CIA Reaches Out to Muslims: Dinner in Dearborn will come on ‘wrong night’ amid Ramadan

By Paul Egan

Dearborn — CIA Director Leon Panetta plans to visit Dearborn on Sept. 16 for an invitation-only dinner and speech with 150 leaders of the Arab and Muslim communities, officials confirmed Tuesday.

The visit comes amid an unprecedented outreach effort by the Central Intelligence Agency and as Panetta seeks to double the number of CIA analysts who are proficient in Arabic and other Mideast languages.

But the date chosen for the meeting — the 27th night of Ramadan or “night of power,” when many devout Muslims and imams spend the entire night worshiping in the mosque — is drawing criticism.

“They picked the entirely wrong night on this,” said *Dawud Walid, executive director of the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations*. “This is our leading intelligence agency who doesn’t know this.”