A prominent national Islamic civil rights and
advocacy group today welcomed a ruling by a federal court which struck down
as 'unconstitutional' an important provision of USA Patriot Act that gives
the government unchecked authority to issue "national security letters" to
obtain sensitive customer records. Judge Victor Marrero of the Southern
District of New York also found a broad gag provision in the law to be an
"unconstitutional prior restraint" on free speech.
In a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and New
York Civil Liberties Union, Judge Marrero struck down Section 505 of USA
PATRIOT on the grounds that it violates free speech rights under the First
Amendment as well as the right to be free from unreasonable searches under
the Fourth Amendment.
"This landmark ruling proves that our constitution is still the fundamental
law of the land and that there are provisions of USA PATRIOT which have
absolutely no place in our legal system," said CAIR national legal director
The ACLU, CAIR and other organizations are also named plaintiffs in another
federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Section 215 of USA
CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, is headquartered in
Washington, D.C., and has 30 regional offices nationwide and in Canada.
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Arsalan Iftikhar, 202-488-8787 or 202-415-0799, E-Mail:
Rabiah Ahmed, 202-488-8787 or 202-439-1441, E-Mail:
Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) today urged her colleagues to accept
hate crimes provisions that are included in the Defense Authorization bill.
"We must continue to fight for justice, hope, and freedom by ensuring that
hate crimes prevention provisions are enacted into law. That would be a
true and fitting memorial to James Byrd, Matthew Shepard, Waqar Hasan, Gwen
Araujo and so many others who have died because of ignorance and
intolerance," Pelosi said.
For more information contact: Brendan Daly/ Nayyera Haq, 202-226-7616
More than 500 people, including elected officials and
community leaders attended the annual fundraising banquet of CAIR's Houston, Texas, office (CAIR-Houston) on Saturday.
Speakers and attendees at the event included Rep. Shelia Jackson-Lee
(D-TX), Jerry Paterson the Texas Land Commissioner, Sugar Land, Texas, May
David Wallace, Houston Police Chief Harold Hurtt, Houston City Council
members M.J. Khan and Gordon Quan, a number of state and local
representatives of the ACLU, the EEOC, and many interfaith leaders.
"We would like to thank all our speakers, coalition partners and supporters
who made our event such a success," said CAIR-Houston President Tarek Hussein.
On Friday, October 1, the Cincinnati office of
the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Cincinnati), Muslim
American Society (MAS), Muslim Student Association (MSA)-Xavier University,
and the Muslim Education and Cultural Institute (MECI)-University of
Cincinnati, will host an "Election 2004 Town Hall Meeting" with local and
state political candidates.
WHAT: Election 2004 Town Hall Meeting
WHERE: Kelly Auditorium, Alter Hall, Xavier University, Cincinnati, Ohio
WHEN: Friday, October 1, 2004, 7 - 9 p.m.
CONTACT: CAIR-Ohio Cincinnati Office Director Karen Dabdoub, 513-281-8200,
At the town hall meeting, political candidates will address issues of
concern to American Muslims, and Muslim leaders will encourage increased
political participation by members of the Islamic community. The event is
free and open to the public, but seating is limited. To reserve a place at
the town hall meeting, contact: CAIR-Ohio Cincinnati office, 513-281-8200,
"We are very pleased with the Muslim community's response to our voter
registration drives and other political empowerment efforts," said
CAIR-Cincinnati Executive Committee President Brent Meyer. "That response
indicates an increased awareness among American Muslims that participation
in the electoral process is a necessity, not just an option." (As a
non-profit group, CAIR does not endorse candidates, but does encourage
Ohio is home to an estimated 150,000 Muslims.
CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 29 regional
offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada.
CAIR-Cincinnati Executive Committee President Brent Meyer, 513-276-1600