Sharpen your leadership skills at CAIR's intensive, one-day conference
CAIR is inviting all Islamic activists, Imams and other community leaders to an intensive one-day Muslim leadership conference on Saturday, October 7, 2000. At the conference, headlined "Mobilizing Muslims in America: a Boot Camp for Muslim Activists," top trainers in their fields will offer workshops on:
New Jersey congressman refuses to sever ties with anti-Islam hate group
CAIR today expressed dissatisfaction with a statement issued by Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-NJ) in reaction to criticism from Muslims nationwide who objected to Smith's support for an anti-Muslim "hate group." In his statement, Smith said he "denounced the Islamophobic sentiments expressed by the International Christian Concern" (ICC), but refused a demand to sever ties with the group itself. (ICC until recently listed Smith as an "honorary board member.")
"Despite rejecting the group's bigoted views on Islam, Smith's statement did not rule out working with International Christian Concern in the future," said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad. He added that Smith told the New Jersey Star-Ledger he would continue to work with ICC on "religious freedom issues." Awad repeated CAIR's demand that Smith cut ties with the group, as has Smith's political challenger, Reed Gusciora.
On ICC's web site, the group's president claimed that African-Americans are attracted to Islam because of "two primeval lusts: power and possessions." He also said that Muslims do not seek peaceful co-existence, that "Islam and Christianity are diametrically opposed," that "there is a dark side to Islam that is often distorted or omitted...Within this dark side lies the real truth concerning Islam," that Muslims were the "sole originators" of the slave trade, and that "manipulators behind Islam" encourage Muslims to carry out acts of aggression.
After admitting to the offensive nature of the statements, Smith went on to attack CAIR and those who contacted his office for attempting to "intimidate" him. He pointed to other occasions in which CAIR challenged Islamophobic statements.
In one of these incidents, the article challenged by CAIR portrayed Islam as a permanent threat to Western society, used racial and ethnic slurs against Arabs, suggested the American Muslim community could pose a threat to the "Judeo-Christian identity" of society, and claimed Christian-Muslim dialogue might be a "delusion."
Smith's attack seemed to rely on information of the type and style used by Steven Emerson, a controversial author who has a long history of defamatory and inaccurate attacks on the Islamic community in this country.
"It is unfortunate that Representative Smith chooses to evade responsibility for his associations by blaming the messenger. We appreciate his condemnation of ICC's views, but that condemnation will not ring true if he continues to work with the group itself," said CAIR's Awad.
The future of secret evidence will be decided Tuesday, September 26
A compromise measure on the Secret Evidence Repeal Act (H.R. 2121) will be introduced Tuesday during a "mark up" in the House Judiciary Committee.
As it stands, the Secret Evidence Repeal Act, sponsored by House minority whip Rep. David Bonior (D-MI) and Rep. Tom Campbell (R-CA), would repeal the use of secret evidence in Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) deportation hearings.
Many American Muslims and civil libertarians believe secret evidence is unconstitutional and that it is used disproportionately against members of the Muslim and Arab-American communities. A number of Muslim detainees have been held for up to four years based on evidence that is not revealed to them or their attorneys.
The compromise legislation would apply the Classified Information Procedures Act (CIPA) to immigration cases that involve classified information. Alien detainees would be given the same rights to view evidence as anyone, citizen or non-citizen, tried in a criminal case.
The amendment to H.R. 2121 would mandate that a detained person be given an unclassified summary of the classified information. This summary would give the alien "substantially the same ability to make his defense as would disclosure of the…classified information." It would be the only part of the classified information given to the immigration judge. The judge would therefore not be prejudiced by information not shared with the detainee. There would be no "secret evidence" because the immigration judge would base his decision on the same information that is shared with the alien.
"While we believe that any use of secret evidence is unconstitutional, this compromise is a substantial improvement over current policy," said CAIR Board Chairman Omar Ahmad.
Support the vitcims of Israeli aggression
CAIR is asking that American Muslims do what they can to alleviate the suffering of civilians in the Occupied Territories of Palestine. Scores of civilians, including children, have been killed and hundreds have been wounded by Israeli armed forces using anti-tank missiles, grenades and helicopter gunships. Many of these weapons are paid for using American taxpayer dollars.
The Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), an American Muslim relief group that works with needy Palestinians, estimates that more than 100 children have been orphaned as a result of Israeli attacks. HLF reports that more than half of the bullet wounds are in the chest or above. Hospitals are overloaded and short of supplies.
The killings occurred following an intentionally provocative tour of Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem by Israeli right-wing extremist Ariel Sharon. Sharon has been blamed for allowing the 1982 massacre of Palestinian civilians in refugee camps near Beirut, Lebanon. The clashes are reminiscent of those in September 1996 that erupted following the opening of an Israeli tunnel near Al-Aqsa mosque. Fifty-nine Palestinians were killed at that time.
"The events of recent days have clearly shown that there will never be peace in the region as long as Israeli forces occupy Jerusalem," said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad.
On Monday, October 2, local and national American Muslim leaders will hold a news conference in Washington, D.C., to express their denunciation of both the recent attack on Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem and the killing of Palestinian civilians by Israeli occupation forces. The news conference will take place at 10:30 a.m. (Eastern) at CAIR's headquarters (453 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.) on Capitol Hill.
Muslims nationwide asked to rally for Jersusalem October 28
On Saturday, October 28, Muslims from around the country will hold a march and rally in Washington, D.C., in defense of the Palestinian people and of Al-Aqsa Mosque. Event organizers are inviting all people of conscience to attend. Already, thousands of Muslims from states such as Michigan, New Jersey and Pennsylvania are organizing bus caravans to the rally.
Bus, air and other travel information may be arranged through Lite Star Travel (TEL: 703-237-0002 Fax: 703-237-0561.)
For the past four weeks, Israeli armed forces have been killing unarmed Palestinian demonstrators who are protesting both the Apartheid-like regime they are forced to live under and the Israeli attacks on Islamic holy sites. More than 120 people, many of them children as young as two, have been killed and thousands wounded.
This rally is sponsored by: Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), American Muslim Council (AMC), American Muslims for Jerusalem (AMJ), Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), Coordinating Council of Muslim Organizations of Greater Washington DC, Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), Muslim American Society (MAS), MSA National, ADAMS Center, Dar Al Hijrah, Manassas Mosque, Masjid Al-Islam, and the Muslim Community of Howard University. Co-sponsored by: Arab American Institute (AAI),American Arab Anti Discrimination Committee (ADC)