To the Editor: Crime Commission Should Present Both Sides

To the Editor: Crime Commission Should Present Both Sides

The Loudoun Crime Commission (LCC) says that its members “dedicate and volunteer their time for a better and safer community.” So it was surprising that LCC chair Richard Claar invited Frank Gaffney to address the group on September 9. Gaffney is a well-known Muslim-hater who promotes conspiracy theories arguing that American Muslims are trying to impose sharia, or Islamic law, on the United States.

As a member of America’s tiny Jewish community, I was disturbed to hear Gaffney categorize virtually all Muslims as “enemies,” even those committed to destroying the radical ideology that inspires transnational terrorist groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda. But at least Gaffney was honest in telling us what he really thinks, and did his best to answer every question posed to him.

I can’t say the same, however, about Richard Claar. I suggested to Mr. Claar that he invite a representative from the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office to offer a different perspective on American Muslims; like law enforcement agencies from Fairfax County, Prince William and other Northern Virginia jurisdictions, the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office partners with the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) to make Northern VA communities safe. In fact, the Sheriff’s Office was one of several local law enforcement agencies honored with a plaque from ADAMS at the mosque’s annual Peace Gathering on September 8.

Mr. Claar told me in no uncertain terms that there was impossible for him to invite a speaker from the Loudoun Sheriff’s Office since he is “all booked up through 2018.” Sorry Mr. Claar, very hard to believe.

Andrea Barron
Washington Area Jews for Jewish-Muslim Understanding
Camp Springs, MD