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CAIR-NY Responds to Protests, Calls on City to Take the Lead in Defending Muslims’ Civil Rights in Wake of Trump Election

CAIR logo(NEW YORK, NY 11/10/16) – The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today responded to the recent series of anti-Trump protests, calling on New York City to take a leadership role in defending Muslims' civil rights in the wake of Donald J. Trump’s election as President of the United States.

As Mayor de Blasio stated yesterday: “New York believes in tolerance. We long ago showed the world that ‘live and let live’ is the best policy. We embrace civil rights and religious diversity. We always will.â€Â 

“We will always stand in support of those who exercise their constitutional right to peacefully protest, said CAIR-Director of Strategic Litigation Albert Fox Cahn.  “We are incredibly grateful for New Yorkers’ outpouring of support for the Muslim American community.

CAIR-NY is calling upon elected officials to put these words into practice by providing greater resources to combat hate crimes, reform New York's restrictive election laws and eliminate unjust surveillance.

The Washington-based Muslim civil rights group is asking city and state officials to provide the NYPD and other New York law enforcement agencies with greater anti-hate crime resources, ensuring that all New Yorkers feel safe in the coming days and months.

“After the recent Brexit vote, many U.K. cities saw significant increases in hate crimes,†said CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher.  “We hope that hate crimes don’t increase here, but law enforcement needs to be prepared for any eventuality.â€

CAIR-NY is also calling on Albany lawmakers to overhaul the state's restrictive voting laws, which impose some of the earliest registration deadlines and harshest absentee ballot requirements in the nation.

“Automatic registration, same-date registration, early voting, and open-primaries would empower millions more New Yorkers to exercise their constitutional right to vote,” said Nasher. 

Prior to Tuesday's election, CAIR-NY was already working on several civil rights initiatives. Trump’s victory came less than two weeks after the civil rights group supported a federal judge’s ruling calling for greater protections against warrantless NYPD surveillance of the Muslim community. In the October 28th ruling, Judge Haight, of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, found that a proposed NYPD settlement did not “furnish sufficient protection from potential violations of the constitutional rights of those law-abiding Muslims and believers in Islam . . .â€

See: CAIR-NY Supports Federal Judge’s Call for Greater Protections Against Warrantless NYPD Surveillance

http://www.cair-ny.org/news/2016/11/1/cair-ny-supports-federal-judges-call-for-greater-protections-against-warrantless-nypd-surveillance  

“New York officials must do more than just denounce Mr. Trump’s Islamophobic policy proposals, they must stop New York City’s own unconstitutional surveillance,†said CAIR-Director of Strategic Litigation Albert Fox Cahn. “This is a moment to signal to the world that New York will rise above fear and suspicion of our Muslim neighbors.â€

The district court’s ruling turned largely on the New York Office of the Inspector General’s August 23rd, 2016, Investigation of NYPD’s Compliance with rules Governing Investigations of Political Activity.  That report found that 95% of investigations were targeted at Muslims or political causes associated with Islam, and that investigations typically exceeded the time limits allowed by the existing federal consent decree.

SEE: NYPD's Muslim surveillance violated regulations as recently as 2015: report

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/aug/24/nypd-muslims-surveillance-violations 

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 misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.

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CONTACT: CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher, 917-669-4006, anasher@cair.com; Director of Strategic Litigation Albert Cahn, 571-766-6273, acahn@cair.com, CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, ihooper@cair.com

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