In conducting national security investigations and prosecuting cases, the FBI and Justice Department rely on the support, cooperation and trust of the communities we serve and protect. Members of the Muslim and Arab-American communities are valuable partners in a shared effort to combat terrorist threats. They have regularly denounced terrorist acts and those who carry them out, and have provided critical assistance in helping to disrupt terrorist plots and combat radicalization. The department and the FBI regularly engage in extensive outreach efforts with the Muslim and Arab-American communities, and many other communities, to improve our ability to perform our duties in a manner consistent with civil liberties, diversity and a commitment to religious freedom. Among the actions taken since 9/11:
- The Justice Department and the FBI have constructed strong, lasting relationships with national Arab-American, Muslim, Sikh and South Asian American organizations and their leaders.
- The Attorney General has made engagement with the Muslim American and Arab American communities a priority, and U.S. Attorneys are active in reaching out to Muslim communities in their districts, with a special focus on local situations and issues.
- The department’s Civil Rights Division holds bi-monthly meetings that bring together top officials from various federal agencies with representatives of the Muslim, Arab, Sikh and South Asian communities to address civil rights issues.
- The Justice Department’s Community Relations Service has held more than 250 town and community meetings around the country in the last decade, addressing 9/11 backlash discrimination issues against Arab-Americans, Muslims, Sikhs and South Asian-Americans. The Service has also deployed conflict resolution specialists to more than 50 communities to alleviate tensions in the wake of backlash incidents.
- The FBI has launched innovative grassroots programs in each of its 56 field offices to meet the needs of Arab-Americans, Muslims, Sikhs, South Asian-Americans, and other communities within their domains.
- FBI outreach efforts range from formal national-level relationships with established groups to local multi-cultural advisory boards, Citizen’s Academies and youth activities. Most important are the individual relationships established by FBI personnel in the field with leaders in their local communities through regular dialogue and information sharing.
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