CAIR Decries Maryland State Senate's Withdrawal of Pro-Immigrant, Pro-Muslim Bill

CAIR logo(WASHINGTON, D.C., 4/12/17) - The Council on American Islamic Relations, the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today decried the Maryland State Senate's stripping down, and eventual withdrawal, of the Maryland TRUST Act.

The bill had been advocated by religious, immigrants and civil rights organizations - including CAIR, CASA, and the ACLU of Maryland. The original version of the TRUST Act was designed to provide some measure of protection for immigrant and Muslim communities from unconstitutional and unethical federal policies from the current administration. 

Dozens of activists, immigrants' rights advocates and volunteers - galvanized primarily by CASA - worked for months to rally support for the bill, which passed the House in a watered-down form, but stalled in the Senate after pushback from Senate Committee Chair Bobby Zirkin and Senate President Thomas Miller, among others. 

The bill had been perceived as a symbolic form of political resistance by many Democratic lawmakers. CAIR submitted both written and oral testimony in support, as well as entering into the record some 1,000 letters on behalf of area Muslims to state lawmakers.

SEE: CAIR Submits Testimony, Delivers Letters to Md. Lawmakers Advocating for Bill to Support Immigrants, Muslims

"While we didn't see the outcome we desired on this bill, we are inspired by the unprecedented collaboration between Maryland's diverse communities and lawmakers," said CAIR Maryland Outreach Manager Dr. Zainab Chaudry. "We thank all of our allies - particularly at CASA - and the cosponsors and lawmakers in both chambers of the legislature who backed the TRUST Act."

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CAIR-Missouri Director to Speak at Truman State University Before Event with Islamophobe Robert Spencer

cair logos Missouri(ST. LOUIS, MO, 4/11/2017) – The Missouri chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Missouri) today said its executive director will speak at an event at Truman State University just before an appearance by the notorious Islamophobe Robert Spencer.

CAIR said the Truman State College Republicans have invited Spencer to speak at an event on Thursday paid for with $3,000 from the university's student-led Funds Allotment Council, which is funded by student fees.

Spencer is scheduled to speak in a campus auditorium at 8 p.m. At 6:30 p.m. that same evening, CAIR-Missouri Executive Director Faizan Syed will offer a presentation, titled "Reclaiming Islam and Overcoming Hate," organized by the Muslim Student Association.

SEE: Truman State Grapples with Controversial Anti-Muslim Speaker

A third-party petition has been launched to oppose Spencer’s appearance at Truman State.

SEE: Demand Truman State University Cancel Robert Spencer Event

“While Spencer has the right to spew anti-Muslim propaganda, his extremist and conspiratorial views should not go unchallenged,” said Syed.

Spencer is a key leader in the anti-Islam hate movement in the United States. He is the director of the blog “Jihad Watch” and of the American Freedom Defense Initiative and Stop Islamization of America, both of which are viewed as anti-Muslim groups.

In 2013, Spencer was banned from entering the United Kingdom because his views “foster hatred which might lead to inter-community violence.” His recommended reading list has included racist books such as Jean Raspail’s 1973 “Camp of the Saints,” which depicts France being overrun by non-white immigrants from India. The respected Southern Poverty Law Center labeled Spencer an “anti-Muslim extremist.”

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CAIR-MN, Japanese American Group to Host a Community Forum on the WWII Incarceration

CAIR MN logo(MINNEAPOLIS, MN, 4/10/17) – On Tuesday, April 11, the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) and the Twin Cities Japanese American Citizens League (TC JACL) will host a community forum on the infamous presidential executive order 9066, which allowed the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II.

Two local survivors of the Japanese American Incarceration will lead a panel of experts to discuss the history of this presidential order, the impact it had on the Japanese American community and America and to explore the question, “Could it happen again?”

WHAT:  "Japanese-American Incarceration:  Could It Happen Again?"

WHEN:  Tuesday, April 11, 6-8 p.m.

WHERE:  CAIR-MN, 2511 East Franklin Avenue, Suite 100, Minneapolis, MN  55406

CONTACT:  Jaylani Hussein Executive Director (CAIR-MN) at 612-206-3360, Cheryl Hirata-Dulas (Twin Cities JACL) at 952-221-5867

Program Panelists Include:

  • Hannah Semba, 91 years old, was a teenager attending high school in Mount Vernon, Wash., the only Japanese American family in the area; her parents and 4 siblings were incarcerated at Tule Lake, California, and later moved to Heart Mountain, Wyo. She was accepted to Macalester College after graduating from high school in the camp, due to the work of the National Japanese American Relocation Council.
  • Sally Sudo, 81 years old, was six when she and her family were uprooted from their home in Seattle, Wash., and incarcerated for three years in Minidoka, Idaho. She came to Minnesota after World War II due the assistance of an older brother who trained at the U.S. Army's Military Intelligence Service Language School at Fort Snelling to learn the Japanese Military language to translate captured documents, interrogate Japanese prisoners of war, and serve as an interpreter.
  • John Matsunaga, Minneapolis artist/photographer who has documented the remains of all ten incarceration camps.
  • Dr. Gordon Nakagawa, Emeritus Professor, Communication Studies and Asian American Studies at California State University, Northridge; expert in the Japanese American incarceration and redress process, and currently a Communications and Diversity Consultant working with the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, St. Paul.
  • Jaylani Hussein, the executive director of the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN). Hussein's family emigrated from Somalia to Minnesota in 1993 and he is trilingual (English, Somali, Arabic). Hussein holds degrees in Community Development and City Planning from St. Cloud State University and Political Science from North Dakota State University.

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CAIR Condemns Deadly Attacks on Egyptian Churches

CAIR logo(WASHINGTON, D.C., 4/10/2017) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today condemned bomb attacks on Coptic churches in Egypt that left dozens dead and many more wounded.

In a statement, CAIR said:

“We condemn these cowardly attacks on Egypt's Coptic Christians and urge people of all faiths to join together in repudiating the religious and political extremism that leads deluded individuals to carry out such heinous crimes, whether directed at churches, synagogues, mosques, or other houses of worship.”

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