CAIR Seeks Probe of Louisiana Officer’s Anti-Muslim Social Media Post

(Washington, D.C., 8/13/2018) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called for an investigation of a Louisiana police officer’s Islamophobic Facebook post.

Joey Hester, former Shreveport police officer and current part-time police officer in the town of Blanchard, shared an anti-Muslim social media post on his personal Facebook account with the text: “90 Muslims across the U.S. are running for office. This is how it starts! Beware, stay informed!” Hester is running for a seat in the Shreveport City Council.

“Joey Hester’s clearly bigoted and Islamophobic views seriously bring into question his ability to impartially serve and protect all Blanchard town residents, especially its Muslim community,” said CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw. “We call on the Blanchard Police Department to investigate whether Hester violated and department or town policies by re-posting anti-Muslim materials.”

Last Thursday in the state of Virginia, CAIR called on the Prince William Board of County Supervisors to rebuke At-large Chair, Corey Stewart’s apparent Islamophobic attack on Twitter using the slur “ISIS commie” against Michigan democratic primary candidate Abdul El-Sayed.

SEE: CAIR Calls for the Board of County Supervisors to Rebuke Corey Stewart’s ISIS Slur Attacking Muslim Candidate

Hours after CAIR’s call for rebuke, Stewart released the initial statement: “One of my vendors put out a tweet last night that attempted to link a Michigan gubernatorial candidate to ISIS, because he apparently received support from purported extremists.  I don't believe in guilt by association. I have been the target of very similar smears, and I don't believe in using such tactics against others." That response however failed to adequately dismiss the patently false assertions against El-Sayed and on Friday, Stewart issued the statement: “My vendor put out a tweet that attempted to link a Michigan gubernatorial candidate to ISIS. There is no evidence supporting this assertion. I don't believe in guilt-by-association – I have been the target of very similar smears, and I won't use such tactics against others.”

CAIR also condemned another Islamophobic social media post last Thursday made by a Florida Okaloosa County Commissioner Graham Fountain, who posted on Facebook, “We can’t let the colonization of Islam and sharia law take over of America,” and that he is, “against the political take over of the world by their Sharia system of law,” along with additional anti-Muslim and white supremacist comments in defense of his original claim.

SEE: CAIR-Florida Condemns Islamophobic Posts by Okaloosa County Commissioner Graham Fountain

CAIR has repeatedly expressed concern about Islamophobic, white supremacist and racist public officials and government employees that have been given a platform for their bigotry under the Trump administration.

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.

 

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American Muslims to Mark End of Religious Pilgrimage With Communal Prayers, Celebration

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 8/13/2018) – On Tuesday, Aug. 21, American Muslims will mark the end of the yearly pilgrimage to Mecca, called Hajj, with communal prayers and celebrations at locations around the country. The prayers and the holiday that follows Hajj are called Eid ul-Adha (EED-al-ODD-ha), or “festival of the sacrifice.”

Eid ul-Adha, commonly referred to as just “Eid,” commemorates the Prophet Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael at God's command. The holiday is celebrated with the prayers, small gifts for children, distribution of meat to the needy, and social gatherings. During this holiday, Muslims exchange the greeting "Eid Mubarak" or "blessed Eid." Each year, some two million Muslims, including thousands of American Muslims, go on Hajj.

[NOTE: For actual pilgrims, the rites of Hajj continue for some time after the Eid prayers. Eid al-Fitr, which comes at the end of the month-long fast of Ramadan, is the other of the two “Eid” holidays Muslims celebrate each year.]

WHEN: Tuesday, August 21, 2018. The prayers are held in the morning. Many communities also hold day-long Eid festivals for families. 
WHERE: The Eid prayers and festivals are held either in local mosques or in public facilities designed to accommodate large gatherings. Call local CAIR chapters or other Muslim organizations for details about Eid celebrations. GO TO: https://www.cair.com/cair-chapters.html

PHOTO OPPORTUNITY: Each year, Muslims from America and many different countries come to the prayers in colorful dress. The prayers themselves are quite visual, with worshipers arranged in neat rows and bowing in prayer in unison. Participants exchange embraces at the conclusion of the prayers.

[NOTE: Because this is a religious service, reporters and photographers of both sexes should dress modestly. Photographers should arrive early to get into position for the best shots. Photographers are also advised not to step directly in front of worshipers and to seek permission for close-up shots.]

HAJJ BACKGROUNDER:

In the Quran, Islam's revealed text, God says:

"Thus We settled Abraham at the site of the House (the Ka’aba) (saying): 'Do not associate anything with Me, and purify My house for those who walk around it, and those who stand there (praying), and those who bow down on their knees in worship. Proclaim the pilgrimage among mankind: they will come to you on foot and on every lean (beast of burden); Let them come from every deep ravine, to bear witness to the advantages they have, and to mention God's name on appointed days." Chapter 22, Verses 26-28

Hajj is one of the "five pillars" of the Islamic faith. (The other pillars include a declaration of faith, daily prayers, offering regular charity, and fasting during the month of Ramadan.) Pilgrimage is a once-in-a-lifetime obligation for those who have the physical and financial ability to undertake the journey.

When the main portion of the pilgrimage is completed, Muslims worldwide gather for communal prayers on the first day (August 21) of Eid ul-Adha (EED-al-ODD-ha), the second of the two major Muslim holidays.

The obligatory and optional activities of Hajj include:

* Entrance into a state of self-control called "ihram," during which pilgrims are forbidden to harm living creatures, even insects or plants, or raise the voice in anger. The state of ihram is signified (for men) by the wearing of two pieces of unsewn white cloth. This clothing signifies the equality of all before God. No specific clothing is prescribed for female pilgrims.

* Circling ("Tawaf") of the "Ka'aba," the stone building Muslims believe was originally built by Abraham and his son Ishmael. The Ka'aba is viewed as the first sanctuary on earth dedicated to the worship of the One God. It is a symbol of unity for Muslims because all prayers, wherever they are performed, are oriented in the direction of the Ka'aba.

* The "Sa'i," or "hastening" between two small hills near the Ka'aba, to commemorate Hagar's search for water to offer her son Ishmael.

* The "Day of Arafah." Arafah is a mountain and its surrounding empty plain near Mecca. On this day, the climax of the Hajj season, pilgrims assemble for supplication to God.

* The stoning of three pillars representing Satan's temptation of Abraham. The stoning indicates the pilgrim's rejection of evil deeds.

* Cutting the hair to symbolize the completion of Hajj.

* Sacrifice of an animal to help feed the poor, and in remembrance of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael at God's command. A portion of the meat is distributed to relatives and to the needy.

CAIR 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       

The Washington-based civil rights organization recently launched an app to share critical “know your rights” information and to simplify the process to report hate crimes and bias incidents. CAIR is urging American Muslims and members of other minority groups 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 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.


CAIR Condemns Racist Graffiti Discovered on Vehicles in Baltimore County, Maryland

(Baltimore, Md., 8/13/18) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today condemned hate symbols and racist graffiti spray-painted on at least 15 vehicles parked in a residential area in Maryland. 

African-American residents of the Lochearn neighborhood of Baltimore County awoke on the morning of Aug. 10 to learn that their cars had been vandalized with Nazi swastikas and racial obscenities.   

SEE: Baltimore County police investigate 15 cars vandalized with swastikas, obscenities in Lochearn

The incident, which has instilled fear among residents and is reportedly being investigated as a bias-motivated crime, occurred ahead of the one-year anniversary of the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va. 

It is the latest in a string of other disturbing incidents that CAIR has condemned in the state, including anti-Semitic flyers distributed to homes in Laurel and an anti-Semitic attack on two Jewish students at Towson University in Baltimore County. 

“These crimes are partly a consequence of unchecked racism and bigotry that has increasingly plagued communities of color and religious minorities in America under the Trump administration,” said CAIR Director of Maryland Outreach Zainab Chaudry. “Cowards who conceal their identity and attempt to intimidate or attack others do not belong in a civilized society and their crimes must not be met with silence.”

SEE: CAIR Condemns Distribution of Anti-Semitic Pamphlets in Maryland as Symptom of ‘Empowered’ Bigotry

SEE: Towson University investigating possible hate crime against two Jewish students

On Friday, CAIR condemned the weekend’s planned ‘Unite the Right 2’ Rally marking the one-year anniversary of the Charlottesville rally which erupted in domestic acts of terrorism targeting anti-racist protestors in Virginia.   

SEE: CAIR Condemns This Weekend’s White Supremacist “Unite the Right 2” Rally in D.C.

During Sunday’s #UnitedtoLove counter rally on the National Mall, Chaudry spoke of the need to defiantly stand up for one another.

CAIR’s 2018 Civil Rights Report, ‘Targeted,’ recorded a 17 percent increase in bias-motivated incidents against Muslim Americans from 2016-17 and a 15 percent increase in the number of anti-Muslim hate crimes during the same time period. 

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.


CAIR Offers Condolences and Support for the Wahhaj Family

Muslim Group Calls on Media to Stop Harassing Grieving Family Members, Spreading False Rumors

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 8/10/18) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim advocacy and civil rights organization, today extended condolences to the family of three-year-old Abdul-Ghani Wahhaj, as well as support for his grandfather, Imam Siraj Wahhaj, a respected leader of the American Muslim community. 

CAIR’s statement also calls on the media to refrain from re-victimizing members of the Wahhaj family with sensationalistic or Islamophobic coverage. CAIR also condemns those hate groups that have already used this tragedy as an opportunity to launch a smear campaign against Imam Wahhaj.

In a statement offered by CAIR:

“In the name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful.

We extend our sincere condolences to the family of three-year-old Abdul-Ghani Wahhaj. We pray that God grants the Wahhaj family comfort, patience and strength as they mourn the loss of this young child.

We encourage law enforcement to work as expeditiously as possible to determine what happened to Abdul-Ghani, why it happened and who must be held accountable for this tragedy. 

In the meantime, both the public and the media should refrain from jumping to conclusions, spreading rumors or harassing members of this grieving family. To do so victimizes them all over again.

We strongly condemn those outlets and hate groups that have already used this tragedy as an opportunity to launch a smear campaign against Imam Siraj Wahhaj.

Over the past forty years, Imam Siraj has made innumerable positive contributions to the people of New York, as well as the American Muslim community. 

Imam Siraj was the first American Muslim to deliver an opening invocation before the U.S. Congress. His mosque famously transformed an entire neighborhood, leading a generation of young people away from a life of crime and addiction. He has also traveled across our nation in support of various charitable, educational and social justice causes.

It is also important to note that Imam Siraj Wahhaj has spent the past year supporting those humanitarian causes while simultaneously working with law enforcement to find his missing relatives. Indeed, it was the imam's assistance that reportedly allowed law enforcement to finally locate them in New Mexico.

Our nation owes a debt of gratitude to Imam Siraj for his efforts to stand against injustice, both on our streets and around the world. We stand with Imam Siraj, his daughter-in-law Hakima Ramzi, and the rest of his family as they grieve and seek answers in this trying time.”

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.

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CAIR Condemns This Weekend’s White Supremacist “Unite the Right 2” Rally in D.C.

Marks One-Year Anniversary of Domestic Acts of Terrorism Targeting Anti-Racist Protesters in Charlottesville, VA

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 8/9/18) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim advocacy and civil rights group, today issued the following statement in advance of this weekend’s white supremacists’ “Unite the Right 2” rally at Lafayette Square Park, in front of the White House, in Washington, D.C.

CAIR is also encouraging public participation in United to Love Rally taking place on Sunday, August 12th from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Click here to learn more and register for the event.

The United to Love Rally is an initiative of the Baltimore-Washington Conference of The United Methodist Church and is open to all who believe love is stronger than hate. CAIR is one of the many organizations co-sponsoring the event.

CAIR offered this statement ahead of this weekend’s “Unite the Right 2” rally:

“CAIR marks the one-year anniversary of the domestic acts of terrorism targeting anti-racist protesters that resulted in the murder of Heather Heyer and the vicious beating of Deandre Harris at the white supremacist rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia and the University of Virginia, respectively. We urge all Americans to denounce the racist ideology of hate promoted by the alt-right white supremacists that will be gathering under the ‘Unite the Right’ banner this weekend in front of the White House.

As we remember these terrorist attacks targeting anti-racist protestors, CAIR calls on National Park Service Police, D.C. Police and Metro Transit Police to ensure the safety and security of anti-racist counter-protesters from the violent “Unite the Right 2” supporters who are a threat to public safety.

American Muslims call on President Trump to unequivocally condemn the ‘Unite the Right 2’ white supremacist rally without assigning blame to ‘both sides.’

CAIR also calls on the media and journalists to responsibly report on the rally and refrain from covering ‘both sides’ thereby providing a national platform to white supremacists looking to promote their bigotry.

CAIR prays for the safety of anti-racist activists who oppose those openly committing hate crimes in public and encourages community members to attend alternative counter-protest events held in safe spaces.

Finally, CAIR reminds all anti-racist protestors to know their rights in the event that police target them, as Portland Police recently battered civil rights activists countering a similar right-wing white supremacist ‘Patriot Prayer’ rally last weekend.”

CAIR launched an app to share critical "know your rights" information and to simplify the process to report hate crimes and bias incidents. CAIR is urging American Muslims and members of other minority groups 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 understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.

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CAIR-Florida Condemns Islamophobic Posts by Okaloosa County Commissioner Graham Fountain

(Miami, FL, 8/9/2018) - The Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations today condemned recently discovered Islamophobic social media posts made by an Okaloosa County Commissioner.

SEE: Florida County Commissioner promotes anti-Muslim conspiracy theories

On his Facebook posts, Graham Fountain said, “We can’t let the colonization of Islam and sharia law take over of America” and that he is “against the political take over of the world by their Sharia system of law,” along with additional anti-Muslim and white supremacist comments in defense of his original claim.

SEE: Graham W. Fountain Facebook posts

CAIR-Florida asks Commissioner Fountain for the retraction and disavowal of such statements that promote hate and Islamophobia. Fountain’s rhetoric comes at a time when the Florida Muslim community is being targeted with an unprecedented number of hate crimes.

“We condemn the Okaloosa County Commissioner’s comments that irresponsibly disseminated lies and conspiracy theories against the American Muslim community,” CAIR-Florida’s Communications Director Wilfredo Amr Ruiz said. “Public officials like Fountain do a disservice to their constituents and all citizens by promoting hate against any individuals, regardless of faith our background.”

Recently, CAIR condemned a number of Islamophobic statements made by individuals in public office or working for the federal government.

SEE: CAIR-Oregon Condemns State House Republican Candidate’s Anti-Muslim, Anti-Semitic Comments

CAIR Calls on Idaho GOP to Repudiate Candidate’s Anti-Muslim ‘Muzzie’ Slur

CAIR Calls on Interior Secretary Zinke to Drop Spokeswoman Who Claimed a Muslim Can’t Be President

 

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.


CAIR Calls for the Board of County Supervisors to Rebuke Corey Stewart’s ISIS Slur Attacking Muslim Candidate

(Washington, D.C., 8/9/2018) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today asked for the Prince William Board of County Supervisors to rebuke Islamophobic statements made by its At-large Chair, Corey Stewart, targeting Michigan democratic primary candidate Abdul El-Sayed.

In references to El-Sayed’s defeat in Michigan, Stewart tweeted, “Michigan almost elected a far left ISIS commie.”

 “CAIR calls for the Prince William Board of County Supervisors to rebuke Corey Stewart’s ISIS slur attacking a Muslim candidate,”  said CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw. ““This anti-Muslim slur comes as numerous other federal government employees’ and public office officials’ online Islamophobic posts are also coming to light.”

Recently, CAIR also called on the Idaho GOP to repudiate a state candidate’s anti-Muslim slur.

SEE: CAIR Calls on Idaho GOP to Repudiate Candidate’s Anti-Muslim ‘Muzzie’ Slur

Before that, CAIR called on the firing of a top Trump administration U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) appointee who also expressed anti-Muslim sentiments.

SEE: Civil rights group: Fire Trump VA staffer for anti-Muslim, birther conspiracy posts

CAIR has repeatedly expressed concern about Islamophobic, white supremacist and racist public officials and government employees that have been given a platform for their bigotry under the Trump administration.

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.


CAIR Congratulates Likely First Muslim Woman Elected to Congress

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 8/8/18) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim advocacy and civil rights group, today congratulated Rashida Tlaib on winning the primary elections in Michigan’s 13th District.

Tlaib won yesterday's primary election defeating five other candidates. There is no Republican or Independent candidate opposing Tlaib, making her win in the November general election likely. She would be the first American Muslim woman elected to Congress.

SEE: 
AP: Rashida Tlaib wins race to replace John Conyers; likely to be first Muslim woman in Congress (WXYZ)

Tlaib, a daughter of Palestinian immigrants, was born and raised in Detroit, and made history in 2008 by winning her race for State Representative, becoming the first Muslim woman to serve in the Michigan Legislature. She served three terms.

“We offer congratulations to Rashida Tlaib, whose primary election victory demonstrates the strength of our political system and the growing positive role of American Muslims in our society,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. “Her victory once again reminds American Muslim children growing up across our nation that they can achieve anything in this country.”  

More than 90 American Muslims are running for office at the local, state and national level, including Deedra Abboud in Arizona and Minnesota State Representative Ilhan Omar, who is running to replace outgoing Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison.

The other two Muslims currently in Congress are Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) and Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN).

This year, CAIR is working to mobilize American Muslim voters across the nation. 

SEE: Election Update: CAIR Reminds American Muslims to Go to the Polls Ahead of August & September Primaries

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.


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CAIR-CA Condemns Alleged Hate Crime Targeting Sikh Man, Stands in Solidarity with the Sikh Community

(SACRAMENTO, CA, 8/8/2018) - The California chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CA) today condemned an alleged hate crime that occurred in Manteca, CA.

According to reports, Sahib Singh, 71, an elderly Sikh man was brutally assaulted and spit on by two unidentified men on Aug. 6 while taking a walk around a local park.

SEE: Attack on Elderly Manteca Man Captured on Security Video

This comes less than a week after Surjit Malhi, also of the same faith, was attacked while posting campaign signs in support of a local candidate. Malhi’s attackers yelled racial slurs vandalized his truck.

SEE: Amid Rise In Hate Crimes In US, 2nd Sikh Man Brutally Attacked In A Week

"We stand in solidarity with the Sikh community against the bigotry and racism that fuels hate crimes like this one nationwide. These kinds of incidents are becoming increasingly common under the Trump administration and are direct attacks on religious liberty in the United States,”  said CAIR-Sacramento Valley’s Executive Director Basim Elkarra.

In the past, CAIR has stood in solidarity with communities of various faiths and backgrounds that are subject to similar hate crimes.

SEE: CAIR-NJ Expresses Solidarity with Jewish Community of Mahwah on Religious Boundary

 CAIR-NY Condemns Bomb Threats Against Syracuse, NY Jewish Community

CAIR-LA Expresses Solidarity with Christian Community After Racist Threat to Bishop

CAIR-SFBA: Bay Area Muslims Organizations Stand with African-American Church Targeted with Racist Graffiti

CAIR recently released a report documenting an unprecedented rise in bias-motivated incidents linked to Trump’s election.

SEE: CAIR's 2018 Civil Rights Report Offers Data on Impact of Growing Anti-Muslim Bias

Manteca police are asking for the public’s help regarding this case. Anyone with information can contact Detective Gutierrez at (209) 456-8223 or email jgutierrez@ci.manteca.ca.us. The Manteca Police Department’s non-emergency number is (209) 456-8101.

CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.

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CAIR Files Broad Challenge to Watchlisting System, Including TSA's Quiet Skies Program

(Washington, DC, 8/8/2018) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today filed a broad constitutional challenge to the federal government’s watchlisting system, including the TSA’s recently revealed Quiet Skies program. 

The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland on behalf of 20 individuals targeted by the watchlisting system.  

The lawsuit’s plaintiffs are all innocent American Muslims—people who have not been charged, arrested or convicted of a violent crime—from Washington DC, Florida, Michigan, Virginia, Washington State, Indiana, Kansas and New Jersey.

The lawsuit alleges that the watchlisting system imposes "a kind of second-class citizenship."  

SEE: COMPLAINT FOR INJUNCTIVE AND DECLARATORY RELIEF AND DAMAGES

"Without charges, without arrests, without even an investigation sometimes—the agency defendants act in concert to deprive thousands of innocent Americans, mostly Muslim, of their right to be free from a government that extrajudicially designates them as worthy of permanent suspicion,” the lawsuit explains.

Media reports have revealed a secret watchlisting system program called Quiet Skies that dramatically increases the number of persons targeted.  

SEE: Welcome to the Quiet Skies (Boston Globe)

Quiet Skies punishes those who—through family, community or the workplace—have relationships with individuals the federal government has designated as a “known or suspected terrorist.”  The program imposes indiscriminate surveillance upon a designee’s family members, friends, co-workers and travel companions at airports and on airplanes.

SEE:  Have you gained or lost weight?  Congrats, TSA is tracking you for suspicious activity (USA Today)

Individuals targeting by the watchlisting system can be, through various programs, denied the ability to travel by air, subject to invasive and stigmatizing searches and interrogations, detained for hours at border crossings, have their electronics seized, be deprived of the right to purchase a firearm, and have their bank accounts closed—in addition to other innumerable consequences that flow from the government’s secretive watchlists.

"American Muslims will not settle for second class citizenship and the federal courts should not give the government the authority to use the watchlisting system as a way to target innocent Muslims," said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad.  

"The watchlisting system is an unprecedented violation of core constitutional rights," National Litigation Director Lena Masri said.  "Any fair-minded assessment of the watchlisting system will conclude that the Constitution makes it illegal to target innocent Muslims for disfavored treatment.”  Masri noted that the lead plaintiffs in the case, Rami and Mia, are 11 and 14 years old, respectively.  Their father cannot travel to the United States to visit his children, both citizens of the United States.  

Another one of the plaintiffs, Mohamad Albadawi, related how being on the watchlist for eight years prevented him from traveling over the years and posed challenges for him to attend his daughter’s wedding. A simple bag check, he stated, could take up to an hour as TSA scanned every clothing item.

CAIR has filed multiple challenges to the government’s watchlisting system along with multiple lawsuits to allow Americans who are subject to the system’s flight ban return to the United States. 

SEE: CAIR-Florida Helps Muslim Citizen on No-Fly List to Successfully Return to Florida

 CAIR Holds News Conference for Return of Utah Imam Abdi After Lawsuit Challenging No-Fly List

If you or your friends or family have experienced significant and invasive travel delays, please file a report with our Civil Rights Department at https://www.cair.com/report.  

CAIR launched an app to share critical "know your rights" information and to simplify the process to report hate crimes and bias incidents. CAIR is urging American Muslims and members of other minority groups 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 understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.

END