Friday, April 23, 2010

CAIR Video: One Man's Fight Against 'Islamophobia'

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Breaking News: Pentagon Disinvites Anti-Islam Evangelist and Virginia DMV recalls racist license plate

On Tuesday, CAIR received reports from individuals concerned that the racist Virginia truck license plate "14CV88" contained numerical codes often used by racist and neo-Nazi groups.* Additionally, the truck's tailgate has an image of the 9/11 attack in New York City, with text stating, "Everything I ever needed to know about Islam I learned on 9/11."

Good news: yesterday, we learned that the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has recalled the truck's license plate.

Earlier today, we asked the Pentagon to disinvite controversial evangelist Franklin Graham from speaking at the Pentagon on May 6 (the National Day of Prayer). Graham has called Islam a "very evil and wicked religion" and this morning said Muslims are "enslaved by Islam." He told a Washington-area radio station that he is "offended" by Islam. We just learned that the Pentagon has disinvited Franklin Graham. We thank all of you who wrote to the Pentagon.
Visit this link to see my letter on this issue


Monday, April 19, 2010

Nihad Awad: ' The Oklahoma City bombing was a watershed event for our nation and its Muslim population"

CAIR: Extremism Resurgent 15 Years After Oklahoma City Bombing
Muslims initially blamed for bombing by agenda-driven terror 'experts'

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 4/19/2010) -- A prominent national Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization today marked the 15th anniversary of the terrorist attack on the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City by calling on all Americans to challenge the recent resurgence of the same anti-government extremism that lead to the bombing masterminded by Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols.

[NOTE: CAIR-OK Executive Director Razi Hashmi attended the 15th anniversary memorial today in Oklahoma City. He may be contacted at: 405-248-5853, E-mail:]

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In a statement, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) National Executive Director Nihad Awad said:

"As we commemorate the 15th anniversary of the terror attack in Oklahoma City that killed 168 people and join the victims' families in remembering their loved ones, we must also recognize that the same anti-government extremism that lead to the attack is growing and is unfortunately moving toward the mainstream.

"The Oklahoma City bombing was a watershed event for our nation, and in particular for its American Muslim population. Just as Muslims and Arab-Americans were targeted in the immediate aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing, they are being targeted today by the same extremists and 'experts' who sought to blame them for the 1995 attack.

"We must all challenge any form of hate rhetoric, stereotyping and blind extremism that clouds rational thought, creates unnecessary divisions within our society and will inevitably lead to more acts of violence."

He cited the recent politically-motivated terror attack on the IRS facility in Texas, the shooting of guards at the Pentagon and the arrests of anti-government militia members who allegedly planned to kill law enforcement officers to spark an anti-government revolt similar to that envisioned by the Oklahoma City bombers.

Awad also noted the growing collaboration between anti-government extremists and anti-Muslim hate groups nationwide. A report by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), titled "Rage on the Right," noted that "so-called 'Patriot' groups -- militias and other organizations that see the federal government as part of a plot to impose 'one-world government' on liberty-loving Americans -- came roaring back after years out of the limelight."

SEE: CAIR Concerned About Reported Rise in Militias, 'Patriot' Groups
Fla. Muslim Asks FBI to Probe Harassment by Hate Group

While many cautioned against a rush to blame any particular group for the attack, Steven Emerson was one of the so-called "terrorism experts" who initially blamed Muslims for the 1995 bombing of the Murrah Federal Building. He told CBS News the bombing was a reflection of "a Middle Eastern trait." (4/19/95) [One American Muslim, Ibrahim Ahmad, was even arrested following the bombing and held for two days before being released without charge. Emerson is viewed by many as one of the nation's leading Islamophobes who has made a career out of promoting anti-Muslim conspiracy theories.]

SEE: Stereotyping Muslims
Steven Emerson's Crusade (Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting)
Smearcasters: Steven Emerson

That and similar unsubstantiated rhetorical links sparked a wave of anti-Muslim hysteria that resulted in almost 250 incidents of harassment, discrimination and actual violence against American Muslims or those perceived to be Middle Eastern.

According to the Daily Oklahoman newspaper: "Sahar Al-Muwsawi, 26, said...she was watching reports of the bombing on television on April 20 when she heard a car's brakes squeal outside her Oklahoma City home. Then she heard objects hitting the window and thought people were shooting at the house. Muwsawi, who was nearly seven months pregnant, grabbed her 2-year-old daughter and another child in the home and took them to the bathroom and locked the door. She said she started bleeding and called her husband, who rushed home and took her to the hospital. A stillborn baby boy was delivered several hours later." (5/20/95) That baby boy was named Salaam, or "peace."

Other incidents ranged from a suspected arson attack on a mosque, to drive-by shootings at Islamic centers and assaults on Muslim students. Many Muslim institutions around America also reported phoned bomb threats, and in one case, a fake bomb was thrown at a Muslim day care facility. Individual Muslims reported a great increase in harassment by co-workers and in public. The harassment led to an atmosphere of fear and intimidation in the Muslim community.

CAIR documented the anti-Muslim backlash following the Oklahoma City bombing in a report called "A Rush to Judgment." That report was the first of CAIR's now-annual reports on the status of American Muslim civil rights.

To view CAIR's annual civil rights reports, go here.

Shortly after the bombing, CAIR's executive director, representing a number of Muslim organizations, met with the governor of Oklahoma and delivered to him checks totaling $21,000 for the Victims and Families Relief Fund.

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

- END -

CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail:; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787 or 202-341-4171, E-Mail:

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Nihad Awad on CBS: 'Profiling is ineffective and un American";featuredPost-PE

Watch CBS News Videos Online

Friday, April 09, 2010

Nihad Awad: ''Terrorism is terrorism, regardless of the faith, race or ethnicity of the perpetrators or the victims,"

(RNS) When 19 Muslim men crashed two planes into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, it was widely labeled "Islamic terrorism," even as many Muslims cringed at the term.
So when nine members of a Michigan-based Christian militia, fueled by visions of the apocalypse, laid plans to gun down police officers, is it "Christian terrorism?"
Many Muslims, and others, think it should be...

Recent charges filed against the Michigan-based Hutaree militia are just the latest indication that terrorism is not unique to Islam, they say, and that other religious and ideological groups can commit violence for their cause.
Muslims aren't alone in seeing a double standard in the way terrorism is linked to Islam but not often to Christianity or other religions.

''I understand their frustration," said the Rev. Joel Hunter, a board member of the National Association of Evangelicals and pastor of Northland Church outside Orlando, Fla., who says the Hutaree militia gives the same bad name to Christianity as Osama bin Laden does to Islam.
''I can feel what Muslims feel when they watch those mischaracterizations of their faith, and wanting people to know that that's not what their faith is about."

The Hutaree militia isn't the only group that has issued an ideological call to arms. After Congress passed health care reform in March, at least 10 House Democrats reported receiving death threats, incidents of vandalism, or harassment, presumably from conservative opponents. In February, a Texas man, Joseph Stack III, flew his small airplane into an IRS office building in Austin, killing himself and an office worker.

''Terrorism is terrorism, regardless of the faith, race or ethnicity of the perpetrators [or] the victims," said Nihad Awad, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, in a statement that called on the U.S. government to condemn the Texas attack as terrorism. "If a Muslim had carried out the IRS attack, it would have surely been labeled an act of terrorism."
Muslims complain that although they and their leaders have condemned terrorism countless times, some of their critics still accuse them of not condemning it strongly enough. Given the recent acts of Christian and conservative terrorism, Muslims leaders said it's now up to Republicans and other conservative figures to condemn those acts.

''It's fair enough to say, 'Where do you stand on this?'" said Pamela Taylor, a Muslim activist in Cincinnati. Added Buetel, from MPAC: "The inconsistency is politically irresponsible."
Despite warnings about right-wing militias and the Hutaree arrests, many Muslims believe conservative figures —especially those who have embraced terminology like "Islamic terrorism" — have remained mostly silent on condemning right-wing violence.

Muslims point to the different labels used to describe Stack, the Texas man who flew his plane into the FBI office, and Army Maj. Nidal Hasan, who's accused of gunning down 13 people at Fort Hood. Both men showed signs of mental instability, and both had political and ideological motivations for their violence, but Muslims say many of the same people who were quick to call Hasan a "Muslim terrorist" preferred to call Stack "mentally ill." (More)

Wednesday, April 07, 2010


Obama Administration will remove 'loaded' terms from national security document

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 4/7/10) -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today welcomed an announcement that the Obama administration will remove 'loaded' terms linking Islam to extremism from an important national security document.
Administration officials said the change would remove terms like "Islamic radicalism" from the National Security Strategy, a document that was created by the previous administration to outline the Bush doctrine of preemptive war.
SEE: Obama Sets New Approach Toward Muslim World (AP)

"We welcome this change in language by the Obama administration as another step toward respectful and effective outreach to Muslims at home and abroad," said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. "We hope this positive change in language will lead to policies that will deal more effectively with important issues such as peace with justice in the Middle East and withdrawal of our nation's forces from Iraq and Afghanistan."

He recommended that media professionals and commentators adopt similarly neutral and objective language and avoid "loaded" terminology. Awad noted that CAIR has been calling for changes in the use of terminology falsely linking Islam to terrorism for a number of years.
In 2008, the National Counter-Terrorism Center produced a document, called "Words that Work and Words that Don't: A Guide for Counter-Terrorism Communication," which encouraged government agencies and officials to avoid characterizing al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups as "Islamic" or "Muslim," as that could "unintentionally legitimize" their tactics.

SEE: U.S. Officials Urged to Avoid Linking Islam, Jihad with TerrorismSEE ALSO: Amendment to Bill Could Serve Terrorists' Interests

ACTION: 'Ask Republicans to Repudiate Hate Group Using Quran as Toilet Paper'

Ask Republicans to Repudiate Hate Group Using Quran as Toilet PaperCongresswoman scheduled to speak to anti-Islam hate group whose Fla. representative brags: 'I like desecrating their [Muslims'] holy stuff'

(WASHINGTON, 4/5/2010) -- CAIR today called on American Muslims and other people of conscience to urge Republican leaders to insist that Rep. Sue Myrick (R-NC) withdraw her support for an anti-Islam hate group after one of its Florida representatives was exposed bragging in a YouTube video that he desecrated the Quran and urinates in the washing stations Muslims use to perform their ritual ablutions (wudu) for prayer.

The 10-minute YouTube video shows ACT! for America Orlando Coordinator Alan Kornman and another man stating in part: "Their foot baths, I love pissing in them...The Quran makes worthless toilet paper. It just kind of scratches my a** a little bit...To me, I like desecrating their [Muslims'] holy stuff."

[The comments were apparently made last month at an ACT! for America information table set up at the University of Central Florida. The video was produced by ACT! for America and placed on one of the group's YouTube channels.]

It is not clear which of the two men is making these statements, but Kornman is clearly shown bragging about pretending to be a Christian seeking to convert to Islam when visiting a mosque.
SEE: ACT! for America Fla. Rep Brags of Desecrating Quran
In a March 9 open letter, Rep. Myrick wrote that she plans to speak at ACT! for America's June conference in Washington, D.C., and urged support for the group. Myrick wrote in part: "Knowing ACT! for America as I do, and its leadership team beginning with Brigitte Gabriel and Guy Rodgers, I have no doubt that this conference will be a first-class event that you won't want to miss."

Following the publication of that letter, CAIR called on Rep. Myrick to withdraw her support for the hate group. To date, the congresswoman has not repudiated ACT! for America or the anti-Islam hate it promotes.

"Representative Myrick's continued support for this vile hate group dishonors Congress and the state of North Carolina," said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. "No member of Congress should be associated with or support a group whose representatives and leaders hold such hate-filled and un-American views."

He also called on political and religious leaders in Washington, D.C., North Carolina, Florida and nationwide to repudiate ACT! for America's anti-Islam hate.
Members of the Florida Muslim community also report to CAIR that ACT! for America representatives have allegedly been harassing them at community events and meetings. According to community members, the police had to be called to remove group representatives, reportedly including Alan Kornman, at two recent incidents. Over the weekend, ACT! for America joined other anti-Islam hate groups in protesting a Muslim community event in Virginia.

Awad said ACT! for America leader Brigitte Gabriel claims an American Muslim "cannot be a loyal citizen" and that Islam is the "real enemy." She once told the Australian Jewish News: "Every practicing Muslim is a radical Muslim." She also claimed that "Islamo-fascism is a politically-correct's the vehicle for Islam...Islam is the problem."
When asked whether Americans should "resist Muslims who want to seek political office in this nation," Gabriel said:
"Absolutely. If a Muslim who has -- who is -- a practicing Muslim who believes the word of the Koran to be the word of Allah, who abides by Islam, who goes to mosque and prays every Friday, who prays five times a day -- this practicing Muslim, who believes in the teachings of the Koran, cannot be a loyal citizen to the United States of America."
Brigitte Gabriel stated: "America and the West are doomed to failure in this war unless they stand up and identify the real enemy: Islam."
SEE: Islam's March Against the West
Of Gabriel, the New York Times wrote:
"She has made it her mission – one might say her crusade – to warn that radical Muslims, a term she defines as all practicing Muslims, are bent on taking over the West...Gabriel believes that Muslims cannot serve loyally in the U.S. military, that interfaith dialogue is 'nonsense,' and that the difference between the Arab world and Israel is 'barbarism versus civilization.' The Muslim world will not be satisfied until all infidels are converted or eliminated, she has said."
SEE: A Radical Islamophobe?
1. CONTACT the Republican National Committee to urge that the RNC ask Rep. Myrick to disassociate herself and her party from anti-Islam hate of any kind.
Chairman Michael SteeleRepublican National Committee 310 First Street, SEWashington, DC 20003E-Mail:, info@gop.comCopy to: info@cair.comTel: 202.863.8500Fax: 202.863.8820
2. CONTACT the North Carolina Republican Party (NCGOP) to request that they urge Rep. Myrick to disassociate herself, her party and her state from anti-Islam hate of any kind.CONTACT:
NCGOP Executive Director Russell PeckE-MAIL: rpeck@ncgop.orgNCGOP Communications Director Jordan ShawE-Mail: shaw@ncgop.orgCopy to:

Friday, April 02, 2010

CAIR Applauds Policy Change on Airline Profiling

WASHINGTON, April 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A prominent national Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization is applauding new intelligence-based airline security measures announced today that will replace the mandatory screening of travelers from 14 countries implemented following the failed Christmas Day bombing in Detroit.
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When the policy targeting nationals from the 14 Muslim-majority nations was announced in January, the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations said it amounted to racial and religious "profiling."
SEE: New TSA Screening Rules Amount to Profiling
The new policy is designed to reduce the number of passengers pulled aside for secondary screening and will not be based on nationality, but will instead focus on travelers who match information gathered about terror suspects, such as physical descriptions, names or travel patterns.
SEE: New Airline Security Measures Announced (Reuters)
"We applaud the Obama administration's new passenger screening policy because it does what security experts and civil libertarians have always asked for -- it screens passengers based on actual suspicious behaviors or actions, not on national origin or religion," said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. "This new policy is an acknowledgment that racial, religious and ethnic profiling is inefficient and ineffective."
Awad said CAIR will seek clarification of the criteria used for secondary screening and will monitor reports of passenger mistreatment submitted by the traveling public.
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.