(SOUTHFIELD, MI, 7/1/10) – Representatives from the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MI) yesterday gave oral testimony at a special town hall meeting on racial profiling with government officials and civil rights attorneys at the Wayne State University Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights in Detroit.
The town hall meeting, which was organized by the Rights Working Group and co-sponsored by CAIR-MI, had panelists taking testimony on racial and religious profiling from civil rights activists and community organizers. Panelists hearing testimony included U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan Barbara McQuade, Michigan State Representative Rashida Tlaib, Michigan Civil Rights Commissioner Nabih Ayad, and Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) Executive Director Vincent Warren.
CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid and CAIR-MI Staff Attorney Lena Masri testified about growing constituent concerns regarding surveillance and misuse of confidential informants in mosques and religious profiling during re-entry into the United States. Walid elaborated on the chilling effect on Michigan Muslims to freely exercise their First Amendment rights to Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Assembly in light of last year’s fatal shooting of Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah in Dearborn by FBI agents based on a raid provoked by the use of confidential informants.
CAIR-Cleveland Executive Director Julia Shearson was also in attendance and monitored testimony offered.
Other organizations who participated in the town hall included the American Civil Liberties Union – Michigan (ACLU-MI), Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS), Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality, and Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund (MALDEF).
“We welcome such opportunities to engage high ranking Justice Department officials and civil rights advocates to ensure public safety within our communities without compromising the civil rights and dignity of vulnerable minority groups,” said CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud 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 Staff Attorney Lena Masri, 248-559-2247, E-Mail: email@example.com