WASHINGTON–Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin says he requested the purge of almost 900 pages of documentation in the FBI training manual that Muslim advocacy groups found offensive.
“I asked for it, because there were provisions in the training manual which were flat out wrong and embarrassing and they didn’t characterize the threat to America properly and after the FBI re-visited the manual, they changed it and I’m glad they did,” Durbin told The Daily Caller Wednesday.
Durbin sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee and listened to testimony Tuesday at a subcommittee hearing that explored federal law enforcement’s lack of emphasis of “radical Islam in combating terrorism.”
Durbin criticized the basis of the hearing and accused Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, of “badgering” one of the witnesses, Farhana Khera, president and executive director of Muslim Advocates, whose organization also called for the purge of the FBI training manual.
“Our organization’s position is that training materials as well as intelligence products that were produced by the FBI are not only offensive, inflammatory and alienating Muslims and American Muslims, but, more importantly, they make us less safe,” she said Tuesday.
Durbin pushed back on the claim that Muslim neighborhoods exist anywhere in the United States, referencing a Q and A he had with Khera during the hearing.
“When I asked that Muslim woman what’s a Muslim neighborhood, she said, ‘I have no idea what he’s talking about.’ I was sitting right there,” he said.
What about neighborhoods in Dearborn, Michigan?
“I’d have to go look long and hard for it. I sure couldn’t identify them in Chicago,” said Durbin.
Durbin also rejected the idea that people may be hesitant to report suspicious activity committed by Muslims out of fear of being called racist, a concern the neighbors of the San Bernardino shooters mentioned for not reporting Syed Farook and his wife to authorities.
“I don’t know the neighbors involved here, but if I see a threat to this country, I don’t care if it’s a Muslim, Catholic, Jew, or non-believer, I would report it,” Durbin told TheDC.
The Illinois Democrat also rejected the idea that the FBI shut down the investigation into Orlando shooter Omar Mateen as a result of him complaining to the agency that his co-workers marginalized him because of his faith.
“No I don’t believe that. I think that’s a mischaracterization. That Orlando shooter was babbling. He at one point said he was part of ISIS and at another point said he was part of Hezbollah, without realizing they are two warring factions,” he said. “I don’t know why they opened it or why they closed it, but to argue they were somewhat afraid to identify someone who was a threat, I’ve never heard that bunch of baloney.”