Press Releases

CAIR Calls on DOJ Nominees to Pursue “Bold and Transformative” Civil Rights Agenda, Encourages Judge Garland to Clarify Past Judicial Rulings

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 1/7/21) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called on President-elect Joe Biden’s newly nominated team to lead the Department of Justice to pursue a “bold and transformative” agenda that advances racial justice, protects religious freedom, and ends legal justifications for excesses committed in the name of national security, from discriminatory profiling and warrantless surveillance here at home to deadly drone strikes on civilians overseas.

CAIR also encouraged Attorney General nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, to detail his policy views on such issues during his confirmation hearing, and to to clarify past judicial rulings, including decisions that made it more difficult for Guantanamo Bay inmates to challenge their indefinite detention.

SEE: Merrick Garland Often Deferred to Government in Guantanamo Cases (NYT, 2016)

In a statement responding to the Biden-Harris administration’s nominations, CAIR National Government Affairs Director Robert S. McCaw said:  

“Since its inception, the Justice Department has been at the forefront of using the law to justify and advance some of the most positive and harmful policies of various administrations. The same Justice Department that has prosecuted hate crimes, held public servants accountable for corruption, and defended religious freedom has also been used to justify warrantless mass surveillance, deadly drone strikes, discriminatory profiling, and misconduct by state and federal law enforcement.”

“In addition to reestablishing the Justice Department’s independence, Judge Garland and the other experienced officials nominated to lead the Department must pursue significant policy change on issues such as racial justice, religious freedom, discriminatory profiling, and government excesses committed in the name of national security.”

CAIR is encouraging the newly nominated DOJ leadership team to review “The First 100 Days” policy report that has been endorsed by dozens of Muslim American organizations. The report details new initiatives and policy reforms designed to protect and restore the rights of American Muslims and advance justice for all by:

  • holding rogue police officers accountable at the federal level
  • Withdrawing legal justifications for national security overreach, including the use of the watchlist and no-fly list here at home, as well as drone strikes overseas.
  • Completely prohibiting the use of religious profiling
  • Ending the dangerous use of informants in the Muslim community
  • Facilitating the closure of the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay
  • Better protecting minorities from hate crimes
  • Enhancing the tracking and reporting on hate crimes
  • Defending the rights of minorities in schools, the workplace and elsewhere.

READ CAIR’s Report: The First 100 Days – Biden-Harris Administration – Restoring the Rights of American Muslims and Advancing Justice for all Americans 

CAIR’s agenda is endorsed by the U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations, the largest coalition of leading national, regional, and local Muslim organizations and institutions harnessing the collective strength of American Muslims for the greater good of all.     

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

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