On Tuesday July 27th, CAIR-Chicago’s Civil Rights Director Christina Abraham moderated an event featuring a speech by Robert D. Grant, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Chicago Field Office, at the American Islamic College. The speech and subsequent discussion focused on the FBI’s historical and current role in the United States and how the bureau works with the Muslim community.
During her introduction, Abraham discussed how the FBI interacts with the Muslim community. She brought up the FBI’s “dual-handed approach” when working with Muslims, treating them as both a “necessary partner and potential threat.” She also acknowledged the vital role of the FBI in prosecuting hate crime offenses toward American Muslims. Abraham ended her introduction reminding the audience of the importance of knowing their rights. “There is a need for all Americans, especially Muslims, to know their rights when dealing with the FBI” she said.
Robert Grant then delivered his presentation on the formation and history of the FBI. Grant, who has been working for the FBI for over twenty years, has been a part of numerous investigations ranging from white collar crime to national security. During his speech, he focused on how the attacks on September 11th altered the scope of the FBI to focus on monitoring national security domestically.
The Question and Answer period following Grant’s speech was lively, with multiple attendees asking Grant questions regarding FBI conduct and the way in which they investigate Muslims. Many vocalized their trust in CAIR-Chicago to represent them during interviews with the FBI.
“If I am approached to be questioned, I’m going straight to CAIR-Chicago,” one attendee said.
CAIR-Chicago offers advice to anyone who has been contact by the FBI and represents individuals during FBI interviews.