(WASHINGTON, D.C., 1/15/16) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today asked the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to investigate an incident in which an Australian Muslim woman who is a member of that nation’s parliament was detained, interrogated and fingerprinted after arrival at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) for a fact-finding trip on drug law reform.
In a letter to DHS about the case of Dr. Mehreen Faruqi’s detention, CAIR Civil rights Department Litigation Director Jenifer Wicks wrote in part:
“Media reports indicate that both she and her husband were grilled about why they were in the United States, their links to Pakistan and how they got Australian passports. They were even asked for additional identification after providing their passports. Dr. Faruqi migrated to Australian in 1992 and has been a citizen of Australia for 22 years. She is a Muslim member of parliament in Australia, in New South Wales, and a member of The Greens party.
“Ms. Faruqi said, ‘I have lived in Australia for 24 years and having raised my family here, it is a real kick in the guts when people treat you like that. Unfortunately this racism and Islamophobia is only going to get worse with the declining level of political debate around Muslims both here in Australia and the United States.’
(TULSA, OK, 1/16/16) – On Saturday, January 16 at 1pm, the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-OK) will participate in the #HateFreeTulsa Peace Rally at the John Hope Franklin Reconciliation Park in Tulsa to show support for the Oklahoma Muslim community and to stand for peace. This rally is part of a larger movement to demonstrate interfaith solidarity in response to heightened anti-Muslim sentiment and hate crimes.
WHAT: #HateFreeTulsa Peace Rally
WHEN: Saturday, January 16, 2016 at 1 PM (Local Time)
WHERE: John Hope Franklin Reconciliation Park, 321 N Detroit Ave, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74120
Two young Tulsans, Ishak Hossain and Farah Naqvi, organized this event, which is focused on amplifying the voices of the Tulsa community in order to speak out against Islamophobia, racism and xenophobia.
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 1/15/16) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today applauded a decision by Maryland’s Howard County Board of Education to close schools for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, the Chinese Lunar New Year's Eve and the Hindu holiday Diwali.
[NOTE: Eid al-Adha (EED-al-ODD-ha) comes at the end of the Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca.]
Montgomery County has a large Muslim population and efforts had been underway for a number of years to seek Eid equality in that county.
The Islamic Center in Omaha has been targeted by vandals four times in recent months, no suspects in custody
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 1/13/16) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called on the FBI and state law enforcement authorities to investigate the desecration and attempted vandalism of a Nebraska mosque as a possible hate crime.
Officials with the Islamic Center of Omaha in Omaha, Neb., tell CAIR that two masked men left bacon on a door of the mosque at 3 a.m. yesterday. The men, whose actions were captured on surveillance cameras, also threw rocks at the glass doors of the mosque, but failed to do significant damage.
[NOTE: Muslims are prohibited from consuming pork products and bigots often use pigs or pork to offend Muslim sensibilities.]
CAIR said this is the fourth time the mosque has been targeted by hate vandalism in recent months.
In November of last year, someone spray-painted graffiti of an Eiffel Tower peace symbol, which was used online as a sign of solidarity with those impacted by the Paris terror attacks, on an outside wall of the mosque. Earlier that month, CAIR reported that a vandal was caught on surveillance camera attempting to break a glass door at mosque.