What They Say About CAIR

What They Say About CAIR

Awards and Recognitions from Interfaith, Law Enforcement, Elected Officials and Others

December 2011

A SAMPLE OF AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS

2011: CAIR received an award for "Civil Rights Preservation" from the Muslim Journal, the nation's oldest American Muslim newspaper. The Muslim Journal has over 36 years of continuous weekly publication.

2011: Zahra Billoo, CAIR-SFBA's executive director, receives the 2011 Public Interest Attorney of the Year Award from the South Asian Bar Association of Northern California (SABA-NC).

2011: CAIR-Minnesota was awarded the 2011 Mission & Excellence Anti-Racism Award by the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN) and MAP for Nonprofits. The annual "Mission & Excellence" awards are given to six non-profit organizations that make "outstanding contributions to Minnesota's high quality of life." CAIR-MN received the award in the "Anti-Racism" category. It awards an organization that "works to eliminate prejudice and racism in society; demonstrates a commitment to pluralism and inclusively; and develops unique and thought-provoking strategies to combat racism."

2011: Ibrahim Hooper, CAIR's national communications director, was recognized among the world's "500 Most Influential Muslims" by the Jordan-based Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center.

2011: CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid received two awards for civil rights advocacy at the Michigan Council of Human Rights (MCHR) annual banquet. Walid accepted the Spirit of Detroit Award given by the City Council of Detroit and the MCHR 2011 Activist Organization Award for advocating for the civil rights of all Americans through encouraging dialogue and building coalitions that promote justice and understanding.

2011: CAIR-Oklahoma Executive Director Muneer Awad was awarded the Russell Bennett Recognition by the Tulsa Metropolitan Ministries. The Russell Bennett Recognition is given to an individual who, like Russell Bennett, provides courageous social justice leadership within the Tulsa Metropolitan Ministry area.

2011: Ibrahim Hooper, CAIR's national communications director, was profiled as a "DC Influencer" by PR Week. The publication is "the essential title for PR professionals in the US."

2011: CAIR-Minnesota was named a "2010 Difference Maker" by the St. Cloud Times. Each year, the publication's editorial board selects individuals and groups it believes have made the biggest difference in the community. 2011: CAIR-Minnesota co-founder and president Lori Saroya received the St. Catherine University "Rising Star" Alumni Award for her community advocacy and social justice work with CAIR-MN. 2011: CAIR-Washington (state) received the "Connecting Communities" award from the Faith Action Network. Faith Action Network was created in 2011 through the union of the Washington Association of Churches and the Lutheran Public Policy Office.

2011: Nihad Awad, CAIR's national executive director, was included on the "Power 500" list compiled by Arabian Business Magazine.

2011: CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid was awarded the "Pastor's Award" at Central United Methodist Church's 7th Annual Peace and Justice Banquet. The award recognizes Walid's work in promoting religious dialogue and cooperation among Christian and Muslim clergy and speaking out against religious intolerance.

2010: Zahra Billoo, CAIR-SFBA's executive director, receives a San Francisco Minority Bar Coalition (MBC) 2010 Unity Award.

2010: Sarwat Husain, a CAIR national board member, received the "most distinguished alumni" award from the University of Incarnate Word.

2010: Lori Saroya of CAIR-Minnesota received a "Community Leadership Award" from the Islamic Resource Group, an affiliate of the Islamic Networks Group.

2010: Nihad Awad, CAIR's national executive director, was included on the "Arabian Business Power 100" list compiled by Arabian Business magazine. In describing why Awad was named to the list, the magazine said, "...CAIR's actions have forced many large outlets to be more tolerant of Muslim culture."

2009: Nihad Awad, CAIR's national executive director, was recognized among the world's "500 Most Influential Muslims" by the Jordan-based Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center.

2009 and 2011: CAIR-MN co-founder and president Lori Saroya was recognized as a Facing Race Ambassador by the St. Paul Foundation. Facing Race Ambassador Awards celebrate and honor individuals and organizations working to create a racially equitable community.

INTERFAITH

"...We should be giving an award to CAIR, both here in Tampa and across this nation, for the work you are doing, not just on behalf of the Muslim community but on behalf of us all. For every time you challenge stereotypes or discrimination on behalf of Muslims, you challenge them on behalf of us all." - Rev. Dr. Bernice Powell Jackson, President of the North American region of the World Council of Churches and pastor of First United Church of Tampa (September 2011)

"CAIR is an admirable organization that has served as a positive force, working with diverse community leaders to promote mutual understanding and dialogue, protect civil liberties, and defend liberty and justice for all people in America. CAIR works to raise awareness about Islam and Muslims and has continuously and courageously condemned all forms of terrorism and extremism." - October 2008 letter signed by leaders of groups representing Korean Americans, Christians, Hispanic Americans, Japanese Americans and union workers.

"We could and would have freely and accurately characterized CAIR as a responsible and highly-esteemed force for reconciliation and sanity, both in international affairs and in deepening interfaith understanding here in the United States." - January 2007 letter of support signed by 203 Christian, Muslim, Jewish and Baha'i leaders, professors and concerned citizens

CAIR is a responsible force for reconciliation and sanity, both in international affairs and in deepening religious understanding here in America. We urge Congress to state clearly what we know is true: CAIR makes a valuable contribution to democracy and interfaith relations." - Dr. John B. Cobb, Jr., Professor Emeritus, Claremont School of Theology, Rev. Dr. Rita Nakashima Brock, Co-Director, Faith Voices for the Common Good, Rev. Peter Laarman, Director, Progressive Christians Uniting, Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker, President, Starr King School for the Ministry (March 2007)

"As a Christian pastor, I support of the work of CAIR, Council on American Islamic Relations. This is a national group with a very balanced and effective voice that speaks up for the rights of all peoples, and especially Muslims in the United States. It is akin to the NAACP. I think that because it is so effective, it has been targeted. I have worked with CAIR locally in the Tampa Bay area and nationally supporting interfaith relations. I find the leaders to be clear, moderate, and at the same time very articulate in defending Muslim-American rights. We need groups like CAIR in these fear-mongering times." - Pastor Warren Clark, Tampa, FL (Source: St. Petersburg Times, 3/19/2007)

"The impact of your report was to give the false impression that 'the Jewish community' condemns CAIR and the Congressman for speaking, because you did not bother to report other Jewish opinions. Nor did you make any effort to ascertain and report that in fact CAIR speaks out strongly against terrorist attacks by Muslims, while you reported the utterly uncorroborated assertions by two local Jews that CAIR 'has connections to terrorists.' This kind of reporting encourages these McCarthyist assertions. It gives credence to lies. Good reporting should tell the whole story, not a one-sided version of it." - Rabbi Arthur Waskow, director of the Shalom Center, in a letter to Philadelphia Enquirer reporter Tom Infield. In his letter, Waskow notes that he is a rabbi who has been "described by last week's issue of Newsweek as one of the fifty most influential rabbis in the United States, and one described by the Forward newspaper at the end of 2005 as one of the 'Forward Fifty' of most effective and creative Jews (not just rabbis) from the whole country. ..." (April 2007)

"I was deeply touched when I received a phone call from Mr. Ahmed Bedir of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in St. Petersburg informing me of this initiative to raise funds for the Palestine Damaged Churches. He told me that it is important in our secular society to build places of worship rather than destroy them. I wholeheartedly agree." - Father Guido Gockel, U.S. National Secretary, CNEWA a papal agency for humanitarian and pastoral support (October 2006)

"Jewish Voice for Peace - Philadelphia believes that the [Council on American-Islamic Relations], Pennsylvania, is engaged in some of the most urgent civil rights work currently being done in the Commonwealth." - Hannah Schwarzschild, Jewish Voice for Peace -- Philadelphia (March 2007)

"We...acknowledge that CAIR-PA is a very excellent organization which builds bridges of understanding between Muslims and the broader culture." - The Interfaith Walk for Peace and Reconciliation (March 2007)

"We are grateful for our continuing friendships with members of CAIR-Ohio, for their credible, gracious and courageous witness to the Muslim experience in Ohio, the meaning and diversity of Islam, and the critical issues in our shared search for peace and justice and hope, here and around the world." - Revered John C Wagner, Miriam R. Wagner, Professor Emeritus, United Theological Seminary, United Methodist Church (2006)

LAW ENFORCEMENT

"When you attack CAIR you attack virtually every Muslim in America." - L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca (Source: Los Angeles Times, 3/24/2010)

"I applaud your efforts to provide education, justice, outreach and empowerment to the hundreds of thousands of Muslim Americans in the Chicago area. I am impressed by your numerous success stories. I also admire the work you do for civil rights and advocacy. That work is critical to ensuring the rights guaranteed to all Americans in our Constitution." - Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart (March 2011)

"The Washington Field Office of the FBI praises CAIR's dedication in representing the heart of the Muslim American community." - Congratulatory letter from the Washington, DC Field Office of the FBI (October 2006)

"I wanted to say that we really appreciate the effort of Ahmed Bedier [Executive Director, CAIR-Tampa] here in Florida and all the good work that he does on behalf of CAIR in the community in the area of civil rights...Mr. Bedier has done a great job in reaching out to law enforcement, establishing open forums for us to exchange information in order to keep the nation safe." - Carl Whitehead, Special Agent in Charge, Tampa Bay, Florida Field Office of the FBI, speaking at the CAIR 2006 Tampa Banquet

"[CAIR-Chicago's] commitment to maintaining a dialogue leading to the frank and honest exchange of ideas, concerns and recommendations on issues affecting the communities we mutually serve is laudable." - Weysan Dunn, former Special Agent in Charge, Springfield, Illinois Office of the FBI (February 2007)

"Thank you for the opportunity you extended to me to attend the 3rd Annual Banquet of the CAIR Midwest Chapter on February 11, 2007. I expect to attend the Banquet and will be present with other members of the Chicago Field Office." - Robert D. Grant, Special Agent in Charge, Chicago, Illinois Office of the FBI (February 2007)

"Of all the groups, there is probably more suspicion about CAIR, but when you ask people for cold hard facts, you get blank stares." - Michael Rolince, a retired F.B.I. official who directed counterterrorism in the Washington field office from 2002 to 2005 (Source: New York Times, 3/14/2007)

"CAIR-Chicago has shown itself to be a strong partner in our community." - Philip J. Cline, former Superintendent of Police, City of Chicago (February 2007)

"CAIR's vision to be an advocate of civil rights and to promote peace and just is something we can all strive for." - Lance H. Newman, Special Agent in Charge, Tampa Bay Regional Operations Center, Florida Department of Law Enforcement (September 2006)

"We are fortunate to have someone of your expertise and credentials take time to address many of the over 800 attendees from Georgia's criminal justice agencies." - Paul Heppner, Deputy Director, Georgia Crime Information Center, Georgia Bureau of Investigation (August 2006)

"Organizations such as CAIR have played a tremendous role in helping to build a statewide dialogue of diversity and partnership, working closely with the Ohio Department of Public Safety and other state partners to expand outreach efforts aimed at connecting diverse populations in our state. Through its continuing efforts, CAIR has set an outstanding example for other organizations to follow in our collective efforts to Turnaround Ohio." - Henry Guzmán, Director, Ohio Department of Public Safety (2006)

"[Community Alternative Policing Strategy] believes that the strength of any community lies in the propensity of its citizens to serve the common good; CAIR-Chicago has been an impressive agent of community organizing." - Vance T. Henry, Former Director of CAPS, City of Chicago (February 2007)

"Oh behalf of the CAPS Implementation Office, I would like to extend our support to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). As you continue to move forward with your mission to defend the civil rights of all, end bigotry and promote tolerance and acceptance of our many differences we offer you our continued support and encouragement." - Ronald M. Holt, Director of CAPS, City of Chicago (April 2011)

ELECTED OFFICIALS

"Like the good folks standing with me, the American people were appalled and outraged at last Tuesday's attacks...This is a great country. It's a great country because we share the same values of respect and dignity and human worth. And it is my honor to be meeting with leaders who feel just the same way I do. They're outraged, they're sad. They love America just as much as I do." - former President George W. Bush during a visit to a Washington, D.C. mosque. CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad was among those accompanying the president, September 17, 2001

"The vision of CAIR to promote 'justice and mutual understanding' is of course also an American vision, and its mission 'to enhance understating of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding" is in the best traditions of American civil rights movements, both past and present.' - former New Jersey Gov. Jon S. Corzine (D) (April 2009)

"I'm glad that you have established such a strong voice in the community and that you are working to maintain a strong sense of cultural and economic identity." - former Maryland Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. (R) (December 2005)

"It has been a pleasure working with the Council over the years to further our mutual understanding, and I look forward to continuing our progress in the years to come." - former Michigan Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm (D) (March 2010)

"I congratulate CAIR-Chicago on another successful year of serving the needs of the Muslim population in Illinois, and for working toward ensuring justice and civil rights for all the communities you serve." - Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D) (April 2011)

"As Governor and on behalf of all Pennsylvanians, I thank everyone involved with CAIR-PA for your commitment to serving the needs of our commonwealth's Muslim community and building a stronger, more united Pennsylvania." - former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D) (April 2007)

"Frances and I, on behalf of all Ohioans, appreciate your vision to promote justice and mutual understanding. As modern technology seems to shrink our planet, all peoples must strive to understand and respect each and every culture. This is one of CAIR's goals, that of enhancing understanding of Islam. We gather under CAIR-Ohio's theme this year "American Muslims: Connecting and Sharing" to do just that, to connect and share and get to know each other better. Muslims have been in Ohio since the 1800's and the Islamic Center in Toledo is the third mosque ever built in the United States. We honor the Muslim traditions of strong family, hard work, and education. We all deeply value the many contributions Muslims make to this great state. May God bless you!" - former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland (D) (June 2007)

"CAIR-OH's service to the community and outreach efforts to increase understanding and dispel stereotypes are outstanding. Your continued efforts to protect civil liberties and growth in services to best serve Ohio communities has empowered Ohio's Muslims." - former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray (D) (March 2010)

"As Attorney General of the State of Ohio, it is my honor to congratulate the Council on American-Islamic Relations on their 9th Annual Banquet." - Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine (R) (May 2011)

"The strength of America lies in its diversity. More than most any nation on Earth, America is truly a melting pot where people of all creeds, colors and religions come, drawn by our collective commitment to the values of human rights, democracy and equality. Trying times can challenge that commitment. That is one reason civil rights organizations, such as CAIR, are so important." - Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan (D) (April 2011)

"Since 1998, CAIR has positively contributed to enhancing understanding of the Muslim community in the Greater Cincinnati area and the State of Ohio. Now, more than ever, promoting understanding and relations between people from different backgrounds is of utmost importance. I commend CAIR for tirelessly promoting acceptance of Muslims in America, while also defending and protecting rights." - Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) (May 2010)

"I particularly want to commend CAIR for working to educate others about Islam, a religion of more than one billion people in the world. CAIR also has provided members of the Muslim community in the United States with an important voice in promoting social justice and mutual understanding. CAIR has 31 offices nationwide and in Canada and through your work you have helped promote a dialogue among employers, law enforcement officials, and government agencies. CAIR understands the importance of developing mutual understanding and trust." - Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD) (November 2007)

"CAIR-Chicago advances a greater understanding of the Muslim culture and serves as an essential thread in the multicultural fabric of our nation. Your efforts to advocate for tolerance promote the civil liberties of all communities." - Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-IL) (April 2011)

"Through their continued efforts to educate and introduce Americans to positive aspects of the Muslim community, CAIR-LA provides an important link and resource for the Los Angeles region. Their unwavering dedication to increasing awareness and acceptance is truly praiseworthy." - Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) (November 2011)

"It is my understanding that CAIR seeks to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coaltions that promote justice and mutual understanding. Seventeen years of advocacy work is a noteworthy accomplishment, and all those who have contributed to the council's success over the years should be proud of the exemplary work you have done." - Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) (October 2011)

"Since its inception in 1994, CAIR has been at the forefront of enhancing understanding and building coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding. - Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD) (October 2011)

"I applaud CAIR's mission to enhance understanding and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding." - former Sen. Paul Sarbanes (D-MD) (November 2006)

"I want to thank the Arab-American and Muslim-American leaders in Michigan and across the country for their hard work. ... The Council on American Islamic Relations sent a delegation to Baghdad to lobby for her release." - Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) speaking about the release of reporter Jill Carroll in 2006

"CAIR promotes a positive image of Islam and Muslims in America with the hope that this example, along with communication and grassroots activism, will eliminate any misrepresentations of Islam on the part of non-Muslims." - former Sen. George V. Voinovich (R-OH) (September 2010)

"I commend all those who work with your organization to help defend civil liberties, strengthen the dialogue between faith communities and improve the lives of others." - Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) (October 2011)

"I commend the Council for their efforts promoting justice and mutual understanding." - Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) (September 2011)

"Since 1996, the Council on American-Islamic Relations Greater Los Angeles area has served to promote justice and mutual understanding and to protect the civil liberties of American Muslims. Your efforts to educate the community of Los Angeles by offering diversity and sensitivity training on Muslims and Islam are truly appreciated. - Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA) (November 2011)

"I wish to thank CAIR for reminding us that what we share is greater than what sets us apart, and that the sum of our remaining differences is one of our nation's greatest sources of strength. " - Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA) (September 2011)

"I have seen firsthand the type of important work CAIR does every day." - Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA) (October 2011)

"Even in difficult times, CAIR stands up to defend the community it serves. By enhancing this nation's understanding of Islam and encouraging dialogue, CAIR builds coalitions that promote justice, understanding and acceptance of all faiths. CAIR understands one cannot fight violence with more violence and strives to bring all Americans together to live in peace and harmony." - Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN) (October 2011)

"Most recently, I stood with CAIR on their stance against the Peter King hearings which looked at the "radicalization of American Muslims" and worked on Capitol Hill as the Chairperson of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus with the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in strong opposition to these unjustified hearings. The work CAIR has done consistently to combat discrimination and misunderstanding in a direct and professional manner is truly commendable." - Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) (October 2011)

Foley: "What did you think about the swipe? Because it certainly seemed that [CAIR] is the group that this hearing was designed to go after." Clarke: "Well I'm glad you mentioned that and that's why in my statement I raised the fact that the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Michigan worked with Federal law enforcement officials. As a matter of fact just last year alone CAIR-Michigan met with the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security combined thirteen times to help coordinate work between law enforcement at the Federal level and the Muslim community. So CAIR in Michigan definitely had good relations with law enforcement and that has been helpful to protect our citizens from any type of likely threat." - Rep. Hansen Clarke (D-MI), Interview with the Craig Foley Show on WDET Detroit, March 11, 2011.

"CAIR has a long and distinguished history of consistent efforts that reflect a strong support for civil rights and social programs that promote the understanding and cultural heritage of the rapidly growing Muslim American community." - Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) (September 2011)

"It is noteworthy that [CAIR] and its supporters continue to be actively involved with efforts to establish positive relationships and eliminate fear, mistrust, discrimination and violence." - Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) (October 2011)

"CAIR understands that in defending Muslim Americans against employment discrimination, prison abuse, hate crimes, and citizenship delays they are also defending our American values for every American." - Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-IL) (March 2011)

"It is important that we recognize the many positive contributions Muslim Americans continue to make in our communities." - former Rep. Tom Davis (R-VA) (November 2008) "Through several different platforms including multiple civil rights campaigns, an influential voice in the media and an active government relations division, CAIR has successfully established itself as one of the leading advocates for American Muslims." - Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) (September 2011)

"By presenting an Islamic perspective on issues of importance to the American public, CAIR-Ohio works to establish the role and the future of the Muslim community in this new era of hope." - former Rep. Steve Driehaus (D-OH) (May 2010)

"As a firm believer in civil and human rights, I appreciate CAIR's work to defend the U.S. Constitution and safeguard the rights of all Americans. CAIR has been a leader in this effort and has strengthened the freedoms that all Americans enjoy." - Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) (September 2011)

"I'm proud to represent members of the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of CAIR and I commend you for your tireless work in defense of civil rights and equality for each and every member of our community." - Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA) (September 2011)

"Together with your grassroots organizing and outreach efforts, CAIR will no doubt continue to be a leading civil rights organization for years to come!" - Rep. Bob Filner (D-CA) (September 2011)

"I would like to commend the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the work you do defending civil liberties, empowering American Muslims and building coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding." - Rep. J. Randy Forbes (R-VA) (October 2007)

"Your mission to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding is to be commended. Continue to impact the lives of our youth, propelling the community forward. May your tem of staff and volunteers have continued success." - Rep. Marcia L. Fudge (D-OH) (May 2011)

"I applaud your efforts in educating and enhancing understanding through open dialogue." - former Rep. Wayne T Gilchrest (R-MD) (November 2005)

"Through it all, CAIR has been a steady force steering us towards understanding and the core values that define our nation. Whether it is working in Chicago to build bridges or tirelessly walking the halls of Congress in Washington, CAIR is there." - Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL) (September 2011)

"I am pleased to congratulate CAIR not only for the work it has done to promote and protect the civil liberties and civil rights of all Americans, but also for its ongoing efforts to foster a better understanding of Islam across the United States. Your work continues to make an important difference to our country." - Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) (December 2005)

"It is only through the strength of our diversity and the commitment of organizations such as the Council of American-Islamic Relations that we will be able to meet our challenges head on." - Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA) (September 2011)

"I thank CAIR for its advocacy and continuing to open the lines of communication to ensure that we make democracy work for everyone." - Rep. Jesse L. Jackson (D-IL) (October 2011)

"Your dedication to the community is most admirable. Because of your efforts the lives of many citizens have been enriched." - former Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick (D-MI) (November 2007)

"In my home state of Ohio, CAIR has helped make my district a more inclusive and welcoming place for American Muslims." - Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH) (September 2011)

Awarded Certificate of Congressional Recognition and Achievement, presented to CAIR-Ohio "in recognition of your 9th Annual Banquet" - Rep. Steven C. LaTourette (R-OH) (May 2011)

"Again, I welcome you to this year's banquet and offer my sincere thanks to CAIR for your outstanding work on behalf of the American Muslim community." - Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) (October 2011)

"...I take great pride in recognizing CAIR. Your dedication and commitment is truly worthy of the respect, admiration and commendation of the United States Congress." - Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) (October 2011)

"I applaud the Council on American-Islamic Relations for its efforts strengthening the understanding of Islam, encouraging dialogues, and building coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding." - Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) (September 2011)

"...I would like to congratulate CAIR on its mission of promoting civil liberties, justice and mutual understanding." - Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) (October 2011)

"Minnesota's growing, vibrant Muslim community is an indispensable part of the fabric of our state, and I am pleased that CAIR is active in representing their interests at home and across the United States." - Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) (September 2011)

"CAIR does important work in defending civil rights and civil liberties and educating people about the Muslim faith in communities across the country, including Seattle, which I represent in Congress." - Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) (November 2007)

"CAIR-NY has proudly served the Muslim community and New York City for more than thirteen years, advocating on civil rights and youth empowerment issues. Though 2010 brings many challenges, both foreign and domestic, for the United States of America, I believe within my heart that CAIR-NY will continue to strengthen the relationships it has forged with communities across New York City and educate the population about Islam." - Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) (May 2010) "Throughout its existence, CAIR-LA has been instrumental in promoting cultural and religious understanding of the Muslim community. I am pleased that CAIR-LA has been dedicated to building coalitions between non-Muslim and Muslim communities in an effort to eliminate stereotypes and promote tolerance, compassion and understanding. I commend CAIR-LA for playing a vital role in the integration of the Muslim community into American society in an effort to promote patriotism and pride in their home country. I look forward to a continued partnership with CAIR-LA as we strive for freedom and understanding among all who call America home." - Rep. Gary Miller (R-CA) (November 2008)

"CAIR's contributions to the American Muslim community encompass a wide array of services. Since 1994, CAIR has worked tirelessly as an advocate for justice and mutual understanding." - Rep. James P. Moran (D-VA) (September 2011)

"...I would like to acknowledge and commend the Council on American-Islamic Relations of the Greater Los Angeles Area for its remarkable commitment to the American-Islamic population, and for fostering cultural understanding in our community." - Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-CA) (November 2007)

"I applaud your commitment to addressing the social and economic issues that plague the Islamic community and for creating initiatives that will provide understanding, encourage dialogue and promote justice. I know that you derive satisfaction through your work, but it is also important that your accomplishments are praised by the community at large. I salute you." - Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) (November 2007)

"With over 30 CAIR Chapters spread throughout the United States and Canada it is clear that CAIR has become the preeminent organization representing the concerns of Muslim Americans. I want to personally commend CAIR for its work on issues including civil liberties and opening dialogue with various communities in America. - Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) (2006)

"I encourage further efforts to come from CAIR-NY. I appreciate your organization's steadfast determination to protect the civil rights of Muslims in our City, our nation, and throughout the world." - former Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-NY) (March 2010)

"Over the years, CAIR has continued its support and advocacy on behalf of all American citizens. It is important to continue these efforts to empower American Muslims and present an accurate portrayal of the Islamic culture." - Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD) (October 2011)

"At a time when members of the Muslim American community come under misguided scrutiny, I am proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with CAIR and other progressive leaders to denounce religious bigotry. - Rep. Bobby L. Rush (D-IL) (September 2011)

"I commend CAIR for promoting cultural tolerance and acceptance by empowering American Muslims to reach out to their local communities and facilitate positive change." - Rep. Linda T. Sanchez (D-CA) (October 2011) "I would like to encourage CAIR to continue its work in advocacy and empowering dialogue and dedication to the community. - Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) (September 2011)

"Thank you for your service to the people of Maryland. Your dedication, action and commitment make a difference to the quality of dialogue in our community; and I very much appreciate the opportunity to salute your achievements." - Rep. John P. Sarbanes (D-MD) (November 2007)

"The tireless efforts of CAIR and their many partners have helped make our country and our world a more unified, respectful, and more tolerant place. For that, I am truly thankful." - Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) (November 2006)

"CAIR's core goals of enhancing understanding of Islam, promoting justice and empowering American Muslims are especially important now that the United States and our allies in the Islamic world face a common enemy in al Qaeda and its perversion of one of the world's great religions." - Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-CA) (November 2007)

"CAIR does such important and necessary work in a difficult environment to change such perceptions and wrongs -- from racial profiling and civil rights to promoting justice and mutual understanding -- at a time when it is challenging to be an American-Muslim." - former Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA) (April 2007)

"I applaud CAIR's mission to "enhance the understanding of Islam and to encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding." - Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA) (October 2011)

Awarded Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition to the CAIR-Ohio "in recognition of their 9th Annual Banquet" - Rep. Betty Sutton (D-OH) (May 2011)

"On behalf of the United States Congress and the residents of the Eleventh Congressional District, Ohio, I commend the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Ohio for your service to our community. I extend my personal thanks to your members for all of their efforts to improve the needs of Ohio's Muslims in their quest for civil rights. Enjoy your 4th Annual Sharing Ramadan interfaith Community Iftar Banquet. It is my hope and expectation that this organization will continue to thrive and experience ongoing success." - former Rep. Stephanie Tubbs-Jones (D-OH) (September 2007)

"I believe, as you do, that awareness and activism are the keys to change. CAIR's vision to promote justice and mutual understanding is essential to our nation. I commend CAIR for its dedication in encouraging the American Muslim population to take a more active role in the government." - Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) (November 2008)

"The Council on American Islamic Relations has been a strong voice. Your leadership has provided for the protection and promotion of the interests of the Islamic American community while advocating the cause of peace, human rights and social justice." - Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) (October 2011)

"Let me take this opportunity to commend CAIR for all of your efforts to promote the civil rights of American Muslims." - former Rep. Albert L. Wynn (D-MD) (November 2007)

"Over the years, (Council on American-Islamic Relations, Cleveland)'s work and advocacy for greater understanding among cultures and religions has proven to be a blessing to our state. Your goal of promoting compassion and cooperation among diverse ethnic groups is a tremendous gift. " - former Ohio Secretary of State, J. Kenneth Blackwell (2006)

"The Council on American-Islamic Relations Columbus Chapter is hereby recognized for their work as a leading advocate for justice and mutual understanding. Their unwavering adherence to the cause of enhancing the understanding of Islam, encouraging dialogue, protecting civil liberties and empowering American Muslims should serve as an inspiration to others for what can be achieved with such hard work and dedication" - former Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, Certificate of Commendation (March 2010)

"I applaud and commend the Council on American-Islamic Relations for its stellar efforts and commitment in helping to ensure justice, civil rights, and the ending of discriminatory practices throughout the communities you dutifully serve." - Illinois Secretary of State, Jesse White (March 2011)

"I wish to commend CAIR-MI for its manifold historic achievements in the community as it continues to serve as the leading voice on civil and human rights issues affecting Michigan Muslims." - Mayor Virgil Bernero (Lansing, MI) (March 2010)

"We commend your dedicated efforts and vision as a leading advocate for justice and mutual understanding. We express our appreciation for your contribution to the welfare of our community." - Mayor Michael B. Coleman (Columbus, Ohio) (September 2010)

"CAIR-Chicago works to present a balanced and accurate media portrayal of Islam and Muslims and makes our city a better place to live, work, and raise families." - former Mayor Richard M. Daley (Chicago, IL) (April 2011)

"I salute the valuable work that the CAIR-Ohio does on behalf of the American-Islamic community." - Mayor Frank G. Jackson (Cleveland, OH) (March 2010)

"I...commend the work of CAIR-Ohio on behalf of all people in promoting the many freedoms guaranteed to the citizens of our great democracy." - Mayor Kevin M. Kennedy (North Olmsted, OH) (March 2010)

"Thank you for all the work you do in our communities, CAIR." - Mayor Bob Wieckowski (City and County of San Francisco) (October 2011)

"Proclaimed March 2, 2010, to be "CAIR Day" in the City of Cincinnati in recognition of CAIR-Ohio's mission to "enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding." - Mayor Mark L. Mallory (Cincinnati, OH) (March 2010)

"CAIR-PA has actively engaged the media to encourage positive representation of Islam and Muslims and promoted interfaith relations an community outreach through workshops and presentations in cooperation with social organizations, churches, synagogues, mosques, and other religious and educational institutions. On behalf of the City of Philadelphia, I congratulate you on the 5th Anniversary of your worthy organization and commend the CAIR-PA administrators and staff for their on-going efforts to raise our awareness of Islam and the American Muslim community through the building of coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding." - Mayor Michael A. Nutter (Philadelphia, PA) (March 2011)

"For 10 years CAIR-MI has worked to promote a positive view of Islam and Muslims in America, protect civil rights for everyone and encourage understanding and justice for all. Your efforts have had a positive impact on the residents of Dearborn and the region. We support your important mission. - Mayor John B. O'Reilly, Jr. (Dearborn, MI) (March 2010)

"I am pleased to join with other members of our community in recognizing CAIR's dedication to promoting a positive image of Islam and Muslims in America. Thank you for bringing people together from all ethnic backgrounds in the pursuit of mutual understanding and respect." - Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa (Los Angeles, CA) (November 2008)

I commend CAIR for its continued advocacy and extend my best wishes for the future success of this vital organization." - Mayor Bob Wasserman (Fremont, CA) (October 2011)

"Your advocacy efforts aimed at protecting civil liberties, encouraging dialogue and fostering understanding serve as an inspiration to all who seek justice." - California State Senator Ted Lieu (November 2011) "For the past 15 years, CAIR has tirelessly worked to protect and empower American Muslims. The campaigns that this organization implements and its unswerving loyalty to the people it represents is truly inspiring." - California State Senator Carol Liu (November 2011)

"For over a decade, since its inception, CAIR-NY fights daily seeking equality and justice for all. Doing this, they benefit not merely New Yorkers making up the country's largest Muslim population, many facing religious persecution or racial discrimination, they also help to demonstrate the strength and beauty of America's diverse democracy." - New York State Senator Bill Perkins (March 2010)

"Your organization has worked diligently to help others and you are to be commended on behalf of the many people who have benefited from your contributions. I am proud to express my gratitude to all of the dedicated individuals who have provided an outstanding example of patriotism in action over this decade." - Michigan State Representative Bob Constan (March 2010)

"I applaud CAIR for your efforts to allay the fears of those who may tend to allow their lack of understanding to cloud their opinions regarding a totality of people, organizations whom they have prejudged. CAIR's renowned impact on society generated by the Muslim community in Chicago and nationwide is one that should be respected and as cited in your subject matter this year, one which your organization is committed to the challenge of further emphasizing and promoting the goodwill of our Muslim neighbors in Chicago and Muslim communities worldwide. - Illinois State Representative Mary E. Flowers (February 2011)

"Your fight for those who don't have the resources to defend themselves is invaluable. The advocacy efforts of your organization are vital to all American Muslims, Americans, our community and our state." - Michigan State Representative Rashida H. Tlaib (March 2010)

"...I would like to thank CAIR-NY and its dedicated [sic] for the very important work they are doing to help serve and protect our City's growing Muslim community." - New York, New York City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn (May 2010)

"CAIR-Ohio is committed to educating the public and public officials on important Muslim values such as emphasis on strong families, improving neighborhoods and protecting the civil liberties of all residents so that there may be greater harmony and a better America." - Columbus, OH City Council (June 2007)

"The Franklin County Board of Commissioners extend on behalf of all the people of Franklin County sincere thanks to CAIR -- Ohio for their efforts to advocate for freedom, democracy, and human rights for all Americans." - Mary Jo Kilroy, Paula Brooks, and Dewey Stokes, Board of County Commissioners, Franklin County, Ohio (2006)

"NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Council of the City of Pittsburgh does hereby commend the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Pittsburgh Chapter on its work in our City..." - Pittsburgh City Council Proclamation, passed in City Council Tuesday, March 2, 2010

OTHERS

"Number one, it's not fair of to you criticize CAIR, OK? Because CAIR isn't fostering any kind of jihad, as far as I know." - Bill O'Reilly, host of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor (December 2010)

"I only wish you could have gone to the CAIR dinner with me and seen--no offense--the parade of unremarkable American normality that I saw; pleasant, concerned, decent people sharing a meal, albeit with a few more veils and skullcaps than are considered usual here at the moment." - Neil Steinberg, columnist, Chicago Sun-Times, 4/19/2010

"Thank you [CAIR Cleveland] so very much for organizing and leading my recent meeting with Muslim women... You provided me with yet another opportunity to learn and absorb information about what makes up the family of Ohio's people." - Ohio's First Lady, Frances Strickland (2006)

"Muslims across the nation are proud of the Council on American-Islamic Relations for being the ambassadors for Muslims in the United States." - Munir Adhami (Source: Letter to the Editor published in the Los Angeles Times, 1/11/ 2007)

"The FBI and other agencies have repeatedly used CAIR to build bridges with the Muslim community, and the 'apologist' tag certainly wasn't shared by the high-ranking Republican who met with the group at an Islamic center after 9/11: President Bush." (Source: New Jersey Star Ledger editorial, 3/16/2007)

"A small band of critics have made a determined but unsuccessful effort to link it to Hamas and Hezbollah, which have been designated as terrorist organizations by the State Department, and have gone so far as calling the group an American front for the two." (Source: New York Times, 3/14/2007)

"Government officials in Washington said they were not aware of any criminal investigation of the group. More than one described the standards used by critics to link CAIR to terrorism as akin to McCarthyism, essentially guilt by association." (Source: New York Times, 3/14/2007)

One Arab-American advocate compared CAIR to 'the tough cousin who curses at anyone who speaks badly about the family'." (Source: New York Times, 3/14/2007)

"Already fighting on behalf of American Muslims is the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, as it is commonly known. The organization...has developed a reputation for being something of a pit bull in protecting the civil rights of Muslims." (Source: The Indianapolis Star, 9/04/2005)

"The United Way of Hernando County would like to thank [CAIR-Florida] for your generous donation of $5,000 to support the annual Thanksgiving Day Baskets for veterans and the needy." - Kathy Jones, Interim Executive Director, United Way of Hernando County (November 2006)

"I remember meeting some of you in 2004 at the voting station when CAIR mobilized community members and provided busses to transport voters to the polls after Friday prayer. CAIR's partnership in the Get Out The Vote campaign shows its commitment to being a voice to the American-Muslim community and should be applauded." - Buddy Johnson, Supervisor of Elections, Hillsborough County, Florida (August 2006)

"It was overwhelming, their support." - Host Gator Co. President Brent Oxley after CAIR supporters "swamped" the web host with "literally thousands" of complaints about Right Wing Howler, a blog whose author expressed support for the sentiment "...we need to kill all Muslim kids. Starting now." The web site was shut down. (Source: St. Petersburg Times, 12/20/2006)

"The efforts of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in improving cross cultural communications is commendable. " - Brigadier General Mark Wheeler, Chairman Senior National Representatives Coordination Group, United States Central Command (February 2007)

"... (T)he Council on American-Islamic Relations has emerged as a vigilant force against discrimination against Muslims." (Source: East Valley Tribune, 1/19/2008)

"Since 1994, CAIR has employed a well-rounded plan in its role as a top Muslim voice in the US." (Source: PR Week, 11/04/2002)

"The Council on American Islamic Relations, among the more effective lobbies for Muslim Americans' civil liberties..." (Source: Salon.com, 7/10/2008)

"I want to express my deepest gratitude to CAIR-Ohio for helping me with my legal problems. I know I am never alone as long as we have CAIR-Ohio to help all Muslims in Ohio. The lawyer of CAIR-Ohio helped me when my landlord was discriminating against me on the basis of my religion and race. I now know about whom to call if my legal rights are being taken away. Thanks to everybody at CAIR-Ohio who are providing a great service to the Muslim community." - Ahmed Hamud, Columbus, Ohio (2007)

"Organizations such as CAIR have played a tremendous role in helping to build a statewide dialogue of diversity and partnership..." - Henry Guzman, Director, Ohio Department of Public Safety (2006)

"I would like to express my sincere gratitude to you, and the entire CAIR Board, for the gracious invitation to speak and attend the first CAIR MN banquet last week. I don't mind telling you I was a little nervous about being there and worried about the negative potential impact I might have on the attendees but my worries were for nothing. I was most absolutely treated as if I were an honored guest and was treated with the highest amount of respect. I felt more like a friend than a stranger. As a matter of fact, I believe I even made a few very wonderful new friends! - Ken Rodgers, former President of American Council of the Blind, Minnesota Chapter (June 2007)

"Minnesota U.S. Attorney B. Todd Jones, who watched the [hearing held by Rep. Peter King], also took exception to [Minnesota Rep.] Cravaack's characterization [of CAIR]. "I'm frustrated by the blanket condemnation of (the council)," Jones said. He said his terrorism unit of prosecutors has a working relationship with the council's local chapter as well as other entities in sniffing out extremism or wrongdoing. "I hope that (the hearing) does not have an adverse impact on the good things happening here in Minnesota with our Somali community," Jones said. "We are on a good path with closer collaboration. (Source: Minnesota Pioneer Press, March 11, 2011)

"CAIR is an aggressive Muslim civil liberties organization, modeled on the Anti Defamation League, that has made it a target for criticism. It was indeed named as an "unindicted co-conspirator or joint venturer" in the Holy Land Foundation case--an Islamic charity that in 2008 was convicted of funding Islamic militant groups. But CAIR was not alone in that designation; nearly 250 other organizations and individuals were also named. The federal government said the organizations were included on the list in order to produce evidence at the trial, but the district court and a federal appeals court later ruled that it had been a mistake to make the list public." (Source: Washington Post, March 10, 2011)

"But the FBI doesn't call CAIR a terrorist group. Nor does it allege that CAIR was founded or financed by Hamas. In America, if somebody has committed a crime, even somebody unpopular, we bring charges. We don't float Internet rumors at a congressional hearing." Also, 'CAIR supported the development of the Muslim American Homeland Security Congress,' [Los Angeles County Sherriff Lee] Baca said. 'Furthermore, they support the Muslim outreach program that I'm doing. . . . I have not experienced anything that suggests that CAIR supports terrorism.'" (Source: Washington Post, March 13, 2011)

"CAIR itself has never been charged with any wrongdoing; being named an 'unindicted coconspirator' in the Holy Land Foundation case was later reported to have been 'largely a tactical move by the government.' And the difficult relationship with the FBI is due at least in part to the agency's controversial use of paid informants at several mosques." (Source: Christian Science Monitor, March 10, 2011)

"Indeed, some of the statements about CAIR at the hearing were oversimplified at best. Mr. King noted, for example, that CAIR was listed as an 'unindicted co-conspirator or joint venturer' in a terrorism financing case against a charity, the Holy Land Foundation -- but so were more than 200 other groups and individuals. CAIR was not accused of a crime.

"Mr. Wolf mentioned that a poster declaring 'Build a wall of resistance -- Don't talk to the F.B.I.' had appeared on the Web site of the group's California chapter. But the poster had been created by non-Muslim activists in the 1970s, and CAIR officials took it down after a few days, saying it did not represent the group's policy.

"CAIR has had a tense relationship with the F.B.I. and on occasion has urged Muslims not to talk to law enforcement officials without a lawyer present, a caution [CAIR Executive director Nihad] Awad said was very much in keeping with the American system of justice. 'As a civil rights organization,' he said, 'we have the difficult job of encouraging constitutionally informed cooperation with law enforcement.'

"CAIR, along with other advocacy groups, has complained about the F.B.I.'s use of informers who pose as militants from Al Qaeda or similar groups, saying the government uses them in effect to draw young Muslim men into militancy.

"Last month, the F.B.I. director, Robert S. Mueller III, said that the bureau had no 'formal relationship' with CAIR, but that the organization's officials and chapters regularly worked with F.B.I. officials on investigations and related matters. This included a news conference held on Thursday in Sacramento to announce an arrest in a mosque vandalism case.

"CAIR officials also note that they went immediately to the F.B.I. in 2009 when they were approached by the parents of five young Muslim men in Virginia who had disappeared. The men turned up in Pakistan, where they were reportedly trying to join the fight against American troops in Afghanistan." (Source: New York Times, March 11, 2011)

Know Your Conspiracies: NEWSWEEK's guide to today's trendiest, hippest, and least likely fringe beliefs

Conspiracy #9: The Council on American-Islamic Relations is trying to infiltrate Capitol Hill and spread jihad.

Author Dave Gaubatz alleges that the mainstream group is both connected to Islamist terrorists and international jihad and is working to infiltrate the American government by placing interns on Capitol Hill.

Proponents: Dave Gaubatz, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Rep. Sue Myrick (R-N.C.), Joseph Farah.

Kernel of Truth? CAIR has tried to place interns on Capitol Hill, but as it points out, that's standard practice for advocacy groups of all types and allegiances. There's no proof of sinistermotives or an effort to encourage international jihad.

- Newsweek, 02/12/2010