Michel Martin Speaks with Imam Mohamed Hagmagid Ali:
Anyone might not be pleased to get a phone call from the FBI, especially at a time of such national anxiety. How did you feel?
Actually, some of the community had concerns. Members of the community asked questions about the nature of the relationship with the FBI. I explained to them, this is a two-way street. We are here to protect the country we live in, [to] make sure our religion will not be hijacked by extremists. We would like to send a message to everyone that our community will not tolerate anyone who would like to infiltrate the community or misuse our resources to do harm to this country.
The FBI has not always had the best reputation among some communities in this country. Sometimes its behavior with minority communities within the United States has been questioned.
Of course. That's why we need the dialogue. What we would like to see happening here in this relationship is not to repeat the mistakes done in the Civil Rights Movement, for example — where there were reports that some people were being mistreated by law enforcement. We would like to make sure this is really happening in daylight, nothing that we can hide from our community. And we would like to be proud of the relationship of partnership. ... I would like to see my community treated as a partner, not a suspect.
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