Muslim Leaders, Interfaith Allies, Elected Officials in Harrisburg to Condemn Islamophobia in Presidential Campaign

CAIR logo(PHILADELPHIA, PA, 10/20/16) – Scores of Muslim community leaders from around Pennsylvania will be coming to Harrisburg on Tuesday, October 25, for the Second Annual“Muslim Capitol Day.” Participants in Muslim Capitol Day will have a private meeting with Governor Tom Wolf and visit their elected representatives in the morning, then hold a press conference and “Rally Against Islamophobia” followed by an Islamic prayer service in the afternoon.

WHAT: Press Conference / Rally Against Islamophobia WHEN: Tuesday, October 25, 1:15 pm – 2:00 pm WHERE: Rotunda Steps, Capitol Building, Harrisburg

Speakers will include:

  • State Representative Jason Dawkins (D-Phila.)
  • Sharif Street (Candidate for State Senate, 3rd Senatorial District)
  • The Rev. Sandy Strauss (Director of Advocacy & Ecumenical Outreach for the Pennsylvania Council of Churches)
  • Rabbi Daniel T. Grossman (Temple Beth Shalom)

The goals of Muslim Capitol Day are:

  • Informing Pennsylvania legislators about the concerns of their Muslim constituents;
  • Condemning the anti-Muslim and Islamophobic bigotry that has erupted during this presidential campaign.

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CAIR Asks International Body to Allow Minnesota Teenage Muslim Boxer to Compete Wearing Hijab

CAIR logoMuslim civil rights organization urges International Boxing Association to allow uniform exemption for bout on Saturday

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 10/19/16) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, is calling on the Switzerland-based International Boxing Association (AIBA) to grant a religious exemption to its uniform regulations so that a teenage Muslim boxer in Minnesota may wear her religious head covering, or hijab,” at a bout this Saturday in St. Cloud, Minn.

[NOTE: USA Boxing is the governing body for Olympic-style boxing in the United States and a member organization of the United States Olympic Committee. The International Boxing Association (AIBA) is the worldwide governing body for the sport of boxing in all its forms.]

In a letter to AIBA Acting Executive Director William Louis-Marie, with a copy sent to USA Boxing, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad wrote in part:

“In September 2015, AIBA and USA Boxing prohibited Amaiya Zafar, an American Muslim teenager who wears hijab, from taking part in the Golden Gloves competition in Duluth, Minnesota. Ms. Zafar wears a hijab and covers her arms and legs in accordance with her religious beliefs. More recently, USA Boxing again informed Ms. Zafar that she would not be permitted to participate in an upcoming competition on Saturday, October 22nd at St. Cloud Boxing & Wrestling Club because of her religious attire.

“We believe that AIBA’s rigid and inflexible uniform regulations fail to take into account the diversity of individuals who participate in boxing competitions worldwide. In particular, the failure to include sensible exemptions and accommodations to the uniform requirements unfairly excludes a significant group of Americans who adhere to daily religious dress practices, such as individuals of the Jewish, Sikh, and Muslim faith. Absent any concrete safety justifications, none of which have been communicated to us, such static and exclusionary rules are no longer tenable in a country that was founded upon religious freedom and tolerance.”

CAIR’s letter noted that many international athletic organizations have already modified their rules and policies to account for the various religious needs of participants.

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CAIR-MN Asks Minnesota High School to Drop Event Featuring Islamophobe John Guandolo

CAIR MN logo(MINNEAPOLIS, MN, 10/18/2016) – The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) today called on administrators of Bagley High School in Bagley, Minn., to cancel an event this evening featuring notorious Islamophobe and anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist John Guandolo.

SEE: Disgraced FBI Agent Turned Anti-Muslim Activist in Bagley Oct. 18

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), an organization that tracks hate groups in America, describes Guandolo as "a disreputable character, who regularly attacks the U.S. government, claims that the director of the Central Intelligence Agency is a secret Muslim agent for the Saudi government and says that American Muslims 'do not have a First Amendment right to do anything.'"

CAIR Islamophobia Monitor: John Guandolo

Video: Islamophobe John Guandolo Claims CIA Director John Brennan is a Secret Muslim

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CAIR-NY Welcomes Long Island School District’s Inclusion of Muslim, Hindu Holidays

CAIR logo(NEW YORK, N.Y., 10/18/15) - The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) today welcomed an announcement by the Syosset School District that its public schools will observe the Islamic holidays of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, as well as the Hindu holiday Diwali. Syosset is the first of Long Island's districts to recognize these holidays.

SEE: Syosset School Board Votes to Recognize Muslim, Hindu Festival as Official Holiday

[NOTE: Eid al-Fitr, which comes at the end of the month-long fast of Ramadan, is the first of the two major Muslim holidays. The second holiday, Eid al-Adha (EED-al-ODD-ha), comes at the end of the Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca. Some 10 percent of New York City public school students are Muslim.]

In a statement, CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher said:

"Like other parts of New York, Long Island's diversity is growing. By voting to include Islamic and Hindu holidays on the school calendar, the Syosset School District is properly recognizing the strength of its plurality and the need to be inclusive. We hope other Long Island school districts follow Syosset's example in permitting students to celebrate religious holidays without having to miss class." 

She further noted that CAIR chapters nationwide have worked to have school districts recognize Muslim holidays. In March 2015, CAIR-NY welcomed Mayor Bill de Blasio's announcement that New York City's public schools would recognize Islamic holidays.

SEE: CAIR-NY Applauds Addition of Muslim Holidays to NYC School Calendar

CAIR offers a booklet, called "An Educator's Guide to Islamic Religious Practices," designed to help school officials provide a positive learning environment for Muslim students.

SEE: An Educator's Guide to Islamic Religious Practices

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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.

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