(WASHINGTON, D.C., 8/5/15) â€“ On Thursday, August 6, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) will join other Muslim and civil rights organizations in holding news conferences in Minneapolis, Los Angeles and Boston to express growing community concerns about proposed government-initiated â€œcountering violent extremismâ€ (CVE) programming. These events are being held in the three cities designated to launch CVE pilot programs.
TIMES AND LOCATIONS:
* CAIR-MNâ€™s news conference will be held at 12:15 p.m. at Karmel Square (Somali Mall) 2936-2944 Pillsbury Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55408.
* CAIR-MAâ€™s news conference, held jointly with the Muslim Justice League, will be held at 11 a.m. in front of Boston City Hall.
* CAIR-LA will hold a media availability from 11 a.m. to noon at 2180 W. Crescent Ave., Suite F. Anaheim, CA 92801 (CAIR-LAâ€™s office).
Pre-news conference statements from CAIR chapter representatives:
CAIR-LA Public Affairs Coordinator Haroon Manjlai: â€œDespite repeatedly raising concerns, civil rights and community-based groups have received no response from the government. Instead the government has decided to prioritize CVE, a program proven to be ineffective, with no support from the community it is directed towards, and major civil rights implications.â€
CAIR-MN Executive Director Jaylani Hussein: â€œThe Minnesota Muslim Community is united over its growing concerns about the CVE pilot program, which so far has only alienated the very communities it was seeking to influence, while attempting to derail the communities own initiative to enhance its ability to build community resilience.â€
CAIR-MA Executive Director Dr. John Robbins: â€œThese joint actions send a powerful statement attesting to the degree to which the Department of Homeland Security has ignored criticism of local dissent in the proposed CVE pilot cities, instead selectively highlighting the relatively few groups who have thus far pledged support. We hope these declarations by community and civil rights leaders will illustrate the broad concerns they have about planned CVE programs.â€
Last month, CAIR released an updated CVE briefing paper in advance of a hearing by the House Homeland Security Committee, which was considering legislation to provide $40 million taxpayer dollars over four years to expand the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) by adding an office that would deal exclusively with CVE.
CAIRâ€™s briefing paper outlines a number of concerns about the government's CVE initiative, including that government-led CVE is not an effective use of public resources, that it often relies on subjective measures, and that its efficacy is questionable.
Observers note that CVE is generally driven by news events, that the current program targets American Muslims exclusively, and find claims that the government is targeting all forms of violent extremism to be inconsistently supported.
There is also concern that the current CVE initiative undermines American ideals such as government not having a role in the free exercise of religion.
CAIR also joined 41 other organizations in raising concerns about the Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Act of 2015 (H.R. 2899).
Read the Entire Letter
Other groups and individuals participating in or supporting the August 6 events will include:
* The Muslim Justice League
* The Unitarian Universalist Mass Action Network
* Nadeem Mazen, Cambridge MA City Counselor
* Jewish Voice for Peace â€“ Boston
* ICNA Relief â€“ Massachusetts
* American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California
* Asian American Advancing Justice-Los Angeles
* South Asian Network
* Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund-Los Angeles
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-MN Executive Director Jaylani Hussein,Â email@example.com, 612-406-0070, CAIR-LA Public Affairs Coordinator Haroon Manjlai, 714-776-1847, firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR-MA Executive Director Dr. John Robbins, 617-862-9159, jRobbins@cair.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, email@example.com; CAIR Communications Coordinator Nabeelah Naeem, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, firstname.lastname@example.org