Awards and Recognitions from Interfaith, Law Enforcement, Elected Officials and Others
(Note: For the awards and recognitions and Federal Elected Officials sections, we only include items from the last five years, January 2011 onward, in this document. See previous versions of the document for years not covered here. This document is a representative collection of the support CAIR is privileged to enjoy. Due to space limitations we do not include all the material we have.)
Last updated: (December 2016)
CAIR, its staff, and board members are honored to have received at least 80 awards and recognitions during the 2011-2016 period. Seventeen U.S. Senators and 85 U.S. Representatives from both sides of the political aisle have praised the organization in that same period. Major news outlets, international delegations and interfaith partners have all applauded the group. Its work has also received a nod in popular culture, and resulted in death threats from the terror organization Daesh.
IN THE WAKE OF THE 2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
“Since November 8 I have been to many communities throughout this country. I have seen the direct result of CAIR’s work. I have talked to the communities. I have spoken to the communities where [CAIR] offices exist. The morale of the Muslim community in those communities is much higher than where [a CAIR] office does not exist yet.”
-Khizr Khan, Gold Star father who received international attention following his speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention
(Source: Speech at CAIR-National’s 2016 Annual Banquet)
Two-time Pulitzer prize winner Nicholas Kristof advised readers to “sign up on the Council on American-Islamic Relations website, volunteering to fight Islamophobia.”
(Source: New York Times, 11/17/2016)
Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich listed CAIR among other organizations he wants to benefit from a “freedom concert” he proposed to be held concurrent with the 2016 presidential inauguration ceremony.
(Source: Facebook post by Robert Reich, 12/18/2016)
The Trends Editor suggested, “Support your Muslim family and friends at the Council on American-Islamic Relations.”
(Source: Huffington Post, 11/09/2016)
A staff writer advised, “If you’re worried about Islamophobia, you can get involved with the Council On American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).”
(Source: Buzzfeed, 11/12/2016)
The features editor included CAIR on a short list of “Pro-Women, Pro-Immigrant, Pro-Earth, Anti-Bigotry Organizations That Need Your Support” after the election.
(Source: Jezebel, 11/09/2016)
Actor Lucy Lawless, of Ash vs. Evil Dead and Xena: Warrior Princess tweeted, “We’re helping by donating to @NAACP @HRC @PPact @CAIRNational and fearless news organizations.”
(Source: Twitter post by Lucy Lawless, 11/14/2016)
AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS
2016: CAIR National Board Chair Roula Allouch appointed as Special Advisor to the American Bar Association’s Commission on Women in the Profession.
2016: CAIR-National Board Member James Jones was honored as a “Champion Educator” by the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University.
2016: CAIR-National Executive Director Nihad Awad was again named one of the world’s 500 most influential Muslims by Jordan’s Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center on its list for 2017.
2016: CAIR-Florida Government Affairs Director Laila Abdelaziz was named among the 30-under-30 rising stars of Florida politics by the Florida Young Democrats.
2016: CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush recognized at the inaugural Arab American Heritage Month hosted by the City of Anaheim. The award was in recognition of his 20 years of service and contributions to the development of the City of Anaheim through CAIR-LA’s work.
2016: CAIR National Board Chair Roula Allouch was featured on the cover of and profiled in Kentucky Alumni magazine’s Summer 2016 edition.
2016: CAIR-National Maryland Outreach Manager Zainab Chaudry was named one of “Baltimore’s 25 women to watch in 2016” by the Baltimore Sun.
2016: CAIR-Minnesota Executive Director Jaylani Hussein was named one of the “2016 Ten Outstanding Young Minnesotans” by JCI Minnesota, an “all-volunteer civic organization in Minnesota, with over 1,500 members statewide.”
2016: CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush was named among the “Most Influential 2016” by the OC Register.
2016: CAIR-MA Board Member Tahirah Amatul-Wadud was named a Top Woman in Law 2016 by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.
2016: CAIR-Oklahoma Executive Director Adam Soltani received the Angie Debo Civil Libertarian of the Year Award presented to him by the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma at their annual meeting.
2016: CAIR-Minnesota received the 2016 Winds of Change diversity award from the Forum on Workplace Inclusion, in partnership with the University of St. Thomas – Opus College of Business.
2016: CAIR-National Maryland Outreach Manager Zainab Chaudry received a “Community Quarterback Award” from the Baltimore Ravens football team for “tireless leadership, dedication and commitment to bettering our local communities, and in appreciation for your outstanding impact on neighbors in need.”
2016: CAIR-National Maryland Outreach Manager Zainab Chaudry received a 2016 FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Award honorable mention for Outstanding Inclusive Initiatives in Emergency Management.
2016: CAIR-Iowa was selected for the 2016 Best of Cedar Rapids Awards for Nonprofit Institutions for the second year.
2016: CAIR-Minnesota Executive Director Jaylani Hussein received the “Immigrant of Distinction Award” from Minnesota/Dakotas American Immigration Lawyers Association for outstanding contribution to social justice.
2016: CAIR-Minnesota Executive Director Jaylani Hussein was appointed Minnesota Governor’s Council on Law Enforcement and Community Relations.
2016: CAIR-Minnesota received the State Advocate of the Year from the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota.
2016: CAIR-Minnesota Board Chair Kausar Hussain was recognized as among the 50 over 50 of most inspiring and accomplished leaders from across Minnesota by POLLEN.
2015: CAIR-Florida Legislative and Government Affairs Director Laila Abdelaziz received a Silver Medallion Award from Community Tampa Bay, which works to create a community free from all forms of discrimination.
2015: CAIR-Oklahoma Executive Director Adam Soltani received the Oklahoma Conference of Churches Interfaith Leadership Award presented to him by Rabbi Vered Harris of Temple B’nai Israel at the 2015 Oklahoma Conference of Churches Annual Dinner.
2015: CAIR-National Maryland Outreach Manager Zainab Chaudry received a Governor’s Volunteer Service Award.
2015: CAIR-National Maryland Outreach Manager Zainab Chaudry was appointed to the Maryland State Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
2015: CAIR-Iowa received the 2015 Best of Cedar Rapids Award in the Nonprofit Institutions category by the Cedar Rapids Award Program.
2015: CAIR-National Board Member Lori Saroya received the Minnesota Governor’s Distinguished Service Award.
2015: CAIR-National Board Member Lori Saroya received a Congressional Tribute from Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District.
2015: CAIR-San Francisco Bay Area Government Relations Coordinator Sameena Usman was named among California Assembly District 25’s Community Heroes by Assembly member Kansen Chu.
2015: CAIR-San Francisco Bay Area received the Yuri Kochiyama Impact Award from the Asian Law Caucus.
2015: CAIR-Cleveland Executive Director Julia Shearson received recognition by the City of Cleveland during its “Salute to Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones.”
2015: CAIR-Cleveland Executive Director Julia Shearson received recognition from Black on Black Crime, Inc. for Contributions by the Courageous Women in Our Community.
2015: CAIR-Washington received a 2015 Champion of Civil and Voting Rights Achievement award for an organization from the Board of Directors of the League of Women Voters of Seattle King County.
2015: CAIR-National Maryland Outreach Manager Zainab Chaudry was named an “Ambassador for Peace” by the Universal Peace Federation, a United Nations partner organization.
2015: CAIR-National Executive Director Nihad Awad was named an emerging voice for civil rights leadership in the 21st Century by the LA Times.
2015: CAIR-National Litigation Director Jenifer Wicks was named a “Super Lawyer” in the Washington, D.C. Area by Super Lawyers Magazine.
2015: CAIR-Minnesota Executive Director Jaylani Hussein received the “Visionary Leader” Award from the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits.
2015: CAIR-Cincinnati was presented the Outstanding Case of the Year Award by the Cincinnati Employment Lawyers Association with special attention given to Staff Attorney Booker Washington’s contributions.
2015: CAIR-Sacramento Valley Executive Director Basim Elkarra was given the Power of Voice award by Access Sacramento.
2014: CAIR-Sacramento Valley Executive Director Basim Elkarra was featured in Comstock Magazine as one of a group of young professionals helping shape the future of the Sacramento Valley.
2014: CAIR-National Executive Director Nihad Awad was again named one of the world’s 500 most influential Muslims by Jordan’s Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center.
2014: CAIR-National Executive Director Nihad Awad was included among Arabian Business Magazine’s annual “500 most powerful Arabs in the world.”
2014: CAIR-Oklahoma Executive Director Adam Soltani received the 2014 Human Rights Award that was presented by the Oklahoma Human Rights Alliance.
2014: CAIR-San Francisco Bay Area Executive Director Zahra Billoo received an Unsung Hero Award from the National Lawyers Guild-SF Chapter.
2014: CAIR-San Francisco Bay Area Government Relations Consultant and CAIR-Calif. Board Secretary Sameena Usman received an Asian Pacific Islander American Leadership Award from Calif. Assembly Member Bob Wieckowski.
2014: CAIR-Sacramento Executive Director Basim Elkarra was named as a Rising Trailblazer on a Comstock Magazine’s Masters of Strategy List.
2014: CAIR-Michigan Executive Director Dawud Walid received the 2014 Booker T. Washington Social Justice Award from the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Task Force, Inc.
2014: CAIR-Connecticut. Executive Director Mongi Dhaouadi received the National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers
2014 Award at the “It Takes a Village” Banquet.
2014: CAIR-Minnesota Board Chair Kausar Hussain received the Outstanding Contribution Award from the Council on Asian-Pacific Minnesotans (CAPM).
2014: CAIR-Minnesota Executive Director Lori Saroya was awarded a 2014 Bush Fellowship by the Minnesota-based Bush Foundation.
2014: CAIR-Los Angeles’ Communications Coordinator Yasmin Nouh received a “Women Making a Difference” award from Calif. State Senator Lou Correa.
2014: Co-Founder and Chair of CAIR-Maryland Zainab Chaudry, received a governor’s citation signed by Governor Martin O’Malley for her work with the South Asian Community at the Governor’s Pan Asian Summit.
2013: CAIR-National Executive Director Nihad Awad received the Prophet Ibrahim Interfaith Award from the National Islamic Committee on Scouting.
2013: CAIR-Michigan Staff Attorney Lena Masri was honored by the Federal Bar Association for her extensive “pro bono legal services on behalf of poor and indigent clients in the Eastern District of Michigan.”
2013: CAIR-Michigan Staff Attorney Lena Masri was awarded by the Syrian American Medical Society, Michigan Chapter (SAMS-MI) and the Syrian Expatriates Organization (SEO) for her “dedication and commitment to serve the cause of medical and humanitarian relief.”
2013: CAIR-Minnesota won the “Making a Difference through Pro Bono Work.” This award commemorates institutions in the legal profession that have been committed to volunteering their services for the poor and disadvantaged.
2013: CAIR-Minnesota was recognized by the Minnesota Philanthropy Partners among the ”˜Nonprofits to Know.’”
2013: CAIR-Los Angeles Deputy Director Ameena Qazi received the Beacon of Light Award from Rev. Sarah Halverson at Fairview Community Church in Costa Mesa, Calif.
2013: CAIR-San Francisco Bay Area received the “Fred Korematsu Civil Rights” award from American Muslim Voice.
2013: CAIR-San Francisco Bay Area received the Champions of Justice Award from Muslim Legal Fund of America’s-SF Chapter.
2013: CAIR-San Francisco Bay Area Executive Director Zahra Billoo received the Trailblazer award from the South Asian Bar Association of Northern California.
2013: CAIR-San Francisco Bay Area Executive Director Zahra Billoo received an Asian Pacific Islander American Leadership Award from CA Assembly Member Bob Wieckowski.
2012: CAIR-San Francisco Bay Area Executive Director Zahra Billoo received the Community Service Award from the ICNA San Francisco Bay Area Chapter.
2012: CAIR-National Executive Director Nihad Awad was listed among the world’s 500 most influential Muslims Jordan’s Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center.
2012: During Women’s History Month, Islamic Networks Group recognized five of CAIR’s key female leaders.
2012: CAIR-Minnesota staffer Nausheena Hussain was given a Minnesota Council of Nonprofits 2012 Leadership Award in the Catalytic Leader category.
2012: CAIR-Michigan Executive Director Dawud Walid received an award from the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) for his work in promoting intrafaith and interfaith understanding and cooperation.
2012: CAIR-Chicago Executive Director Ahmed Rehab was appointed by Chicago’s mayor to the city’s New Americans Advisory Committee.
2011: CAIR-National received an award for “Civil Rights Preservation” from the Muslim Journal, the nation’s oldest American Muslim newspaper. The Muslim Journal has over 36 years of continuous weekly publication.
2011: CAIR-San Francisco Bay Area Executive Director Zahra Billoo received the 2011 Public Interest Attorney of the Year Award from the South Asian Bar Association of Northern California (SABA-NC).
2011: CAIR-Minnesota was awarded the 2011 Mission & Excellence Anti-Racism Award by the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN) and MAP for Nonprofits. The annual “Mission & Excellence” awards are given to six non-profit organizations that make “outstanding contributions to Minnesota’s high quality of life.”
2011: CAIR-Minnesota received the award in the “Anti-Racism” category. It awards an organization that “works to eliminate prejudice and racism in society; demonstrates a commitment to pluralism and inclusively; and develops unique and thought-provoking strategies to combat racism.”
2011: CAIR-National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper was recognized among the world’s “500 Most Influential Muslims” by the Jordan-based Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center.
2011: CAIR-Michigan Executive Director Dawud Walid received two awards for civil rights advocacy at the Michigan Council of Human Rights (MCHR) annual banquet.
2011: CAIR-Michigan Executive Director Dawud Walid accepted the Spirit of Detroit Award given by the City Council of Detroit and the MCHR 2011 Activist Organization Award for advocating for the civil rights of all Americans through encouraging dialogue and building coalitions that promote justice and understanding.
2011: CAIR-Oklahoma Executive Director Muneer Awad was awarded the Russell Bennett Recognition by the Tulsa Metropolitan Ministries. The Russell Bennett Recognition is given to an individual who, like Russell Bennett, provides courageous social justice leadership within the Tulsa Metropolitan Ministry area
2011: CAIR-National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper was profiled as a “DC Influencer” by PR Week. The publication is “the essential title for PR professionals in the US.”
2011: CAIR-Minnesota was named a “2010 Difference Maker” by the St. Cloud Times. Each year, the publication’s editorial board selects individuals and groups it believes have made the biggest difference in the community.
2011: CAIR-Minnesota co-founder and president Lori Saroya received the St. Catherine University ‘Rising Star’ Alumni Award for her community advocacy and social justice work with CAIR-Minn.
2011: CAIR-Washington received the “Connecting Communities” award from the Faith Action Network.
2011: CAIR-National Executive Director Nihad Awad was included on the “Power 500” list compiled by Arabian Business Magazine.
2011: CAIR-Michigan Executive Director Dawud Walid was awarded the “Pastor’s Award” at Central United Methodist Church’s 7th Annual Peace and Justice Banquet. The award recognizes Walid’s work in promoting religious dialogue and cooperation among Christian and Muslim clergy and speaking out against religious intolerance.
Background for U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry quote: In 2014, government officials in a number of western countries were shocked when the United Arab Emirates (UAE) released a list of about 80 entities it considers to be terrorist groups. The UAE arbitrarily included a number of highly regarded western humanitarian and advocacy organizations, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). THE UAE government is authoritarian. It is engaged in suppressing basic democratic ideals such freedoms of speech, dissent, association, and assembly. In a personal letter to CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad, U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry wrote the following:
“Let me reiterate, first, that the U.S. government clearly does not consider CAIR to be a terrorist organization. As your letter noted, the Department of State rejected this allegation immediately after the UAE designations were announced in November, and we will continue to do so.” Kerry added, “U.S. officials have raised the issue of CAIR’s inclusion on the UAE’s terror list with UAE officials on multiple occasions”¦”
I have personally met with CAIR members in Connecticut through your advocacy at the state level, and your core principles of justice and mutual understanding have been an inspiration to me.”
-Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) (October 2016)
CAIR is an important and influential organization throughout the country. For two decades CAIR has brought together people of all faiths, along with member of the community, to encourage compassion and understanding between all Americans.
-Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) (October 2016)
As a firm advocate for civil rights, I salute CAIR for empowering American Muslims nationwide in political and social activism thought our country.”
-Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) (October 2016)
“CAIR-Chicago advances a greater understanding of the Muslim culture and serves as an essential thread in the multicultural fabric of our nation. Your efforts to advocate for tolerance promote the civil liberties of all communities.”
-Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) (April 2011)
“Through their continued efforts to educate and introduce Americans to positive aspects of the Muslim community, CAIR-LA provides an important link and resource for the Los Angeles region. Their unwavering dedication to increasing awareness and acceptance is truly praiseworthy.”
-Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) (November 2011)
“I thank you for your efforts to not only promote political engagement and protect civil liberties, but to further our national dialogue.”
-Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) (October 2016)
“I am grateful for organizations like CAIR that are dedicated to defending civil liberty for all New Yorkers”¦ Your devotion to civil rights strengthens our commitment to democracy throughout New York State and the Muslim Community.”
-Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) (October 2015)
“Thank you to all who had a hand in organizing this banquet, and best wishes for a memorable celebration.”
-Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) (October 2016)
I commend the Council on American-Islamic Relations and applaud the organization’s goals to maintain an open dialogue between community leaders and activists in an effort to bridge the issues that divide us so that we might all enjoy the benefits of democracy.”
-Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) (October 2016)
“It is my privilege to congratulate the Council on American-Islamic Relations on 22 years of building coalitions, creating spaces for dialogue, and elevating the understanding of Islam.”
-Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) (October 2016)
“Your efforts to enhance the understanding of Islam and build coalitions that promote justice and respect is both timely and beneficial.”
-former Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) (September 2014)
“This organization’s inspiring service is a testimony to your success in creating a nurturing and supportive, responsive organization.”
-Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) (October 2016)
“Our communities are stronger because of our faith and our diversity, and I salute the Council for empowering American Muslims to participate locally and nationally in political and social activism. By protecting and defending the constitutional rights of American Muslims, you support the rights of all Americans.”
-Sen. Christopher S. Murphy (D-Conn.) (August 2014)
“I thank CAIR for their continued commitment to providing the American Muslim community an authentic voice that promotes the understanding of Islam, justice, and equality in Washington state and across the country.”
-Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) (October 2016)
“As the sole organization promoting civil rights for Muslim-Americans CAIR lobbies for effective civil rights polices and changes in discriminatory practices that directly affect Islamic-Americans in the United States and participating fully in the American civic life.”
-Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) (October 2015)
“Your efforts to create dialogues and empower American Muslims enrich the lives of Virginians; I commend you for your work to put aside divisive rhetoric and work together to solve the issues facing this great nation.”
-Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) (October 2016)
“I commend the Council for their efforts promoting justice and mutual understanding.”
-former Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) (September 2011)
“Our nation is rooted in the belief that freedom, justice and liberty are awarded to all, regardless of faith or background. I appreciate the continued advocacy of CAIR to ensure that this philosophy is carried forward.”
-Rep. Pete Aguliar (D-Calif.)
“I commend the Council on its efforts to empower Muslim Americans to participate in both local and national politics as well as striving to encourage dialogue that presents a comprehensive and accurate understanding of Islam.”
-Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) (September 2014)
“[CAIR-LA’s] work of promoting justice and mutual understanding is a testament of your values of justice and equality.”
-Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.) (November 2016)
“CAIR’s work has been instrumental in the past year challenging Islamophobic rhetoric in the election, mobilizing the Muslim community to register to vote and standing firm against the unprecedented spike in anti-Muslim hate incidents occurring nationwide.”
-Rep. Ami Bera (D-Calif.) (October 2016)
The council’s effort in being a leading figure for American Muslims in the Commonwealth of Virginia is greatly appreciated.”
-Rep. Donald Beyer (D-Va.) (October 2016)
“CAIR’s work continues to ensure that the principles upon which our nation was founded are upheld.”
-former Rep. Bruce L. Braley (D-Iowa) (2013)
“CAIR is at the national forefront of fostering a positive understanding of American Muslims and works tirelessly to foster interfaith understanding though education and dialogue.”
-Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.) (October 2016)
“[CAIR-LA’s] two decades of service to communities across Southern California is truly invaluable towards our efforts to maintain a pluralistic and equitable society.”
-Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-Calif.) (November 2016)
Though building bridges, not walls, CAIR is working to ensure that everyone is included in the fabric of this great country we all know and love.”
-Rep. AndrÃ© Carson (D-Ind.) (October 2016)
“The Council’s impactful efforts to improve inter-religious dialogue between the diverse communities it serves in my home state of California are a shining example of collaboration and civic engagement.”
-Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.) (October 2016)
Foley: ”˜What did you think about the swipe? Because it certainly seemed that [CAIR] is the group that this hearing was designed to go after.”
Clarke: “Well I’m glad you mentioned that and that’s why in my statement I raised the fact that the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Michigan worked with Federal law enforcement officials. As a matter of fact just last year alone CAIR-Michigan met with the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security combined thirteen times to help coordinate work between law enforcement at the Federal level and the Muslim community. So CAIR in Michigan definitely had good relations with law enforcement and that has been helpful to protect our citizens from any type of likely threat.”
-former Rep. Hansen Clarke (D-Mich.), interview with the Craig Foley Show on WDET Detroit, March 11, 2011.
“I am writing to congratulate you on the celebration of the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ 22nd Anniversary Banquet: “Uniting America: Building Bridges, Not Walls.”
-Rep. Gerald Connolly (D-Va.) (October 2016)
“I ”¦ want to thank CAIR for giving the American Muslim community an authentic voice in the public square.”
-Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) (October 2016)
“Our democracy requires the active participation of informed citizens and I applaud CAIR for all the efforts made in supporting the principle of civic engagement.”
-Rep. Jim Costa (D-Calif.) (October 2016)
“CAIR’s leadership and dedication to foster understanding and peace is inspiring.”
-Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) (October 2016)
“CAIR understands that in defending Muslim Americans against employment discrimination, prison abuse, hate crimes, and citizenship delays they are also defending our American values for every American.”
-Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-Ill.) (March 2011)
“Thank you to all those at CAIR for serving as an excellent example of service and humanitarianism for others in our community.”
-Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) (October 2016)
“CAIR’s twenty years of bringing together communities and defending civil liberties is commendable, and the work you do for the state of Maryland is greatly appreciated.”
-Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.) (September 2014)
“I look forward to continuing to work together to ensure the voices of American Muslims are heard and respected. As you commemorate 21 years of CAIR’s accomplishments across the country, please accept my best wishes for a successful banquet.”
-Rep. Suzan Delbene (D-Wash.) (October 2015)
“CAIR’s work truly is essential in making democracy work for everyone.”
-Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D-Calif.) (October 2016)
“Through town hall meetings discussing Muslim civil rights or fighting for American Muslim employees to receive the same benefits as their colleagues, CAIR has done an admirable job advocating for equality for the American Muslim population in Michigan.”
-former Rep. John D. Dingell (D-Mich.) (August 2013)
“The council’s work in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and across the nation is much appreciated.”
-Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Penn.) (October 2015)
“CAIR is a fierce advocate for protecting the civil liberties for people of all faiths. Your members are a powerful voice calling for peace and a strong promoter of religious freedom.
-Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) (October 2016)
“As representative for Maryland’s 4th Congressional District, I recognize the significance of CAIR and appreciate its dedication to social activism.”
-Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) (October 2016)
“CAIR is one of our strongest advocates for civil rights and civil liberties, and I applaud their efforts to promote civil rights and justice to the American public though media relations and civic engagement.”
-Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) (October 2016)
“I commend CAIR for its work in educating the public about Muslim communities, your defense of civil rights, and your efforts to seek justice for every member of the community.”
-Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) (October 2016)
“By mobilizing the Muslim community to register to vote and standing firm against the unprecedented spoke in anti-Muslim hate incidents occurring nationwide, CAIR has strengthened our democracy and our national identity.”
-Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-Conn.) (October 2016)
“I commend CAIR for its efforts to support the principles of civil engagement on which the United States of America was founded.”
-Rep. Marcia L. Fudge (D-Ohio) (October 2016)
“By protecting and defending the constitutional rights of American Muslims, CAIR supports the rights of all Americans.”
-Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) (October 2016)
“By protecting and defending the constitutional rights of American Muslims, you support the rights of all Americans.”
-Rep. John Garamendi (D-Calif.) (September 2013)
“Congratulations on celebrating 21 years of excellence. I look forward to continuing to work with CAIR in the future.”
-Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) (October 2015)
“The Council’s work in the state of Arizona and across the Nation is much appreciated.”
-Rep. RaÃºl M. Grijalva (D-Calif.) (October 2016)
“CAIR has been instrumental in strengthening our democracy as it has championed the principles of civic engagement. This is particularly true for the outstanding work CAIR has done in the State of Florida.”
-Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.) (October 2015)
“Your efforts in organizing the second annual Muslim Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill are to be commended as it gave me a chance to discuss issues related to social justice and community building with you.”
-Rep. Michael Honda (D-Calif.) (October 2016)
“The council’s work in the state of Texas and across the nation is much appreciated.”
-Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) (October 2016)
“The council’s work in the state of Ohio and across the nation is much appreciated.”
-Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) (October 2016)
“I applaud the Council for continuing this tradition of bringing together community leaders and scholars to celebrate CAIR’s work defending civil liberties.”
-Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) (October 2015)
“CAIR has been an important voice in the sharing of our rich, shared American culture….”
-Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Mich.) (October 2016)
“In my home state of Ohio, CAIR has helped make my district a more inclusive and welcoming place for American Muslims.”
-former Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D-Ohio) (September 2011)
“Our community owes the Council on American-Islamic Relations Greater Los Angeles Area a debt of gratitude for their tireless hard work and dedication to encouraging dialogue, involvemen, and understanding in our society.”
-Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) (November 2016)
As the representative of the 14th Congressional District which includes a significant American Muslim population, I commend your work in strengthening our democracy and advancing the principles of justice and mutual understanding.”
-Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.) (October 2016)
“As a powerful voice for American Muslims, the council’s work has been essential to challenge bigotry and promote mutual understanding between people of all racial, ethnic and religious backgrounds.”
-Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) (October 2016)
“I applaud the Council for continuing this great tradition of bringing together community leaders, scholars and activists to celebrate CAIR’s work defending civil liberties”
-Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) (October 2016)
“I send warm wishes to the Michigan Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, as it joins its parent organization in celebration of 21 years of dedicated community service and civil rights advocacy.
-Rep. Sander Levin (D-Mich.) (October 2015)
“Our democracy requires the active participation of informed citizens, and I commend CAIR for its efforts to support the principles of civic engagement on which the United States of America was founded.”
-Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) (October 2016)
“For 22 years, CAIR has worked to promote civic engagement, protect civil liberties and combat discrimination and stereotypes in Santa Clara County. It has been my pleasure to partner with local CAIR members within my community and work towards a common goal.”
-Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) (October 2016)
“It is with great pleasure that I congratulate the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) on hosting its 22nd Anniversary Celebration Banquet”¦”
-Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.) (October 2016)
“Your work is appreciated and essential to enhancing understanding and participation in our democratic process.”
-Rep. Doris O. Matsui (D-Calif.) (October 2016)
“I am honored to work with CAIR-WA on issues of civil rights and social justice”¦ I look forward to your continued my work with you in this regard in the years to come.”
-Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) (October 2015)
“CAIR’s work in California and across the country is much appreciated, and as an advocate for civil rights and religious freedom, I recognize the progress made towards empowering American Muslim in social and political participation.
-Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.) (October 2015)
“I applaud and share [CAIR’s] commitment to keeping America a land of hope, opportunity and tolerance for all.”
-Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) (October 2016)
“CAIR remains committed to building a stronger community through mutual understanding and respect.”
-Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) (October 2016)
“America’s diversity is a cause for celebration, as are the Council’s efforts at ensuring equal opportunities and representation for everyone.”
-Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.) (October 2016)
“I commend CAIR for its efforts to combat bigotry and racial profiling through peaceful and educational means.”
-Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.) (October 2016)
“I commend the Council for empowering American Muslims to take an active role in local and national politics.”
-former Rep. Gary G. Miller (R-Calif.) (September 2014)
“As a lifelong believer in civil rights, I deeply value CAIR’s efforts to defend the rights of not only American Muslims, but of all Americans. This advocacy is crucial in the effort to protect the individual liberties that we so strongly cherish.”
-former Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) (September 2014)
“Your work is essential in making democracy work for everyone in this country.”
-former Rep. Gloria Negrete McLeod (D-Calif.) (August 2013)
“On behalf of the 8th District of Virginia, I wish your family, friends, and community the high recognition and appreciation you deserve throughout the community.”
-former Rep. James P. Moran (D-Va.) (September 2014)
“The council’s work in the state of Connecticut and across the nation is much appreciated.”
-Rep. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) (October 2016)
“I congratulate you on preserving this wonderful tradition of bringing different members of the community together in celebration of your dedication to the defense of civil liberties.”
-Rep. Patrick E. Murphy (D-Fla.) (January 2013)
“Lastly, I am proud to extend my sincerest recognition to the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Greater Los Angeles Area Chapter for their role as the largest American Muslim grassroots organization in the United States.”
-Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.) (November 2016)
“As a firm believer in civil rights, I salute CAIR for empowering American Muslims nationwide in political and social activism for more than two decades.”
-Rep. Eleanor Norton (D-District of Columbia) (October 2016)
“I ”¦ send my greetings to all those who are participating in CAIR’s national banquet. Best wishes for many years of continued success.”
-Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-N.J.) (October 2016)
“The council’s work in the state of New Jersey and across the nation is valued and appreciated.”
-Rep. Donald Payne, Jr. (D-N.J.) (October 2016)
“The work that CAIR does for our city, state and across the nation not only enriches the Muslim community but also expands productive dialogue between cultures.”
-Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) (October 2016)
“The work CAIR does is vital to enhance strong intercultural relations within the United States – a quality that is essential for a successful nation, in a word that is becoming increasingly interconnected.”
-Rep. CC. A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md) (October 2016)
“The council’s work in the State of Illinois and across the nation is much needed and appreciated ”¦ I applaud CAIR’s efforts thus far, and look forward to our united work in the future.”
-Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) (October 2016)
“I salute the Council for empowering American Muslims by encouraging social and political activism at the local, state and national levels. Democracy is not a spectator sport; it requires the active participation of informed citizens. I commend CAIR for its efforts to support the principles of civic engagement upon which America was founded.”
-Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) (October 2016)
“As a Member of Congress, I sincerely appreciate CAIR’s dedication to engaging leaders at the federal, state and local level, as it allows me to better represent the interests of all constituents.”
-Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.) (October 2016)
“Your work has been essential in making democracy work for everyone and for maintaining the sacred values our nation was built on.”
-Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.) (October 2016)
“CAIR’s vision and mission is more important now than ever before – to be a leading advocate for justice and mutual understanding.”
-Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.) (October 2016)
“Founded in 1994, CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil advocacy organization”¦and the Council’s work in Los Angeles, the state of California, and across the nation is much appreciated.”
– Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) (September 2013)
“”¦CAIR has maintained its presence on the front lines of the struggle to ensure that all rights and civil liberties extend to every citizen within our country.”
-Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) (October 2015)
“CAIR provides American Muslims with the support and resources needed to becomes engaged and informed citizens, and for your continued efforts to promote peace and unity, you have my utmost thanks and appreciation.”
-Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) (October 2015)
“The Council’s work in Washington state and across the nation is much appreciated”¦ I look forward to hearing about CAIR’s positive contributions to our community in the years to come”¦”
-Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) (October 2016)
Awarded Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition to the CAIR-Ohio “in recognition of their 9th Annual Banquet”
-former Rep. Betty Sutton (D-Ohio) (May 2011)
“I salute CAIR for empowering American Muslims nationwide in political and social activism for more than two decades.”
-Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) (October 2016)
“I have had the opportunity to work with CAIR and New York State’s Capitol Region Muslim community for many years. I want to express my gratitude for the work you have done and continue to do.”
-Rep. Paul D. Tonko (D-N.Y.) (October 2016)
“The Council’s work in California and across the nation is much appreciated, and essential to our continued support of civil rights.”
-Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.) (October 2015)
“I have had the pleasure of working with the Council and New York’s Capital Region Muslim community for many years. I want to express my gratitude for the work you have done and will continue to do.”
-Rep. Paul D. Tonko (D-N.Y.) (October 2015)
“Your efforts to protect civil liberties and build effective coalitions that promote justice are critical in safeguarding the rights and values we all share.”
-Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) (October 2016)
“The council’s work in the state of California and across the nation is greatly appreciated.”
-Rep. Juan Vargas (D-Calif.) (October 2016)
“The years you have spent serving our community and defending civil liberties are an incredible accomplishment. Thank you for the wonderful work you do in Minnesota and across the nation.”
-Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minn.) (October 2016)
“I acknowledge and congratulate CAIR for 19 years of providing American Muslims a platform to bring issues of concern to the forefront and compel action.”
-Rep. Frederica S. Wilson (D-Fla.) (August 2013)
“The Council on American Islamic Relations has been a strong voice. Your leadership has provided for the protection and promotion of the interests of the Islamic American community while advocating the cause of peace, human rights and social justice.”
-former Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) (October 2011)
“The efforts of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in improving cross cultural communications is commendable. “
-Brigadier General Mark Wheeler, Chairman Senior National Representatives Coordination Group, United States Central Command (February 2007)
“CAIR has a deep organization that would be the envy of most civil rights groups.”
(Source: Buzzfeed, 12/20/2015)
CAIR staffers are “battle-hardened activists” whose “task of defending Muslims has grown exponentially.”
(Source: Toronto Star, 12/14/2015)
As CAIR “needed to respond to an increasing level of Islamophobia” the organization has “grown more innovative in their approaches to advocacy.”
(Source: International Business Times, 12/04/2015)
CAIR takes “a leading role” providing “rapid response” to Donald Trump and others.
(Source: The Forward, 12/09/2015)
“Minnesota U.S. Attorney B. Todd Jones, who watched the [hearing held by Rep. Peter King], also took exception to [Minnesota Rep.] Cravaack’s characterization [of CAIR].”I’m frustrated by the blanket condemnation of (the council),” Jones said. He said his terrorism unit of prosecutors has a working relationship with the council’s local chapter as well as other entities in sniffing out extremism or wrongdoing. “I hope that (the hearing) does not have an adverse impact on the good things happening here in Minnesota with our Somali community,” Jones said. “We are on a good path with closer collaboration.
(Source Minnesota Pioneer Press, March 11, 2011)
“CAIR is an aggressive Muslim civil liberties organization, modeled on the Anti-Defamation League that has made it a target for criticism. It was indeed named as an “unindicted co-conspirator or joint venturer” in the Holy Land Foundation case–an Islamic charity that in 2008 was convicted of funding Islamic militant groups. But CAIR was not alone in that designation; nearly 250 other organizations and individuals were also named. The federal government said the organizations were included on the list in order to produce evidence at the trial, but the district court and a federal appeals court later ruled that it had been a mistake to make the list public.”
(Source: Washington Post, March 10, 2011)
“But the FBI doesn’t call CAIR a terrorist group. Nor does it allege that CAIR was founded or financed by Hamas. In America, if somebody has committed a crime, even somebody unpopular, we bring charges. We don’t float Internet rumors at a congressional hearing.” Also, ”˜CAIR supported the development of the Muslim American Homeland Security Congress,’ [Los Angeles County Sherriff Lee] Baca said. ”˜Furthermore, they support the Muslim outreach program that I’m doing. . . . I have not experienced anything that suggests that CAIR supports terrorism.’”
(Source: Washington Post, March 13, 2011)
“CAIR itself has never been charged with any wrongdoing; being named an ”˜unindicted coconspirator’ in the Holy Land Foundation case was later reported to have been ”˜largely a tactical move by the government.’ And the difficult relationship with the FBI is due at least in part to the agency’s controversial use of paid informants at several mosques.”
(Source: Christian Science Monitor, March 10, 2011)
“Indeed, some of the statements about CAIR at the hearing were oversimplified at best. Mr. King noted, for example, that CAIR was listed as an ”˜unindicted co-conspirator or joint venturer’ in a terrorism financing case against a charity, the Holy Land Foundation ”” but so were more than 200 other groups and individuals. CAIR was not accused of a crime.
“Mr. Wolf mentioned that a poster declaring ”˜Build a wall of resistance ”” Don’t talk to the F.B.I.’ had appeared on the Web site of the group’s California chapter. But the poster had been created by non-Muslim activists in the 1970s, and CAIR officials took it down after a few days, saying it did not represent the group’s policy.
“CAIR has had a tense relationship with the F.B.I. and on occasion has urged Muslims not to talk to law enforcement officials without a lawyer present, a caution [CAIR Executive director Nihad] Awad said was very much in keeping with the American system of justice. ”˜As a civil rights organization,’ he said, ”˜we have the difficult job of encouraging constitutionally informed cooperation with law enforcement.’
“CAIR, along with other advocacy groups, has complained about the F.B.I.’s use of informers who pose as militants from Al Qaeda or similar groups, saying the government uses them in effect to draw young Muslim men into militancy.
“Last month, the F.B.I. director, Robert S. Mueller III, said that the bureau had no ”˜formal relationship’ with CAIR, but that the organization’s officials and chapters regularly worked with F.B.I. officials on investigations and related matters. This included a news conference held on Thursday in Sacramento to announce an arrest in a mosque vandalism case.
“CAIR officials also note that they went immediately to the F.B.I. in 2009 when they were approached by the parents of five young Muslim men in Virginia who had disappeared. The men turned up in Pakistan, where they were reportedly trying to join the fight against American troops in Afghanistan.”
(Source: New York Times, March 11, 2011)
“Number one, it’s not fair of to you criticize CAIR, OK? Because CAIR isn’t fostering any kind of jihad, as far as I know.”
-Bill O’Reilly, host of Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor (December 2010)
“I only wish you could have gone to the CAIR dinner with me and seen””no offense””the parade of unremarkable American normality that I saw; pleasant, concerned, decent people sharing a meal, albeit with a few more veils and skullcaps than are considered usual here at the moment.”
-Neil Steinberg, columnist, Chicago Sun-Times, (March 2010)
Know Your Conspiracies: NEWSWEEK’s guide to today’s trendiest, hippest, and least likely fringe beliefs.
9. The Council on American-Islamic Relations is trying to infiltrate Capitol Hill and spread jihad.
Author Dave Gaubatz alleges that the mainstream group is both connected to Islamist terrorists and international jihad and is working to infiltrate the American government by placing interns on Capitol Hill.
Proponents: Dave Gaubatz, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Rep. Sue Myrick (R-N.C.), Joseph Farah.
Kernel of Truth? CAIR has tried to place interns on Capitol Hill, but as it points out, that’s standard practice for advocacy groups of all types and allegiances. There’s no proof of sinister motives or an effort to encourage international jihad.
(Source: Newsweek, 02/12/2010)
“”¦ (T)he Council on American-Islamic Relations has emerged as a vigilant force against discrimination against Muslims.”
(Source: East Valley Tribune, 1/19/2008)
“The Council on American Islamic Relations, among the more effective lobbies for Muslim Americans’ civil liberties”¦”
(Source: Salon.com, 7/10/2008)
“The FBI and other agencies have repeatedly used CAIR to build bridges with the Muslim community, and the ”˜apologist’ tag certainly wasn’t shared by the high-ranking Republican who met with the group at an Islamic center after 9/11: President Bush.”
(Source: New Jersey Star Ledger Editorial, 3/16/2007)
“A small band of critics have made a determined but unsuccessful effort to link it to Hamas and Hezbollah, which have been designated as terrorist organizations by the State Department, and have gone so far as calling the group an American front for the two.”
(Source: New York Times, 3/14/2007)
“Government officials in Washington said they were not aware of any criminal investigation of the group. More than one described the standards used by critics to link CAIR to terrorism as akin to McCarthyism, essentially guilt by association.”
(Source: New York Times, 3/14/2007)
One Arab-American advocate compared CAIR to ”˜the tough cousin who curses at anyone who speaks badly about the family’.”
(Source: New York Times, 3/14/2007)
“Already fighting on behalf of American Muslims is the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, as it is commonly known. The organization”¦has developed a reputation for being something of a pit bull in protecting the civil rights of Muslims.”
(Source: The Indianapolis Star, 9/04/2005)
“Since 1994, CAIR has employed a well-rounded plan in its role as a top Muslim voice in the US.”
(Source: PR Week, 11/04/2002)
“The only major US Muslim organization that has achieved a high level of media influence is the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which is now working to rebuff the recent rise in anti-Muslim messages within the American public sphere.”
–Christopher Bail, the author of a 2012 academic study on the growing influence of anti-Muslim hate groups.
“[Law professor and critical race theory scholar Khalid Beydoun] said the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) is the best Muslim civil rights organization, praising its decentralized structure.”
(Source: Arab American News, 1/14/2016)
“The General Delegation of the PLO has great admiration for CAIR’s critical work. For nearly two decades your organization’s initiatives have crucially supported members of our community.”
-Ambassador Maen Rashid Areikat, Chief Representative, General Delegation of the PLO to the United States (Washington D.C.) (September 2013)
“CAIR’s outstanding work in strengthening solidarity among American Muslims and generating a harmony between different cultures is worth praising particularly at a time when the defamation of religions continue to pose serious implications for international peace and security.”
-Embassy of the Republic of Turkey (2014)
“Their work in defending the civil liberty of the American Muslim community, and their political activism against religious discrimination is vital in safeguarding the climate of multiculturalism and religious diversity for which the United States is known.”
-Embassy of the State of Qatar (2014)
“Such an events emphasize the role CAIR has been playing throughout the years in promoting understanding of Islam through dialogue and through enhancing the efforts of the American Muslims in that aspect.”
-Ambassador Dr. Mohammed AlHussaini Al Sharif (Ambassador to the League of Arab States, Washington D.C.) (September 2013)
INTERFAITH AND OTHER
“I would like to express my sincere gratitude to you, and the entire CAIR Board, for the gracious invitation to speak and attend the first CAIR MN banquet last week. I don’t mind telling you I was a little nervous about being there and worried about the negative potential impact I might have on the attendees but my worries were for nothing. I was most absolutely treated as if I were an honored guest and was treated with the highest amount of respect. I felt more like a friend than a stranger. As a matter of fact, I believe I even made a few very wonderful new friends!
-Ken Rodgers, former President of American Council of the Blind, Minnesota Chapter (June 2007)
“…We should be giving an award to CAIR, both here in Tampa and across this nation, for the work you are doing, not just on behalf of the Muslim community but on behalf of us all. For every time you challenge stereotypes or discrimination on behalf of Muslims, you challenge them on behalf of us all.”
-Rev. Dr. Bernice Powell Jackson, President of the North American region of the World Council of Churches and pastor of First United Church of Tampa (September 2011)
“CAIR is an admirable organization that has served as a positive force, working with diverse community leaders to promote mutual understanding and dialogue, protect civil liberties, and defend liberty and justice for all people in America. CAIR works to raise awareness about Islam and Muslims and has continuously and courageously condemned all forms of terrorism and extremism.”
– October 2008 letter signed by leaders of groups representing Korean Americans, Christians, Hispanic Americans, Japanese Americans and union workers.
“We could and would have freely and accurately characterized CAIR as a responsible and highly-esteemed force for reconciliation and sanity, both in international affairs and in deepening interfaith understanding here in the United States.”
-January 2007 letter of support signed by 203 Christian, Muslim, Jewish and Baha’i leaders, professors and concerned citizens
CAIR is a responsible force for reconciliation and sanity, both in international affairs and in deepening religious understanding here in America. We urge Congress to state clearly what we know is true: CAIR makes a valuable contribution to democracy and interfaith relations.”
-Dr. John B. Cobb, Jr., Professor Emeritus, Claremont School of Theology, Rev. Dr. Rita Nakashima Brock, Co-Director, Faith Voices for the Common Good, Rev. Peter Laarman, Director, Progressive Christians Uniting, Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker, President, Starr King School for the Ministry (March 2007)
“As a Christian pastor, I support of the work of CAIR, Council on American Islamic Relations. This is a national group with a very balanced and effective voice that speaks up for the rights of all peoples, and especially Muslims in the United States. It is akin to the NAACP. I think that because it is so effective, it has been targeted. I have worked with CAIR locally in the Tampa Bay area and nationally supporting interfaith relations. I find the leaders to be clear, moderate, and at the same time very articulate in defending Muslim-American rights. We need groups like CAIR in these fear-mongerin