Press Releases

Muslim Civil Rights Group Joins Call to Drop ‘Redskins’ Team Name

change-the-mascot(WASHINGTON, D.C., 11/13/13) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today joined the growing call by Native American groups and others concerned about derogatory team nicknames and mascots in calling on the Washington “Redskins†to change its name.

SEE: Oneida Indian Nation ‘Change the Mascot’ Campaign

CAIR issued that request as President Obama today hosts the 2013 White House Tribal Nations Conference in Washington, D.C. The president has himself suggested that the team change its name.

SEE: President Obama to Host the 2013 White House Tribal Nations Conference
Oneida Indians Thank Obama for Comments on Redskins (USA Today)

In a statement, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said:

“We join with all those who are opposed to racist, stereotypical and derogatory athletic team names or mascots and urge the owner of the Washington ‘Redskins’ to recognize the hurt he is causing to Native Americans and the harm such stereotypical portrayals do to our nation’s ideals of inclusion and respect for all citizens, regardless of their racial, ethnic or religious background. We urge team owner Dan Snyder and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to take immediate action to change the name to one that truly represents the fans’ aspirations and American ideals.â€

He noted that the Council of the District of Columbia passed a resolution last week condemning the franchise’s ongoing use of the “racist and derogatory†name and mascot. Despite increasing public pressure, the team’s owner has refused to alter the name.Awad said CAIR also supports the recent statement by the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) calling on California’s Coachella Valley High School to change its “Arabs†nickname and stop using a derogatory mascot.

SEE: Group Challenges California High School’s ‘Arabs’ Team Name, Mascot
The Washington-based Muslim civil rights group is urging any team with a stereotypical or offensive nickname or mascot to change its name. One such school would include Indio High School in California, which uses the nickname “Rajahs†and a mascot wearing a turban.

SEE: Indio High School

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 National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,; CAIR Communications Manager Amina Rubin, 202-341-4171,

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