(WASHINGTON, D.C., 5/13/19) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today joined its New York chapter (CAIR-NY) in calling on producers of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (SVU) to meet with Muslim community leaders following an episode of that long-running program viewed as Islamophobic and racist.
CAIR said the episode, which included a character clearly based on real-life Muslim Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN), falsely conflated support for Palestinian rights with anti-Semitism, portrayed Muslim men in a negative light and suggested that growing Islamophobia in America is a hoax.
SEE: ‘Law and Order: SVU’ Episode Called ‘Racist’ and ‘Extremely Offensive’ for News-Based Storyline
In a letter to SVU creator and Executive Producer Dick Wolf, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad wrote in part:
“This racist and Islamophobic episode of Law & Order: SVU distorted current events to create a ridiculous plot line that mocks the real hatred being experienced by real American Muslims and other minority communities. We urge you and your staff to meet with leaders of the Muslim community to learn why this episode makes the rising tide of bigotry even worse, and what you can to do mitigate the damage that has already been done.”
CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher said: “It is incumbent on producers to be responsible and avoid enflaming Islamophobia. As we have seen here in New York, Islamophobes have been emboldened by the rhetoric in our political discourse and all Law and Order SUV did was lend a hand to anti-Muslim bigots as they try to mainstream Islamophobia.”
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 often-fatal 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.
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 misiÃ³n de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensiÃ³n del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.
CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, firstname.lastname@example.org