CAIR Calls for Special Counsel on NSA Phone Data Spy Program


(WASHINGTON, DC, 5/12/06) - A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today called for the appointment of a special counsel to investigate revelations that the National Security Agency (NSA) has built a giant database of Americans' phone records.

According to a USA Today article, the NSA "has been secretly collecting the phone call records of tens of millions of Americans, using data provided by AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth…The NSA program reaches into homes and businesses across the nation by amassing information about the calls of ordinary Americans - most of whom aren't suspected of any crime."

The phone records monitoring program, reportedly authorized by the president shortly after the 9/11 terror attacks, authorizes the NSA to bypass a secret court set up to provide warrants for such surveillance.

In its statement, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said:

"The recent revelations of the secret domestic spying program should be an issue of concern for all Americans, but especially for American Muslims who have been previously targeted in other surveillance measures such as the mosque radiation monitoring, and the warrantless wiretapping program.

It is a moral, legal and political imperative for Congress to ensure that civil liberties and the right to privacy are maintained, even during times of international conflict and crisis. An independent investigator should be appointed to look into whether the NSA phone data surveillance program violated existing laws."

CAIR, America's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy group, has 32 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. 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 Legal Director Arsalan Iftikhar, 202-488-8787 or 202-415-0799, Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Rabiah Ahmed, 202-488-8787 or 202-439-1441, E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

CAIR St. Louis Receives "What's Right with the Region" Award.


(ST. LOUIS, MO, 5/12/06) - On Thursday May 11, the St. Louis chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-St. Louis) received a "What's Right with the Region" Award from FOCUS, an organization that honors individuals and organizations who make the St. Louis area a better place to live.

CAIR-St Louis was honored specifically for improving racial equality and promoting social justice in the area.

Kamal Yassin, CAIR-St. Louis President, accepted the award on the chapter's behalf and said that it is part of CAIR's mission to encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, and to build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding in communities across America.

 

CAIR-CA Hosts 'Correcting Misperceptions about Islam' Lecture


(SAN DIEGO, CA 5/10/06) – On Friday May 12, the San Diego chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-San Diego) will be hosting a lecture, titled "Correcting Misperceptions about Islam: Our Role," at the Islamic Center of San Diego (ICSD).

The event will feature speakers Hussam Ayloush, Executive Director of CAIR Southern California and Edgar Hopida, Director of Public Relations CAIR-San Diego.

WHAT: Lecture on "Correcting Misperceptions about Islam: Our Role"

WHEN: Friday, May 12, 8pm (PST)

WHERE: Multipurpose Room (1st floor), Islamic Center of San Diego (ICSD), 7050 Eckstrom Avenue, San Diego, CA 92111

"We hope that this event will empower the Muslim community of San Diego County into becoming more active in combating the negative stereotypes and misperceptions about Islam," says CAIR San Diego Director of Public Relations Edgar Hopida.

CONTACT: CAIR San Diego Director of Public Relations Edgar Hopida, 619-913-0719, E-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Former Commander of Abu-Ghraib Addresses CAIR-Ohio Banquet


(CLEVELAND, OH, 5/4/06) - On April 30, the Cleveland office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-OHIO) held its Fourth Annual Banquet and Fundraiser, with the theme "Upholding the Truth and Defending the Constitution."

Janis Karpinski, former US Army commanding general of Abu Ghraib, was a keynote speaker. The event marked the first time Karpinski had addressed an American Muslim audience. Captain James Yee, former military Chaplain at Guantanamo Bay, discussed his experiences and his book For God and Country: Faith and Patriotism Under Fire. Marc Rotenberg, president and executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) in Washington, D.C. explained his organization's work to protect the privacy rights of ordinary Americans. CAIR-OHIO President, Dr. Asma Mobin-Uddin, discussed the challenges facing American Muslims and the need for perseverance during difficult times.

The event helped highlight important American constitutional values such as the right to privacy, the right to due process, and the right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment. "Our civil rights theme clearly resonated with the wider public, and we were pleased with the turnout," said Isam Zaiem, CAIR-Ohio, Cleveland office chairman. Over 500 people attended the banquet including numerous elected officials and political candidates.

CONTACT: Julia A. Shearson, 216-830-2247 or 216-440-2247, E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; Dr. Asma Mobin-Uddin, 614-560-0272, E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

CAIR, America's largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 32 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

To read CAIR's Mission, Vision Statement and Core Principles, go to:
http://www.cair-net.org/default.asp?Page=About

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