CAIR Offers Prayers for Sen. John McCain’s ‘Speedy Recovery’

July 20, 2017

The Honorable John McCain

218 Russell Senate Office Building

Washington, DC 20510

Via fax at (202) 228-2862 

Dear Senator McCain:

On behalf of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, we offer our heartfelt prayers for what we hope will be a speedy recovery in your fight against cancer.


CAIR to Announce Suit on Behalf of U.S. Citizen from Florida on ‘No-Fly List’ Barred from Re-Entering Country

(JACKSONVILLE, FL, 7/19/17) – On Thursday, July 20, the Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Florida) and CAIR’s National Legal Defense Fund will hold a news conference to announce the filing of a lawsuit on behalf of Zijad Bosnic, a U.S. citizen who was prevented from boarding a flight back to his home in the United States from Bosnia.

CAIR’s lawsuit will be filed in the Middle District of Florida.

The lawsuit challenges the methods used to place American citizens on the national “no-fly list” and calls for injunctive and declaratory relief for Bosnic because he was denied re-entry due to his placement on the list. While he was suspended from travelling, Bosnic, a truck driver, also had his Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) suspended.

CAIR will be holding a press conference with Zijad Bosnic and his legal representatives, Omar Saleh from CAIR-Florida and Lena Masri from the CAIR National Legal Defense Fund.

WHAT: CAIR News Conference with Zijad Bosnic on ‘No-Fly List’ Case

WHEN: Thursday, July 20, Noon

WHERE: Outside Jacksonville U.S. District Court, 300 North Hogan Street, Jacksonville, FL 32202

CONTACT: CAIR-Florida Communications Director, Wilfredo A. Ruiz, wruiz@cair.com, 305.502.6749; CAIR-Florida Civil Rights Attorney Omar Saleh, nSaleh@cair.com, 954.272.0490, Ext. 140; CAIR National Litigation Director Lena Masri, 248-390-9784, lmasri@cair.com; CAIR Senior Litigation Attorney Gadeir Abbas, 720-251-0425, gabbas@cair.com

"Our government is placing U.S. citizens, who have never been charged with or convicted of a single crime let alone never been suspected of committing a terrorist act, in a serious position of systematic disenfranchisement by their arbitrary placement on the no-fly list for no cognizable reason other than the fact that they are Muslim. Our client is now unable to work and earn a living due to his TWIC suspension and he's not the only American in this position," said Omar Saleh, one of Bosnic’s attorneys.

SEE: CAIR Calls No-Fly Policy Change a “Step in the Right Direction”

https://www.cair.com/press-center/press-releases/12936-cair-calls-no-fly-policy-change-a-step-in-the-right-direction.html

CAIR Welcomes Ruling that No-Fly List Appeals Process is Unconstitutional

https://www.cair.com/press-center/press-releases/12536-cair-welcomes-ruling-that-no-fly-list-appeals-process-is-unconstitutional.html

Gadeir Abbas, an attorney with the CAIR National Legal Defense Fund who is also representing Bosnic, added: "There have been more than 1.5 million nominations to the federal terror watch list since 2009 and in 2013 for example, the Terrorist Screening Center converted 98.96 percent of those nominations into watch list placements - the effect is severely limiting American Muslims from the same rights afforded to non-Muslim Americans, and it's not making the country any safer."

Bosnic, who was eventually allowed back into the U.S., arrived in his hometown of Jacksonville yesterday but is not able to work the same truck routes because the Transportation Security Administration’s suspension of his credentials to enter shipping ports. Other American Muslims in the same situation are considering joining the lawsuit.

CAIR-Florida is the state’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties of all people, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

La misión de CAIR-Florida 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-Florida Communications Director, Wilfredo A. Ruiz, wruiz@cair.com, 305.502.6749; CAIR-Florida Civil Rights Attorney Omar Saleh, nSaleh@cair.com, 954.272.0490, Ext. 140; CAIR National Litigation Director Lena Masri, 248-390-9784, lmasri@cair.com; CAIR Senior Litigation Attorney Gadeir Abbas, 720-251-0425, gabbas@cair.com


CAIR-SFBA Thanks Oakland City Council for Supporting Law Protecting Against FBI Overreach

(OAKLAND, CA, 7/19/17) – The San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SFBA) today thanked the Oakland City Council for unanimously approving the “Ordinance for Transparency for City Participation with Federal Surveillance Activities,” which would require Oakland police officers to follow state and local law and policy when working on federal task forces such as the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF).

The law, sponsored by Councilmember McElhaney, came to the full council after the Oakland Public Safety Committee voted unanimously for it July 11th.  At a Privacy Advisory Commission hearing in March, Oakland Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick conveyed her strong support for the law through a representative.  The ordinance would need to pass one more vote by the full council to go into effect.

Oakland Privacy; Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus (AAAJ-ALC); CAIR-SFBA; Urban Strategies/LIVE FREE Campaign of the PICO National Network; ACLU of Northern California; and Alliance of South Asians Taking Action (ASATA) are some of the organizations supporting this ordinance.

“We thank Councilmember McElhaney for her leadership in bringing forth this ordinance,” said Sameena Usman, government relations coordinator for CAIR-SFBA. “This ordinance sends a strong message that we will protect residents’ civil rights regardless of their faith, background, or country of origin.”

“This critically needed and timely law will protect many marginalized Oaklanders; give the City more control of its officers and resources; and increase public safety by strengthening police-community relations.  In other words, it is a win for Oakland in every way,” said Christina Sinha, National Security and Civil Rights Program Manager and Staff Attorney at AAAJ-Asian Law Caucus. 

“Hate and fear of others are not Oakland values. Tonight, the City Council made it clear that Oakland is truly a place of refuge, and all are welcome here. Never again will Oakland allow our brothers and sisters to be rounded up in internment camp lines like we did during WWII, or use suspicionless surveillance like we did with COINTELPRO,” stated Brian Hofer, Chair of the Privacy Advisory Commission.

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Christina Sinha, Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus: (415) 848-7733; christinas@advancingjustice-alc.org

Brian Hofer, Privacy Advisory Commission (510) 303-2871; brian.hofer@gmail.com

Sameena Usman, Council on American-Islamic Relations, San Francisco Bay Area: 408-986-9874; susman@cair.com


CAIR-Cincinnati Director Karen Dabdoub: ‘Inspired to CAIR’ (Video)

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 7/19/17) -- The “Inspired to CAIR” features representatives of the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization explaining why they are inspired to serve the Muslim community and the cause of civil rights. #InspiredtoCAIR

Today’s “Inspired to CAIR” video features CAIR-Cincinnati Executive Director Karen Dabdoub.

WATCH - 'Inspired to CAIR' Video: CAIR-Cincinnati Executive Director Karen Dabdoub

https://youtu.be/U2phL-WJnis

The Washington-based civil rights and advocacy organization urges community members to report any bias incidents 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’s 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 Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, ihooper@cair.com


Funeral Prayer for Nabra Hassanen to Be Held Wednesday in Sterling, Va.

The funeral prayer service (Janazah) for Nabra Hassanen will be held at ADAMS Sterling (46903 Sugarland Road, Sterling, VA 20164) on Wednesday, June 21 at 1:30 p.m. Out of respect for the deceased and her family, media will be offered a designated area on the sidewalk of Sugarland Road. ADAMS officials are requesting that no media go inside the mosque or into the parking lot. You can support Nabra's funderal services by visiting one of the two crowd-funded pages below: 

CAIR Backgrounder: Islamic Funeral Practices

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today issued an outline of Islamic funeral and burial rites as background information for journalists.


Hundreds Turn Out for CAIR-NY, NYIC ‘New York City Loves Muslims’ Rally, Show Positive Alternative to Anti-Islam Event

Hundreds Turn Out for CAIR NY NYIC New York City Loves Muslims Rally Show Positive Alternative to Anti Islam EventHundreds Turn Out for CAIR-NY, NYIC ‘New York City Loves Muslims’ Rally, Show Positive Alternative to Anti-Islam Event

(NEW YORK, NY, 6/10/17) – The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) and the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) today partnered with other leading civil rights groups and grassroots activists to rally in support of the Muslim community, showcasing a pluralistic alternative to the white supremacist and Islamophobic  "March Against Sharia" in Foley Square.  The anti-hate rally and march, which drew almost 500 attendees according to organizers, ended peacefully without any disruptions by, or interaction with, ACT for America participants.


CAIR-NY Urges Stepped-Up Probe of 'Suspicious' Fire at Mosque-Owned Building Housing New Immigrants

chapter logos newyork(NEW YORK, N.Y., 5/11/2017) -- The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) today called on the Erie County Sheriff's Office Fire Investigation Unit to step-up its investigation of a “suspicious” fire that damaged a building owned by the Lackawanna Islamic Mosque of Lackawanna, N.Y., injuring seven.

Authorities, who have confirmed an accelerant was used in the April 22 fire, have yet to classify the blaze as arson. The incident was the second “suspicious” fire set at the building in April alone.                                                                                                                    

The four-unit housing block was occupied by several families, many of whom were newly arrived immigrants. Three victims remain hospitalized, including a 3-year-old boy. Friends, family and community members are offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of possible arsonist(s).

CAIR-NY has reached out to mosque officials and other local Muslim community leaders about the incident.


Good News: CAIR-California Settles Muslim, Sikh Public Access Complaints Against Palace Entertainment's Amusement Parks

(SANTA CLARA AND SAN DIEGO, CA, 5/10/17) -- The California chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CA) today announced the successful settlement of Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) complaints brought on behalf of several Muslim women and girls and a Sikh man who were denied access to Go-Karts at Palace Entertainment’s Boomers! Parks (Boomers!) in California.

The complainants alleged that they were permitted entry to Boomers! locations, but then denied access to the Go-Kart rides after employees cited safety concerns. 

In 2014 and 2015, CAIR-CA filed DFEH complaints on their behalf and worked to resolve the issue by addressing the park's safety concerns and the clients' civil rights and public accommodations concerns.

The complaints challenged a policy that said “no headwear” could be worn on the Go-Karts at Boomers! operated by Palace Entertainment. The complainants alleged they visited the park and were denied access to the Go-Kart because they refused to remove their religious hijab or turban.

SEE: Abdo’s Boomers! Complaint (Abdo’s Boomers! Complaint) 


New CAIR Report Shows More than 50 Percent Spike in Anti-Muslim Incidents

CRRCover2017Spike in bias incidents accompanied by a 44 percent increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes

 (WASHINGTON, D.C., 5/9/2017) -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today released a report showing a 57 percent increase in anti-Muslim incidents in 2016 over the previous year. This spike in anti-Muslim incidents was accompanied by a 44 percent increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes during the same period.

Video: CAIR News Conference in Washington, D.C., Announcing Release of ‘The Empowerment of Hate’

Video: CAIR Releases New Report - 'The Empowerment of Hate' - on Spike in Anti-Muslim Incidents

CAIR’s new report, titled “The Empowerment of Hate,” also notes that from 2014 to 2016, anti-Muslim bias incidents jumped 65 percent. [NOTE: The report focuses primarily on 2016, but also contains data on cases documented by CAIR during the 2014-2016 period.]

U.S. Muslim Group Reports Sharp Rise in Anti-Muslim Incidents Across U.S. in 2016 (Reuters)  

SEE: The Empowerment of Hate

“It is time for the Trump administration to seriously address the growing anti-minority sentiment in our nation, prompted at least in part by his toxic campaign rhetoric, the appointment of Islamophobes to policy-making posts and the introduction of Islamophobic policies such as the ‘Muslim ban,’” said Corey Saylor, director of CAIR’s Department to Monitor and Combat Islamophobia, co-author of the report.


CAIR: Alabama Muslims Lobby Congress on Record Breaking Muslim Advocacy Day

AL SewellTBirmingham, AL, 5/4/2017 - CAIR-Alabama, the state chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), led a delegation of five Alabamian Muslims to meet with Congress members and staff on issues important to American Muslims and other minority communities. The delegation joined over 400 delegates from 30 states who met with some 230 elected officials and congressional staff on Monday and Tuesday, during the record-breaking third annual National Muslim Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

See high resolution pictures here: https://flic.kr/s/aHskYY1BXN

The largest congressional Muslim advocacy event in the country, Muslim Hill Day was sponsored by the US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), a coalition of leading national and local American Muslim organizations of which CAIR is a founding member.