FBI Census of Mosques Draws Criticism

February 7, 2003

Source: Orlando Sentinel

On February 7, 2003 the Orlando Sentinel reported that "agents in the FBI's 56 field offices will begin taking their own census of Muslims and their places of worship as part of the nation's antiterrorism effort -- a mandate that has ratcheted up the fear level in Central Florida's Muslim community... The FBI said mosques are included in the survey to protect the Muslim community from hate crimes. But civil-rights advocates in Central Florida and nationwide accused the government of profiling and said the FBI's plans are spreading fear throughout Muslim communities... 'The impression it gives to the public is that you should be suspicious of every mosque you see because something bad could be going on there,' said Omar Dajani, board member at the Arab American Community Center and an activist in Central Florida. 'I appreciate everything the government does to protect the American public, but I disagree with some of the tactics used to achieve that goal.'