Nativism Watch

Anti-Muslim analyst lands speaking spot at upcoming law enforcement symposium

Imagine2050 Staff • Aug 18, 2016
Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

The California Association of Tactical Officers (CATO) is scheduled to hold a law enforcement symposium on “Islamic terrorism” on Aug 24 – 25 featuring Ryan Mauro, a “national security analyst” at the anti-Muslim group the Clarion Project.

The two-day event will take place at an undisclosed location in San Diego and is exclusive to law enforcement personnel. Promotional materials say the training seminar will equip law enforcement officials with the skills to “identify, prepare, prevent, or respond to incidents involving Islamic Terrorism.”

“A two day symposium designed to provide critical background information and motivating factors behind many of the recent and future Terrorist Attacks,” an advertisement for the event also reads.

But with Mauro scheduled to be one of the two speakers, the event is shaping up to be a course promoting broad conspiracy theories and problematic material about Muslims and Islam rather than a constructive symposium on extremism.

This is not the first law enforcement symposium Mauro has been invited to speak at to this year. In one example, he presented at a law enforcement conference and weapons expo in Verona, New York in late April.

Mauro’s presence is part of a disturbing broader trend of known anti-Muslim activists gaining inroads with law enforcement and seemingly helping shape policing practices. It also comes at a time when distrust remains between police and the Muslim communities-among others-they are supposed to serve. And those setting the agenda also have a responsibility to book unbiased trainers, rather than those with a clear agenda.


Mauro has situated himself as a go-to “expert” on terrorism within right-wing circles and conservative news outlets like Fox News. His analysis, however, usually involves his promotion anti-Muslim falsehoods.

For example, he has previously claimed “Muslim patrols” have taken root in the United States, enforcing Shariah law. He has also suggested there is an ongoing effort by Muslims in America to “create enclaves where they can begin gradually implementing Shariah law.”

Mauro, who once again is scheduled to train actual law enforcement officers, has embarked on campaigns to vilify Muslim communities across the U.S., including hamlets like Islamberg, New York, which has previously been targeted by anti-Muslim extremists.

In fact, the Clarion Project employee went as far as to appear on Fox News to claim he had video footage of Islamberg residents “engaging in guerrilla warfare training.” His comments, however, ran contrary to reports from local law enforcement.

The organization Mauro is employed at, the Clarion Project, is a shadowy non-profit most known for producing and distributing anti-Muslim films. One of the group’s films previously became the subject of controversy after it was used by the New York Police Department as part of a counter-terrorism training program. Officers who viewed the film referred to it as “straight propaganda” that depicted Muslims as the enemy.

Mauro also has connections to other notorious anti-Muslim figures and groups. He regularly joins fellow anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney on his radio program to discuss the so-called “jihadist infrastructure in the US.” In 2015, Maur was one of the featured speakers at ACT for America’s national conference and legislative briefing. ACT serves as the nation’s largest grassroots organization and remains committed to promoting arguably unconstitutional anti-Shariah law measures in state houses across the country.

This year, the Southern Poverty Law Center added ACT and Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy to its list of hate groups in the United States.

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