(BALTIMORE, MD, 9/23/2021) – The Maryland office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), America’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today announced that it sent a letter to administrators of the Protecting Against Hate Crimes (PAHC) Grant Program inquiring why every mosque and Muslim organization that applied for funding was denied.
Earlier this week, Governor Hogan announced over 30 Maryland organizations and faith-based groups who were selected to receive amounts ranging from $25K – $150K. According to their statement, the Hogan administration has disbursed over $8 million to protect vulnerable groups from hate crimes since the PAHC grant program was established in 2019.
SEE: Governor Hogan announces $3 million for grants to protect against hate crimes
In a letter sent to the PAHC grant program administrators, CAIR’s Maryland Director Zainab Chaudry said in part:
“Especially in these challenging times, my organization strongly supports such funding opportunities to help keep interfaith communities safer. However, we are deeply concerned and dismayed to learn that despite several applications submitted by mosques and Muslim organizations, not a single applicant from within our state’s diverse Muslim communities was approved to receive any grant funding.
According to the PAHC website, the primary purpose of the program is to ‘provide support to nonprofit organizations, including faith-based organizations, with facilities and membership that can be targeted for a hate crime to provide security enhancements. These efforts support GOCCP’s objective of developing criminal justice and victim services strategies that are coordinated by developing a culture of collaboration, information sharing, and knowledge transfer between law enforcement, victim services and communities targeted for hate crimes.’
Part of my organization’s focus involves tracking the prevalence of islamophobia and anti-Muslim hate in our country. In July 2021, CAIR’s national headquarters based in Washington, D.C. released a mid-year report documenting over 500 complaints so far this year alone of anti-Muslim hate crimes, discrimination, immigration and travel issues, school bullying incidents, and more. CAIR recorded four anti-Mosque incidents in May alone and several physical assault cases. In 2020, CAIR processed 241 hate and bias reports including verbal harassment, vandalism, and physical violence, such as the forced removal of hijabs. Our 2018 civil rights report documented 300 hate crimes including 144 anti-Mosque incidents.
These incidents directly impact mosques and Muslims who contribute to and enrich our state in countless ways. The Maryland office routinely handles incidents of bullying, harassment, assault, theft, vandalism, and discrimination targeting our mosques and communities. Taking this context into account, this oversight is all the more disturbing.
To that end, CAIR is seeking an explanation at your earliest convenience of the grant approval process and what factors were considered by your office to determine which organizations and institutions qualified for this funding.”
READ THE LETTER:
CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, 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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