(ATLANTA, GA, 8/23/16) â€“ Later today, the Georgia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-GA) will hold a joint press conference with the Georgia NAACP and several other organizations to announce several updates regarding the blocked mosque in Newton County, Ga., and to respond to the anti-Muslim rhetoric expressed at town hall meetings on the issue last night.
WHAT: CAIR-GA News Conference on Proposed Mosque
WHEN: Tuesday, August 23, 12:30 p.m.
WHERE: Atlanta Masjid of Al-Islam, 560 Fayetteville Rd SE, Atlanta, GA 30316
CONTACT: CAIR-GA Executive Director Edward Ahmed Mitchell; 404-285-9530; email@example.com
Islamophobic rhetoric at last nightâ€™s meetings included: “We have already seen bombings and beheadings. Eight years ago our U.S. government got a Muslim president who has put Muslims in power.â€ Also: â€œI donâ€™t want these people and these teachings in our community. Were you not watching your television on 9/11/ 01? Have we lost our minds?â€
Updates include information regarding the U.S Department of Justice (DOJ) response to CAIR-GA's report of religious discrimination, the status of the blocked mosque's outreach to local churches and community leaders, and CAIR-GA's plan to visit Newton County and deliver an â€œIslam 101â€ presentation to the public.
Last week, CAIR-GA called on the Department of Justice to review Newton County's decision to pass a moratorium blocking the mosque, despite prior county approval and local laws allowing its construction. Public comments leading up to the moratorium by opponents of the proposal, including a county commissioner, expressed anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant sentiments. Hundreds of people expressed similar views at a public town hall in Newton County on Monday, Aug. 22nd.
More than 30 local religious, political and civil organizations, including the Georgia NAACP and the ACLU of Georgia, have united in support of CAIR-GAâ€™s call for a DOJ probe.
“We thank the office of the U.S. attorney for agreeing to review our request regarding the situation in Newton County,” said Edward Ahmed Mitchell, executive director of CAIR-GA. “However, we remain hopeful that Newton County's commissioners will reverse course and uphold religious freedom without the need for outside legal intervention.”
The Washington-based Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization has successfully defended the religious rights of a number of Muslim communities nationwide based on the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), which protects individuals, houses of worship and other religious institutions from discrimination in zoning and landmarking laws. So has the ACLU of Georgia.
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.
La misiÃ³n de CAIR es mejorar la comprensiÃ³n del Islam, fomentar el diÃ¡logo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensiÃ³n mutua.
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