Muslim Leader Says FBI's Decision To Cut Ties With CAIR Strains Local Relations

Monday, March 28th 2011, 12:30 am
By: News 9

Jon Jordan, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The FBI cut ties with CAIR due to concerns the group's national leadership has alleged affiliations to terrorist groups. Now this problem that's playing out in Washington is also having an effect in Oklahoma.

"We were instructed. We being the 56 FBI field offices to sever formal relations with CAIR," said James Finch, FBI's Special Agent in Charge for the Oklahoma City Division.

CAIR is an organization in Oklahoma that happens to represents the largest number of Muslims in the state and is an organization Oklahoma's Imam, Imad Enchassi, said he believes does exceptional work. Enchassi said he feels the FBI's decision to cut ties with CAIR has in some ways strained the Muslim community's relationship with the local FBI.

"It's not as good as it could be," Enchassi said.

Enchassi said the Muslim community is receiving more hate mail now then it did in the days following September 11, 2001, something he attributes to the legal battle to ban Sharia law.

"Are Muslims worried and scared and so forth and so on? Absolutely," Enchassi said.

It's why despite Washington's decision to cuts ties with CAIR, the Imam and local FBI officials have worked hard to keep the lines of communication open.

"I've explained to the members of the Muslim community that those things going on in Washington should not negatively impact on the good relations we've established or developed here in Oklahoma City," Finch said.

Enchassi said leaders of the Muslim community meet on a regular basis with the local FBI officials to make sure the two sides continue to have a good working relationship

"They have a mandate from [Washington] D.C., and we have a mandate with our faith to reach out to local state and federal agents in any manner that would affect our community," Enchassi said.

The FBI said even though they don't have a working relationship with CAIR, any complaints filed by the group are investigated.

More: CAIR Says FBI Cutting Ties Hurts Efforts In Local Communities