CAIR Good News Alert: Arizona Police Department Says ‘Last Time’ for Training by Anti-Muslim Conspiracy Theorist John Guandolo

CAIR National logo(WASHINGTON, D.C., 5/3/17) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today welcomed a decision by the Mesa Police Department in Mesa, Ariz., that an upcoming “training” by notorious Islamophobe and anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist John Guandolo will be the “last time” for such an event.

CAIR says Guandolo’s hate group Understanding the Threat (UTT) is scheduled to hold the law enforcement training May 16-18 in Mesa, Ariz., at the invitation of the Arizona Police Association (APA). The Washington-based Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization urged the Mesa Police Department not to host Guandolo’s “training.”

Video: CAIR-AZ Director Condemns Scheduled Police 'Training' by Islamophobe John Guandolo

Video: CAIR Seeks Cancellation of Ariz. Law Enforcement 'Training' by Islamophobe John Guandolo

In a response sent to CAIR today, Interim Mesa Police Chief Michael J. Dvorak said the event was made possible “through a grant provided by the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.” He said the Mesa Police Department “is not participating as a host, sponsor or monetary contributor.”

He noted: “I have directed our staff to explore other training opportunities in similar genres so our peace officers can have a comprehensive view of these topics. Thus, this will be the last time this specific training will be utilizing our training facility as we intend to move forward with other training opportunities.”

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CAIR Welcomes Arrest in Threat to Kill Worshipers at Oregon Mosque

CAIR National logo(WASHINGTON, D.C., 5/10/2017) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today welcomed the arrest of a suspect who allegedly threatened to kill worshipers at an Oregon mosque.

Chad Everett Russell, 44, was arrested Tuesday night on misdemeanor charges of intimidation (religion), menacing, disorderly conduct, intimidation (sexual orientation and race), harassment, and carrying a concealed weapon. He allegedly threatened to kill members of the Islamic Center in Eugene, Ore., on Monday.

SEE: Eugene Police Arrest Suspect in Bias Crimes at Park, Islamic Center

“We welcome this arrest and thank law enforcement authorities for their prompt and professional actions to ensure public safety and to protect religious freedom,” said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper.

Yesterday, CAIR released a report showing a 57 percent increase in anti-Muslim incidents in 2016 over the previous year. This spike in anti-Muslim incidents was accompanied by a 44 percent increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes during the same period.

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CAIR Calls for Special Prosecutor to Probe James Comey’s Firing

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 5/10/2017) -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called for a special prosecutor to investigate yesterday’s abrupt firing of FBI Director James Comey.

In a statement in response to Comey's dismissal, CAIR said:

“This rash action by President Trump has the potential to negatively impact our democracy, the rule of law and the system of checks and balances that governs our nation. Any reasonable person could question the timing of and the motivation for Mr. Comey’s firing.

“The hasty and apparently politically-motivated dismissal, along with other dubious and unconstitutional actions by the Trump administration - like the ‘Muslim ban’ - necessitate the appointment of a special prosecutor to conduct an independent and transparent investigation of the circumstances surrounding and leading up to Mr. Comey’s firing.

“Whenever there is a question as to whether the president or those in his inner circle have engaged in actions prohibited by the Constitution or federal law, it is up to Congress to ensure accountability when the Justice Department and the FBI cannot.”

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CAIR-Florida to Release 2017 Civil Rights Report "The Empowerment of Hate"

CAIR to Release Report Documenting Sharp Spike in Anti Muslim Bias Incidents(Miami, FL, 5/8/2017) - On Tuesday, May 9, CAIR-Florida, the state's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization will have personnel available statewide for media coverage of the release of the 2017 CAIR Civil Rights Report "The Empowerment of Hate", detailing a more than 50 percent increase in anti-Muslim bias incidents in 2016 over the previous year. The report directly addresses many issues currently affecting the civil rights of American Muslims in the state of Florida. The report highlights various anti-mosque incidents in Florida such as the September 11th Islamic Center of Fort Pierce's arson and the removal of the Islamic Center of Boca Raton as a polling center due to several Islamophobic complaints.

Most recently, Florida experienced another anti-mosque incident in the city of Tampa involving an arson at the Old Tampa Mosque.

Thus, recognizing the importance of supporting CAIR's mission in the state of Florida. Like the report highlights, "Where CAIR is present, the local community is more likely to report cases to us. Thus, in states like California and Florida where the organization has multiple offices, we expect a higher numbers of cases than in states like Tennessee or Colorado where the organization does not yet have an office."

CAIR's new report, titled "The Empowerment of Hate", will also outline how the increase in anti-Muslim bias incidents has been accompanied by a similar spike in anti-Muslim hate crimes during the same period. [NOTE: The report focuses primarily on 2016, but also contains data on cases documented by CAIR during the 2014-2016 period.]

"This past year, Florida has become a breeding ground for civil rights violations that continue to endanger the safety and security of the American Muslim community. Thus, CAIR-Florida is actively fighting against bullying in schools, providing safety and security trainings, and litigating for the protection of our constitutional rights", said Thania Diaz-Clevenger, Civil Rights Director for CAIR-Florida.

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