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Muslim CIA officers profiled, then censored, in post-Orlando massacre PR stunt

Muslim CIA officers profiled, then censored, in post-Orlando massacre PR stunt
Following the Orlando massacre, the Central Intelligence Agency's PR team linked up some of its Muslim employees with the Washington Post in an effort to show its diversity and inclusion.

Those interviewed said their religion was not an issue at the agency, suggesting their colleagues are more open-minded because of their global travel, even though some of that travel involves covertly killing Muslims.

The Post revealed“at least two security officers” were present to monitor the employees being interviewed and sometimes cut them off “when they veered into especially sensitive areas.”

One touchy topic they were allowed to discuss was their own personal conflict of being torn between two worlds - working for an agency that targets Muslims overseas and living among fellow followers of Islam in their communities who question US actions.

READ MORE: Attack on Muslim outside mosque should be investigated as a hate crime – civil rights group

This public relations exercise by the spy agency hoped to counteract the CIA’s diversity problem highlighted in a 2015 study and referenced in the Post article, which found ethnic and racial minorities make up just 23.9 percent of their workforce and just a “handful” of them are Muslims or high-level officials, according to those interviewed.

“The CIA must capitalize on America’s greatest strategic advantage: the diversity of its people,” the report stated, adding, “the Agency does not fully recognize the value of diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives, nor consistently promote an inclusive” culture.

It also found that officers experienced the CIA differently “based on their race, ethnicity, disability, and sexual orientation.”

Details within the report show those who aren’t white, Christian, heterosexual, or able-bodied can at times feel isolated and pressured to hide aspects of themselves.

“LGBT officers, minority officers, and officers with a disability were far more likely to agree that they must hide aspects of their identity in order to be successful,” the report reads.

The study spoke to focus groups within the Agency and found “participants of Asian and Middle-Eastern backgrounds felt that they were not fully trusted by their colleagues.”

“There’s robust paranoia about where people come from, their loyalty to the US, and whether they would turn on us,” one officer said.

Concerns about "President" Trump

CIA employees told the Post they had “real concerns” surrounding the next Commander-in-Chief and their attitudes towards Muslims.

They questioned whether their security clearances would be at risk and if they would lose access to programs.

Republican nominee Donald Trump has repeatedly said he would block all Muslims from entering the States, with a few exceptions, and that Muslim communities “know what’s going on,” suggesting that the chances of a CIA shake-up for Muslim employees under "President" Trump is a legitimate concern.

READ MORE: US authorities, media responsible for preventing fanning flames of Islamophobia

The employees said they had made efforts to educate their co-workers on their cultures and religion.

“A lot of people, the only Muslims they know or interact with are the terrorists, and it’s good for them to know there are Muslims they work with,” one employee said.