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CAIR launches 'Not in the name of Islam' petition drive

A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today launched an online petition drive designed to disassociate the faith of Islam from the violent acts of a few Muslims.

The petition on the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) web site (www.cair-net.org), called "Not in the Name of Islam," allows Muslims and other people of conscience around the world to help correct misperceptions of Islam and that faith’s stance on religiously-motivated terror.

The "Not in the Name of Islam" petition states:

“We, the undersigned, wish to state clearly that those who commit acts of terror and murder in the name of Islam are not only destroying innocent lives, but are also devastating the image of the faith they claim to represent. No injustice done to Muslims can ever justify the massacre of innocent people and no act of terror will ever serve the cause of Islam. We repudiate and disassociate ourselves from any Muslim group or individual who commits such brutal and un-Islamic acts. Islam must not be held hostage by the criminal actions of a tiny minority acting outside both the boundaries of their faith and the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad.”

CAIR's petition drive comes following the videotaped beheading of an American civilian in Iraq that shocked television viewers worldwide.

"We hope this effort will demonstrate once and for all that Muslims in America and throughout the Islamic world reject violence committed in the name of Islam,” said CAIR Board Chairman Omar Ahmad. “People of all faiths must do whatever they can to help end the downward spiral of mutual hostility and hatred that is engulfing our world."

CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and has 26 regional offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada.

 

U.S. Muslims call for Rumsfeld's Resignation

A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today called on Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to "put America's interests first" by resigning over his handling of the growing prisoner abuse scandal in Iraq.

That request by the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) came following further revelations of mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners held by American military personnel.

See: "New Prison Images Emerge"

In its statement, CAIR said:

"As Secretary of Defense, Mr. Rumsfeld bears ultimate responsibility for the brutal and humiliating actions of American troops and for the poor handling of the scandal by the military establishment. He must also take responsibility for fostering an atmosphere in which the traditional rules of war and norms of international law are treated as excess baggage.

"With responsibility comes accountability. Secretary Rumsfeld and his entire management team must put America's interests first by resigning their posts. If he and his top advisors do not resign, they should be removed by President Bush. No other action could possibly help mitigate the devastating impact this scandal has had on our nation's image worldwide."

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) also said today that Rumsfeld must go. Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) issued a statement that said: "For the good of our country, the safety of our troops, and our image around the globe Secretary Rumsfeld should resign. If he does not resign forthwith, the president should fire him." Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-MI) today said Rumsfeld should resign because of "his role in the utter mismanagement of the war in Iraq."

Earlier this week, CAIR demanded a congressional investigation to determine the true extent of the prisoner abuses and to learn whether they were in fact part of a widespread pattern of human rights violations in U.S. detention facilities worldwide. Rumsfeld is scheduled to appear before a Senate committee on Friday.

CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 26 regional offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada.

 

Anti-Muslim Incidents Jump 70 Percent in 2003

A report released today by a prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group indicates that anti-Muslim incidents in the United States increased by almost 70 percent in 2003.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations' (CAIR) report - the only annual study of its kind - outlines 1019 incidents and experiences of anti-Muslim violence, discrimination and harassment in 2003, the highest number of Muslim civil rights cases ever recorded by the Washington-based group. According to the report, called "Unpatriotic Acts," hate crimes alone jumped by an unprecedented 121 percent.

CAIR said factors contributing to the sharp increase in reported incidents included a lingering atmosphere of post-9/11 fear in America, pro-war rhetoric leading up to and following last year's invasion of Iraq, a disturbing increase in anti-Muslim rhetoric, and abuses associated with the implementation of the USA PATRIOT Act.

An executive summary of the report and an order form for the complete study are available online at: http://www.cair-net.org/asp/crr2004.asp

The report recommends a number of actions designed to help reverse the tide of anti-Muslim discrimination. These recommendations include a public inquiry to post-9/11 policies impacting the Muslim community, legislative actions to curb the use of profiling by law enforcement agencies, strengthening of hate crime prosecutions, and modifications to the USA PATRIOT Act.

Muslims and those perceived to be Muslim in Arizona, New York, California, and New Jersey experienced the greatest increase in reported incidents, ranging from a jump of 233 (Calif.) to 584 percent (Ariz.). Along with religious and ethnic profiling and denial of religious accommodation, workplace discrimination was the largest category of complaints. California (22 percent), New York (19 percent) and Virginia (7 percent) reported the largest percentage of total complaints. The report does show a significant drop in reports of passenger profiling and unreasonable arrests.

"The disturbing jump in reports of anti-Muslim incidents is a wake-up call to those commentators who use their public positions to spread anti-Muslim hate," said CAIR Research Director Dr. Mohamed Nimer, the report's author.

In response to a recent surge in anti-Muslim incidents nationwide, CAIR launched a "Hate Hurts America" campaign designed to counter Islam-bashing on radio talk shows.

CAIR began documenting anti-Muslim incidents following the 1995 attack on the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. The council is America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, with 26 regional offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada.

 

GA Muslim police officer files discrimination suit

GA Muslim police officer files discrimination suit

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today announced that a Muslim police officer has filed a discrimination lawsuit against the city of Decatur, Ga., over allegations of racial and religious harassment.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division, claims the Muslim officer faced harassment "almost immediately from his start of work." (The plaintiff is of Mauritian heritage, but was apparently perceived to be Arab or Iranian by co-workers.)

According to papers filed with the court:

"[The officer's] supervisors and co-workers persistently hurled racial epithets at him, calling him 'Taliban' and shouting at him, 'that's what you get for bombing us, you damn Taliban!'…Plaintiff's supervisor, superimposed [the officer's] picture onto a 'Seeking Information' of a Saudi national…suspected to be associated with the September 11, 2001 bombing…The poster with [the officer's] name and face superimposed over that of [the wanted Saudi national] was placed in the break room for the entire police force to see…At roll call, while both shifts were present, [the supervisor] passed out to each employee the flyer he had prepared."

In September 2002, the Muslim officer filed a formal grievance and was placed on administrative leave. He later resigned from the force after concluding his complaint was not being taken seriously.

According to the lawsuit: "The City of Decatur continued to insist that the…remarks were made in good-natured fun, were not intended to be discriminatory and were only teasing that [the officer] should expect from the Decatur Police."

The lawsuit alleges that the City of Decatur and its employees failed to provide the plaintiff with a safe work environment and intentionally inflicted emotional distress. It seeks unspecified punitive and compensatory damages.

"Any officer of the law should be treated with utmost respect, particularly by his colleagues and supervisors," said CAIR Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. Hooper said workplace discrimination is one of the largest categories of discrimination cases CAIR deals with. He added that CAIR publishes a booklet called "An Employer's Guide to Islamic Religious Practices." (The booklet is available by e-mailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..)

In March, The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced the $1.11 million settlement of a harassment lawsuit against a California steel company over workplace harassment of Pakistani-American employees.

CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and has 26 regional offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada.

 

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