(Anaheim, Calif., 1/22/14) — The California chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CA) today welcomed the formation of a new committee created to address incidents of discrimination at universities in that state.
SEE: New Assembly committee to focus on harassment, hate crimes on campus (Los Angeles Times)
“The formation of this committee is an important step in promoting tolerance and fostering respect for diversity on college campuses,” said CAIR-LA's Executive Director Hussam Ayloush. “Our universities should be able to provide a safe space and equal opportunity for students of all backgrounds to actively engage in campus life and express themselves freely without fear of harassment or discrimination.”
According to an announcement by California Assembly Speaker John Perez (D-Los Angeles), the Select Committee on Campus Climate will evaluate system-wide and campus-wide policies and practices for responding to student harassment and hate crimes and will determine what needs to be done to improve campus climate for California students.
CAIR-CA, along with a number of other legal and advocacy groups, have noticed a disturbing trend in which college student advocates for Palestinian human rights continue to face orchestrated campaigns and efforts to stifle their free speech and academic programming, usually from outside groups.
In light of this, CAIR-CA has actively worked to ensure that any harassment of students intended to stifle free speech does not become the accepted climate on college campuses.
On April 30, over 150 community members met with their representatives in Sacramento through CAIR-CA's second-annual “Muslim Day at the Capitol” in April of last year. Participants advocated for three critical issues, one of which was a push for legislation that aims to preserve free speech on college campuses in response to House Resolution 35.
CAIR-CA has worked in partnership with other civil rights groups to ensure that students' first amendment rights are protected on California university campuses.
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-LA Communications Coordinator Yasmin Nouh, 714.776.1847, firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR-SD Executive Director Hanif Mohebi, 858.278.4547, email@example.com; CAIR-SFBA Executive Director Zahra Billoo, 626.252.0885, firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR-SV Executive Director Basim Elkarra, 916.441.6269, email@example.com