CAIR plays, but DHS doesn’t dance. However, the FBI cuts a mean jig. From the LA Times, with thanks to JS:
Muslim American groups from Southern California held a town hall meeting Monday to discuss with federal officials what they call unfair targeting of Muslim travelers and immigrants in the wake of 9/11.
Nearly 500 people attended the meeting, held at a La Mirada hotel. But not everyone on the coalition’s guest list showed up.
A representative of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said that a week ago he invited officials from the Department of Homeland Security, including the local heads of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Transportation Security Administration.
The officials declined, said Omar Zaki, director of government relations for CAIR’s office in Anaheim. The officials said that their local offices handle only enforcement and do not set policy, Zaki said.
Lori Haley, a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, declined to comment Monday.
The Department of Homeland Security has “completely closed the door on this community,” said Zaki at Monday’s meeting. “They’ve taken the position that it isn’t important for them to be here. They’ve avoided every opportunity to talk with us. Their arrogance is not acceptable. This is about accountability.”
The FBI, which is part of the U.S. Department of Justice and not Homeland Security, did send a representative. Matt McLaughlin, special projects coordinator for an outreach program to the Muslim community, told the audience that the FBI “wants to be sensitive when it makes sense. Our government isn’t perfect “” mistakes can occur. We are trying to treat everyone with dignity and respect, but also do the very difficult job of protecting you all.”
In an interview before the meeting, McLaughlin said that the FBI and the Muslim community “need to remain in dialogue, whether it’s a happy day or a sad day. I think it’s important that the FBI be here to listen to the community.”