director Farhana Khera responding to recent calls from Mayor Pete Buttigieg and others, to revive the Department of Homeland Security’s Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) program—a failed, anti-Muslim counterterrorism program that would not address the threat of white nationalist violence:

“We sympathize with Mayor Buttigieg and others who are looking for solutions to the deadly threat of white nationalist violence, but reviving the Department of Homeland Security’s failed Countering Violent Extremism program is not the answer.

There is no evidence that CVE programs prevent violence. However, there is ample evidence that the programs lead to Muslims being over-policed and over-criminalized and that they are based on half-baked, junk science stereotypes that Muslims are predisposed to violence and deserve more scrutiny.

Repurposing this failed, discriminatory program to address white nationalist violence is building a new house on a shaky foundation. Whether under the purview of President Obama or President Trump, CVE programs have almost always been used to target, stereotype and criminalize American Muslims. Reviving the program at DHS, even for the purpose of addressing white nationalist violence, will only lend credibility to the false premise that a person’s race or religion indicates whether they are more likely to commit violence.

Proposing policies to stop white nationalist violence is a worthy and necessary act and we commend Mayor Buttigieg and all others who are doing so in good faith. But we must not repeat the mistakes made in the aftermath of 9/11. Convenient but ineffective counterterrorism programs like CVE are good fodder for press releases but won’t prevent the kinds of violence we have seen in Charleston, Christchurch, Poway and El Paso.”

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Muslim Advocates is a national civil rights organization working in the courts, in the halls of power and in communities to halt bigotry in its tracks. We ensure that American Muslims have a seat at the table with expert representation so that all Americans may live free from hate and discrimination.