CAIR condemns mutilation of bodies in Iraq
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today condemned the mutilation of those killed in Iraq on Wednesday. Four American civilian contractors were ambushed in their SUV's, burned, mutilated, dragged through the streets and then hung from a bridge spanning the Euphrates River, according to news reports.
CAIR said the mutilations violated both Islamic and international norms of conduct during times of war and called on all parties to the conflict to respect the sanctity of the dead and the sensitivities of their families.
The Washington-based Islamic civil rights and advocacy group cited a tradition of the Prophet Muhammad that prohibits mutilating bodies (Hadith 654.3).
In another tradition, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "Do not kill women or children, or an aged, infirm person. Do not cut down fruit-bearing trees. Do not destroy an inhabited place." (Al-Muwatta, Vol. 21, Hadith 9)
CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and has 25 regional offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada.
Muslims welcome Justice department Hijab defense
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today welcomes a Department of Justice (DOJ) decision to support the right of an Oklahoma student to wear an Islamic head scarf, or hijab.
School officials in Muskogee, Okla., had suspended the Muslim sixth-grader twice last fall because they claimed her hijab violated their dress code policy prohibiting hats, caps, bandanas or other headwear.
A CAIR alert about the girl's suspension drew international media attention and prompted hundreds of concerned Muslims to contact local and state education officials to request religious accommodation. School district officials subsequently allowed the Muslim student to attend classes pending a review of the dress code policy.
The girl’s parents filed suit against the Muskogee School District last October. Yesterday, the federal government filed a motion in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma to support of the family’s lawsuit. (Hearn et al. v. Muskogee Public School District 020.)
"No student should be forced to choose between following her faith and enjoying the benefits of a public education," said Assistant Attorney General R. Alexander Acosta in a DOJ news release. "Religious discrimination has no place in American schools."
“This significant legal step may help set a precedent that will benefit students of all faiths,” said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad. "Our government’s action also sends a clear message to the international community that America will defend its citizens' religious freedoms."
Earlier this year, France moved to ban Muslim head scarves in public schools. Other countries, even some with Muslim-majority populations, have or are considering similar bans.
The DOJ complaint alleges that the school district violated the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which bars states from applying dress codes in an inconsistent and discriminatory manner. CAIR also cited the Oklahoma Religious Freedom Act as legal support for religious accommodation. That act states: "No governmental entity shall substantially burden a person's free exercise of religion.”
CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and has 26 offices nationwide and in Canada.
Muslims call on Police to investigate Mosque hate crime
The Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN) yesterday called on local police to treat the recent arson and vandalism at the Al-Mahdi mosque in Pickering, Ontario as a hate crime.
Vandals entered the mosque, spraying the words "Jesus Rules" on its walls, broke tables and chairs, and set fire to the building. Mosque officials estimate the cost of the damages to be thousands of dollars.
This incident comes after a series of hate crimes perpetrated against the Jewish community in Toronto.
In a statement issued yesterday, CAIR-CAN wrote:
"We need to hear a clear message from religious leaders, law enforcement and elected officials that this type of hate crime will not be tolerated in Toronto or any other Canadian city. Canadian Muslims must have assurances that their institutions will be protected.
"Since September 2001, CAIR-CAN has documented hate-activity against 15 Islamic institutions and mosques, including attempted arson, destruction and defacement of mosque property, and graffiti threats. Attacks such as the one in Pickering reinforce community fear and anxiety. Mosques are not simply places of worship, they are also social and community centers."
CAIR-CAN recently condemned the string of hate activity against the Jewish community in Toronto last week. For CAIR-CAN's statement, please see: http://www.caircan.ca/itn_more.php?id=885_0_2_0_C.
Muslim group troubled by U.S. veto of U.N. Resolution condemning Israel
The nation's leading Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today expressed great concern over the United States' veto of a United Nations Security Council resolution Thursday evening condemning the Israeli government. The resolution censured Israel for their targeted assassination of Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, a 67-year-old quadriplegic and the most prominent Palestinian Islamic figure, outside of a Gaza City mosque earlier this week.
Eleven out of the 15 Security Council members, including France, Russia and Spain, voted to condemn Ariel Sharon's government for their latest illegal assassination. The United States' veto marked the only dissenting vote in the Security Council. Other world leaders, including the Vatican, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and the British government, have condemned the illegal assassination by Ariel Sharon as 'unlawful' and 'unacceptable'.
In its statement, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said:
"We are deeply concerned by the continued failure of the Bush administration to be an objective broker for peace in the Middle East. This latest veto of an overwhelmingly and internationally supported resolution does nothing to serve America's interest abroad or improve its credibility in the Muslim and Arab world.
"There is clear global consensus that assassinations are illegal under both the Hague and Geneva Conventions, which are hallmarks of international law. By vetoing this resolution, the Bush administration continues to alienate our allies in the United Nations, neglect world opinion and further damage our image abroad.
"As long as the Bush Administration continues this policy of remaining silent to the illegal acts of the Israeli government, the Bush administration will continue to be viewed worldwide as unable to be a fair broker towards any objective peace settlement."
To date, there have been 64 United Nations resolutions condemning Israel for its human rights violations and according to Amnesty International, over 1,760 Palestinians have been killed, including 263 under the age of 14, by the Israeli government since the beginning of the current Intifada which began in 2001.
CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, has consistently condemned all terrorist acts, whether carried out by individuals, groups or states.