Trump administration goes 'Homeland': Only Islamic extremism counts

Trump administration goes 'Homeland': Only Islamic extremism counts
2 min read
02 February, 2017
Department of Homeland Security's programme is to be renamed in order to reflect its new focus on preventing Islamic extremism - possibly neglecting far right terrorists and other threats.
The current program is expected to be changed to 'Countering Islamic Extremism' [AFP]

The Trump administration is seeking to replace the current anti-extremism programme with a new one that will focus entirely on radical Islam.

The White House is reportedly looking to replace President Obama's programme because of a perceived "political correctness" which refused to name political Islam as a problem.

The title of the current programme, "Countering Violent Extremism," is expected to be changed to "Countering Islamic Extremism" or "Countering Radical Islamic Extremism," five anonymous sources close to the administration informed Reuters.

The programme is noticeable for its lack of emphasis on far right extremism and its precise emphasis on the Muslim community, which some believe may possibly further alienate Muslim Americans.

"[This program] is concerning for us because they are targeting a faith group and casting it under a net of suspicion," said Hoda Hawa, director of policy for the Muslim Public Affairs Council.

The emphasis also disregards statistics showing that terrorists with far right sympathies have killed more Americans than Islamic extremists since 2002.

A 2002 FBI briefing, published in the aftermath of the September 11 attack on the World Trade Centre, analysed the overall threat of terrorism to the nation and found that far right terrorists represented a major proportional threat.

"On the national level, formal right-wing hate groups, such as the National Alliance, the World Church of the Creator (WCOTC) and the Aryan Nations, represent a continuing terrorist threat," the document reads.

According to one source who works with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), representatives from the Trump administration initially met with the DHS to discuss the proposed changes in December.

President Trump frequently made reference to "radical Islamic terrorism" in his presidential campaign last year, and criticised President Obama's lack of emphasis on this issue.

One person who might disagree with President Trump's focus is Russia's president Putin, who said he would never call terrorists "Islamic" at a news conference in December.

"I would prefer Islam not be mentioned in vain alongside terrorism," he said.