Download CAIR's app here: http://www.cair.com/app 

CAIR Calls for Further Action Against Va. Teacher Placed on Leave for Pulling Off Muslim Student’s Hijab

screenshot www.youtube.com 2017 11 16 13 32 55 856(WASHINGTON, D.C., 11/16/17) -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today welcomed disciplinary action against a Virginia teacher who allegedly pulled off a Muslim student’s Islamic head scarf, or hijab.

CAIR said the student at Lake Braddock Secondary School in Burke, Va., reported online that the teacher came up behind her, pulled off her hijab and reportedly said, “Oh your hair is so pretty.”

Video: CAIR Calls for Action Against Va. Teacher Who Pulled Off Muslim Student’s Hijab

Teacher Placed on Leave Over Hijab Incident

In a statement responding to the incident, Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) said:

“The teacher's action was inappropriate and unacceptable. The school administration has apologized to the student and her family for the incident. FCPS takes this incident seriously and, while a thorough investigation of the incident is conducted, the teacher has been placed on leave.”

“We welcome the decision to place the teacher on leave and to apologize to the student and her family, but further disciplinary action needs to be taken based on the results of the investigation into this disturbing incident,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. “No student should be bullied or attacked because of his or her faith. Teachers must protect students, not subject them to harassment or intimidation.”

Awad urged students of all faiths and backgrounds in Virginia and nationwide to report any incidents of bullying or harassment and to speak out when their educational environment is negatively impacted by bigotry.

Last week, CAIR called for a criminal investigation and the firing of a teacher at a Tennessee charter school after a video was circulated online of a Muslim student having her Islamic head scarf, or hijab, forcibly removed in a classroom.

SEE: CAIR Calls for Police Probe, Firing of Teacher After Tennessee Student’s Hijab Forcibly Removed in Class

As in the Tennessee case, The Washington-based Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization is also calling for diversity training for all school staff using CAIR’s “An Educator's Guide to Islamic Religious Practices," which is designed to help school officials provide a positive learning environment for Muslim students.

SEE: An Educator's Guide to Islamic Religious Practices

A recent report by CAIR’s California office revealed that Muslim students are bullied at twice the rate as the national average.

CAIR-CA Report: More Than Half of Muslim Students in California Experience Bullying, Discrimination

CAIR said it has witnessed an unprecedented increase in hate incidents targeting American Muslims and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump.

The Washington-based civil rights and advocacy organization urges community members to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR's Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or by filing a report at: http://www.cair.com/report

CAIR recently launched an app to share critical “know your rights” information and to simplify the process to report hate crimes and bias incidents. CAIR is urging American Muslims and members of other minority groups to download the app and utilize this resource to stay informed and empowered.

For a quick download of CAIR’s civil rights app, click here: http://www.cair.com/app

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.

- END –

CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

CAIR-NY, DOT Art Launch ‘Amplify’ Public Art, Social Justice Campaign

(NEW YORK, NY, 11/15/17) – The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), a leading Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today Partnered with the New York City Department of Transportation’s Art Program (DOT Art) to launch AMPLIFY, a public art campaign to promote local social justice organizations.  DOT Art partnered with artists to highlight the work of ten social justice organizations and the communities they serve.

CAIR-NY worked with the artist Morehshin Allahyari to create an original poster focused on the shocking rise in anti-Muslim hate crimes, which rose 584% nationwide between 2014 and 2016.  In New York, anti-Muslim harassment, discrimination, and hate crimes rose 560% in just 2016, faster than the national average.

“We hope AMPLIFY will help us educate New Yorkers who might otherwise know about the stunning surge in anti-Muslim hate crimes,” said CAIR-NY Legal Director Albert Fox Cahn. “We are grateful that DOT Art is helping to use our public spaces to not only support the arts, but to engage New Yorkers in the ongoing fight for civil rights.  At a time when many hate crime victims suffer in silence, AMPLIFY can help bring a bit of visibility to their plight.”

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.

– END –

CONTACT: CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher, Esq., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 917 669-4006; CAIR-NY Legal Director Albert Fox Cahn, Esq., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 571-766-6273

CAIR-CT Concerned About Cancellation of Islam Talk at Bristol Public Schools

(HARTFORD, CT 11/15/2017) -- The Connecticut chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR-CT) responded today to social media reports that a Muslim speaker was disinvited by Bristol Public Schools (BPS) from making a presentation about Islam during a social studies class on world religions.

According to postings on Facebook, Ms. Annam Choudhry of the group YUSRA was invited to speak to a class at Northeast Middle School in Bristol.  The teacher sent a note home to parents informing them about the class; thereafter she began to receive complaints and threatening messages. The school canceled the class and also cancelled a future presentation by a Rabbi who was going to speak about Judaism.

“I had a very positive discussion this morning with Bristol Public School Superintendent Dr. Susan Moreau,” said Farhan Memon, Chairperson of CAIR-CT. “Dr. Moreau assured me of BPS’ commitment to diversity education and the need for the entire Bristol community to learn about other cultures and religions. We are, however, concerned that Bristol Public Schools would seemingly bow to public pressure in this manner. While we appreciate that the safety of students and faculty is of paramount importance, the district should be working with the Bristol Police Department to ensure the security of the school. The police department in turn should be taking any true threats seriously and investigating them. Cancelling speakers outright emboldens individuals and organizations in Bristol who are Islamophobic and Anti-Semitic. It does a disservice to Bristol's students and to the community as a whole who need to learn about America's pluralism and diversity.”

According to Dr. Moreau the Bristol Public Schools plans to hold a panel discussion on world religions shortly at a local high school. CAIR-CT has recommended several qualified speakers to BPS.

“At a time when the civil liberties of Muslim Americans are under attack through policies like Trump’s Muslim Bans and with violent incidents against Muslims increasing, it is vital that school children are exposed to Islam in the context of a secular curriculum,” said Memon. “We all need to learn about each other so that we continue to live and work harmoniously in a pluralistic society. We look forward to working with BPS to ensure that Islam is taught as a world religion in classrooms and that American Muslims can share their experiences with students.”

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.

CONTACT: Farhan Memon, Chairperson, CAIR Connecticut 203-517-6526 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

CAIR-Chicago Calls for Hate Crime Probe of Assault on Muslim Woman in Dekalb Walmart

(CHICAGO, IL, 11/14/2017) -- The Chicago chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Chicago), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy group, today called on state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate an alleged bias-motivated assault on an Illinois Muslim woman as a hate crime.

According to the woman, who is an American of European heritage who wears Islamic attire (niqab), a man approached her yesterday while she was shopping at a Dekalb, Ill., Walmart and began shouting that Muslims are not welcome in this country and that “Americans” do not want her here.

The woman reportedly responded that she is American and began trying to take a photo of the man with her phone to show to police, when the alleged attacker walked toward her screaming and then pulled her clothing hard enough that it impacted her entire body, resulting in neck and back pain. Dekalb police are investigating the incident.

“The empowerment of hatred and bigotry in our nation has unfortunately reached the level that members of minority groups are being targeted as they go about their daily business,” said CAIR-Chicago Executive Director Ahmed Rehab. “We urge local, state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate the apparent bias motive of the alleged attacker.”

Rehab noted that his organization has witnessed an unprecedented spike in hate incidents targeting American Muslims and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump as president.

Yesterday, CAIR’s national office said new FBI hates crimes statistics -- which indicated that almost one-quarter of the victims of anti-religious hate crimes in 2016 were Muslim – shows the need for all Americans to stand up to increasing bigotry nationwide. Anti-Muslim hate crimes rose by nearly 20 percent, anti-white by 17 percent, anti-Latino by 15 percent, and anti-Jewish by 3 percent.

SEE: CAIR Says New FBI Hate Crimes Report Shows Need to Stand Up to Increasing Bigotry

The Washington-based civil rights and advocacy organization urges community members to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR's Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or by filing a report at: http://www.cair.com/report

CAIR recently launched an app to share critical “know your rights” information and to simplify the process to report hate crimes and bias incidents. CAIR is urging American Muslims and members of other minority groups to download the app and utilize this resource to stay informed and empowered.

For a quick download of CAIR’s civil rights app, click here: http://www.cair.com/app

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.

- END –

CONTACT: CAIR-Chicago Executive Director Ahmed Rehab, 202-870-0166, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; CAIR National Department to Monitor and Combat Islamophobia Director Corey Saylor, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 202-384-8857; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Take Action Report an Incident