Minnesota Council of Nonprofits Names CAIR-MN's Jaylani Hussein 'Visionary Leader'

Minnesota Council of Nonprofits Names CAIR MN Jaylani Hussein Visionary Leader(MINNEAPOLIS, MN, 6/25/15) -- The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN) yesterday presented its annual "Visionary Leader" Award to Jaylani Hussein, executive director of the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN).

That award is presented to individuals who demonstrate "the ability to develop and implement creative and effective organizational leadership strategies" and who "create and nurture valuable collaborations and partnerships to advance the work of nonprofits, and result in tangible benefits to the community."

SEE: Minnesota Council of Nonprofits Leadership Awards

"We thank the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits for recognizing Jaylani Hussein's leadership abilities and CAIR's positive impact in the community," said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper.


Hearing on CAIR-MI Lawsuit Against Advance America Cash Advance for Denying Service to Muslim Woman

CAIR MI logo(SOUTHFIELD, MI, 6/9/2015) - On Wednesday, June 10, Federal District Court Judge Avern Cohn will hear arguments in a lawsuit filed by the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MI) against Advance America Cash Advance for denying a Muslim Arab-American woman money order services at one of its locations. The lawsuit was filed on November 12, 2014 in the United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan.

WHAT:  Hearing on CAIR-MI Lawsuit Against Advance America Cash Advance
WHERE:  United States District Court, Theodore Levin Courthouse, 231 W. Lafayette Boulevard, Room 225, Detroit, MI
WHEN:  Wednesday, June 10, 2 p.m.
CONTACT: CAIR-MI Staff Attorney Lena Masri, 248-390-9784, E-Mail: lmasri@cair.com

The lawsuit was filed in conjunction with the law firm of Akeel & Valentine, PLLC. Some or all of the proceedings may be held under seal.  Attorneys and CAIR representatives will be available for questions afterwards.

The lawsuit challenges the company’s policy that prevents Muslim and Arab-American women that wear a hijab, or religious head covering, from obtaining services at their centers. 

When Plaintiff Raghdaa Ali attempted to cash her money order at one of Advance America’s centers, she was denied entry by a company employee. She was then told by the store manager that the company’s ‘No Hats, No Sunglasses’ policy does not allow her to enter the store because she was wearing a “scarf,” and that she needed to cash her money order at “one of the bulletproof centers that don’t have that policy.”

CAIR-MI is seeking an injunction enjoining Advance America from denying Plaintiff and other Muslim and Arab-American women wearing the hijab access to its services based on their religion, race and national origin.

On February 27, Judge Cohn issued a memorandum stating that the papers “appear to favor Plaintiff’s position,” however withheld consideration of CAIR-MI’s request for an injunction until the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc., No-14-86, in which the plaintiff was found to have been illegally denied a job by the store because she wears a hijab. 

“Advance America Cash Advance’s policy of not serving Muslim and Arab-American women that wear the hijab, or religious head covering, is outrageous and should not be tolerated in a civilized society,” said CAIR-MI Staff Attorney Lena Masri. “We are hopeful that the Court will issue a nationwide injunction preventing Advance America Cash Advance from denying service to Muslim and Arab-American women that wear the hijab.”

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.

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CONTACT: CAIR-MI Staff Attorney Lena Masri, 248-390-9784, E-Mail: lmasri@cair.com; CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid, 248-842-1418, E-Mail: dwalid@cair.com; Attorney Shereef Akeel, 248-408-3660, E-Mail: shereef@akeelvalentine.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, ihooper@cair.com

 


CAIR: Oklahoma Muslim Youth to Participate in Leadership Symposium on Challenging Islamophobia

CAIR OK MYLS 2015(OKLAHOMA CITY, OK, 6/4/15) -- Beginning Friday June 12, the Oklahoma chapter of Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-OK) will host its 7th annual Muslim Youth Leadership Symposium (MYLS) at Oklahoma City University in Oklahoma City. The three-day leadership program for Muslim high school and college students will focus on challenging Islamophobia in both social and political arenas.

WHAT: 7th Annual Muslim Youth Leadership Symposium (MYLS)
WHEN: June 12-14, 2015
WHERE: Oklahoma City University, Oklahoma City, OK
PROGRAM: Media are invited to the Friday evening Leadership banquet with keynote speaker Rep. George E. Young, Sr.; Saturday, June 13 workshops and presentation, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.; June 14 mock debate at Oklahoma State Capitol, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. with guest speaker Senator Anastasia Pittman.
CONTACT: CAIR-OK Executive Director Adam Soltani, 405-248-5853, asoltani@cair.com


Anti-Islam Bills Die in Texas Legislature

Anti Islam Bills Die in Texas Legislature smCAIR GOOD NEWS ALERT: Anti-Islam Bills Die in Texas Legislature

(DALLAS, HOUSTON, SAN ANTONIO, 6/3/15) – The Texas office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Texas) today applauded the failure of anti-Islam bills in that state’s legislature.

The legislature adjourned without passing the House and Senate versions of the so-called "Anti-Foreign Law" bills.

CAIR-Texas says the bills were similar to those introduced in state legislatures nationwide in a campaign to demonize Islam and marginalize American Muslims.

In a statement, CAIR-Texas said:

“We thank all the lawmakers who showed wisdom and courage in opposing this unnecessary and unconstitutional legislation and focused on the more pressing issues - like education, health care and the economy - that our state is facing at this time.”

Representatives of CAIR-Texas testified against passage of the bills.

CAIR-TX urged all the conscientious resident of the State to let their Legislators know that these bills were unnecessary, waste of time and resources.

CAIR also urged state voters to urge the Texas State Assembly to reject the anti-Islam bills.

Supporters of bills failed to acknowledge that American courts are already required to adhere to U.S. law. So-called “Anti-foreign law” legislation infringes on the constitutionally-protected right to choose Islamic marriage contracts, implement Islamic wills or to be buried according to one's religious beliefs.

If these laws had passed, they would have negatively impact the validation of international adoptions and foreign marriages. Moreover, these laws may bar any state court from considering of Catholic Canon law and Jewish Halaqa law, which are also considered by many courts to be a type of foreign law.

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.

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CONTACT: CAIR-San Antonio President Sarwat Husain, 210-378-9528, shusain@cair.com; CAIR-Houston Executive Director Mustafa Carroll, 713-838-2247, mcarroll@cair.com; CAIR-Dallas/Fort Worth Executive Director Alia Salem: 469-554-0786, asalem@cair.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, ihooper@cair.com  

 


CAIR Joins Coalition Letter Opposing Bills Aimed at Patriot Act Reauthorization

CAIR Joins Coalition Letter Opposing Bills Aimed at Patriot Act Reauthorization

CAIR yesterday joined a coalition of more than 50 civil society organizations in letter addressed to Senate leadership in opposition to Senators Burr and Feinstein’s respectively drafted Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Improvements Act of 2015 and the FISA Reform Act of 2015, proposals that fail to properly address overbroad surveillance activities, and would weaken privacy, civil liberties, and the digital economy.

Both bills contain flaws and omissions that are incompatible with the goal of stopping domestic bulk collection under section 215 of the PATRIOT Act, which is set to expire at 12:00 am on June 1. These bills also authorize the government to impose a data retention mandate on private businesses, a privacy-threatening measure that is unnecessary and unacceptable.

The letter concludes by asking the Senate to let Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act expire without any further interference. To read the letter, click here.


CAIR Joins Nationwide Effort to Highlight Immigrant Impact on History and Future of America

Immigrant Heritage Month(WASHINGTON, D.C., 5/28/15) – Today the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization, announced its support of the second-annual Immigrant Heritage Month, an initiative to partner community organizations, elected officials, corporations, artists, and thought leaders to gather and share inspirational stories of American immigrants.

“While nearly eight in ten American Muslims are immigrants, the history of United States Muslim immigration goes back more than 400 years. As the most racially-diverse religious group in the U.S., we celebrate the diversity of the American Muslim immigrant experience and encourage community members to participate in Immigrant Heritage Month and share their story of how they came to be U.S. citizens,” said CAIR Government Affairs Manager Robert McCaw.

"America is a nation of immigrants. This is - and always has been - a source of incredible strength that unifies us all,” said Todd Schulte, President of FWD.us. “The strength, sacrifice, and contributions of the Muslim immigrant community helped build this great nation. To honor that, our goal with Immigrant Heritage Month this June is to highlight the intersections our immigrant experience and illuminate how each individual journey has been instrumental to the formation, foundation, and ongoing strength of the United States of America.”

Supporters are encouraged to connect with Immigrant Heritage Month through social media or events in their city and share their own unique immigration story.

Visit ‘welcome.us’ for more information on how to share your story and learn more about our nationwide effort.

About Welcome.us

Welcome.us, a non-profit organization, is dedicated to celebrating a United States that is fueled by immigrants from around the world. Immigrant Heritage Month honors the ways in which America and the immigrants who have built our country are linked in a shared, productive history.

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.


CAIR-MN to Hold Free Legal Clinic

CAIR logo(MINNEAPOLIS, MN, 5/26/15) – On Saturday, May 30, the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) will hold a Free Brief Advice Legal Clinic. The clinic will provide free legal advice on issues such as civil rights, housing, family law, immigration, and employment.

WHAT: Free Brief Advice Legal Clinic

WHEN: Saturday, May 30 from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.

WHERE: Rondo Community Outreach Library, 461 N. Dale Street, St. Paul, MN

"It's important to give individuals greater access to attorneys so they can better understand and navigate through their legal issues," said CAIR-MN Civil Rights Attorney Ellen Longfellow. "We thank our F.R. Bigelow Foundation and Minnesota State Bar Foundation partners for helping us better serve the community."
 
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties 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.

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CONTACT: CAIR-MN Civil Rights Attorney Ellen Longfellow, 612-206-3360, elongfellow@cair.com;  CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, E-Mail: ihooper@cair.com


CAIR-DFW Seeks Hate Crime Probe of ‘No Muslims’ Texas Tech Vandalism

no muslims grafitti 05 15 2015(DALLAS/FORT WORTH, TX, 5/15/15) – The North Texas chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-DFW) today called on state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate “No Muslims” graffiti sprayed-painted on the seal of Texas Tech Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) as a hate crime.

CAIR-DFW also called for stepped-up protection for Muslim students and staff at Texas Tech.

SEE: 'No Muslims' Spray-Painted on TTUHSC Seal

Following the recent hate vandalism, TTUHSC released a statement, which read in part:

“Our diverse university family is made up of students, researchers, educators and health care providers who make a positive impact throughout our world. . .We will not tolerate such acts, and we are working closely with law enforcement. After authorities investigated the scene, our crew swiftly removed the vandalism."

“We urge law enforcement authorities to treat this type of hate crime with the seriousness it deserves and to act swiftly to ensure the safety of all those on campus who are Muslim or perceived to be Muslim,” said CAIR-DFW Executive Director Alia Salem. “We thank university officials for their prompt action and for their statement of support for diversity and rejection of intolerance.”

She added that CAIR recently called on law enforcement authorities in Baltimore County, Md., to step up protection of a mosque and Islamic school in that county following threats to bomb the school’s bus and to spill “Muslim blood.” CAIR also called on the FBI to investigate the phoned threats as hate crimes.

Salem said the Texas and Maryland incidents are part of a recent spate of hate incidents nationwide targeting Muslims or those perceived to be Muslim.

She said CAIR is asking Muslim community members report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR’s national Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or civilrights@cair.com or locally at 469-554-0786 or incidents@cair-dfw.org.

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.

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CONTACT: CAIR-DFW Executive Director Alia Salem, 469-554-0786, 817-538-8269, asalem@cair.com; or CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, ihooper@cair.com


California Muslim police officers allege harassment

police-officer-Mujaheed-Rasheedby Halima Kazem, Al Jazeera America

Patrolling around mosques and checking in on schools in the dangerous south side of town was second nature for Richmond, California, police officer Mujaheed Rasheed.

"I felt like I could talk to people who were at their lowest point and reach out to them," said Rasheed, who was born and raised just 30 miles south of Richmond in Hayward.


CAIR, ALC Say SFPD Officer Broke City Law While Investigating with FBI

SFPD-carBy Alex Emslie and Mina Kim, KQED News

Two civil rights groups filed a complaint Wednesday alleging a San Francisco police inspector violated department rules and city law while working with the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force.