Muslim Community Leaders Meet with New FBI Assistant Director In Charge
May 27, 2010
Last week, a number of leaders in Southern California met with the new Assistant Director in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Steven M. Martinez in Los Angeles. Organized by the FBI, the two and a half hour meeting consisted of a forum with a number of community leaders in Los Angeles. Different groups represented included MPAC, the Omar Foundation, the Council of Pakistani American Affairs (COPA), the Muslim Lawyers Association, and many others.
During his time addressing an audience of over 60 leaders, Mr. Martinez explored the reach and responsibilities of the FBI. He emphasized the importance of remaining true to the letter of law while keeping America safe from harm. Martinez outlined the different types of crimes the FBI investigates and encouraged community members to reach out to the FBI with concerns and case leads -- especially as they relate to possible hate crimes. A subject he said, the FBI takes very seriously. On the subject of counter-terrorism, Mr. Martinez affirmed that "Muslims are no more and no less responsible than any other citizens for keeping our communities safe."
Among the several questions Muslim leaders asked Mr. Martinez, was the concern over the FBI's disengagement from the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the important role CAIR plays in the Muslim Community. Audience members also requested the resumption of the Multi Cultural Advisory Committee (MCAC) meetings. Formed in May 2004, the MCAC mission "endeavors to create an environment to facilitate dialogue and enhance the relationship between the FBI and the Community which is based on mutual respect, understanding, and the protection of Constitutional rights and civil liberties."