(WASHINGTON, D.C., 7/12/17) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called on the Wisconsin State Assembly to drop consideration of what the Washington-based group calls an unconstitutional “anti-Islam” bill (Assembly Bill 401) that is modeled on similar Islamophobic legislation introduced in state legislatures nationwide.
CONTACT Wisconsin State Assembly: http://legis.wisconsin.gov/assembly/
In a joint letter sent to Speaker Robin Vos, Speaker Pro Tempore Tyler August, Majority Leader Jim Steineke, and Minority Leader Peter Barca, CAIR’s National Litigation Director Lena Masri and Director of Government Affairs Department Robert S. McCaw wrote in part:
“[W]e write to express concern that Assembly Bill 401, currently referred to the House Committee on Constitution and Ethics, would - if passed - be in violation of the United States Constitution and contrary to our nation’s crucial principle of not elevating or marginalizing one faith community. . .
“In reality, this bill offers nothing substantive or desirable for Wisconsin. First, it redundantly notes the U.S. Constitution and Wisconsin Constitution are the highest law in the land. Second, it uses as its template the model legislation ‘American Laws for American Courts’ (ALAC). . .a draft bill that seeks to promote anti-Muslim sentiment. . .
“Should this legislation become law, we expect that it would meet the same fate as any other adopted bill that is not in line with our Constitution in protecting the religious freedoms of all citizens. Therefore, we respectfully request that the Wisconsin State Assembly drop consideration of this unconstitutional and un-American bill.”
CAIR has challenged similar unconstitutional and discriminatory “anti-Sharia,” “anti-foreign law” and “anti-Islamic Indoctrination” bills that have been introduced in state legislatures nationwide.
To counter this coordinated anti-Islam campaign, CAIR last year published a toolkit offering a pair of anti-Islamophobia resolutions that recognize the contributions of American Muslims and reaffirm the right of citizens to practice their faith within the law and free of government interference.
CAIR’s toolkit has sections such as “Understanding the Legislative Process,” “Legislative Advocacy: Limits for Non-Profit Organizations,” “Checklist: Meeting with an Elected Official,” and “Ensuring an Effective Meeting with an Elected Official," as well as fact sheets that may be given to lawmakers and their staff in support of the two resolutions.
CAIR’s Toolkit: Recognizing American Muslim contributions in Our States
CAIR is urging Islamic communities nationwide to ask state lawmakers to stand with their Muslim constituents in countering the injustice of growing Islamophobia nationwide that is being spread by anti-Muslim activists and hate groups.
The Washington-based civil rights and advocacy organization is urging Muslim parents and students to report any bias incidents to school officials, to police and to CAIR's Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420, or by filing a report at: http://www.cair.com/report
CAIR recently launched an app to share critical 'know your rights' information and simplify the process to report hate crimes and bias incidents and is urging Muslims to download the app and utilize this resource to stay informed and empowered.
For a quick download of CAIR’s civil rights app, click here: http://www.cair.com/app
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, firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR Senior Litigation Attorney Gadeir Abbas, 720-251-0425, email@example.com; CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw, 202-742-6448, firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, email@example.com