Nativism Watch

Virginia sheriff again invites anti-Muslim trainer to host seminar

Imagine2050 Staff • Sep 14, 2016

Former FBI agent and anti-Muslim conspiracist John Guandolo is returning to Culpeper, Virginia, to hold a civilian-focused training at the invitation of Culpeper County Sheriff Scott Jenkins.

During a 2011 training, Guandolo claimed Muslims in America “don’t have a First Amendment right to do anything.”

Guandolo’s event, titled “Understanding the Threat,” is scheduled to take place Saturday, September 17 at Germanna Community College’s Daniel Technology Center. While Guandolo is most known for training law enforcement on the supposed threat posed by Muslims, this one will be tailored toward a civilian audience, according to a release issued by the Culpeper County Sheriff’s Office.

“This is a one-day (8 hour) program tailored for civilian audiences to detail the threat from the global Islamic Movement and the jihadi threat to their particular area/state,” the statement reads.

Screengrab from Culpeper County Sheriff's Office Facebook page, September 13, 2016

Screengrab from Culpeper County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page, September 13, 2016

Guandolo, who resigned in disgrace from the FBI, now travels the country providing training to law enforcement and civilians alike through his consulting firm, Understanding the Threat (UTT). 

The trainings, however, are grounded in anti-Muslim conspiracy theories and bigotry. Among other things, Guandolo frequently promotes the narrative that Muslims are actively working to infiltrate and overthrow the United States.

UTT materials also indicate that Guandolo is “currently a Special Deputy Sheriff in Culpeper County, Virginia.”

This is not the first time Sheriff Jenkins has publicly supported Guandolo. In 2014, Jenkins stood by a decision to send his deputies to a three-day “advanced counterterrorism” training organized by Guandolo. Various civil rights organizations rightfully raised concerns about training, leading to the Rappahannock Regional Criminal Justice Academy to announce it would withdraw accreditation for the event.

Event to feature religious right historian

The training will also feature controversial historian and radio personality William Federer. Federer is the author of the book What Every American Needs to Know about the Qur’an: A History of Islam & the United States.

He has previously claimed, “Islam is a religion, political system and military strategy,” and said, “A mosque is a religious center, political center and military center.” Additionally, he has been vocally critical of Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) for being sworn into office with a Qur’an.

Federer has also repeated common anti-Muslim conspiracy theories such Islam being at war with the west for 1,400 years.

Past Guandolo events canceled under scrutiny

In June, a local college in Lancaster, Texas turned Guandolo away and canceled a training of his scheduled to take place on campus. Germanna Community College should not hesitate to do the same.


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