TEACHING OUR COPS TO FEAR ISLAM…. Muslim radicals can be spotted by the “cone shape” of their beards, Islam is a “violent radical religion,” and the Prophet Muhammad was “a pedophile.” Stray comments from ignorant talk radio hosts? No, these are examples of the kinds of lessons being taught to America’s front line police officers by self-styled counter-terrorism “experts” being paid by the U.S. government.

In an investigation in the upcoming March/April issue of the Washington Monthly, with support from the Nation Institute, Meg Stalcup and Joshua Craze reveal how Washington is spending billions of dollars in grants to teach local law enforcement how to sniff out and respond to terrorists, but with little supervision over who provides the instruction or what’s being taught.

The result could be dangerous: having a bunch of ill-trained cops sleuthing around for jihadis not only poses a threat to civil liberties, but could jeopardize the very counter-terrorism efforts the government is supposed to be conducting.

Read “How We Train Our Cops to Fear Islam” here.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.