(WASHINGTON, D.C., 12/9/2014) — The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today submitted written testimony for a Senate hearing on the state of civil and human rights in the United States.
Today's hearing by the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights, chaired by Assistant Majority Leader Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), examines the status of key civil and human rights issues, including criminal justice reform, voting rights and police-community relations.
The hearing comes following a number of high-profile cases involving allegations of police misconduct in shootings of African-American males, including the tragic and unnecessary deaths of Eric Garner, Michael Brown and Tamir Rice. In the cases of Eric Garner and Michael Brown local prosecutors and grand juries declined to bring their shootings to trial.
CAIR's testimony examines the police killings of unarmed African-Americans and other minorities; the prevalent practice of racial and religious profiling; racially and religiously-biased training of federal and state law enforcement; blanketed surveillance of the American Muslim community, leaders and groups; entrapment of American Muslims by law enforcement authorities; and the need for national moratorium on the death penalty.
CAIR's recommendations to Congress include:
- Enacting the End Racial Profiling Act (H.R. 2851/S.1038), prohibiting the use of racial profiling by federal, state, or local law enforcement agencies;
- Pushing for the DOJ to revisit its newly revised guidelines on racial profiling that retain exemptions for DHS agents' use of religion, national origin and other characteristics to profile at airports and the border and allow the FBI to “map” minority communities to place informants;
- Providing the DOJ with more resources to dedicate to special prosecutors to independently investigate the police shooting of U.S. minorities.
“American Muslims are the most racially diverse religious group in the United States, with African-Americans, Arabs and South Asians each making up a third of the religion's believers. The experiences of American Muslims shed light on many key civil and human rights issues, on the need to reform the criminal justice system and on how police-community relations are handled,” said CAIR Government Affair Manager Robert McCaw.
McCaw added: “CAIR is concerned that the reported actions of racial and religious profiling by state and federal law enforcement, including the FBI and CBP, could weaken the American Muslim community's trust in law enforcement, be in violation of the U.S. Constitution and public law, impact public safety by diverting limited law enforcement resources, and sidetrack such agencies from their mission to protect the U.S. citizens.”
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.
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CONTACT: CAIR Government Affairs Department Manager Robert McCaw, 202-742-6448, email@example.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR Communications Manager Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, email@example.com