(SOUTHFIELD, MI, 4/12/11) ­- A representative of the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MI) yesterday joined federal law enforcement officials and civil rights advocates at the University of Michigan — Dearborn in a discussion about contemporary civil rights challenges facing American Muslims.
The “Know Your Rights” discussion panel, which was sponsored by the Muslim Students Association (MSA) and the Arab Student Union (ASU), included U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade, FBI Special Agent in Charge Andrew Arena, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Special Agent in Charge Brian Moskowitz, ADC-MI Regional Director Imad Hamad, ACLU-MI Board Member Tarek Beydoun, and CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid.
SEE: At Dearborn Forum, Law Enforcement Leaders Say All Faiths Must Be Protected (Detroit Free Press)
A major focus of the discussion centered on concerns of federal law enforcement agents questioning community members about their religious practices — including how many times a day they pray — as well as on their political opinions on the current revolutions taking place in the Arab world.
CAIR-MI has received specific complaints from Syrian-Americans and Yemeni-Americans who have been approached by the FBI inquiring about their views on current uprisings.
Walid addressed the rights of persons to be free from intimidation from ICE agents at schools and houses of worship in light of a recent case in Detroit in which ICE agents surrounded a school attended by Arab-American and Latino-American children.
SEE: ICE Tactics Questioned (WMYD TV 20)
“We welcome such opportunities to have open and honest discussions with federal law enforcement authorities about the civil rights concerns of American Muslims and to inform the broader community about their constitutional rights,” said CAIR’s Walid.
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.
CONTACT: CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid,248-559-2247, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR-MI Outreach Coordinator Raheem Hanifa, 248-559-2247, email@example.com