Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Jackson encourages about 900 at CAIR event to fight against racism, foreclosureOralandar Brand-Williams, Detroit News, 3/29/10

Dearborn -- Civil rights activist the Rev. Jesse Jackson urged Muslim Americans to partner with his organization not only for civil rights but on economic issues facing Americans, such as foreclosures.

"When we fight against foreclosure ... that's all of our fight," Jackson told a crowd of about 900 people gathered Sunday for a banquet marking the 10th anniversary of the Council on American-Islamic Relations Michigan...

Nihad Awad, CAIR's national executive director, said Muslim-Americans must fight against "Islamaphobia."
"Right now we are being challenged, but we are being challenged because we are about to move to the next stage. Muslim-Americans will be seen and treated as equals. Muslim-Americans will be recognized, respected and celebrated."

CAIR-Michigan Executive Director Dawud Walid renewed his call for U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to open an investigation into the October shooting death of Imam Luqman Abdullah by FBI agents during a raid at a Dearborn warehouse and to revisit the issue of racial profiling.
"Mr. Holder, we are at the front door (asking) to review the latest FBI guidelines," Walid said.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

CAIR Asks DOE to Address Racial Tensions in Minn.

Schools Muslim civil rights group says hate incidents create hostile learning environment, threaten safety of students

(ST. PAUL, MN, 3/24/10) - The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) today called on the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) to investigate and address reports of growing racial and religious tensions in Minnesota public schools.

CAIR-MN's request for DOE intervention came following a series of anti-Muslim incidents reported to the civil rights organization by students across the state. Muslim students have allegedly been called "towel head" and other religious and racial slurs and faced harassment for their religious beliefs by other students and teachers. Some alleged incidents include:
Two students approached a group of Muslim high school girls and asked them if they would like some pork bacon. When the girls informed them that their religion prohibited pork, the students made disparaging remarks about their religion. A week later, the two students brought pork bacon to school and shoved it in the faces of Muslim students and chased after them when they tried to get away.
Students wrote racist essays for their English class and posted them on a class blog to harass Muslim students.
A bus driver left Muslim students waiting at a bus stop on several occasions, driving past them when she saw them and telling them: "Catch me if you can."
A World History teacher made disparaging comments about Islam and Muslims in class.
A teacher, on several occasions, handed students a can of air freshener and instructed them to spray the room when Muslim students walked into class.
SEE: Somali Population, Cultural Tension Rising in St. CloudSEE ALSO: Tensions Mount at OHS
Yesterday, members of Minnesota's Islamic community gathered at the State Capitol to discuss the civil and religious rights of Muslim students with legislators.

Students reported to CAIR-MN that school administrators have failed to effectively respond to the incidents and the harassing treatment often becomes worse after they report it. Students also reported that those who are targeted the most are Somali students with limited English proficiency because the perpetrators think that these students will be unable to communicate the incidents to administrators.

"It is clear that racial and religious tensions in the community have manifested in the schools and need to be addressed immediately," said CAIR-MN Assistant Director of Civil Rights Zahra Aljabri. "Students of all faiths and backgrounds in Minnesota must have a learning environment free of racism and intolerance."

Aljabri said the hostile school environment is affecting students academically and emotionally. She noted that U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recently pledged that his department is going to take a more active role in enforcing civil rights for students nationwide.
CAIR-MN is asking the U.S. Department of Education to investigate these incidents; aggressively implement racial and religious harassment policies and procedures; institute a zero-tolerance discrimination policy; discipline students, faculty and administrators who engage in bias-motivated behaviors; and provide peer mediation and diversity trainings to faculty and staff to create a safe community for learning and growing in Minnesota.

CAIR offers a booklet, called "An Educator's Guide to Islamic Religious Practices," designed to help school officials provide a positive learning environment for students of all faiths.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Nihad Awad: 'U.S. Military should investigate training comparing Islam to Nazism'

Training film features Islamophobes, Islam compared to Nazism, 'Hajji' used as pejorative

WASHINGTON, March 23 A prominent national Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization today said it has asked the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) to investigate a report of anti-Islam bias in the training offered to security personnel by that military law enforcement agency.

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The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) received a report that a three-day NCIS surveillance detection course at the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C., included the viewing of a propagandistic anti-Islam film that features notorious Islamophobes such as Daniel Pipes, Nonie Darwish and Walid Shoebat.

[Shoebat told a Missouri newspaper that he sees "many parallels between the Antichrist and Islam" and "Islam is not the religion of God -- Islam is the devil." (Springfield News-Leader, 9/24/07) Darwish, a self-styled "former Moslem," said "Islam is cruel, anti-women, anti-religious freedom and anti-personal freedom in general." Daniel Pipes once warned a Jewish convention of the "true dangers" posed by "the presence, and increased stature, and affluence, and enfranchisement of American Muslims." (American Jewish Congress, 10/21/2001) Pipes has also been a vocal supporter of the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II.]
According to the trainee, the film and the course promoted the theme that "Islam is synonymous with Nazism." The briefing presenter also allegedly used the term "Hajji" as a pejorative in reference to Muslims and stated repeatedly that "Islam is not a religion of peace."

In his letter to NCIS Director Mark D. Clookie, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad wrote in part:
"NCIS has an important role to play in securing our nation and can best carry out that role when its actions are based on accurate and balanced information, not on religious or ethnic stereotyping."

Awad requested an investigation "to ensure that our nation's security personnel are receiving training that is free of political or religious agendas."

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.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Nihad Awad: "GOP leaders should repudiate racist taunts"

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 3/21/10) -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called on Republican leaders to repudiate racist taunts by tea party opponents of health care reform targeting a Muslim congressman and another African-American lawmaker on Capitol Hill yesterday.
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Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN), one of two Muslims in Congress, reported that protesters chanted "the N-word, the N-word, 15 times" as he left the Cannon House Office Building with Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), a leader of the civil rights movement. Protesters also spat on and shouted bigoted slurs at other lawmakers.
SEE: Raucous, Ugly Buildup to House Health Care Vote (AP)Black Members: Tea Partiers Used N-Word

"Vigorous debate on issues of importance to our nation is essential, but racist abuse like that used by the tea party protesters must be repudiated by all responsible leaders, no matter their political party," said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. "We call on all those Republican leaders who addressed the protesters to take a public stand against such racist tactics."

He said our nation must not let a vocal and bigoted minority "turn back the clock" on the Civil Rights Movement.
[UPDATE: Today, Michael Steele, the Republican National Committee's first African-American chairman, called the incidents "reprehensible."]

Awad noted that CAIR recently expressed concern about the reported rise in the number of anti-government and anti-immigrant extremist groups during the past year.
SEE: CAIR Concerned About Reported Rise in Militias, 'Patriot' Groups

Friday, March 19, 2010


Unknown man said 'all black people leave the store now' over store PA

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 3/18/10) -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today voiced concern over a recent incident at a southern New Jersey Wal-Mart in which an unknown person made a racist announcement over the store's public-address system.Wal-Mart officials are reviewing security tapes to determine who used the store's public-address system on Sunday to say: "Attention Wal-Mart customers: All black people leave the store now."SEE: Wal-Mart Probing Racist Store Announcement (AP)

"We are deeply troubled by this example of the intolerance and overt racism that unfortunately still exists in our society," said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad. "We understand Wal-Mart is conducting a full investigation of the incident. If it was an employee who made the announcement, we expect that person will be fired to make it clear that such bigotry is unacceptable in America."

Awad noted that CAIR has worked successfully with Wal-Mart in the past to resolve incidents of bias at some of its stores. In July 2009, after CAIR's mediation, a Wal-Mart store in Minnesota agreed to accommodate an employee's right to pray in the workplace on scheduled breaks. In February 2008, a Wal-Mart regional manager apologized to a Muslim customer who had been mocked by a cashier because of her face veil.

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.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Myrick Letter to Anti-Islam Hate Group