(PITTSBURGH, PA, 11/23/16) - The Pittsburgh chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Pittsburgh), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today condemned an alleged bias-motivated attack last night on a man who the assailant apparently mistakenly believed was a Muslim.
According to the police report, the alleged victim- who is of Indian heritage - said a man sat next to him and began using slurs such as “sand n**ger,” “f**king Muslim” and “towel head,” and stated that “things are different now.” The victim was reportedly struck in the face four or five times and suffered a loose tooth and a cut lip.
The alleged assailant, identified as a white male, was arrested and charged with ethnic intimidation, simple assault, harassment, and public drunkenness.
“We thank law enforcement authorities for swiftly apprehending the alleged assailant and for treating this case with the seriousness it deserves,” said CAIR-Pittsburgh Communications Coordinator Zohra Lasania. “Based on the alleged attackers comments about ‘things are different now,’ we believe this is just the latest incident in a spike in anti-Muslim hate crimes since the November 8 election.”
Muslim community members who believe their rights have been violated are being asked to contact local police and CAIR's Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or by filing a report at: http://www.cair.com/civil-rights/report-an-incident/view/form.html
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.
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 11/23/16) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called for an “immediate and thorough investigation” of an alleged assault on a Muslim kindergarten student at David Cox Road Elementary School in Charlotte, N.C., by one of that school’s teachers.
In a letter to the school board, CAIR Civil Rights Staff Attorney Maha Sayed wrote in part:
“During the first two months of the school year, [the Muslim student] was subjected to relentless bullying and harassment not only by his classmates, but by [the teacher]. For example, she would routinely single out [the student] from his classmates and require him to carry a heavy backpack throughout the day. The backpack contained a large textbook and headphones, which caused [the student] to develop significant back pain. . .[The teacher] would also treat [the student] harshly and reportedly called him ‘bad Muslim boy’ on multiple occasions. . .
“On November 16, 2016, [the teacher] reportedly approached [the student]. . .grabbed him by the neck and began choking him. [Another teacher] then separated the two and began consoling [the student] who was crying and extremely shaken.”
CAIR noted that Title IV and VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment both create a legal duty to provide a safe, nondiscriminatory learning environment for all students.
The Washington-based Muslim civil rights organization requested a comprehensive investigation of the incidents outlined in its letter, disciplinary actions against all individuals found culpable of misconduct, transfer of the Muslim student to a safe kindergarten classroom free from discrimination and retaliatory actions, and cultural and religious diversity training for all David Cox Road Elementary faculty and staff.
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 11/22/16) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today joined 30 organizations in asking President Obama to implement 11 measures to protect against increased surveillance and secrecy in order to safeguard our checks and balances before the next administration.
The coalition of organizations urged President Obama to take steps to ensure the government will be more transparent regarding important public issues by disclosing necessary information, including:
Muslim community members who believe their rights have been violated are asked to contact local police and CAIR's Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or by filing a report at: http://www.cair.com/report
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 11/22/16) - The Maryland Outreach Department of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today urged that state’s Muslims to remain vigilant, exercise caution and express solidarity with other vulnerable communities in the aftermath of a post-election surge of hate incidents sweeping across the state.
CAIR has been in contact with state and local agencies about the alarming uptick in hate incidents and welcomed Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh's announcement last Thursday of the launch of a new hotline to report hate crimes in Maryland.
Local incidents are reflective of a national trend that has prompted authorities to take measures like instating a special police unit in New York to investigate hate crimes.
"Diversity and inclusivity have long been championed in our state, but now too many Marylanders are understandably anxious and alarmed," said CAIR Maryland Outreach Manager Dr. Zainab Chaudry. "My message to them is to reject divisiveness and to choose courage over fear. It is critical that vulnerable communities across religious and racial boundaries band together, lend each other support and work actively to push back against the rising tide of hatred and intolerance."
Chaudry is in touch with state and local officials, and is working with a coalition of civil rights organizations to devise an effective strategy to promote tolerance and empower impacted communities to self-advocate. She urges anyone with information about a possible hate crime or bias-related incident, to immediately report it to authorities and to CAIR. Chaudry also encourages exercising basic safety precautions and learning self-defense techniques.