How confused are law enforcement agencies?

Abdiqani Fara, Minnesota Daily reader and Founder of The Straighter

The U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota, Andrew Luger, recently said, “Part of our mandate [as U.S. attorneys] is to engage with our communities to prevent crime and to serve the interests of justice.” 
 
On paper, that sounds perfect, but in reality, he’s in the wrong. To Luger, I believe, engagement means reaching out to some people while seeing others as opponents whose opinion never matters. This isn’t the kind of outreach that could build trust. In fact, it’s one-sided and downright blind.
 
The 93 U.S. attorneys across the country have two things in common: remarkable dedication to safeguard the American people and unwillingness to mingle with communities of interest. These high-ranking officers have failed to cope with the ever-changing religious and cultural dynamic of Muslims in America. Racial biases and procedural
mistakes stand in their way.
 
My personal story may explain. It was around 4 p.m. on Nov. 1, 2010, in Orange County, Calif. I was cooking dinner when two professionally dressed men
knocked on my door. They saluted me with disarming smiles. They politely asked me if I would allow them in as they identified themselves. I agreed. Alas, I had two FBI
agents in my sitting room.
 
They started throwing witless questions at me. “How many brothers and sisters do you have?” I resisted until one of them grabbed a file and pulled out a document. 
 
“Mr. Farah, we have two choices for you,” he continued. “You give us the information we need, or a judge in a court will have you do it.” 
 
I had been subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury.
 
I found out the suspect was a former roommate of mine who was charged, in absentia, for material support of Al-Shabaab in Somalia. 
 
The FBI made a mistake by erroneously assuming that I wouldn’t cooperate. I would have told them everything I knew had they approached me straightforwardly, without being fishy and arrogant. Truly, I believe disproportional paranoia toward Muslims complicated their reasoning.
 
In a time of ever-growing challenge and demand for more friendly government, suspicion, distrust and aloofness should be avoided. The FBI must wholeheartedly immerse the law-enforcement system in the needs of the Sept. 11 generation of Muslims.