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CAIR Says Native American Student Should Be Allowed to Wear Eagle Feather at Graduation

Wear Eagle Feather at Graduation 05 15 2015 Courtesy Photo/CBS(OKLAHOMA CITY, OK, 5/15/2015) – The Oklahoma Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-OK) today called on the Caney Valley School District to allow a Native American senior to wear an eagle feather in her graduation cap during the graduation ceremony.

SEE: Feather at Graduation or Lawsuit? That’s Up to Caney Valley School District

Senior Hayden Layne Griffith is a member of the Delaware Tribe of Indians and an eagle feather is presented and worn to mark special occasions such as weddings, graduations and powwows. Griffith’s mother posted a photo of her wearing the feather in her graduation cap, but school officials told the family that she would not able to wear the feather at graduation.

“We join other organizations and members of minority religions to request that the school district honor this student’s rights to freely exercise her religion and express her beliefs. The denial of these fundamental rights is a concern for Americans of all faiths and backgrounds, and we strongly encourage the school to grant Ms. Griffith’s request,” said CAIR-OK Civil Rights Director Veronica Laizure.

The ACLU of Oklahoma, Oklahoma Indian legal Services, the Native American Rights Fund, and law firm Conner and Winters have issued a letter to the superintendent of the Caney Valley Schools Board of Education requesting that the Board make a decision on Friday, May 15.

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
  
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CONTACT: CAIR-OK Executive Director Adam Soltani, 405-248-5853, E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

CAIR-MN: Community-Led Task Force, Supported by 50 Muslim Organizations, Holds First Meeting.

50 Muslim Organizations Abu Bakr Islamic Center(MINNEAPOLIS, MN, 5/14/15) - Community led task force announces a successful first meeting. The task force met last night at the Abubakar Islamic Center. Leaders from different faith based organizations as well as other community activists and family members of the recently arrested youth were in attendance.

"Those who attended were hopeful to hear the efforts and opportunities this task force presents to the community," said CAIR-MN Executive Director Jaylani Hussein. "It was great seeing leaders share with the task force ways they are working to address this issue"

Task force members discussed different strategies currently being utilized by each organization. Community leaders reiterated their support for the work of the task force and urged others to join the effort. Family members of the arrested youth shared their concerns and fears with the task force. The task force plans to hold ongoing bi-monthly meetings.

The community led task force was initiated in early January of 2015, by community leaders to address the issue of radicalization. This task force creates an opportunity for community leaders to share best practices for addressing this issue. The task force works to engage the community on the issue of radicalization, create community-based sustainable solutions and support law enforcement agencies in Minnesota.

CONTACT: CAIR-MN Executive Director Jaylani Hussein, 612-406-0070, E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

CAIR-Florida Rep Meets Secretary of Labor Perez

Wilfredo Amr Ruiz with Tom Perez(MIAMI, FL, 5/14/15) – CAIR-Florida Representative Wilfredo Amr Ruiz today participated in a round-table discussion with Secretary of Labor Tom Perez. Ruiz and other immigrant and workers’ community leaders on topics including immigrant workers rights, minimum wage and wage theft.

After the secretary’s visit to Miami Beach, Ruiz stated:

“Thomas Perez is a secretary with a long tradition and strong commitment to civil rights and justice. He has been a close ally not only to the immigrant community, but also to the American Muslim community. I was pleased to interact with him and members of his staff, which included a representative of the American Muslim community.”

CAIR Asks D.C. Metro to Explain Removal of Muslim Woman Train Operator

Comstock takes ride on Silver Line(WASHINGTON, D.C., 5/13/15) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, has called on the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) to explain why a Muslim woman driver who wears an Islamic head covering (hijab) was prevented from operating her train with a group of political VIPs as passengers.

According to the Muslim woman operator, the first car of her Silver Line train was commandeered for a media event last Friday featuring VIPs such as Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.).

SEE: Comstock Takes Ride on Silver Line, Discusses Future

Before leaving on her normal schedule, the Muslim operator was reportedly informed by a supervisor that she would not be driving the train and was told to sit in the commandeered compartment while being watched by security personnel. The Muslim driver ultimately burst into tears because of the stress and humiliation she felt.

In her formal union complaint, the Muslim driver wrote: “I have reasons to believe that I have been discriminated against due to my gender and religious preference (Al-Islam).”

CAIR has contacted Metro and the train operator’s union about the incident. Metro’s director of diversity told CAIR that the incident is being investigated.

“We urge Metro to explain why a qualified train operator would be removed from her post in such circumstances,” said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. “Without an adequate explanation of Metro officials’ actions during this incident, the perception exists that the train operator was removed from her post because of her religious attire.”

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

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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.

 

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