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CAIR Urges Biden, Congress to Probe Reports of Anti-Muslim Discrimination, Attacks in African Countries, Sri Lanka  

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 10/20/21) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today responded to recent reports of Muslim minority communities being discriminated against and attacked by state and non-state actors in certain African countries and Sri Lanka by calling on the Biden administration and Congress to investigate and respond to separate claims made by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (Africa) and Amnesty International (Sri Lanka).    

“State discrimination and violence against Muslim and minority faith communities should not just be condemned by our government but responded to in the form of punitive designations and sanctions – whether it is occurring in countries where Muslims are the majority or minority,” said CAIR Director of Government Affairs Department Robert S. McCaw.  

BACKGROUNDER:   

This week, Amnesty International issued the report “Sri Lanka: From burning houses to burning bodies: Anti-Muslim violence, discrimination and harassment in Sri Lanka.” The report documents incidents where Muslims have been targeted, attacked and discriminated against, by various state and non-state actors.

CAIR supports Amnesty International’s call on the Sri Lankan government to put an immediate stop to the increasing police, armed forces and communal violence – and discriminatory state policies – targeting the island’s Muslim minority.  

Also today, USCIRF published its recommendations that the State Department should designate certain African countries as countries of particular concern (CPCs) or special watchlist (SWL) countries for “state persecution of Muslim minorities in Nigeria, Egypt, Algeria; attacks on Muslim leaders and houses of worship; and targeting of Muslims in the context of political conflict.”  

SEE: USCIRF Releases Report Highlighting Religious Freedom Violations against Muslims in Africa  

READ: Violations against Muslims in Africa Factsheet | USCIRF  

USCIRF recent report includes documentation of state prosecution against Shia Muslims in Egypt, Nigeria, and the island nation of Comoros.   

In its 2021 Annual Report, USCIRF recommended that the U.S. State Department designate Nigeria and Eritrea as Countries of Particular Concern for engaging in and tolerating ongoing, systematic, and egregious violations of international religious freedom. USCIRF also recommended that the State Department place Egypt and Algeria on its Special Watch List.  

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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CONTACT: CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw, 202-742-6448, rmccaw@cair.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, ihooper@cair.com    

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