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CAIR-MI Records Dramatic Increase in Civil Rights Complaints in First Quarter of 2019

(FARMINGTON HILLS, MI, 4/11/2019) — The Michigan chapter of Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MI), a chapter of the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights organization, today announced that it has recorded a sharp increase in the amount of civil rights complaints it has received in the first quarter of 2019 compared to the first quarter of 2018.

CAIR-MI said the amount of complaints received in the first quarter of 2019 almost doubled from the same time period last year. The type of cases reported in the first quarter of 2019 has diversified and cover a broader range of issues than those received in the same time last year, including a large number of FBI encounters, requests for assistance with obtaining religious accommodations at work or at school, discrimination in the types of religious accommodations allowed in the workplace or school, zoning discrimination, and discrimination in health care. 

In addition to receiving a broader range in the types of civil rights complaints that CAIR-MI has received, there has been a significant increase in the amount and severity of several different types of complaints that CAIR-MI has historically seen throughout the years. 

There has been a 120 percent increase in the number of travel related incidents that have been reported to CAIR-MI in the first quarter of 2019. These include several incidents in which American Muslims had electronics seized at the border. 

CAIR-MI has received one and a half times as many employment related discrimination cases this quarter in comparison to the first quarter of 2018.

Most alarmingly, there has been a 500 percent increase in the number of complaints CAIR-MI received that involve acts of Islamophobia in the first quarter of 2019.

These acts include incidents of harassment of Muslims in public as well as targeting of Muslim places of worship and a drive-by shooting of the home of a Muslim family shortly after they walked home from the evening prayers. 

SEE: Breakdown of the Intake CAIR-MI Received in the First Quarter of 2019

“The doubling of cases received in our office this year compared to the same time-frame last year reflects growing Islamophobia in our society,” said CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid. “We call on religious and political leaders in Michigan to speak out against the growing polarization in general, which has swept across our nation in the past two years.” 

“It is clear that Muslims in Michigan are facing a spike in anti-Muslim bigotry that can be associated with the current political climate,” said CAIR-MI Staff Attorney Amy Doukoure. “It is no coincidence that Muslims are facing increasing difficulty in just going about their daily lives at the same time that they are facing discriminatory policies such as the Muslim Ban and increased targeting by federal law enforcement.”

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.


CONTACT: CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid (248) 842-1418;; CAIR-MI Staff Attorney Amy Doukoure (586) 943-8823;

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