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CAIR-DFW Welcomes Resignation of Two McKinney ISD Middle School Teachers After Islamophobic, Hateful Tweets

(DALLAS, TX, 1/20/2018) – The Dallas-Fort Worth chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-DFW) today welcomed the resignation of two McKinney ISD middle school teachers who posted Islamophobic and hateful tweets on their social media. 

Last week, CAIR-DFW called on the McKinney ISD to probe into the impact two Cockrill Hill Middle School teachers had on students after parents of students from McKinney ISD contacted CAIR-DFW regarding their concerning social media posts.

In those posts, teachers Justin Barton and Mark Russell referred to Islam as a “satanic death cult,” an “evil ideology,” and “a political ideology…[that] cannot assimilate. It must dominate.” Highly offensive anti-Muslim propaganda was retweeted numerous times. The teachers also attacked the LGBTQ community and equated being transgender with having a mental illness, perversity, and delusion.

In a letter to McKinney ISD’s superintendent, CAIR-DFW called for an investigation into the teachers’ impact on students, disciplinary action, protection from retaliation for McKinney ISD students, and diversity training for staff.

"We welcome the resignation of these two teachers, but we will continue to raise concerns about allegations of religious discrimination and lack of inclusivity at McKinney ISD,” said CAIR-DFW's Legal Director Nikiya Natale. “We seek to ensure that hate and discrimination are addressed and that all McKinney ISD staff members are required to have thorough, effective and accurate diversity training." 

SEE: McKinney middle school teachers resign after posting anti-gay and anti-Islam tweets

McKinney ISD recently came under fire for allegations that the school district is openly endorsing Christianity. A group of concerned parents have been pressing the school for months to mandate that teachers remove religious displays from the classroom. Both Barton and Russell spoke in support of the school at the December 2017 McKinney ISD Board of Trustees' meeting.

McKinney ISD also recently faced criticism for its superintendent-led Christian prayer at its back-to-school convocation, which was held at Prestonwood Baptist Church.

SEE: Prayer at McKinney ISD’s mandatory staff assembly draws formal complaints

The Washington-based Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization is also calling for diversity training for all school staff using CAIR’s “An Educator's Guide to Islamic Religious Practices," which is designed to help school officials provide a positive learning environment for Muslim students.

SEE: An Educator's Guide to Islamic Religious Practices

A recent report by CAIR’s California office revealed that Muslim students are bullied at twice the rate as the national average.

CAIR-CA Report: More Than Half of Muslim Students in California Experience Bullying, Discrimination

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding. 

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.

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CONTACT: CAIR-DFW Legal Director Nikiya Natale, 469-980-0310,This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

CAIR Calls on Supreme Court to Reinstate Lower Court's Injunction Against Muslim Ban 3.0

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 1/19/18) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called on the U.S. Supreme Court to restore a Hawaii court's injunction against Muslim Ban 3.0. 

This afternoon, the Supreme Court made the decision to review a Hawaii court's broad injunction against Muslim Ban 3.0, a decision an appellate court -- the Ninth Circuit -- has already upheld.  

SEE: Supreme Court to Consider Challenge to Trump's Latest Travel Ban

Just last month, the Supreme Court issued two orders staying the Hawaii and Maryland federal courts' injunctions that had, until December 4, 2017, largely prevented the Trump administration from implementing Muslim Ban 3.0's visa restrictions. 

Although the Supreme Court's December 4th decision allowed Muslim Ban 3.0 to go into effect now, today's decision means that the Supreme Court will soon have the opportunity to reinstate the injunctions issued by lower courts in October.  

"The illegal bigotry that animates Muslim Ban 3.0 should be as clear to the Supreme Court as it is to the Muslims it stigmatizes," said CAIR National Litigation Director Lena Masri.  

"If the First Amendment means anything at all, it means that the president of the United States cannot wield the federal government's powers in a way calculated to disfavor Muslims and demonize Islam," said CAIR Senior Litigation Attorney Gadeir Abbas. "The Supreme Court -- along with the rest of us -- must do everything possible to oppose Muslim Ban 3.0."

In October, CAIR and the Brennan Center for Justice filed suit against President Trump's Muslim Ban on behalf of six American Muslims impacted by the immigration restrictions. Civil rights attorneys, including CAIR National attorney Gadeir Abbas, delivered oral arguments against the ban in mid-October.  

On appeal, this case, Zakzok v. Trump, was consolidated with two others, and all are pending before the Fourth Circuit. Oral argument was held on December 8th, in Richmond, Va.

Video: CAIR, Other Civil Rights Groups Hold Presser After Md. Court Arguments on Trump’s Muslim Ban

The appeal regards a Maryland court's decision to prevent the Trump Administration from implementing most of Muslim Ban 3.0.  In a broad ruling on October 18th, U.S. District Judge Theodore D. Chuang granted CAIR and other groups' request for a nationwide injunction prohibiting the Trump administration from implementing its latest attempt to exclude Muslims from the United States. 

Judge Chuang ruled that the plaintiffs were likely to ultimately succeed in proving that anti-Muslim animus motivated the travel ban in violation of the Establishment Clause. He also noted that the ban violates federal law, which forbids the government from discriminating against visa applicants based on their nationality.

SEE: Second Judge Rules Against Latest Travel Ban, Saying Trump’s Own Words Show It Was Aimed at Muslims

In September, CAIR -- with the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law and Profeta & Eisenstein -- filed an amicus brief with U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of seven American Muslims.

READ Amicus Brief

These groups also filed an amicus brief in the Ninth Circuit in August.

Read CAIR’s Amicus Brief

In January, just days after Trump signed the first Muslim ban executive order, CAIR filed suit. 

SEE: CAIR Files Federal Suit Challenging Constitutionality of Trump’s ‘Muslim Ban’ Executive Order

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.     

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CONTACT: CAIR National Litigation Director Lena Masri, 248-390-9784, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; CAIR Senior Litigation Attorney Gadeir Abbas, 720-251-0425, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

CAIR-NY Condemns Anti-Muslim Harassment at Hewlett-Woodmere BOE Meetings, Calls for Recognition of Eid Holidays

(NEW YORK, NY, 1/19/2018) -- The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), a leading Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today condemned the alleged harassment of Muslim community members and students attending Hewlett-Woodmere Board of Education meetings on January 10 and 17. 

During the January 10 discussion about recognizing the Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha holidays, one Muslim community member was called a “terrorist” and references were made to the September 11 terror attacks.

Following an almost four-hour discussion, the Hewlett-Woodmere Board of Education decided to remove the Eid holidays from the district’s calendar.

SEE: Muslim holiday debate turns heated at H-W board meeting

[NOTE: Eid ul-Fitr (EED-al-FITTER) marks the end of the month-long fast of Ramadan, and is the first of the two major Muslim holidays. The second holiday, Eid ul-Adha (EED-al-ODD-ha), comes near the end of the Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca.]

A text message sent on January 16, urged residents to attend the January 17 meeting, warning that “observance of a Muslim holiday will draw other religious Muslims to the area, which eventually would make our houses value go down, as no decent person would want to buy a house next to that. The demographics will change and our properties will be worthless.” 

At the January 17 meeting, one attendee tried to respond to an individual defending the Muslim community, saying “they kill us.” Members of the Hewlett-Woodmere Board of Education were quick to denounce the anti-Muslim remarks, but declined to reverse their decision on the Eid holidays.

“It’s disgraceful that these anti-Muslim advocates celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day by organizing in support of housing segregation,” said CAIR-NY Legal Director Albert Fox Cahn. “Our school calendars should reflect the diversity and inclusionary spirit of our state.  We applaud those board members who condemned anti-Muslim harassment, but the Hewlett-Woodmere Board of Education must take this opportunity to stand with Muslim parents and students by recognizing the Eid holidays.”  

CAIR has worked on the issue of Eid holidays nationwide.

SEE: CAIR Applauds Maryland School Board's Decision to Close Schools on Eid Holiday

New Yorkers are asked to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR-NY at (646) 665-7599, or by filing a report at: http://www.cair-ny.org/incident-report/  

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.   La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.  

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CONTACT: CAIR-NY Legal Director Albert Fox Cahn, Esq., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 571-766-6273

 

CAIR Welcomes Resignation of Racist, Anti-Muslim Trump Appointee

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 1/19/18) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today welcomed the resignation of a Trump administration official who made remarks disparaging African-Americans, Muslims, immigrants, and other minority groups.

SEE: 'I just don't like Muslim people': Trump Appointee Resigns After Racist, Sexist and Anti-Gay Remarks (Washington Post)

Trump Appointee Carl Higbie Resigns as Public Face of Agency That Runs Americorps After Kfile Review of Racist, Sexist, Anti-Muslim And Anti-LGBT Comments on the Radio

Carl Higbie resigned as the chief of external affairs in the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency that runs AmeriCorps and other service programs, after his offensive remarks were made public.

“We welcome the resignation of yet another bigoted Trump administration official who should never have been appointed to his post in the first place,” said CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw. “Racism seems to have become a defining characteristic of this administration.”

Action Alert: CAIR Condemns Trump’s Bigoted Remarks, Asks Imams to Offer Friday Sermons Urging Rejection of Racism

CAIR Welcomes Firing of Islamophobic White Supremacist Strategist Steve Bannon

CAIR Condemns Trump’s Pardon for Joe Arpaio, Welcomes Resignation of Sebastian Gorka

McCaw said CAIR has witnessed an unprecedented spike in hate incidents targeting American Muslims and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump as president.

Earlier today, CAIR’s Arizona chapter called on Tucson police to treat an alleged attack on a group of Muslim women in that state as a hate crime.

SEE: CAIR-Arizona Asks That Attack on Muslim Women in Tucson Be Treated as Hate Crime

The Washington-based Muslim civil rights group is asking Muslim community members to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR's Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or by filing a report at: https://www.cair.com/civil-rights/report-an-incident/view/form.html

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.

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CONTACT: CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw, 202-742-6448, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

 

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