(ST. LOUIS, MO, 4/11/2017) – The Missouri chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Missouri) today said its executive director will speak at an event at Truman State University just before an appearance by the notorious Islamophobe Robert Spencer.
CAIR said the Truman State College Republicans have invited Spencer to speak at an event on Thursday paid for with $3,000 from the university’s student-led Funds Allotment Council, which is funded by student fees.
Spencer is scheduled to speak in a campus auditorium at 8 p.m. At 6:30 p.m. that same evening, CAIR-Missouri Executive Director Faizan Syed will offer a presentation, titled “Reclaiming Islam and Overcoming Hate,” organized by the Muslim Student Association.
A third-party petition has been launched to oppose Spencer’s appearance at Truman State.
“While Spencer has the right to spew anti-Muslim propaganda, his extremist and conspiratorial views should not go unchallenged,” said Syed.
Spencer is a key leader in the anti-Islam hate movement in the United States. He is the director of the blog “Jihad Watch” and of the American Freedom Defense Initiative and Stop Islamization of America, both of which are viewed as anti-Muslim groups.
In 2013, Spencer was banned from entering the United Kingdom because his views “foster hatred which might lead to inter-community violence.” His recommended reading list has included racist books such as Jean Raspail’s 1973 “Camp of the Saints,” which depicts France being overrun by non-white immigrants from India. The respected Southern Poverty Law Center labeled Spencer an “anti-Muslim extremist.”
CAIR recently decried what it termed the Trump administration’s “deafening silence” on a growing number of anti-Muslim incidents in recent days, part of trend that began during the recent presidential campaign and accelerated following the November 8 election.
Since the beginning of the year, CAIR has called for investigations of possible bias motives for 35 incidents targeting mosques in Colorado, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Kentucky, Georgia, Arizona, Virginia, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Texas, and a number of other states. By comparison, in the January-March period in 2016, CAIR recorded 19 such incidents.
In a soon-to-be-published report, CAIR will detail a more than 50 percent increase in anti-Muslim bias incidents in 2016 over 2015. That figure is accompanied by a more than 40 percent increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes in the same period.
CAIR is asking American Muslims and Islamic institutions to take extra security precautions and is offering Muslim community leaders free copies of its booklet, “Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety.” The booklet may be requested through CAIR’s website: http://www.cair.com/mosque-safety-guide.html
The Washington-based civil rights and advocacy organization urges community members to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR’s Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or by filing a report at: http://www.cair.com/civil-rights/report-an-incident/view/form.html
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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