(WASHINGTON, D.C., 10/21/16) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called on state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate a hate message left at the home of a family of Iraqi Muslim refugees in Maryland as a bias-motivated crime.
[NOTE: Any earlier version of this news release stated that the family is Syrian. Updated information indicates that while they lived for a time in Syria, the family is originally from Iraq.]
CAIR said the hate message, left on the door of the family’s home in Dundalk, Md., stated “Terrorist, Leave, No one wants you here, Your kind is a disgrace, 9/11 was your fault.” The message also included a crude drawing of a Muslim woman wearing a head scarf (hijab) and holding a bomb, with the comment, “take that s**t off your head.”
The Washington-based civil rights organization said the targeting of the Maryland Muslim family is the latest in a series of hate incidents directed at American Muslims, mosques and Islamic centers nationwide in the past week.
“It is disturbing that a family, having fled violence and hatred, is now being targeted by hate as they seek to build a better life in America,” said CAIR Maryland Outreach Manager Dr. Zainab Chaudry. “We urge local, state and federal authorities to take this matter seriously and to bring the perpetrator to justice.”
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 10/20/16) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, is calling on the FBI to join the investigation of hate vandalism targeting an Arkansas mosque. CAIR said the Arkansas vandalism is the latest in a series of hate incidents targeting mosques and Islamic centers nationwide in the past week.
Police in Fort Smith, Ark., are looking for three people who allegedly spray-painted hate graffiti on the outside of Masjid Al Salam mosque. Surveillance video shows the people painting Nazi swastikas and phrases like, "Go Home," "USA," "F___ Islam," "F___ Allah," and "Go Back to Your Country," on the mosque and its signage. Police distributed a photograph from the video showing a white man in a baseball cap apparently painting something on the mosque’s wall. A police official said "obvious bias motivations exist in this case."
“Given the recent spike in anti-mosque incidents nationwide, and the targeting of Islam and Muslims in the presidential campaign, we urge the FBI to add its resources to the investigation of this case,” said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper.
He said CAIR is urging American Muslims and Islamic institutions to take extra security precautions and is offering Muslim community leaders free copies of its booklet, "Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety." The booklet may be requested through CAIR's website: http://www.cair.com/mosque-safety-guide.html
(PHILADELPHIA, PA, 10/20/16) – Scores of Muslim community leaders from around Pennsylvania will be coming to Harrisburg on Tuesday, October 25, for the Second Annual“Muslim Capitol Day.” Participants in Muslim Capitol Day will have a private meeting with Governor Tom Wolf and visit their elected representatives in the morning, then hold a press conference and “Rally Against Islamophobia” followed by an Islamic prayer service in the afternoon.
WHAT: Press Conference / Rally Against Islamophobia WHEN: Tuesday, October 25, 1:15 pm – 2:00 pm WHERE: Rotunda Steps, Capitol Building, Harrisburg
Speakers will include:
The goals of Muslim Capitol Day are:
Muslim civil rights organization urges International Boxing Association to allow uniform exemption for bout on Saturday
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 10/19/16) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, is calling on the Switzerland-based International Boxing Association (AIBA) to grant a religious exemption to its uniform regulations so that a teenage Muslim boxer in Minnesota may wear her religious head covering, or hijab,” at a bout this Saturday in St. Cloud, Minn.
[NOTE: USA Boxing is the governing body for Olympic-style boxing in the United States and a member organization of the United States Olympic Committee. The International Boxing Association (AIBA) is the worldwide governing body for the sport of boxing in all its forms.]
In a letter to AIBA Acting Executive Director William Louis-Marie, with a copy sent to USA Boxing, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad wrote in part:
“In September 2015, AIBA and USA Boxing prohibited Amaiya Zafar, an American Muslim teenager who wears hijab, from taking part in the Golden Gloves competition in Duluth, Minnesota. Ms. Zafar wears a hijab and covers her arms and legs in accordance with her religious beliefs. More recently, USA Boxing again informed Ms. Zafar that she would not be permitted to participate in an upcoming competition on Saturday, October 22nd at St. Cloud Boxing & Wrestling Club because of her religious attire.
“We believe that AIBA’s rigid and inflexible uniform regulations fail to take into account the diversity of individuals who participate in boxing competitions worldwide. In particular, the failure to include sensible exemptions and accommodations to the uniform requirements unfairly excludes a significant group of Americans who adhere to daily religious dress practices, such as individuals of the Jewish, Sikh, and Muslim faith. Absent any concrete safety justifications, none of which have been communicated to us, such static and exclusionary rules are no longer tenable in a country that was founded upon religious freedom and tolerance.”
CAIR’s letter noted that many international athletic organizations have already modified their rules and policies to account for the various religious needs of participants.