(WASHINGTON, D.C., 6/22/15) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today urged the People's Republic of China to end all state-sanctioned denial of religious freedoms targeting Muslims in that nation's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
In a letter to President Xi Jinping, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad wrote in part:
"The ability of Muslims in Xinjiang to freely practice their faith is allegedly being obstructed by local authorities who routinely attempt to ban fasting during Ramadan under a state campaign to suppress Islamic religious practices and local Muslim traditions.
"These acts of state religious suppression also reportedly include harassing Muslim men who grow beards and women who wear Islamic attire. It is also reported that Muslims under the age of 18 are prohibited from practicing their religion and that authorities impose heavy fines on families whose children study the Quran, Islam's revealed text, or fast during Ramadan.
"The Chinese Constitution guarantees freedom of religion to those who practice Islam. As a signatory to the United Nations Charter, the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the United Nations International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the People's Republic of China is responsible for ensuring that Muslims in Xinjiang and across greater China are entitled to equal protection under the law against any state discrimination and against any incitement to discrimination. . .
"The American Muslim community and CAIR respectfully urge the People's Republic of China to uphold its own laws and international conventions by removing all barriers to religious freedom for the Muslims in Xinjiang, for Muslims throughout China and for the rights of all other people of faith in your nation.”
CAIR also requested a meeting between the Chinese ambassador in Washington, D.C., and representatives of the American Muslim community and other concerned parties to discuss the issue of religious freedom.
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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(WASHINGTON, D.C., 6/21/15) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today added its voice to calls for the removal of the Confederate battle flag from the grounds of the South Carolina state capitol.
While the controversy over the flag - which for many Americans is a symbol of racial hatred and oppression - has been raging for decades, that debate was reignited by the killing of nine worshipers at a historic Charleston, S.C., church.
Photographs have surfaced showing the man accused of killing the nine worshipers displaying the flag and using the number 88, which is neo-Nazi and white supremacist code for “Heil Hitler.”
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 6/19/15) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, is joining Baltimore Muslim leaders in calling for a “Day of Prayer” today to seek peace and healing in the aftermath of Wednesday's massacre of nine people at a Charleston, S.C., church.
Friday is the day of Muslim congregational prayers (Jummah) and today is the first such prayer in the month-long fast or Ramadan, which began yesterday.
“As Muslims across America observe the month of Ramadan, we urge communities to reflect on the need to defeat hatred with tolerance, to seek justice for those murdered and to pray for peace and healing for grieving families and communities,” CAIR Maryland Outreach Manager Zainab Chaudry.
CAIR and Baltimore Muslims leaders extended condolences to the families of those who were killed in Charleston.
In a joint statement, they said:
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 6/18/2015) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today expressed solidarity with the African-American community following last night’s deadly terror attack at a Charleston, S.C., church.
CAIR also offered condolences to the loved ones of the nine people killed in the attack at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, which has historic significance stretching from the time of slavery to the civil rights movement.
The FBI has named Dylann Roof, 21, of Columbia, S.C., as the suspect in the shooting. A Facebook photo of Roof shows him with the Apartheid-era South African flag pinned on his jacket.
“We stand in solidarity with the African-American community as it and our nation deal with this heartbreaking attack on men and women seeking spiritual growth in a historic house of worship,” said CAIR National Board Chair Roula Allouch. “We offer sincere condolences to the families and loved ones of all those who were killed or wounded.”
“Our nation’s leaders must take immediate concrete measures to deal with the growing divisions within our society that lead to such tragedies,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. “This type of apparently hate-motivated attack fits the definition of domestic terrorism and should be treated as such.”