WHAT: On Tuesday, June 29, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
will release the results of its latest survey of American Muslim political
opinion at a Capitol Hill public hearing on the impact of the Islamic vote
in the 2004 election.
WHEN: Tuesday, June 29, 10 a.m. - Noon
WHERE: Room 2168, Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC
Survey results indicate which presidential candidates Muslim voters favor
in the November election, which party is thought to best represent American
Muslim interests, how likely respondents are to vote in November, which
domestic and international issues are most important to Muslim voters, and
in which states Muslims may constitute a significant voting bloc.
Speakers at the Tuesday hearing include CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad,
who will outline the results of the survey, presidential candidate Ralph
Nader, former Iraq Chief of Mission Edward Peck, as well as representatives
from the Muslim Public Affairs Council, the Minaret of Freedom Institute,
and the Council for the National Interest (CNI), the event's co-sponsor.
CNI President Eugene Bird will moderate the discussion.
"THE MUSLIM VOTE IN ELECTION 2004"
CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 28 regional
offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada.
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CONTACT: Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail:
NOTE: CAIR offers an e-mail list designed to be a window to the American
Muslim community. Subscribers to the list, called CAIR-NET, receive news
releases and other materials dealing with American Muslim positions on
issues of importance to our society.
A prominent national Islamic civil rights and
advocacy group today called on the Department of Justice to investigate an
incident at a Texas immigration facility that left a Jordanian Muslim
detainee in critical condition following a "mysterious" injury to his head.
The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said
Khalfan Omari, 25, is recovering from brain surgery following what media
reports call "a mysterious incident" at El Paso's immigration detention
center. Omari's brother sent CAIR post-operative photographs of the injury
that show a 7-inch scar in his scalp.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Leticia Zamarripa told the
El Paso Times that Omari said he had "fallen from his seat and hit his
SEE: "Jordanian Immigrant Suffers Unknown Brain Injury at El Paso Center"
Jihad "Jordan" Omari says his brother is a permanent resident of the United
States and that he recently faced discriminatory treatment by authorities
because of his religion and ethnicity. He was allegedly harassed because he
has a tattoo of the word "Jihad" with a heart on his shoulder. The tattoo
apparently refers to his love for his brother.
"A thorough investigation is warranted whenever someone suffers
'mysterious' injuries while in the custody of federal authorities," said
CAIR Civil Rights Attorney Engy Abdelkader. "The need for an investigation
is made even more urgent when there are allegations of past discriminatory
behavior." She noted that CAIR's office in Ohio is also seeking an
investigation in the case of Nuradin Abdi, the man charged with plotting to
bomb a shopping mall in that state.
In an editorial published yesterday in the Columbus Dispatch, a CAIR-Ohio
spokeswoman wrote: "While in federal custody for seven months, Nuradin Abdi
changed from a normal person to a damaged human being for whom the court
ordered a psychiatric evaluation."
"Local Muslim's Treatment in U.S. Custody is Suspicious"
The Canadian Council on American-Islamic
Relations (CAIR-CAN) today called on all national party leaders to clarify
their position on accommodating the right of Muslim women to wear the
hijab, or Islamic headscarf.
That request came after two Muslim women told CAIR-CAN that Canadian
immigration officials at Montreal's Dorval airport ordered them to remove
their religiously-mandated head scarves for permanent resident card
photographs. CAIR-CAN also learned of two other women who were similarly
asked to remove their head scarves at Dorval airport.
In a letter sent yesterday to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration,
Judy Sgro, CAIR-CAN asked that an immediate apology be offered to the
Muslim women, that Canada's policy on religious accommodation for permanent
resident cards be clarified and disseminated to officials at Dorval airport
and that immediate arrangements be made for the women to be re-photographed.
In letters to Prime Minister Paul Martin, Stephen Harper and Jack Layton
asking for clarification of their position on this matter, CAIR-CAN wrote:
"These cases raise the worrying concern of a systemic policy of
discrimination against women immigrants who wear the hijab.
"As you may well know, many Muslim women choose to cover their hair and
ears in fulfillment of an Islamic requirement of modesty. For many, it is
an important spiritual act and an integral part of their identity. Many of
the women, who entered Canada for the first time, were shocked and
profoundly hurt when they were told to remove their hijab, either
completely or partially.
"We are deeply concerned about the implications of this lack of religious
accommodation for other Muslim immigrants. We are calling on you to clarify
your party's position regarding this issue and to affirm your commitment to
the values of equality, respect and fundamental human rights."
There are approximately 600 000 Canadian Muslims.
Council on American-Islamic Relations CANADA
P.O. Box 13219, Ottawa, ONT, K2K 1X4
Some 200 members of the American Muslim and Arab-American
communities recently attended an Elections 2004 Town Hall Meeting in San
Jose, Calif., organized by the San Francisco Bay Area office Council on
American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SFBA). Attendees heard from, and asked
questions of, federal, state and local elected officials.
All major presidential campaigns participated, including California
Democratic Chairman Sen. Art Torres, representing the John Kerry campaign,
Grover Norquist representing the Bush/Cheney campaign and presidential
candidate Ralph Nader.
Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, San Jose Mayor Ron Gonzales, Council Member
David Cortese, and Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Ron Del Pozzo
all emphasized that all voices are needed in our political system and urged
the community to continue playing an important role and to challenge
attempts at exclusion.
Among the issues that were of most interest to the audience were the
Patriot Act, prisoner abuse in Iraq and Mr. Nader's inclusion in the 2004
CONTACT: CAIR-SFBA Director of Governmental Relations, Dahlia Eltoumi,