(WASHINGTON, D.C., 3/1/12) — The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today released a community toolkit designed to assist those seeking to preserve America's ideal of religious pluralism in the face of unconstitutional “anti-Sharia” bills that have been introduced in more than 20 states nationwide.
CAIR Community Toolkit: Securing Religious Liberty
BACKGROUNDER: 33 Anti-Sharia Bills in 20 States
CAIR's “Securing Religious Liberty” toolkit includes lessons learned from opposing anti-Muslim legislative efforts in Oklahoma, Tennessee and Michigan, an explanation of the legal impact of the discriminatory bills and a discussion of what Sharia is and what it is not.
“I urge community leaders and activists to read this important toolkit thoroughly, to distribute it widely and to discuss its contents with civil liberties coalition partners,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad . “Americans of all faiths must be vigilant in defense of the Constitution and the freedoms it grants.
The toolkit's introduction states in part:
“The American Muslim community's challenge is to prevent agenda-driven anti-Islam legislation from undermining America's ideals of free religious expression and to minimize government intrusion into personal religious affairs … In preventing this erosion of American ideals, Muslims are in fact living the two core goals of Sharia: to be a benefit to humanity and to prevent harm to humanity.”
The toolkit includes checklists of steps to take before and after anti-Sharia legislation is introduced in a state legislature and on scheduling productive meetings with elected officials. It also includes appendixes offering background on David Yerushalmi, the anti-Islam extremist who authored the template for the anti-Sharia bills, as well as sample news releases and action alerts on the issue.
Yerushalmi is head of the anti-Islam hate group Society of Americans for National Existence (SANE), which once offered a policy proposal that would make “adherence to Islam” punishable by 20 years in prison, called for the immediate deportation of all non-citizen Muslims and urged Congress to declare war on the “Muslim Nation,” which SANE defined as “all Muslims.” The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) named Yerushalmi a member of the “anti-Muslim inner circle.”
Links to Background Information on David Yerushalmi:
The Man Behind the Anti-Shariah Movement (NY Times)
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 National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper , 202-744-7726, firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin , 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, email@example.com