After facing criticism from U.S. and Arab Muslims and civil rights leaders, the FBI’s anti-extremist interactive website for students and teachers has been put on hold.
The website, named Don’t Be a Puppet, uses a series of games and tips to identify people who might be falling under the influence of radical extremism. As users answer questions correctly, a pair of scissors cut the puppet's strings until it is set free.
According to the FBI, the website was "designed to provide awareness about the dangers of violent extremist predators on the internet, with input from students, educators and community leaders."
However, the website was criticized for focusing mostly on Muslim extremism. For example, in one of the scenarios on the website, users were warned to get vigilant if someone with a Muslim or Arab sounding name was going to a Middle East country on a “mission.”
The FBI wants teachers and students to monitor Arab and Muslim children. Meanwhile, a mosque is vandalized. https://t.co/5j3bLCJvSU— one spooky kade (@onekade) November 2, 2015
By all means, people should be taught to be wary of the signs of any foul play but it should be unbiased and without targeting a particular faith or nationality. Extremism comes in all forms, shapes and sizes and cannot be limited to the faith of a person. If religious beliefs were a reason behind extremism then many Muslims in Germany surely wouldn’t have announced protests against extremism.
And let's not forget — in the U.S., the most violent, deadly incidents actually come from right-wing extremists.