Security Agency Enlisting Muslims to Rebut Radicals

June 5, 2007

Author: Matthai Chakko Kuruvila

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

After nearly six years of intense law enforcement scrutiny of Muslims in the United States, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff is reshaping his agency's approach to Muslims and invited four prominent Muslims to help the agency prevent homegrown radicalism.

The four leaders Chertoff called on -- a former ambassador from Pakistan, a Santa Monica author who grew up in San Jose, a Houston city councilman and an Austin, Texas, blogger -- suggest increasing youth services, working with bloggers to fight extremist ideology on the Web and even changing the terminology the government uses to describe terrorists.

The May 8 meeting -- the first of its kind the Homeland Security secretary has called with Muslims -- was part of a series of gatherings that Chertoff told Congress in March would be "an unprecedented level of cooperation" with various ethnic and religious communities to "prevent radicalization."