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Trump v Islam

Trump reportedly wants to focus U.S. extremism fight on Muslims, not white supremacists

President Trump plans to shift the focus of a domestic counter-extremism program housed in the Department of Homeland Security from targeting all violent ideologies to just targeting Islamic extremism, Reuters reports, citing "five people briefed on the matter." The program, Countering Violent Extremism (CVE), might be renamed Countering Islamic Extremism or Countering Radical Islamic Extremism, Reuters says, with one source saying the name change is a done deal and others saying it is still under consideration.

The program, started during the Obama administration, works with law enforcement and community-based groups to "provide alternatives to individuals who have started down a road to violent extremism," the Homeland Security Department told CNN. Currently it aims to intervene in the path to radicalization for all "lone offenders or small groups," including white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and Islamist extremists; this includes counter-messaging online with help from companies like Facebook and Google. Trump administration officials view this broad anti-extremism portfolio as "politically correct," a source tells CNN; some Republicans in Congress have argued that CVE is less effective because it doesn't focus exclusively on Islamist extremism.

The shift could get some pushback from national security and law enforcement officials, who argue that focusing exclusively on radical Islam could alienate the Muslim communities whose help they need to counter Islamist extremism. Some of the worst domestic terrorist attacks have been committed by people with no connection to Islam.