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CAIR Launches 'I am an American Muslim' Campaign

The Council on American-Islamic Relations
(CAIR) today launched a nationwide television and radio public service
announcement (PSA) campaign, called "I am an American Muslim," designed to
help reduce anti-Muslim discrimination and stereotyping.

To view the PSAs, go to: http://www.cair-net.org/

CAIR's 30 and 60-second PSAs feature American Muslims of European,
African-American, Hispanic, and Native American heritage. Each person in
the spots states how they and their families have served America and ends
by saying, "I am an American Muslim."

Both PSAs will be distributed by satellite to television public service
directors this afternoon from 2:15 p.m.-2:30 p.m. ET (11:15 a.m. -11:30
a.m. PT), on C-BAND, Intelsat Americas (IA) 6, Transponder 15, D/L: 4000 V.

"Our experience shows that Islamophobic stereotyping and bias are most
often based on ignorance and unfamiliarity with the American Muslim
community," said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad. "Tolerance and mutual
respect will flourish if Americans of all faiths get to know each other as
real human beings, not as religious or ethnic stereotypes."

Awad said the PSAs are a result of growing demand for accurate and
objective information about Islam and Muslims in America. Other CAIR
projects designed to meet that demand include sending Islam-related
materials to public libraries (http://www.cair-net.org/libraryproject) and publishing ads in newspapers nationwide (http://www.americanmuslims.info).

Today's PSA campaign kick-off also ties into CAIR's recent "Not in the Name
of Islam" online petition drive designed to disassociate the faith of Islam
from the violent acts of a few Muslims.

SEE:
http://www.cair-net.org/asp/article.asp?id=1071&page=NR

The PSA launch comes following release of CAIR's annual report on the
status of American Muslim civil rights that revealed a disturbing 70
percent increase in anti-Muslim incidents nationwide during 2003. That
report blamed Islamophobic stereotyping for much of the sharp jump in
discrimination cases.

SEE:
http://www.cair-net.org/asp/article.asp?id=1069&page=NR

CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, is headquartered in
Washington, D.C., and has 28 regional offices and chapters nationwide and
in Canada.

- END -

CONTACT: Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail:
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 Calls VA Paintball Sentencing 'Draconian'

A prominent national Islamic civil rights and
advocacy group today called the harsh sentencing in the Virginia "paintball
Jihad" case "draconian" and said the Muslim defendants faced selective
prosecution.

Yesterday, U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema sentenced one of three
Muslim defendants to life in prison and imposed an 85-year term on another
for conspiring to aid an Islamic group in conflict with India. Judge
Brinkema told those in the courtroom that the sentences, mandated under
federal sentencing guidelines, were "sticking in my craw" and that there
are murderers who have "served far less time." One of the defense attorneys
called the sentences "the greatest miscarriage of justice I have ever been
involved in."

SEE: "Strict Sentences Meted in Va. Jihad Case"
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A44628-2004Jun15.html

In a statement, the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations
(CAIR) said:

"It is the near universal perception in the Islamic community that these
men would never have been charged had they not been Muslims, and that once
convicted, prosecutors would never have sought such draconian sentences.

"American Muslims reject terrorism or any other form of criminal activity,
and wish to preserve the security of the United States and its citizens.

But we cannot help but compare the prosecution and sentencing in this case
to that in the case of a non-Muslim Florida terrorist who had bombs ready
to attack 50 Islamic institutions and got just 12 years in prison, or that
of a non-Muslim Illinois terrorist sentenced to probation and anger
management classes for blowing up a Muslim family's van.

"In other cases involving Muslims, we saw initial leaks and allegations
against defendants turn out to be nothing more than public relations hype
or wishful thinking on the part of prosecutors. Where does Army Chaplain
James Yee go to get his reputation back after being accused of crimes that
could have resulted in the death penalty? Where does Oregon attorney
Brandon Mayfield go to regain his good name? How does Sami al-Hussayen
resume a normal life with his family after being falsely accused of aiding
terrorists?

"Under the current administration, we are quickly approaching a state of
affairs in which there is a two-tier prosecutorial system in America; one
system for Muslims, and one for all other Americans. This disturbing trend
should be of concern to everyone who values America's centuries-long
tradition of equal justice under the law. We call on Congress to conduct
hearings into the selective prosecution of Muslims since the 9/11 terror
attacks."

 

Hijab Makes Muslim Women Target of Race Attacks, Australian Study Finds

Ninety percent of Muslim woman have suffered form of racist abuse
or violence in Australia since the September 11 attacks in the United
States, a new report revealed here Wednesday.

The report, by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, found
that while most Arabs and Muslims had experienced some form of racist abuse
in recent years, women were at the frontline because of their wearing of
the traditional headscarf, the hijab.

"We listened to stories of women, mostly Muslim women wearing the hijab
anxious to walk their children to school in fear of being spat on, abused
or ridiculed," acting discrimination commissioner William Jonas said at the
release of the report.

"We listened to the stories of women and girls who said they'd been abused
or had objects thrown at them from moving cars, sometimes causing injury."

The report, called "Isma", Arabic for "listen", focused on the experiences
of some 1,400 Arab and Muslim Australians in 69 focus groups held across
Australia last year.

It was launched by Jonas before a meeting of about 300 members of Sydney's
Arab and Muslim community, including Australia's Mufti, Sheik Taj Aldin
Alhilali...

 

U.S. Muslims to Launch National PSA Campaign

On Wednesday, June 16, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) will hold a news conference in Washington, D.C., to launch a nationwide television and radio public
service announcement (PSA) campaign, called "I am an American Muslim,"
highlighting the Muslim community's support for religious diversity and
service to the nation. The spots are part of CAIR's ongoing efforts to
challenge anti-Muslim discrimination and intolerance.

WHAT: PSA Campaign Launch News Conference
WHEN: Wednesday, June 16, 10:30 a.m.
WHERE: CAIR's Capitol Hill Headquarters, 453 New Jersey Avenue S.E.,
Washington, D.C.

SATELLITE DISTRIBUTION: The PSAs will be distributed by satellite on
Wednesday, June 16, at 2:15 p.m.-2:30 p.m. ET (11:15 a.m. -11:30 a.m. PT),
on C-BAND, Intelsat Americas (IA) 6, Transponder 15, D/L: 4000 V. They will
also be available on CAIR's web site (www.cair-net.org) following
Wednesday's news conference.

At the Capitol Hill news conference, CAIR will present 30 and 60-second
PSAs featuring American Muslims of European, African-American, Hispanic,
and Native American heritage. Each person in the PSAs states how they and
their families have served America and ends by saying, "I am an American
Muslim." VHS and BETA copies of the PSAs, produced by West Glen
Communications, will be available at the news conference.

The PSA launch comes following release of CAIR's annual report on the
status of American Muslim civil rights that revealed a disturbing 70
percent increase in anti-Muslim incidents nationwide during 2003. That
report blamed Islamophobic stereotyping for much of the sharp jump in
discrimination cases.

SEE:
http://www.cair-net.org/asp/article.asp?id=1069&page=NR

"American Muslims celebrate our nation's rich ethnic and religious heritage
and its tradition of service," said CAIR Board Chairman Omar Ahmad. "We
believe Islamophobic stereotyping and bias will decrease when ordinary
Americans of all faiths learn more about their American Muslim neighbors."
Ahmad said that the PSA campaign ties into CAIR's recent "Not in the Name
of Islam" online petition drive designed to disassociate the faith of Islam
from the violent acts of a few Muslims.

SEE:
http://www.cair-net.org/asp/article.asp?id=1071&page=NR

CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, is headquartered in
Washington, D.C., and has 28 regional offices and chapters nationwide and
in Canada.

CONTACT: Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail:
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.

 

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