Communities celebrate Muslim Awareness Month and Back to School with a call for Governor to sign legislation addressing bullying of religious minorities.
Andrew Medina, (916) 448-6700
Nashwah Akhtar, (408) 986-9874
Randy Bunnao, (213) 241-0227
(ATLANTA, GA, 8/18/16) - The Georgia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-GA) today called on the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate Newton County for blocking Georgia Muslims from building a house of worship on their own property, despite prior county approval and local law allowing them to do so.
A proposal to build a mosque and a Muslim cemetery in Covington, Ga., has been put on hold after the Newton County Board of Commissioners enacted a moratorium on religious-related building permits. Public comments leading up to the moratorium by opponents of the proposal included anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant sentiments.
"Newton's county commissioners abandoned their oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution, as well as their own local laws, because of fear and bigotry," said CAIR-GA Executive Director Edward Ahmed Mitchell. "We urge federal authorities to investigate this clearly discriminatory decision and protect the religious rights of all Georgians."
He noted that the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) requires Newton County to grant any religious organization valid permits to construct a house of worship or cemetery on its property on the same terms as any other religious group.
In this case, county law permits religious groups to build houses of worship and cemeteries after they acquire approval, which this mosque has received. Christian groups have made use of this provision in the past without issue. Only when a Muslim group attempted to do so did the county board see the need to suspend this right.
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 8/18/16) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called on state and federal authorities to investigate alleged threats to the Muslim community in Maine.
Police in Westbrook, Maine, are investigating written threats against Muslims discovered Wednesday at an apartment complex. The threatening notes stated: “All Muslims are Terrorists should be killed.” The notes were found by Iraqi residents of the complex and by police.
“We ask local, state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate these threats as a hate crime and to bring the perpetrators to justice,” said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. “Families that were forced to flee Iraq because of such threats should not be subjected to them in America.”
Hooper said CAIR has noted a spike in anti-Muslim discrimination and hate crimes in recent months, which the civil rights groups attributes at least in part to Islamophobic rhetoric used by public figures like Donald Trump.
(SAN DIEGO, CA, 8/18/16) – The San Diego chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-San Diego) is calling on the San Diego Police Department (SDPD) and other law enforcement agencies in California to investigate whether any officers will attend a training conference later this month featuring notorious anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist Ryan Mauro, who promotes the debunked “Muslim no-go-zones” myth.
In letters sent to local and state agencies, CAIR questioned Mauro’s scheduled appearance at the California Association of Tactical Officers’ “Symposium on Islamic Terrorism” to be held August 24-25 in San Diego.
The Southern Poverty Law Center says Mauro “has promoted the false narrative of ‘no-go zones’ for non-Muslims in Europe. Mauro also told Fox News host Megyn Kelly that there are growing Muslim enclaves in the U.S. where gangs of Islamic extremists are ‘patrolling’ neighborhoods and enforcing the tenants (sic) of Shariah law.”
Mauro, who works for the anti-Muslim Clarion Project (formerly the Clarion Fund), has also claimed that the “Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated the highest echelons of the Republican Party, as well as the Department of Homeland Security.”