CAIR-MN Welcomes Judge’s Decision in Favor of Planned Islamic Cemetery

CAIR MN logo(MINNEAPOLIS, MN, 2/1/2016) -- The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) today welcomed a Dakota County District Court judge’s decision forcing Castle Rock Township to issue a conditional use permit for an Islamic cemetery. 

Judge David L. Knutson yesterday granted a summary judgement motion to the Al Maghfirah Cemetery Association in which he ruled that the township’s decision to deny the conditional use permit (CUP) was “arbitrary and capricious” because the township did not provide any written findings of fact to support its decision.  

[NOTE: In October of last year, CAIR-MN asked federal authorities to determine whether the denial of land usage for the Islamic cemetery was discriminatory on the basis of religion and questioned whether the denial constitutes a violation of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA).]

SEE: CAIR-MN, Community Leaders to Asks DOJ to Probe Bias in Rejection of Islamic Cemetery

"We hoped that a simple request for a proposed Islamic cemetery in Minnesota would not need a court order, however we welcome the court’s decision to grant the conditional use permit,” said CAIR-MN Executive Director Jaylani Hussein stated. “This ruling sends a strong signal to those who would discriminate on the basis of religious identity.” 

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CAIR: South Carolina Assembly Asked to Drop Unconstitutional Anti-Islam legislation

CAIR logo(WASHINGTON, D.C., 1/29/16) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called on the South Carolina General Assembly to drop an unconstitutional, anti-Islam bill (H. 3521) currently moving through that body because it violates the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The bill's sponsors, and the text of the legislation, make clear it is designed to attack the religious principles of Islam, or “sharia.”

The bill, sponsored by Republican Rep. Chip Limehouse, came one step closer to becoming law after it passed 68-42 in the South Carolina House of Representatives yesterday. H. 3521 seeks “to prevent a court or other enforcement authority from enforcing foreign law including, but not limited to, sharia law in this state from a forum outside of the United States or its territories under certain circumstances.”

Even the bill’s sponsors admit that there are no known cases of attorneys in South Carolina attempting to use international law or sharia law in that state’s courts.

SEE: House Advances Bill Forbidding Sharia Law as Defense in State Court   

Text of H. 3521

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CAIR-Oklahoma to Hold 2nd Annual ‘Muslim Day at the Capitol’ Feb. 26

CAIR OK(OKLAHOMA CITY, OK, 1/27/2015) – On February 26, the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-OK), the state’s leading Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, will hold its second annual “Muslim Day at the Capitol.”

SEE: 2016 Oklahoma Muslim Day at the Capitol Event Listing

With more than 200 Muslims from around the state expected to participate, the one-day event will feature a series of workshops - including special sessions for youth - focused on civic engagement in the Muslim community of Oklahoma. The day will conclude with an interfaith prayer led by Imam John Ederer of the Islamic Society of Tulsa.

Muslim Day at the Capitol is designed to connect the Muslim community with lawmakers, promote civic engagement and educate attendees on issues of equality and social justice. The day will also include a voter registration drive.

The first Muslim Day at the Capitol in 2015 was a resounding success, with more than 150 registered attendees.

SEE: Despite Protests, 'Oklahoma Muslim Day at the Capitol' Goes On

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CAIR-MN Receives Grants to Address Growing Islamophobia with Education, Outreach

CAIR MN logo(MINNEAPOLIS, MN, 1/25/2016)  - The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) announced today that it has received a number of grants to address growing Islamophobia with expanded education and outreach initiatives.

According to CAIR-MN, Muslims in Minnesota have reported more than 30 incidents of intimidation, threats, bullying and harassment since mid-November.

“Islamophobia is real,” said Jaylani Hussein, executive director of CAIR-MN. “It is much more than some comments made by politicians. It is something that is creating a very unsafe environment in our Muslim communities.”

CAIR-MN recently asked several local foundations to help it cover $100,000 in unbudgeted expenses associated with the increased demand for its services. In particular, the civil rights group has responded to more requests to protect civil liberties and encourage dialogue at a time of heightened tensions and when many Minnesota Muslims have feared for their safety.

In particular, the grants will help CAIR-MN offer “Challenging Islamophobia” workshops across Minnesota and create and circulate community safety guides and “Know Your Rights” pocket guides for Minnesota Muslims.

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CAIR’s department to monitor and combat Islamophobia tracks sources and incidents of Islamophobia across the country, creates dossiers on prominent Islamophobes, and produces factsheets to debunk false information that has been spread about Islam.