CAIR Decries Appointment of Islamophobe Katharine Gorka to CBP Post

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 6/18/19) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today decried the expected appointment of Katharine Gorka, a notorious Islamophobe, to be the new press secretary at Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

Gorka, currently a political appointee at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has claimed that the DHS trains its agents — falsely, according to Gorka — that Islam is a “religion of peace.”

First on CNN: Katharine Gorka Expected to be named Customs and Border Protection Press Secretary

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/06/18/politics/katharine-gorka-customs-and-border-protection/index.html

"Katharine Gorka is an unapologetic bigot whose ignorant and hateful views belong in the dark recesses of the internet, not the press room of a federal agency. Her continued presence in the Trump administration is as detestable as it is predictable," said CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw.

He noted that in 2014, Gorka wrote that when “Presidents Bush and Obama both publicly declared Islam to be a religion of peace,” it “struck a sour chord for many,” and that “American and Western leaders have preemptively shut down any debate within Islam by declaring that Islam is the religion of peace.”

She is married to Sebastian Gorka, a former Trump administration official who is also known for his Islamophobic views. He once called religious profiling of Muslims “common sense” and repeatedly declined to say whether President Trump believes Islam is a real religion.

SEE: Adviser Declines to Say if Trump Believes Islam is a Religion

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/03/sebastian-gorka-trump-islam-a-religion-235562

Georgetown University’s Bridge Initiative stated that Ms. Gorka has a “history of promoting anti-Muslim conspiracy theories.”

Factsheet: Katharine Gorka

https://bridge.georgetown.edu/research/factsheet-katharine-gorka/

CAIR has repeatedly expressed concern about a “troubling Islamophobic trend” in President Trump’s appointments and nominations.

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CONTACT: CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw, 202-742-6448, rmccaw@cair.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, ihooper@cair.com

 


CAIR-NY Condemns ‘Kill Arabs’ Hate Message in Brooklyn

(NEW YORK, NY, 6/18/19) – The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) today condemned “kill Arabs” hate graffiti in Brooklyn and thanked public officials for expressions of solidarity with the targeted community.

Brooklyn City Council Member Chaim Deutsch tweeted an image of "Kill Arabs” graffiti on a bus shelter at Nostrand Avenue and Avenue V. The borough’s president issued a statement Monday asking for information about the hate message and expressing solidarity with the Arab-American community.

SEE: 'Kill Arabs' Graffiti Scrawled on Brooklyn Bus Stop, Rep Says

https://patch.com/new-york/brooklyn/kill-arabs-graffiti-scrawled-brooklyn-bus-stop-rep-says

“With the way our public officials and media speak of and portray Muslims, it is no surprise that Islamophobia is rampant. However, Muslim New Yorkers are strong. We will not let threats stop us from making this city and country a better place for all. We hope the NYPD will thoroughly investigate and hold those responsible to the fullest extent of the law,” said CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher.

On Saturday, CAIR-NY joined other civil rights activists and community partners at a rally in the Bronx to demand action following a decision by the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force to drop its investigation of the allegedly bias-motivated beating of a Black Muslim woman.

Video: CAIR-NY, Partners Hold Rally After Bias Attack on Black Muslim Woman

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dB1x0X1gOGw

The Washington-based civil rights organization said it has witnessed an unprecedented spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump as president.

SEE: CAIR-Dallas Calls for Probe of Hate Attack on American Muslim Mother of Two at Dallas Starbucks

https://www.cair.com/cair_dallas_calls_for_probe_of_hate_attack_on_american_muslim_mother_of_two_at_dallas_starbucks

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.

Individuals in New York are asked to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR-NY at (646) 665-7599, or by filing a report at: http://www.cair-ny.org/incident-report/

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.

Become a Fan of CAIR-NY on Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/CAIRNewYork/

Subscribe to CAIR-NY's E-Mail List
https://www.cair-ny.org/

Follow CAIR-NY on Twitter
https://twitter.com/CAIRNewYork

Follow CAIR-NY on Instagram
https://www.instagram.com/cairnewyork/

END

CONTACT:  CAIR-NY Litigation Director Ahmed Mohamed, ahmedmohamed@cair.com, 646-481-2103; CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher, anasher@cair.com, 917-669-4006


CAIR, Community Partners to Hold Howard County, Md., Bystander Intervention Training

(BALTIMORE, MD, 6/18/19) -- On Monday, June 24, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, will join almost a dozen community partners to hold the ‘Howard County Bystander Intervention Training.’

The event is almost at capacity and anyone interested in attending is encouraged to register soon.

WHAT: Howard County Bystander Intervention Training

WHEN: Monday, June 24, 6 p.m.

WHERE: Howard County Library System, Elkridge Branch,6540 Washington Blvd., Elkridge, MD 21075

REGISTRATION LINK: https://hocobystanderintervention.eventbrite.com

This comprehensive training will provide a grounding in the principles of nonviolence and de-escalation followed by interactive scenarios to practice new skills.

Participants will learn how to manage group dynamics that can arise from bias-motivated harassment. They will also learn how to confidently and compassionately facilitate bystander skills. The interactive training will include role-playing training scripts and practice scenarios. 

Refreshments will be provided. This event is free and open to people ages 14+. No prior training or experience is necessary. Due to space limitations, pre-registration is required. The workshop involves light to moderate physical movement and interaction in small groups. Photos may be taken, but the event will not be live-streamed. Join us as we expand our capacity to build solidarity in our communities.

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

CONTACT: CAIR Director of Maryland Outreach Zainab Chaudry, zchaudry@cair.com, 410-971-6062


CAIR-Dallas Calls for Probe of Hate Attack on American Muslim Mother of Two at Dallas Starbucks

Muslim civil rights organization asks witnesses to come forward, report information about the attack by calling police

(DALLAS, TX, 6/17/19) – The Dallas/Fort Worth chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-DFW) today called on state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate an alleged attack on an American Muslim mother of two at a Starbucks coffee shop in Dallas, Texas, as a hate crime.

On Saturday, Nur Ashour, an American Muslim woman and married mother of two, was reportedly physically assaulted by a customer after ordering coffee at the location. Ashour says had her 8-month-old baby was with her in a stroller at the time of the attack, and her 3-year-old daughter was nearby with her husband.

CAIR-DFW is asking for the public’s help by providing any information about the attack to the police to ensure a thorough investigation.  [NOTE: Anyone with information about this incident should call 911.]

Ashour was allegedly harassed and assaulted by a customer who hurled items and verbal threats at her. Afraid for her safety and the safety of her child, Ashour ran from the Starbucks and found a security guard outside. Before Ashour reported the attack to the security officer, the attacker chased her out of the Starbucks.  

After the alleged attack occurred, Ashour posted a tweet about the incident that went viral with more than 48,000 retweets. CAIR-DFW has contacted the local Starbucks where the incident occurred to demand that all video surveillance of the attack be preserved.  

SEE: Nur Ashour. 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

“Hate crimes are on the rise throughout the United States, including here in Dallas,” said CAIR-DFW Interim Executive Director Ekram Haque. “Earlier this year at the Dallas Reunion Tower, another American Muslim woman was verbally and physically attacked apparently based on her identity as a Muslim woman.”

SEE: Reunion Tower Attack On a Muslim Woman Reflects the Rise in Hate Crimes

“American Muslims, and particularly Muslim woman, face an increased threat from Islamophobes,” said CAIR-DFW Legal Director Dontrey Tatum, who is the victim’s legal representative. “We urge law enforcement authorities to investigate this incident as a possible hate crime.”

CAIR has reported an unprecedented spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims, immigrants and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump as president. 

Recently, Fatoumata Camara, a New York Muslim woman, was allegedly robbed and brutally beaten by a group of young people last month in New York. The New York Police Department and the Bronx District Attorney’s office failed to properly investigate the attack until she herself found video evidence showing the violent hate attack.

SEE: Muslim Woman Investigated Her Own Hate Crime After NYPD Dismissed Her Case

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/muslim-woman-investigated-her-own-hate-crime-after-nypd-dismissed-her-case_n_5cfeca32e4b0da64c5362d58

CAIR recently released a groundbreaking report, called “Hijacked by Hate: American Philanthropy and the Islamophobia Network,” listing the philanthropic foundations, many of them mainstream, that were used by anonymous special interest donors to funnel almost $125 million to anti-Muslim hate groups between 2014 and 2016.

The report’s authors noted that one outcome of the funding and promotion of anti-Muslim hate and conspiracy theories has been the measurable nationwide increase in anti-Muslim hate violence, bullying of children and discrimination. The period covered by the report showed a marked increase in anti-Muslim hate violence and discrimination.

SEE: New CAIR Report: Anonymous Donors Use Mainstream Philanthropic Groups to Funnel Millions to Anti-Muslim Hate Groups

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

CONTACT: CAIR-DFW Legal Director Dontrey Tatum, 469-463-1861, Dontrey.Tatum@cairdfw.org; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, ihooper@cair.com, 202-744-7726


Photos: CAIR is Honored to Sponsor and Support Ebenezer Baptist Church's Ending Mass Incarceration Conference in Atlanta


CAIR-Kentucky Calls for Hate Crime Probe of Vandalism Targeting Muhammad Ali Portion of 'Kentucky Rushmore' Mural

(LOUISVILLE, KY, 6/17/19) – The Kentucky chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Kentucky), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called on state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate vandalism targeting a painting of Muhammad Ali in Louisville, Ky., as a possible hate crime.

Slurs were painted in orange over Ali's portion of the "Kentucky Rushmore" mural. Orange paint was also used to fill in the eyes of Ali on the mural. The mural also features paintings of Abraham Lincoln, Kentucky Fried Chicken founder Col. Harlan Sanders and Triple Crown-winning thoroughbred Secretariat.

SEE: Muhammad Ali Portion of Louisville’s ‘Kentucky Rushmore’ Mural Vandalized

“As Americans, we must continue to stand up and loudly say no to hatred and division,” said CAIR-Kentucky Chair Waheedah Muhammad.

Muhammad noted that officials unveiled a new logo and branding last week of the recently renamed Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport that honors the American Muslim boxing champion.

CAIR recently released a groundbreaking report, called “Hijacked by Hate: American Philanthropy and the Islamophobia Network,” listing the philanthropic foundations, many of them mainstream, that were used by anonymous special interest donors to funnel almost $125 million to anti-Muslim hate groups between 2014 and 2016.

The report’s authors noted that one outcome of the funding and promotion of anti-Muslim hate and conspiracy theories has been the measurable nationwide increase in anti-Muslim hate violence, bullying of children and discrimination. The period covered by the report showed a marked increase in anti-Muslim hate violence and discrimination.

SEE: New CAIR Report: Anonymous Donors Use Mainstream Philanthropic Groups to Funnel Millions to Anti-Muslim Hate Groups

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

CONTACT:  CAIR-Kentucky Chair Waheedah Muhammad, 859-545-0651, wmuhammad@cair.com

 


CAIR-AZ Calls on Phoenix PD to Fire Officers Involved in Excessive Force Incident Caught on Video

(PHOENIX, AZ, 6/17/19) – The Arizona chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-AZ) today called on the Phoenix Police Department to take swift action in response to a disturbing incident caught on video showing officers using excessive force against a local family.

CAIR-AZ said the recently-released video shows officers - guns drawn - shouting profanities at a family – including a pregnant woman.  This was in response to the family’s 4-year-old child allegedly taking a doll from a dollar store, to which the parents were unaware.

SEE: Family demands changes after viral incident with Phoenix police, calls apologies a sham

During the incident, the video appears to show officers kicking and pushing Dravon Ames, the child's father, as well as handcuffing the mother, Iesha Harper.  Apologies have been issued from Phoenix PD’s chief and from Mayor Kate Gallego, however CAIR-AZ is demanding further action.  

“This incident is just the latest in a disturbing trend emanating from Phoenix PD,” said Imraan Siddiqi, CAIR-AZ’s executive director

“We are on the heels of revelations of hateful anti-black and Islamophobic online behavior by Phoenix police, as well as by police departments across the country,” Siddiqi said. “There are clearly systemic issues at play here, ones that will not be solved merely through an apology. Marginalized communities have continuously been the target of disproportionate force by police, therefore drastic steps need to be taken to ensure that this will not happen in the future."

SEE ALSO: Phoenix Cops Bash Muslims, Call Black People Thugs in Shocking Facebook Posts

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

CONTACT: CAIR-AZ Executive Director Imraan Siddiqi, isiddiqi@cair.com; 480-704-3786

 


CAIR Condemns Trump’s Retweet of UK Islamophobe Scheduled to Speak at Connecticut Hate Group’s Event

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 6/17/19) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today condemned President Trump’s retweet of an attack on the Muslim mayor of London by notorious Islamophobe Katie Hopkins who is scheduled to speak at a hate group’s event this week in Connecticut.

Trump retweeted a post by Hopkins that referred to Mayor Sadiq Khan’s city of London as “Londonistan,” an Islamophobic term used by anti-Muslim bigots like Hopkins. In his tweet, Trump called Khan a “disaster” and a “national disgrace who is destroying the city of London.”

SEE: Sadiq Khan Calls Donald Trump a Poster Boy for the Far-Right

https://metro.co.uk/2019/06/17/sadiq-khan-calls-donald-trump-poster-boy-far-right-9987340/

Hopkins is infamous for using the term “final solution” to describe how the UK should respond to a deadly bombing in that country. That same phrase was used by the Nazis to describe the genocide targeting Europe’s Jewish population.

Trump Retweets Person Who Once Called For "Final Solution" on Islamic Terrorism

https://www.axios.com/trump-retweets-katie-hopkins-london-af76190f-eca1-4f05-8491-5d438ca4320d.html

Hopkins is scheduled to speak June 19 during an event at an undisclosed location in central Connecticut hosted by the anti-Muslim hate group ACT for America, which has alleged ties to white supremacist, neo-Nazi hate organizations.

Video: Anti-Muslim Hate Group ACT for America is Allied with White Supremacists, Racists

https://youtu.be/5eYjZThRvEY

CAIR Backgrounder on ACT for America
http://www.islamophobia.org/islamophobic-organizations/36-act-for-america.html

CAIR Backgrounder on ACT for America Leader Brigitte Gabriel
http://www.islamophobia.org/islamophobic-individuals/65-brigitte-gabriel-aka-hanah-kahwagi-tudor.html

Video: ACT for America is a Hate Group, Plain and Simple

https://youtu.be/h2BubWrtKHQ  

“Given Mr. Trump’s long history of anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant and xenophobic rhetoric, it is not surprising that he would amplify such Islamophobic bigotry,” said CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw. “Despite Mr. Trump’s ongoing attempts to normalize Islamophobia and other forms of bigotry, we must all continue to condemn his offensive rhetoric and refuse to view it as ‘normal’ in any way.”

He noted that in 2015, Hopkins suggested, "Bring on the gunships, force migrants back to their shores and burn the boats," to stop migrants crossing the Mediterranean and likened migrants to "cockroaches."

In 2016 she tweeted: “Muslim men raping white women is consistent with the teaching of Islam.”

In 2017, Hopkins gave a speech in Florida regarding the "institutionalized and systemic discrimination against whites.” She called on the audience to resist the narrative of unity and recognize "the UK is now formed of two distinct territories. There is Londonistan and there is the rest of the UK."

Hopkins was banned from Fox News in June 2017 after she argued "we need to start incarcerating, deporting, repeating, until we clean this country up" and "we do need internment camps.”

Hopkins’ Connecticut sponsor, ACT for America, has been designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). The SPLC has named the group’s leader, Brigitte Gabriel, as a member of the nation's "Anti-Muslim Inner Circle."

The Washington-based Muslim civil rights organization has reported an unprecedented spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims, immigrants and members of other minority groups since Trump’s election of Donald Trump as president and has repeatedly expressed concern about Islamophobic, white supremacist and racist Trump administration policies and appointments.

SEE: CAIR Condemns Expected USCIS Nominee Ken Cuccinelli for Praise of Anti-Muslim Hate Group Leader Brigitte Gabriel

https://www.cair.com/cair_condemns_expected_uscis_nominee_ken_cuccinelli_for_praise_of_anti_muslim_hate_group_leader_brigitte_gabriel

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 

CONTACT: CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw, 202-742-6448, rmccaw@cair.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, ihooper@cair.com, 202-744-7726

 


CAIR-Houston Urges Increased Security for Religious Institutions Following ‘Fascist’ Terror Threat Targeting Baitus Samee Mosque

Muslim civil rights group asks FBI to probe threat by person praising ‘hero’ who killed dozens at New Zealand mosque and writing ‘see you in gates of valhalla’

(HOUSTON, TEXAS, 6/14/2019 – The Houston chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR Houston) today called for stepped-up security at religious institutions statewide following a terroristic threat targeting that city’s Baitus Samee Mosque and urged the FBI to join the investigation.

CAIR-Houston said police are investigating a post on the “4chan” internet forum that stated: (grammatical errors maintained)

SEE: Houston Terror Threat

https://tinyurl.com/HoustonTerrorThreat

“It's 4:15 PM as of writing this, I would like to say good bye for 4chan dudes as I will either die or go to prison, as you know a few months ago our lad did a mosque attack, and I would like to repeat the same thing as our Hero, I even added his name in my gun,

“The attack will be placed in Mosque Baitus Samee - Texas

“Q&A:

Q: Why are you going to attack this Mosque?

A: Simple, Kebab is like cancer, if you remove it early than you won't die.

“Q: What inspired you?

A: Obviously, our one and only, brenton tarrant. and also my friend gave me a go pro, and it gave me ideas. ;)

“Q: What is your Ideology?

A: Fascist (not eco-Fascist like our lad)

“Q: What are you doing right now?

A: Stopped in a Subway, my last meal, after that I am driving to this mosque.

“Q: How old are you?

A: I am 24 years old

“will see you in gates of valhalla my lads!”

This is the second recent threat targeting Baitus Samee Mosque.

SEE: Man accused of threatening to shoot up Houston-area mosque after he was told to leave

https://www.khou.com/article/news/crime/man-accused-of-threatening-to-shoot-up-houston-area-mosque-after-he-was-told-to-leave/285-3742c8b7-e05d-4d9e-aa58-20f70a3ae672

CAIR-Houston Executive Director Lubabah Abdullah said:

“We thank law enforcement authorities for their swift action in this case. Based on recent events and hate crimes targeting American Muslims, immigrant communities and other minority groups, it is critical that we take these threats seriously and bring the perpetrators to justice.”

Abdullah noted that just yesterday, CAIR’s Dallas office condemned a hate letter mailed to the Islamic Center of Waco.

SEE: CAIR-Dallas Condemns Hate Mail Sent to Islamic Center of Waco

https://www.cair.com/cair_dallas_condemns_hate_mail_sent_to_islamic_center_of_waco

Waco mosque gets hate mail with ironic stamp in response to interfaith dinner

https://www.dallasnews.com/life/faith/2019/06/14/waco-mosquegets-hate-mail-ironic-stamp-response-interfaith-dinner

CAIR-Houston is urging religious institutions to take measures outlined in its "Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety" booklet. The advice in CAIR's security publication is applicable to all institutions, regardless of organizational mission.

The booklet may be viewed at: https://tinyurl.com/BestSafetyPractices

CAIR has reported an unprecedented spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims, immigrants and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump as president.

The Washington-based civil rights organization recently released a groundbreaking report, called “Hijacked by Hate: American Philanthropy and the Islamophobia Network,” listing the philanthropic foundations, many of them mainstream, that were used by anonymous special interest donors to funnel almost $125 million to anti-Muslim hate groups between 2014 and 2016.

The report’s authors noted that one outcome of the funding and promotion of anti-Muslim hate and conspiracy theories has been the measurable nationwide increase in anti-Muslim hate violence, bullying of children and discrimination. The period covered by the report showed a marked increase in anti-Muslim hate violence and discrimination.

SEE: New CAIR Report: Anonymous Donors Use Mainstream Philanthropic Groups to Funnel Millions to Anti-Muslim Hate Groups

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

CONTACT: CAIR-Houston Civil Rights Attorney Arsalan Safiullah, 713-366-6686, asafiullah@cair.com; CAIR-Houston Development and Outreach Coordinator Ambreen Hernandez, 713-838-2247, ahernandez@cair.com


Muslim Coalition Issues Statement of Solidarity for CAIR-MA Following Disparaging Article

(BOSTON, MA, 6/14/19) -- The Massachusetts chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States, released a statement of solidarity signed by more than a dozen of the largest mosques and Muslim organizations in Massachusetts.  The letter is a response to an attempt to discredit CAIR-MA during the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr.

SEE: Muslim, Jewish groups bicker over Muslim event at Statehouse

https://apnews.com/0d1efacdec9c4f16b3b876a76e0d8a16

The statement (included below) describes CAIR-MA’s annual Eid event at the Massachusetts State House, and an article attempting to delegitimize the organization.  Most prominently, the article featured quotes by the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of Greater Boston labeling CAIR-MA as an “inappropriate partner for ourselves and for the mainstream community.”  The letter lays out the mosque leadership’s shared concerns and disappointment, along with their hope for more productive engagement moving forward.

“It is not the JCRC’s place to certify who is an ‘appropriate’ partner from among the Muslim community in our engagement with elected officials,” said John Robbins, Executive Director of CAIR-Massachusetts.  “We hope that this broad show of support from the Muslim community establishes that definitively.”

SEE: CAIR-MA Offers Reward for Info on Arsonist Targeting Chabad Centers

SEE: CAIR-MA Condemns Vandalism of Boston’s Holocaust Memorial

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil rights organization, which for over 25 years has been defending American Muslims against hate crimes, harassment, workplace discrimination, and other faith-based crimes.  The Massachusetts chapter routinely receives over 250 calls for assistance each year, in cases including youth bullying, sexual assault, and tenant abuse.

SEE: CAIR-MA 2018 Civil Rights Report

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.

END

CONTACT: CAIR-MA Executive Director, John Robbins, 617-862-9159, jrobbins@cair.com

----------

Muslim Community Statement of Solidarity with CAIR-Massachusetts

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

We, the signed mosques and Muslim organizations in Massachusetts, write to affirm our solidarity with the Council on American-Islamic Relations – Massachusetts following an attempt to discredit the organization.

Last week, the Massachusetts chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) co-sponsored a celebration of Eid al-Fitr for legislators at the Massachusetts State House along with several state representatives.  The event was non-political and non-advocacy-related: it consisted of a table of homemade desserts and an opportunity to learn about the holiday.  CAIR-MA had co-sponsored the event in prior years.

However, this year several local organizations, most prominently the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston, elected to contribute to an article about the event which made strong accusations against CAIR-Massachusetts.  The JCRC labeled CAIR-MA “an inappropriate partner for ourselves and for the mainstream community” and an “inappropriate actor” that is being “unnecessarily mainstreamed.”

The article is all the more hurtful to us because it was released directly on the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, which follows the holy month of Ramadan.

CAIR is the leading Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization in our community, and the Massachusetts chapter has supported our congregants when they have experienced hate crimes, discrimination at work, youth bullying, and assault.  They have taken the lead in representing us at the State House and with elected officials, as well as in interfaith settings.  They have our full support, and we strongly encourage lawmakers to continue to partner with them on this and other efforts in years to come.

During these times of rising hate crimes against both the Muslim and Jewish communities, we need to stand strong together.  Each of our mosques, and CAIR-Massachusetts, have on countless occasions stood in meaningful solidarity with the Jewish community.  We write from a position of deep affinity with our Jewish neighbors.

Given the JCRC’s longstanding record of professing the value of interfaith engagement and meaningful partnerships, we are disappointed that they elected to attempt to delegitimize one of our leading organizations as it conducts much-needed outreach to elected officials.  We hope that in the future the JCRC will reconsider their alignment in engaging with the Muslim community leadership.

Sincerely,

The American Muslim Center (Everett)

The Islamic Center of Boston – Wayland

The Islamic Center of New England – Quincy

The Islamic Center of New England – Sharon

The Islamic Council of New England

Islamic Society of Boston (ISB) - Cambridge

Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center (ISB/CC) - Roxbury 

The Islamic Society of Greater Haverhill

The Islamic Society of Greater Lowell

The Islamic Society of the North Shore

The Islamic Society of Western Massachusetts

The Mosque for the Praising of Allah

The Outreach Community and Reform Center of Malden

The Worcester Islamic Center

Yusuf Mosque