In 2011, as part of its counterterrorism strategy, the Obama administration initiated the Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) program under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This program provided funding to organizations, police departments, schools, and colleges to train members in identifying American Muslims who they believe may commit acts of terrorism. However, these indicators were based on prejudiced perceptions of Muslims and included frequent mosque attendance as a possible sign of “radicalization.”
In 2019, CVE was renamed as Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention (TVTP) then, in 2021, it was renamed as the Center for Prevention Programs and Partnerships (CP3). Grants given under the CP3 rebrand are still referred to as TVTP.
Despite claims that CP3 will not be used to target Muslims in the same way that CVE did, the program is still deeply flawed for two main reasons:
- CP3 would continue to rely on the radicalization theory, which holds the idea that people who maintain certain ideologies or engage in certain behaviors are more inclined to violence. American Muslims are all too familiar with this theory as it has allowed the government to engage in invasive and political-based surveillance of the American Muslim community. CP3 does nothing to prevent anti-Muslim and anti-BIPOC bias from creeping into both the program and the organizations receiving funding from DHS. The people and organizations receiving funding will undoubtedly be influenced by their own societal prejudices and biases.
- The funding provided by DHS is given to social programs and community organizations in exchange for information, which, in turn, weaponizes these organizations’ services and turns them into surveillance tools.
Therefore, while CP3 has a new name, it does nothing to address and fix the core issues of the CVE framework and expands speculative surveillance. Because of these fatal flaws, CAIR-LA calls on organizations and individuals eligible to receive funding to not apply for the 2022 TVTP Grant.