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CAIR-FL: Hundreds of Floridians in Tallahassee to Join Florida Muslim Capitol Day 2018 (#FMCD2018)

(Miami, FL, 1/29/2018) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations Florida (CAIR-Florida), the state's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization announces the official launch of Florida Muslim Capitol Day 2018 in cooperation with Florida Immigrant Coalition, ICNA Relief, Muslim Women's Organization, Knowledge for Living, American Muslim Democratic Caucus, Hearken Media Group, UCF Muslim Student Organization, Florida Rights Restoration Committee, Helping Hands, and several other community partners,

Florida Muslim Capitol Day comprises a coalition of various Muslim organizations, institutions, mosques, community centers, schools, professionals, and individuals. Legislators will be meeting with their Muslim American constituents who make economic, cultural, and social contributions to the state. 

WHAT: Florida Muslim Capitol Day Press Conference 

WHEN: Tuesday, January 30th at 12:00 PM

WHERE: 3rd floor Rotunda, Capitol Building 

Florida Muslim Capitol Day is a unique two-day, non-partisan event where Muslims across the state of Florida advocate for policies that protect their values, their neighbors, and the community in its entirety. With Islamophobia up by 500% in the state of Florida, Muslim Americans stand by the values of the U.S. Constitution which ensure equal representation for all individuals living in the United States regardless of income, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, or immigration status.

"Florida Muslim Capitol Day's participants together with their legislators represent the monumental strides in working together for the best interest of our State. Muslim Americans are advocating for legislation that protects and serves the immigrant and marginalized communities of Florida and shields their community from islamophobic attacks. Efforts include the Florida TRUST Act, legislation affecting the restoration of civil rights, and criminal justice reform. As Floridians, we oppose any unconstitutional legislation that suppresses our freedom of speech and the right to protest. Florida Muslims are speaking up", said Rasha Mubarak, CAIR-Florida Orlando Regional Director.

There are three opportunities for elected officials participation and media coverage:

 

  • Monday, January 29th-6:30 PM: Networking Reception and Dinner on the 22nd floor at the Capitol Building 
  • Tuesday, January 30th-12:00 PM: Speaking opportunity at the #FMCD2018 Press Conference in the 3rd floor Rotunda. Speakers must RSVP with Barbara Valencia (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

CAIR-Florida is the state's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties of all people, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

La misión de CAIR-Florida es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.

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CONTACT:

CAIR-Florida's Communications Director, Wilfredo A. Ruiz, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 305.502.6749

CAIR-Florida's Orlando Regional Director, Rasha Mubarak, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 407.440.9252 ext. 310

CAIR-Sacramento Valley Welcomes New Hearings to Determine Whether Lodi Muslim was Denied Fair Trial in Terror Case

(SACRAMENTO, CA, 1/26/18) - The Sacramento Valley office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SV), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights organization, today welcomed new evidentiary hearings granted for Hamid Hayat, a Lodi Muslim convicted in 2006 on terrorism-related charges. CAIR-SV said the hearings were granted to determine whether Hayat was denied a fair trial.

“We welcome the court's decision to hear new evidence in this case and hope that Mr. Hayat will be given a fair chance to present his appeal,” said CAIR-SV Executive Director Basim Elkarra. “As American citizens, the right to a fair trial is critical to our democracy. With Mr. Hayat’s case, there are legitimate concerns that he did not receive a fair trial.”

CAIR-SV will continue to follow the hearings over the coming weeks and provide updates through social media on Facebook and Twitter (@CAIRSacramento).

WHAT: Hearing on Hamid Hayat's Petition to Overturn His Conviction on the Grounds That He Was Denied a Fair Trial

WHERE: Courthouse 27 (8th Floor) of Robert T. Matsui United States Courthouse (501 I Street, Sacramento, CA 95814)

WHEN: Monday, January 29, 2018 from 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

BACKGROUNDER ON THE CASE: 

"Judge in Infamous 'Sleeper Cell' Case Agrees to Hear New Evidence That Could Help Convicted Terrorist" (The Intercept 2017)

In the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks, Hayat’s case drew national media attention, while concerns were raised about the role that emotions and prejudice may have played during a period of heightened tensions.

Hayat, an American citizen, was convicted of having attended a jihadi training camp for 3 to 6 months while he was in Pakistan between 2003-2005. In the petition to overturn his conviction, Hayat presented sworn statements from 18 family and community members who stated that he could not have attended the camp because they saw him on a daily basis during the entire time he spent in Pakistan.

This evidence was never presented to the jury that convicted him. At this hearing, Hayat will offer testimony from four of those Pakistani witnesses, as well as from his sister and cousin who were also in Pakistan at the time.

In the upcoming hearings at the US District Court Eastern District of California, Hayat's legal team will also present expert witnesses challenging the evidence used to convict him of providing material support to terrorists, including allegedly false claims by the government that a written copy of a very common du'a (Muslim prayer) found in Hayat’s wallet was direct proof of Hayat's “jihadi heart” and “jihadi mind.”

In an interview with The Intercept, Hayat’s lead appellate attorney Dennis Riordan said, “Finally, after 11 years, the bankruptcy of this conviction is going to be exposed at this hearing. . .It's going to be obvious that, not only should he have prevailed at trial, but that he's factually innocent."

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-SV Civil Rights Attorney Saad Sweilem, 916-441-6269, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; CAIR-SV; CAIR-SV Outreach & Communications Fellow Hammad Khan, (916) 581-0063, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; CAIR-SV CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

CAIR to Welcome Home to Mississippi a Mother Separated from Husband, Critically-Ill Infant Daughter by Muslim Ban

Family reunification of CAIR Muslim Ban plaintiff’s family is result of one of first-ever waivers granted to Trump administration executive order

CORRECTED: Jackson International Airport incorrectly listed as being in “Jacksonville.” Corrected to “Jackson, Mississippi”

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 1/25/18) – On Friday, January 26, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) will welcome home to Mississippi the wife of Fahed Muqbil, a CAIR plaintiff challenging Muslim Ban 3.0 who has received one of the first-ever waivers from that Trump administration executive order. 

Muqbil and his wife Amal, are scheduled to land at Jackson International Airport in Jackson, Miss., Friday evening at 11 p.m. CAIR will host a press conference at the airport with the family. 

WHAT: CAIR News Conference at Jackson International Airport for a Mississippi Family Impacted by the Muslim Ban

WHERE: Jackson International Airport, Jackson, Mississippi

WHEN: Friday, January 26, 11 p.m. (Central) Scheduled Arrival Time, News Conference to Follow the Family’s Arrival

CONTACT: CAIR National Litigation Director Lena Masri, 248-390-9784, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; CAIR Senior Litigation Attorney Gadeir Abbas, 720-251-0425, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Muqbil’s wife, a Yemeni national, will use her visa to enter the United States to be reunited with her baby daughter -- a U.S. citizen -- who suffers from severe medical conditions that led to life-threatening surgeries. That child, the youngest of the family’s two daughters, suffers from a debilitating birth defect and requires advanced medical care not available in war-torn Yemen. 

Due to the Muslim ban, Muqbil and his one-year old critically-ill daughter have been separated from his wife and older daughter, who live abroad and have been awaiting the approval of the wife’s visa to come to the United States.

“The Trump administration’s Muslim Ban affects the lives of Americans like Fahed, whose family has been separated by these discriminatory immigration restrictions,” said CAIR National Senior Litigation Attorney Gadeir Abbas. “We expect customs officials to spare Fahed’s family more heartache, and to allow them to enter the United States without delay.”

Just last month, the Supreme Court issued two orders staying the Hawaii and Maryland federal courts' injunctions that had, until December 4, 2017, largely prevented the Trump administration from implementing Muslim Ban 3.0's visa restrictions. 

Although the Supreme Court's December 4th decision allowed Muslim Ban 3.0 to go into effect now, the Supreme Court will soon have the opportunity to reinstate the injunctions issued by lower courts in October later this year.  

In October of last year, CAIR and the Brennan Center for Justice filed suit against President Trump's Muslim Ban on behalf of six American Muslims impacted by the immigration restrictions. Civil rights attorneys, including CAIR National attorney Gadeir Abbas, delivered oral arguments against the ban in mid-October.  

On appeal, this case, Zakzok v. Trump, was consolidated with two others, and all are pending before the Fourth Circuit. Oral argument was held on December 8th, in Richmond, Va.

Video: CAIR, Other Civil Rights Groups Hold Presser After Md. Court Arguments on Trump’s Muslim Ban

The appeal regards a Maryland court's decision to prevent the Trump Administration from implementing most of Muslim Ban 3.0.  In a broad ruling on October 18th, U.S. District Judge Theodore D. Chuang granted CAIR and other groups' request for a nationwide injunction prohibiting the Trump administration from implementing its latest attempt to exclude Muslims from the United States. 

Judge Chuang ruled that the plaintiffs were likely to ultimately succeed in proving that anti-Muslim animus motivated the travel ban in violation of the Establishment Clause. He also noted that the ban violates federal law, which forbids the government from discriminating against visa applicants based on their nationality.

SEE: Second Judge Rules Against Latest Travel Ban, Saying Trump’s Own Words Show It Was Aimed at Muslims

In September, CAIR -- with the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law and Profeta & Eisenstein -- filed an amicus brief with U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of seven American Muslims.

READ Amicus Brief

These groups also filed an amicus brief in the Ninth Circuit in August.

Read CAIR’s Amicus Brief

In January 2017, just days after Trump signed the first Muslim ban executive order, CAIR filed suit.

SEE: CAIR Files Federal Suit Challenging Constitutionality of Trump’s ‘Muslim Ban’ Executive Order

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.

La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.     

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CONTACT: CAIR National Litigation Director Lena Masri, 248-390-9784, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; CAIR Senior Litigation Attorney Gadeir Abbas, 720-251-0425, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

CAIR Announces Filing Suit on Behalf of U.S. Citizen from Florida on Unconstitutional 'No-Fly List' Barred from Re-Entering Country

(JACKSONVILLE, FL, 1/25/2018) -- On Thursday, January 25th, the Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Florida) and CAIR's National Legal Defense Fund will file a lawsuit on behalf of Hashem Nader Sehwail, an American Muslim and U.S. citizen who was prevented from boarding a flight back to his home in the United States from Turkey.

CAIR's lawsuit will be filed in the Middle District of Florida.

The lawsuit challenges the methods used to place law-abiding American citizens on the unconstitutional "no-fly list" and calls for injunctive and declaratory relief for Sehwail because he was denied re-entry due to his placement on the list.

SEE COMPLAINT HERE: Complaint for Injunctive And Declaratory Relief

"As a proud veteran of the United States Navy, and an American Muslim, I know that freedom of religion is a foundational ideal of our nation," said Wilfredo Ruiz, CAIR-Florida's communications director. "CAIR-Florida is committed to fighting against the biased unconstitutional placement of American Muslims on no-fly lists. No agency may deprive a United States citizen from returning to their homeland without a due process."

Lena Masri, CAIR's National Litigation Director and an attorney representing Sehweil, said: "This lawsuit challenges the U.S. government's apparent policy of using the unconstitutional no-fly list as a tool to prevent innocent, law-abiding American Muslims from returning to their homes."

"It's a growing phenomenon and an urgent concern that American citizens, almost all of whom are upstanding, law-abiding American Muslims, are being denied entry into their own country without any means to address or challenge these denials. Mr. Sehwail was born in the United States and works in South Florida. He is now stuck abroad waiting to return home," said Omar Saleh, one of Sehwail's attorneys.

SEE: CAIR Welcomes Ruling that No-Fly List Appeals Process is Unconstitutional

CAIR and CAIR-Florida filed a similar lawsuit last year on behalf of another Florida Muslim, Zijad Bosnic, who was also prevented from boarding a flight back to his home in the United States from Bosnia.

SEE:  Jacksonville Man Files Federal Lawsuit Challenging National No-Fly List

http://news.wjct.org/post/jacksonville-man-files-federal-lawsuit-challenging-national-no-fly-list

CAIR-Florida is the state's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties of all people, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

La misión de CAIR-Florida es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.

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CONTACT:

CAIR-Florida's Communications Director, Wilfredo A. Ruiz, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 305.502.6749

CAIR-Florida Civil Rights Attorney Omar Saleh, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 954.272.0490, Ext. 140

CAIR National Litigation Director Lena Masri, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 248-390-9784

CAIR Senior Litigation Attorney Gadeir Abbas, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 720-251-0425

 

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