(Ottawa, Canada - 20/10/2004) - The Canadian Council on American-Islamic
Relations (CAIR-CAN) today expressed its relief that a suspect has been
arrested and charged with mischief and two counts of threatening death in
connection with death threats and hate literature found at Ryerson
University. The suspect also faces hate-crimes charges.
Kevin Haas, 21, was arrested on Monday, October 18, as he was reportedly
posting hate literature outside the Arab Student Association office (ASA).
On October 14, the ASA and the Muslim Student Associations (MSA) received a
note under their door that read, "Those who follow the Islam faith need to
be killed in the worst possible way imaginable."
For more details, see:
Earlier this summer, CAIR-CAN called on the administration of Ryerson
University and the Toronto police to investigate the hate incidents that
targeted Canadian Muslims at the university. (See:
In June, the multi-faith room at Ryerson University was sprayed with the
words "Die Muslim Die" and Stars of David.
In August, a notice was found signed by a group called "Full Blooded
Israeli Brigades" claiming responsibility the hate graffiti. The message
stated in part: "...We assure the Muslim students at Ryerson University
that we will continue to send messages and that this incident is only the
first of many. We want to let them know that no Muslim student will be safe
and that security isn't going to stop us."
Also in August, flyers were found on bulletin boards at four locations on
campus. One of the flyers reportedly said: "The Islamic infidels have no
belonging in Toronto and in the world at all...we ask that whenever you
spot a Muslim...that you beat them and cause harm to them. Kill these
In a statement issued today, CAIR-CAN wrote:
"Canadian Muslims commend the vigilance of Ryerson's security officers in
apprehending the suspected subject connected with the recent string of hate
threats and literature.
"We hope the arrest at Ryerson University is the beginning of closure to
this disturbing episode. Despite the recent arrest, it is welcome to see
that Toronto Police will continue with their investigation and have not
ruled out the possibility that other individuals may have been involved.
"The criminal charges against Mr. Haas are not, however, sufficient. We are
calling on Ontario's Attorney General Michael Bryant to prosecute this case
as a hate crime."
WHAT: On Thursday, October 21, the American Muslim Task Force Political
Action Committee (AMT-PAC) will hold a news conference in Washington, D.C.,
to announce its decision about endorsement of a presidential candidate.
AMT-PAC is an affiliated political action committee of the American Muslim
Taskforce on Civil Rights and Elections (AMT). AMT is an umbrella
organization representing American Muslim Alliance (AMA), Council on
American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA),
Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), Muslim Alliance of North America
(MANA), Muslim American Society (MAS), Muslim Ummah of North America
(MUNA), Muslim Student Association (MSA), Project Islamic Hope (PIH), and
United Muslims of America (UMA). SEE: http://www.americanmuslimvoter.net/
Muslims are a potential swing-voting bloc in key battleground states such
as Ohio and Florida.
WHEN: Thursday, October 21, 10 a.m. (Eastern)
WHERE: National Press Club, Zenger Room, 529 14th Street, NW, Washington
CONTACT: Dr. Agha Saeed, 510-299-9313
(NEW YORK, NY 10/15/04) - The New York office of the Council on American
Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) today applauded the decision by the New York
City Department of Education to allow students at Brooklyn International
High School to attend religiously-mandated services every Friday during the
holy month of Ramadan.
The decision by the Board of Education comes amidst the circulation of a
petition by the students of the high school to attend Friday prayer
services during the holy month of Ramadan. The students have also claimed
they were denied to attend religious services last year. According to Sara
Newman, the school's first principal, a third of the students are Muslim.
TIME OFF IS GIVEN FOR RAMADAN FOR STUDENTS AT BROOKLYN SCHOOL
"We commend the students of Brooklyn International High School for working
to protect their right to reasonable religious accommodation," CAIR-NY
Executive Director Wissam Nasr. "The Department of Education also deserves
credit for being sensitive to the needs of Muslim students."
CONTACT: CAIR-NY, Wissam Nasr (917) 751-1017