Building Bridges to Strengthen America

Forging an Effective Counterterrorism Enterprise between Muslim Americans and Law Enforcement

April 23, 2013

Seeking to fulfill their civic and religious duties, Muslim Americans around the country have stood in solidarity with their fellow citizens by roundly condemning terrorism, heightening their vigilance and establishing partnerships with law enforcement. At a policy level, they have joined coalitions which are at the forefront of opposing excessive government policies by defending civil liberties.

However, Muslim Americans' voices have been conspicuously absent from a critical area: national security policy discourse. Echoing the 9/11 Commission, it is MPAC's belief that, "The choice between liberty and security is a false choice." It is this premise that guides our report's research, analysis, and policy recommendations. Building off our earlier report, the unabridged version of Building Bridges to Strengthen America goes further in depth on research and analysis.

This report focuses on several key components:

  • Assessing current public opinion and policy discourse on violent extremism
  • Understanding processes leading to "radicalization" and violent extremism
  • Critiquing the effectiveness of current counterterrorism policies such as informants, NSA wiretapping, racial profiling, and national security letters
  • Outlining a model for a community-law enforcement partnership based on community-oriented policing
  • Addressing potential challenges to community-oriented policing

Building Bridges to Strengthen America seeks to provide a mainstream Muslim American contribution to the counterterrorism policy discourse. In particular, it seeks outline a "blueprint" for how Muslim American communities - from a Muslim American perspective - can be an asset to national security. At the same time, this report also provides practical recommendations for law enforcement to uphold civil liberties while maintaining their effectiveness.

We invite the reader, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, to explore our ideas and perspectives further in order to shape policies that keep our nation truly safe and free.

Download the Paper

Last updated August 11, 2010.
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