By Cristela Guerra | news-press.com | November 12, 2012 | [Original Article]
Cape Coral instructor Sam Kharoba remains a player at the center of a lengthy ideological debate. Despite what some consider his questionable expertise, he continues to teach counterterrorism.
Over the summer, Muslim leaders across the state claim his homemade courses for law enforcement were discriminatory and misleading. They called for his immediate ouster from all 40 Florida Department of Law Enforcement training centers.
Kharoba was in Sarasota on Nov. 1 to defend his Cape Coral-based business, The Counter Terrorism Operations Center, before the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission. It oversees, among other things, training standards for law enforcement throughout the state. Gerald Bailey, commissioner of the FDLE, asked for the issue to be placed on the agenda after receiving a letter from the Council on American Islamic Relations Florida in July.
Kharoba’s supporters claimed that inciting this kind of uproar among the Muslim community meant he was doing his job in revealing the truth about Islam.
His critics believe he’s encouraging racial profiling, as well as using the courses to promote his skewed perspective.
“I have the same problem with Kharoba that I do with Muslim extremists,” said Hassan Shibly, executive director of the Tampa office of the Council on American Islamic Relations Florida.
“Both promote the idea that you can’t be a good American and a devout Muslim, that they are incompatible with each other. He picks and chooses verses from the holy text out of context to prove his point. You can do that with any holy book. It’s academically dishonest.”
Kharoba, who has no formal training in counterterrorism, was born in Jordan, where his family lived until he was 16. He’s not certified by the FDLE and often his classes aren’t held at the training centers. He’s taught thousands of officers nationwide as well as more than 20 in-state courses through FDLE, including one for the Cape Coral Police Department.