The Obama administration established the Countering Violent Extremism Task Force in 2011 to reform government anti-extremism programs with a less intrusive approach that relied on local leaders and service professionals to identify signs of radicalization within their communities. States and cities have used Department of Homeland Security grant money to start parallel initiatives, and the Illinois Terrorism Task Force has come out with its own program, Targeted Violence Prevention. A coalition of racial justice organizations, supported by the American Friends Service Committee and the Arab-American Action Network, published a report today arguing that these programs fail to achieve their stated goals of identifying and countering extremism and reinforce government surveillance of Muslim and Arab communities by informally deputizing community leaders. Joining us to discuss are Nicole Nguyen, assistant professor of Social Foundations of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago, who contributed research to the report, and Muhammad Sankari, lead organizer at the Arab-American Action Network. We’ll also hear from individuals and organizations named in the report.
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