Nation of Islam to Police Miami

• Views: 2,623

Now, this sounds like a fantastic idea; put one of the most virulent hate groups operating openly in the US in charge of fighting crime in Miami: Muslim group to help keep peace in Miami’s Overtown.

What could possibly go wrong?

Seeking a balance between outreach and enforcement, Miami is launching a nearly $1 million crime-fighting initiative in Overtown that will mix police patrols, video cameras — and suit-and-tie wearing Muslims.

The stepped-up policing seeks to deter would-be lawbreakers without making Overtown residents feel “invaded,” in the words of Miami Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones. Which is where the Muslims come in.

Along with budgeting hundreds of thousands of dollars for increased police patrols and the installation of surveillance cameras, Miami is spending $150,000 on a “Peacemakers” pilot program run by a nonprofit with ties to the Nation of Islam.

Under the proposed contract, which should be finalized in the coming weeks, the Peacemakers would function as a liaison between police and the community. …

New Orleans police in 2005 rescinded a $15,000 police-sensitivity training contract with a longtime security director for Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan — after facing widespread criticism from local religious leaders and officers over that group’s reputation as anti-Semitic.

Though Miami’s Peacemakers say they will not advocate any religion and are not officially aligned with the Nation of Islam, the Peacemakers’ corporate offices are at the religious group’s Miami mosque. Rasul Muhammad is a prominent Nation of Islam member and the son of former leader Elijah Muhammad.

Asked about the Peacemakers’ planned role in Miami, the Anti-Defamation League raised concerns.

“While we appreciate the city of Miami’s efforts to improve conditions in the Overtown area,” wrote Andrew Rosenkranz, Florida regional director for the Anti-Defamation League, “we are concerned that it did not fully understand the nature of the organization that it chose to provide these services.”

Muhammad responded, “We are not anti-Jewish people. We are not anti-Catholic people. We are not anti-white people. The whole Peacemakers project is being based on being anti-crime, anti-immorality … . Are they saying that they don’t want peace?”

(Hat tip: WriterMom.)

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