In December, community and religious groups hailed Mustapha’s appointment as a nod to the growing diversity among the agency’s nearly 2,000 officers. Since 2002, Mustapha has been an imam and director at the Mosque Foundation in Bridgeview, one of the Chicago area’s oldest and largest mosques. He also served as a designated chaplain with the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency, helping to counsel Hurricane Katrina victims.
The Illinois State Police has revoked the appointment of the agency’s first Muslim chaplain, citing only information revealed during a background check. A national Muslim advocacy group Wednesday blamed the move on Islamophobia.
Ahmed Rehab, CAIR’s executive director in Chicago, called it discrimination against Muslims, especially since Mustapha hasn’t been formally accused of wrongdoing.
“The ISP is kowtowing to the run-of-the-mill fear-mongering that Islamophobes have devoted their careers in order to avoid a public relations controversy,” he said.
“It’s incorrect to even imply that such a correlation exists,” said Ahmed Rehab, a Chicago director of the Council of American-Islamic Relations. “Terrorism is an equal opportunity offender as far as ethnic communities go.”
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