In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CAIR-LA APPLAUDS MUSLIM TENANTS' WIN IN BIAS SUIT
Islamic civil rights group assisted with legal representation
(ANAHEIM, CA, 3/14/07) - The Southern California office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) today applauded an arbitration decision in favor of six Muslim tenants whose civil rights were violated by the owner of an Anaheim, Calif., apartment complex.
A lawsuit, filed in September 2005, alleged that Muslim families were harassed because of their faith, deprived of needed repairs to their apartments and prevented from renting or moving to larger spaces. All parties to the lawsuit later agreed to binding arbitration.
In his decision last Friday, Orange County Arbiter Jay Cordell Horton said: "[T]here were violations of [the apartment owner's] own policies that did demonstrate discriminatory conduct which caused some amount of emotional distress for plaintiffs and, in some cases, actual damages...In summary, I have found that there is sufficient evidence to support a cause of action for violation of the Unruh Civil Rights Act and FEHA on behalf of each plaintiff."
SEE: Unruh Civil Rights Act
SEE ALSO: Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA)
Horton ordered the apartment owner to compensate the tenants for the damages they incurred.
The Muslim tenants had filed a complaint with CAIR-LA, which then assisted with legal representation.
In a statement, CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush said:
"This is an important victory not only for the Muslim tenants, but for all Americans who believe that no one should be subjected to discrimination based on their religion, ethnicity or national origin."
Federico C. Sayre, attorney for the Muslim tenants, said: "I have seen a sizeable increase in the amount of discrimination against Muslims since 9/11 and it is important that every American Muslim utilize the laws of the State of California and the laws of the United States of America in the same way that other minority groups have, to protect and defend themselves."
CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 32 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. 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-LA Communications Coordinator Munira Syeda, 714-776-1847 or 714-851-4851; E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org