(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.
(MINNEAPOLIS, MN, 11/22/2016) - The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) today called for increased protection of Muslim students in that state’s schools following an incident in which an Afton Lakeland Elementary School 5th grade student allegedly brought an air pistol to school after he threatened to shoot a Somali-American Muslim 3rd grade student.
Parents of the student reported to CAIR-MN that on Friday, November 11, the 5th grader threatened to shoot the Muslim student. On Monday, November 14, the same 5th grader reportedly brought an air pistol to school. The school bus driver confiscated the air pistol and called the Woodbury police.
"Thankfully, a major tragedy was averted by the quick action of the school bus driver," said CAIR-MN Executive Director Jaylani Hussein. "We are asking all school districts across the state to step up protection for Muslim and other minority students in the wake of this incident and because of the wave of racist and anti-Muslim incidents nationwide following the November 8 election."
Hussein added that an early response to bullying incidents can prevent further harm to students.
CAIR-MN is also looking into other recent incidents involving female Muslim students who were allegedly assaulted and had their religious head scarves (hijabs) pulled in Northdale Middle School and St Louis Park High School. Students in St Louis Park reported the incident occurred on November 11 and, to date, no actions have been brought against the student who allegedly committed the assault. School officials have stated there is no evidence of the assault, even after three eyewitnesses reported the incident.
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 11/22/16) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today released the results of its 2016 Muslim Voters Presidential Election Exit Poll. CAIR's exit poll of more than 2,000 registered Muslim voters indicated a high Muslim turnout with 90 percent reporting that they voted in the election - 74 percent voting for Hillary Clinton and 13 percent for now President-elect Donald Trump.
"Muslim were more energized and engaged this election than ever before, turning out in record numbers," said CAIR Director of Government Affairs Department Robert McCaw.
Compared to the 2012 elections, in which Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney received a single digit percentage of the Muslim vote, Trump received nearly twice that amount of support.
The CAIR exit poll of more than 2,000 registered Muslim voters from across the nation was conducted using an independent automated call survey provider and asked three questions:
NOTE: 139 Muslim respondents indicated that they felt intimidated or discriminated against for being Muslim while at the polling station.
(NEW YORK, NY 11/21/16) – The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today condemned an apparently bias-motivated attack on Muslim teenagers in Queens.
According to police, the two Muslim teens were attacked Saturday night by a group of white men shouting religious slurs. A 17-year-old student from Yemen was punched in the face and suffered a fractured eye socket.
“We condemn this apparently bias-motivated attack, just as we similarly condemn all the hundreds of racist and Islamophobic incidents reported since the November 8 election,” said CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher.
The Washington-based Muslim civil rights group is monitoring an unprecedented spike in anti-Muslim and racist incidents since the election.
Also today, a man is facing up to 25 years in prison after a jury found him guilty of attempted murder as a hate crime for stabbing a man in a Queens mosque.
CAIR recently decried the appointment and nomination of Islamophobes by President-elect Trump.