Support ISBA

Dear Law Enforcement Agent:

Cultural Competency Training:

Working With the Arab & Muslim American Communities

As our population in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area and throughout the state becomes more diverse, it is increasingly important that those who serve the public have an insight and understanding into the various groups that make up the community.

Groups that have long been misunderstood and stereotyped, and have especially suffered from backlash and hate crimes since the September 11th tragedy and more recently with the war in Iraq, is the Muslim & Arab American communities. In fact, a recent poll by the Council on American-Islamic Relations found that harassment, violence and discriminatory treatment towards Muslim Americans in 2004 increased by nearly 70 percent since 2002 (the year after the September 11th terror attacks). Most of this increase is related to hate crimes, which have more than doubled in 2004. The same study also found that 86% of Americans have somewhat, or little to no knowledge of Islam, and that one of two Americans believe that Islam oppresses women.

Islamic Speakers Bureau of Arizona (ISBA), a non-profit organization, has been providing cultural competency trainings about Islam, Muslims & Arabs to public institutions for the last nine years. Since 1999, ISBA has conducted trainings for police departments, FBI, and DOJ, and other law enforcement agencies around the Phoenix Metropolitan Area and in San Antonio, Texas.

The goal of this training is to provide an understanding and insight into the communities, which will enhance law enforcement’s capabilities and skills in interacting with members and institutions of the Muslim & Arab American communities. Benefits of the training include improved community policing through better understanding of Muslim & Arab cultures, more effective interaction with Muslims & Arabs as potential victims of hate crimes or as witnesses, and a safer environment for officers as they do their job.

Training Description

The training gives an overview of common stereotypes and their origins, basic beliefs and practices, protocols for effective interaction, and ways to build mutually beneficial relationships. The training is highly interactive, with questions and answers addressed throughout. Specific topics addressed are as follows:

  • Cultural Competency in Law Enforcement
  • Common Perceptions of Arabs & Muslims, Sources, Consequences & Impact on the Community
  • Arab & Muslim Cultures
  • Demographics
  • Overview of the Contemporary Arab & Muslim World
  • Political Islam & Terrorism
  • Suggested Protocols for Interaction with Arabs, Muslims and their institutions
  • Opportunities for Cooperation Between Local Muslims, Arabs, and Law Enforcement Agencies

As of 2003, ISBA’s 4 hour Law Enforcement training has been determined to qualify for AZ P.O.S.T. (continuing/proficiency) training credit.


ISBA trainers have all attended Police Academy for Citizens in their local cities. In addition, all ISBA certified speakers are trained to uphold the ideals and principles of the First Amendment, guaranteeing that they provide academic and objective presentations about Islam and Muslims.


Response to the training has been overwhelmingly positive with feedback such as the following:

“Easy tounderstand and maintains neutrality so that all understand”

“Gave great information to give a good understanding”

“Clear, informative, objective”

To Schedule a Training

To meet your specific scheduling needs, there are two options for training: one conforms to AZ P.O.S.T. approval guidelines, and is a four-hour presentation delivered to a maximum of thirty participants. The other is more flexible, and can be delivered in a one-to-four hour time period, however we recommend not less than two hours.

To schedule a training for your agency, or to find out more about our training, please call (480) 946-0626 or fill out a Speaker Request Form. To learn more about our organization, you may also visit our website at Although we can provide our services free of charge, if your agency has the budget for this type of training it would help defray our costs.

Please call the ISBA at (480) 946-0626.

We look forward to working with you.

Azra Hussain,

Copyright 1999-2022 Islamic Speakers Bureau of Arizona. All Rights Reserved. All background images are used in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported license (or any later version).