The FBI altered its website ‘Don’t Be a Puppet’ after pressure from the Muslim-Brotherhood-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
BY ELLIOT FRIEDLAND
The FBI has launched a new website to counter extremism, but it has been stripped of references to Islamist extremism or Islam.
Titled “Don’t be a Puppet,” the site tries to deconstruct some of the motivating factors that lead people into extremism. It’s aimed for use in high schools or other programs for teenagers.
The website was originally slated to launch in November 2015, but did not, following criticisms from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). At the time, CAIR expressed concerns about a new FBI “countering violent extremism” (CVE) online program that would make teachers an extension of law enforcement and may stigmatize and increase bullying of Muslim students.”
Several community organizations told The New York Times they thought the website “focuses almost entirely on Islamic extremism.”
The site was then put on hold, eventually launching in February 2016.
There is no reason why a site that targets the specific roots of Islamist terrorism and tackles the ideology openly should increase the bullying of Muslim students. On the contrary, if the site’s explanation properly separates the theocratic totalitarian political ideology ofIslamism from the religion of Islam in general, then it should have the opposite impact – calming fears about Muslims by painting an accurate picture about what is going on.
The updated version of the site includes only vague generalities about different types of “violent extremism.” CAIR had lobbied the FBI to change the content of the game, which the agency seems to have done.
The types of extremism listed incude:
White Supremacy Extremists
“It’s the FBI’s primary responsibility—working with its many partners—to protect the nation from attacks by violent extremists,” the website’s introduction states. “One important way to do that is to keep young people—the future of our country—from embracing violent extremist ideologies in the first place.”
“This website is designed to help do just that. Built by the FBI in consultation with community leaders and other partners, it uses a series of interactive materials to educate