Sunday, June 27, 2010

IL Police Chaplain Rejected Amid Terrorist Connections

The Illinois State Police has revoked the appointment of the agency's first Muslim chaplain, citing only information revealed during a background check. A national Muslim advocacy group Wednesday blamed the move on Islamophobia.

UPDATE 8/30/10: Muslim organization CAIR sues state police

-- From "Ill. police revoke 1st Muslim chaplain's post" by Sophia Tareen, The Associated Press 6/23/10

Kifah Mustapha, a Chicago-area imam, was appointed the agency's first Muslim chaplain in December. Community groups had praised Mustapha's appointment as a nod to the growing diversity among the agency's nearly 2,000 officers.

But within days, the appointment came under criticism from the Investigative Project on Terrorism, a Washington-based think tank.

The group alleged that Mustapha was linked to the Palestine Committee of the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood, a popular movement in the Muslim world that advocates the formation of Islamic governments in the Middle East. It also alleged he raised money for the Holy Land Foundation, a now-defunct Islamic charity whose founders were sentenced last year for funneling money to the Palestinian militant group Hamas. The group cited internal documents and a list of unindicted co-conspirators.

Mustapha hasn't been charged with any crimes. Messages left Wednesday for Mustapha weren't immediately returned.

According to a statement from the Illinois State Police, after Mustapha underwent training in December and was issued state identification and a bulletproof vest, it was discovered that he had not undergone background checks required to serve in the volunteer position.

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