Islamic group offended by ‘mosque’ drill

'Irving mosque' drill

A U.S. Islamic group said an emergency drill at a simulated mosque in Irving, Ill., inaccurately stereotyped Islamic mosques as safety risks.

Nearly 30 government agencies took part in last week’s drill, during which the village’s Continuing Recovery Center was referred to as “Irving Mosque,” a “home-base for a radical, heavily armed group with suspected terrorist ties,” the Springfield (Ill.) State Journal-Register reported Thursday.

“It really was in poor taste, probably as a result of a lack of cultural prowess on the part of the person who made that choice,” said Ahmed Rehab, executive director of the Chicago chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations’.

The drill used simulated blasts, hostage situations and nerve gas to train law enforcement officers how to respond to such situations.

Diana Holmes, coordinator of the Montgomery County Emergency Services and Disaster Agency, said she was unaware of the council’s criticism, the newspaper reported.

UPI, 8 May 2008

See also CAIR press release, 6 May 2008 and Op Ed News, 9 May 2008 … and, for a different view, Pipe Line News, 6 May 2008.