CAIR-MI ANNUAL FUNDRAISING BANQUET A REMARKABLE SUCCESS
More than 1,200 people-Muslims and non-Muslims alike-flocked to the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Dearborn, MI for the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) of Michigan's annual fund-raising banquet, dubbed "One Nation Under God." This year's event featured critically acclaimed British author and journalist Robert Fisk as a keynote speaker, and Bill Gallagher, an Emmy Award-winning news reporter with Fox 2 Detroit News.
CAIR is the premier civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States working to protect the rights and civil liberties of Muslims in America. Based in Washington, DC, where Dr. Nihad Awad is its national director, CAIR now has 32 chapters across the United States.
The CAIR Michigan chapter, under the direction of Dawud Walid, who has served as executive director since July 2005, was established by several prominent Muslim community members nearly eight years ago. Walid described the past year's accomplishments and CAIR's unremitting efforts to combat bias, injustice and discrimination against Muslims in Michigan and surrounding areas. Dr. Jukaku Tayeb, the CAIR-MI president, encouraged attendees to continue their moral and financial support of the organization.
Fisk, a resident of Beirut, Lebanon for nearly 30 years and the Middle East correspondent for the UK's The Independent, delivered a powerful and sometimes humorous address on the Middle East crisis, the injustices committed daily, and media bias. After discussing Iraq, Iran, and the divisions between Muslims, he turned to the U.S. and British administrations, Western interference and conspiracies in the Middle East.
"I tried to calculate for an article just how many Western soldiers were in the Islamic world today compared to the 12th century Crusades," said Fisk. "There are 22 times more Western soldiers in the Islamic world today than Crusaders had in 1187," he noted.
CAIR-NY: DMV SAYS HIJAB IS COOL
The New York arm of the of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) is taking credit for reasserting the rights of Muslim women to keep their headscarf, or hijab, on when they take their driver's license photo.
Following an incident in the upstate town of Beacon, where a woman was turned away from taking her photo unless she removed her headscarf, officials at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) are sending letters of reminder to their offices across the State regarding all head coverings and their approved use in driver's license photographs, as per the State's religious accommodation policies. The women was eventually allowed to take her photo, headscarf on, after she presented paperwork to DMV officials making their policy clear.
"The incident in Beacon shows that quicker resolutions result from knowing your rights and being prepared to defend them," said Aliya Latif, CAIR-NY's Civil Rights Coordinator. "We applaud the DMV for its readiness to reaffirm the rights of Muslim women and all those who choose to wear head coverings for religious reasons."
CAIR-FL: $10,000 REWARD OFFERED IN ANTI-MUSLIM ARSON CASE
A Tampa Muslim advocacy group and the state Fire Marshall are offering a $10,000 reward for information that helps them catch and convict an arsonist.
The $10,000 reward will be for information that leads to whoever set fire to a Sarasota Muslim family's home earlier this month.
On July 6, the Sejfovic family returned from vacation to find that their home had been spray-painted with obscenities and intentionally set on fire. Investigators found fire accelerants in several locations of the burned-out shell that remained of the house.
Anyone with information is asked to call 1-877-NOARSON, or contact the FBI at (813) 253-1000.