Download CAIR's app here: http://www.cair.com/app 

CAIR-Austin Welcomes Maira Sheikh as Executive Director

Photo for Release(AUSTIN, TX, 10/19/2017) - The Austin, Texas chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Austin) today welcomed its new executive director, Maira Sheikh.

Sheikh previously worked as a research fellow with a think tank focused on international law and human rights.

After completing her Juris Doctor from the University of Notre Dame Law School in 2012, Sheikh worked in Pakistan for five years to draft laws, policies and publications with domestic and multinational stakeholders that further improved the state’s compliance with its responsibilities under various international law instruments.

Her areas of expertise include international human rights law, the law of armed conflict and reform of counterterrorism legislation. Sheikh is the co-author of one of the only comprehensive publications on preventive detention during counterterrorism operations available in Pakistan. She has traveled to both the headquarters of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Geneva, Switzerland and the Pentagon in Washington D.C., to engage international experts on the legal issues surrounding the use of preventive detention in Pakistan.

Sheikh holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and English from Temple University. Before moving to Austin, she lived in Pennsylvania, Indiana, New York, the United Kingdom, and Pakistan. She is also bilingual, speaking both English and Urdu fluently.

“We are pleased that Maira Sheikh decided to join our team as the executive director of CAIR-Austin,” said CAIR Austin Board Chair Ahmed Mahmoud. “Her impressive background, legal education and her passion for protecting civil rights will enable her to build strong foundation that will serve the Muslim community in Austin now and in the future. Her focus on building strong partnerships with other civil rights organization in Austin will make our beloved city and state even more welcoming to people of all diverse backgrounds.”

The Austin chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations was founded earlier this year. 

"The Austin community support for CAIR has been increasing over the years,” said Mahmoud. “With the rise of Islamophobia in Texas and across the country, the Austin community recognized the need to expand the network of CAIR offices within the state of Texas by establishing a solid presence in the state’s capital." 

Within Texas, CAIR-Austin joins three other chapters operating in Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth and San Antonio.

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.     

CONTACT:

Maira Sheikh

Executive Director

Austin Chapter, Council on American-Islamic Relations

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

www.cairaustin.org

CAIR-NY Condemns Failure to Prosecute Manhattan Assault as Hate Crime

(NEW YORK, NY, 10/19/17) – The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), a leading Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today condemned the Manhattan District Attorney’s failure to prosecute a September 4 attack on an African-American woman in Manhattan as a hate crime.

According to the victim, Kimberly Halliday, her assailant repeatedly punched her body and head while saying “you’re the devil. . .you’re no good. Black b**ch.” 

Despite these statements, the Manhattan District Attorney failed to seek an indictment for the attack as a hate crime. Bennett Smith, 22, has been charged with assault in the third degree, aggravated harassment and attempted assault, all of which are misdemeanors. If prosecuted as a hate crime, Smith could face multiple felony counts, which carry more serious punishments.

SEE: West Village assault victim seeks to hit her attacker with hate crime for calling her a ‘black b---h’

“This horrific attack shows how unequally New York City pursues and prosecutes hate crimes,” said CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher. “We stand with all New Yorkers who want our city live up to that most basic promise: equal justice under law.”

“When we fail to take hate crimes seriously, we not only revictimize the targets of these attacks, but their communities as well,” said CAIR-NY Legal Director Albert Fox Cahn. “Time and again, hate crimes against marginalized communities are charged less severely than hate crimes against other victims. This double standard must stop.” CAIR-NY and the American Muslim community have in the past expressed solidarity with Jewish, Christian, Native American, African-American, and Sikh communities in New Mexico, Florida, South Carolina, Maryland, Alabama, Massachusetts, South Dakota, Ohio, Texas, and other states following acts of hate, threats, violence, vandalism, arson, or bombings. 

Earlier this month, CAIR-NY condemned the anti-black, anti-gay, and anti-Semitic letters sent to seven businesses and the Israeli Consulate in New York City.  

SEE: Letters With Swastikas and 'MAGA' Sent to 7 Shops, Israeli Consulate: NYPD 

Community members 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 proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.

– END –

CONTACT: CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher, Esq., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 917 669-4006; 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, Other Civil Rights Groups Deliver 100K-Signature Petition to Congress Calling For End to ‘Muslim Ban 3.0’

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 10/18/17) -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today joined a coalition of 14 other civil rights and advocacy organizations to deliver a joint petition with more than 100,000 signatures to members of Congress calling for legislation to immediately rescind the newest version of the Trump administration’s “Muslim Ban.”

“We call on Congress today to rise to the challenge of putting country before politics and to protect the rights of all people living in the United States by defending the Constitution,” the joint letter read in part, “and by rejecting the ‘total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,’ from forever being enshrined in history books as the official policy of the United States.”

CAIR and the 14 other organizations are calling on Congress to “fulfill their duties and immediately pass legislation to rescind the unconstitutional Muslim ban and make absolutely clear that such attempts to target Muslims, or anyone on the basis of national origin, are unlawful.”

The coalition of organizations includes: ACCESS, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Amnesty International USA, Arab American Institute (AAI), Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAAJ), Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Iranian American Bar Association (IABA), Muslim Advocates, Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), National Immigration Law Center (NILC), NIAC Action, National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC), Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA), and South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT).

The petition was delivered to the offices of Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA).

With the House of Representatives out of session this week, the petition will be mailed to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). Today also marks the day that the September 24 presidential Proclamation, commonly known as “Muslim Ban 3.0,” was set to go into effect.

Yesterday, CAIR welcomed a decision by a federal judge in Hawaii to block the Trump administration from implementing the ban. The judge’s decision only blocks the ban for 14 days.

Today, CAIR will join a coalition of national and local American Muslim and civil rights organizations at the #NoMuslimBanEver rally and march outside the White House in Washington, D.C.

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.     

- END –

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 National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

GOOD NEWS: CAIR, Brennan Center for Justice Win New Federal Injunction Against President Trump's Third Muslim Ban

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 10/18/17) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today welcomed a decision by a second federal judge – this time in Maryland – to block the Trump administration from implementing Muslim Ban 3.0, the latest version of the president’s travel ban.

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 earlier this week.

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

In a broad ruling today, 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.

"This case is not a close call," said CAIR National Litigation Director Lena Masri. "It is clear that Muslim Ban 3.0 illegally stigmatizes Muslims and disfavors Islam. We are hopeful that the appeals courts will see it the same way."

"Judge Chuang's decision is a good reminder that religious liberty is protected by the law and the Constitution, and that not even the president can take it away," said CAIR Senior Litigation Attorney Gadeir Abbas, who delivered oral arguments in the case before Judge Chuang.

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

Yesterday, CAIR welcomed a decision by another federal judge in Hawaii to block the Trump administration from implementing the ban. The judge’s decision only blocks the ban for 14 days.

SEE: CAIR Welcomes Federal Judge’s Decision to Block Trump’s ‘Muslim Ban 3.0’

Today, CAIR will join a coalition of national and local American Muslim and civil rights organizations at the #NoMuslimBanEver rally and march outside the White House in Washington, D.C.

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.     

- END –

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.

 

Take Action Report an Incident