Would a police department ever pay Kim Davis to deliver a speech on LGBT hate crimes to officers? Obviously not.
Then why was a notorious anti-Islamic preacher paid thousands of dollars — taxpayer money to be precise — to “train” New Jersey cops on counter-terrorism?
Despite his well-documented incendiary anti-Muslim and anti-gay rhetoric, Walid Shoebat, a self-proclaimed Muslim terrorist-turned-Christian pastor, was paid about $6,000 to speak at a class for cops called “Know Your Enemy.”
Needless to say, the training session was inappropriate — on so many levels.
For starters, someone who once said, “All Islamic organizations in America should be the No. 1 enemy. All of them," can’t possibly be the right person to tell cops how to spot an enemy in a society that already misunderstands Muslims.
Secondly, the man can’t be trusted with guiding cops with a sensitive issue like terrorism since the details of his own past are very much controversial.
So far, no concrete evidence has been found to corroborate Shoebat’s claims that he joined the Palestinian Liberation Organization in the 1970s and carried out a terrorist attack before being imprisoned by the Israeli military.
In 2011, CNN reported that in spite of repeated requests, neither Shoebat nor his friends could provide any proof of his involvement with terrorism or jail time in Israel.
As expected, Shoebat encouraged New Jersey cops to specifically monitor Islamic communities, advising them to be suspicious of Muslims taking martial arts classes, which could be an indication that they have started their training in extremism.
As evidently absurd and outrageous as it was, it’s tragic to note the private training program actually happened. And not just that, the bigot was paid a handsome amount to spew vitriolic garbage in front of people responsible for managing law and order.
What a shame.
Thankfully, not everyone approved of Shoebat’s lecture.
Peter Aseltine, a spokesman for New Jersey acting Attorney General John Hoffman, said the class was “inappropriate” and the state will hand out new police training guidelines to New Jersey's 21 county prosecutors.
"The private training program that took place in Ocean County last week clearly was not appropriate training and is not the type of training we want our police officers attending," Aseltine told the Asbury Park Press.