(WASHINGTON, D.C., 12/7/16) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today welcomed remarks yesterday by President Obama during his final national security speech at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla., warning against stigmatizing “good, patriotic” American Muslims or imposing “religious tests as a price for freedom.”
While the president did not mention President-elect Donald Trump by name, it was widely viewed by many as a message to the next president and a rebuke of Trump’s many anti-Muslim policy proposals and his Islamophobic rhetoric.
“President Obama’s message to President-elect Donald Trump and his administration was clear – stigmatizing American Muslims and imposing arbitrary religious tests will not make our nation more secure and would contradict our democratic values and principles,” said CAIR National Government Affairs Department Director Robert S. McCaw.
Letter shares concerns about rhetoric and appointments, urges rejection of divisive politics
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 12/6/16) – Nihad Awad, national executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today joined more than 300 other American Muslim leaders in issuing a joint letter to President-elect Donald Trump calling on him to reconsider troubling policies proposed during his campaign, as well as recent announcements regarding appointments to his upcoming administration.
The letter is the first public communication to the new administration from American Muslim leaders who work actively every day to serve and enrich their communities and their country. The letter had been made publicly available at the website MuslimLetterToTrump.com.
With more than 300 Muslim community leaders from around the country already having signed the letter, more are expected to join the initiative in coming days. The letter includes American Muslims at the forefront of community service, education and empowerment in diverse settings such as the academy, mosques, advocacy, and civic and interfaith engagement.
Prominent signatories include CAIR’s Awad, Khizr Khan (the Gold Star father who spoke passionately in defense of the Constitution at the Democratic National Convention), Dalia Mogahed (Author of "Who Speaks for Islam?") and Imam Suhaib Webb (CenterDC).
The letter states in part:
“Like other Americans, we love our country and are committed to preserving religious freedom, equal opportunity and equal protection under the law for all. As our President-Elect, one of your duties is to ensure our collective safety and security. This includes protecting the First Amendment rights of all Americans to freely practice their faith, without fear, intimidation or reprisal. . .
“Your recent denunciation of such behavior on 60 Minutes was a positive first step, and we urge you to clearly and strongly condemn bigotry, hate crimes and bias-based school bullying directed at any American, including American Muslims. We call on you to make mutual respect and acceptance a hallmark of your presidency. . .
(ST. LOUIS, MO., 12/6/2016) – On Wednesday, December 7, the Missouri chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Missouri) will hold a news conference to call on law enforcement authorities to take action against a Missouri man who allegedly harassed, assaulted, pulled a gun on, and threatened to kill and burn the home of a Muslim family in that state.
WHAT: CAIR-Missouri News Conference to Call on Police to Investigate a Series of Threats to Muslim Family
WHEN: Wednesday, December 7, 10 a.m.
WHERE: Dar-Al-Jalal Islamic Center, 8945 Dunn Rd, Hazelwood MO, 63042
(Enter the East Side of the building, across the street from the Auto Dealer.)
According to the family, since they moved into their home in South St. Louis City, their neighbor has engaged in alleged harassment, threats, and physical violence to run them out of their neighborhood.
“These types of alleged intimidation incidents are now the new normal due to the mainstreaming of Islamophobia by President-Elect Donald Trump,” said CAIR-Missouri’s Executive Director Faizan Syed. “This has happened before in St. Louis, and the only way to prevent similar attacks on American Muslims, or those perceived to be Muslim, is for law enforcement authorities to take these incidents seriously and for our nation’s leaders to repudiate anti-Muslim bigotry.”
The Washington-based Muslim civil rights organization has reported an unprecedented spike in anti-Muslim incidents nationwide since the election of Donald Trump.
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.
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(NEW YORK, NY, 12/5/16) - The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) today condemned the latest in a series of recent hate attacks on Muslims in that state.
According to police, a uniformed MTA officer - who wears and Islamic head scarf (hijab) – was assaulted this morning by a man who yelled “You’re a terrorist and you shouldn’t be working for the city.” The alleged attacker, reportedly shoved the MTA employee down a flight of stairs, injuring her knee and ankle. The NYPD and New York State Division of Human Rights are investigating the attack as a bias incident.
“Our subways and buses are emblematic of our city’s unparalleled diversity, and we must not permit them to become a venue for hatred and violence,” said CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher. “President-elect Trump has a duty to forcefully denounce this wave of violence against the Muslim community. Mr. Trump’s rhetoric normalized hate, racism and xenophobia, and these attacks are the unavoidable byproduct.”
“We are grateful to see that witnesses had the courage to intervene in the most recent attack,” said CAIR-NY Director of Strategic Litigation Albert Fox Cahn. “The only way our city and state will overcome this wave of hatred is if New Yorkers step forward whenever we see our neighbors being threatened. It’s incumbent on all New Yorkers to stand firm in the face of hate.”
This latest attack comes just a day after Christopher Nelson, 36, was arrested and for allegedly assaulting an off-duty Muslim NYPD officer - who also wears and Islamic head scarf (hijab) - and her 16-year-old son. According to police, Nelson reportedly shoved the officer’s son and shouted, “ISIS (expletive), I will cut your throat, go back to your country!” and “go back to your country.” Nelson has been charged with menacing as a hate crime and aggravated assault in the second degree.