Press Releases

CAIR-MI to Announce Filing of Two Civil Rights Complaints Against Michigan Department of Corrections

(FARMINGTON HILLS, MI, 4/17/18) – On Wednesday, April 18, the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations Michigan (CAIR-MI) will hold a noon press conference to discuss the recent filing of two civil rights complaints against the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) for discriminatory actions against a pregnant Muslim woman in their custody. 

WHAT: Press Conference Announcing Civil Rights Complaints Against MDOC

WHERE: CAIR-MI Office:  30201 Orchard Lake Road, Suite 260, Farmington Hills, MI

WHEN: Wednesday, April 18, 12 p.m.

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

CAIR-MI is filing a Michigan Department of Civil Rights complaint on behalf of a Muslim woman housed at the Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility who was not given access to a hijab (Muslim female head covering) and denied religious meal accommodations while in administrative segregation.

Siwatu-Salama Ra is being housed at the women’s correctional facility after a recent and controversial conviction for a weapons charge for defending herself, her mother and her small child from an attack that occurred at her mother’s home in 2017.  

SEE: How a flawed criminal justice system put a pregnant Detroit activist behind bars (Detroit Metro Times)

CAIR-MI is filing a second complaint with the Michigan Department of Civil Rights for an African-American female religious leader who was denied clergy status at the same facility. Upon presentation of the proper paperwork for a clergy visit, the staff at the women’s correctional facility questioned the validity of Michigan’s Oldest Mosque as a true religious organization.

“It is troublesome that we were forced to file complaints against the Michigan Department of Corrections for denying appropriate food accommodations for an eight-month pregnant woman,” said CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid. “It is equally troubling that MDOC called into question the religious legitimacy of one of the oldest mosques in American, an institution at which I previously served as an imam.”   

Walid also noted CAIR-MI has taken legal action against MDOC previously, including  a lawsuit  settled last year demanding religious dietary accommodations for Muslims during the holy month of Ramadan. 

SEE: CAIR-MI settles suit against MDOC over Ramadan meals (Detroit News)

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.

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