CAIR-LA Stands in Solidarity with Jewish Community After Signs Near Topanga Elementary School Defaced with Nazi Swastikas

(LOS ANGELES, CA - 12/10/2019) – The Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) today condemned anti-Semitic and threatening graffiti posted near an elementary school in Topanga.  

According to the Los Angeles Times, Nazi swastikas and threatening messages were found near Topanga Elementary Charter School twice in the past three weeks. The newspaper reported the threats were deemed “non-credible” this morning.

The first occurrence reported by a parent on Nov. 21 when a swastika and the words “mass shoot everyone” were discovered scrawled on a vinyl banner advertising a school play. Another swastika was reported drawn at the bottom of a crosswalk sign near the banner.

The second occurrence was reported by a student on Dec. 3, when a student reported seeing the words “mass shooting” and “all humans are evil” written inside the drawing of a swastika on a school sign near the campus.

The threats of violence were investigated by the Los Angeles School Police and the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department and deemed “non-credible,” with “no evidence of a direct threat to the school,” according to a letter from the school sent to parents. The school has arranged for an increased police presence on campus for the duration of the investigation into the origin of the graffiti.

READ: Graffiti threatening ‘mass shooting’ found near Topanga elementary school

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2019-12-09/graffiti-threatening-mass-shooting-found-near-topanga-elementary-school

In a statement, CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush said:

“While we are grateful no credible threat has been discovered, these displays of bigotry, coupled with suggestions of violence, are extremely disturbing. The incidents at this school are a continuation of the pattern we have been witnessing of bigots being emboldened in their speech as well as their actions. 

“Anti-Semitism and xenophobia in any form are unacceptable, especially when targeting institutions of learning. We stand in solidarity with the Jewish community and all targeted minorities against the actions of bigots who violate our nation’s long-standing principles of religious tolerance and inclusion.”

In a statement, L.A. school board member Nick Melvoin said:

“The safety of our students is a top priority, and we will not tolerate hate crimes or violent threats of any kind in LA Unified. I am especially saddened when these hateful messages threaten to disrupt a place of learning, just outside the walls where we teach our children every day to act with kindness and compassion.” 

Ayloush urged community members to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR-LA's Civil Rights Department at 714-776-1177 or by filing a report at: https://bit.ly/2L9Ezsw.

CAIR-LA is Southern California’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice and empower American Muslims.

END

CONTACT: CAIR-LA Communications Manager Eugene W. Fields, 714-776-1847 or efields@cair.com


CAIR Action Alert: Urge Congress to Support Bipartisan Resolution Against Indian Government’s Abuses in Jammu and Kashmir

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 12/10/19) -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, is calling on all Americans to urge their U.S. House representative to co-sponsor and support the adoption of a bipartisan resolution by Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and Steve Watkins (R-KA) -- House Resolution 745 -- on Jammu and Kashmir

House Resolution 745 is titled: “Urging the Republic of India to end the restrictions on communications and mass detentions in Jammu and Kashmir as swiftly as possible and preserve religious freedom for all residents.”

CAIR notes that Congresswoman Jayapal is the first Indian-American woman elected to Congress.

ACT NOW: URGE CONGRESS TO SUPPORT RESOLUTION AGAINST INDIAN GOVERNMENT ABUSES IN JAMMU AND KASHMIR

https://www.votervoice.net/CAIR/campaigns/69852/respond

In August, the Indian government illegally revoked Article 370 of the constitution, taking away the protected status of the Indian-controlled state of Jammu and Kashmir. The legal maneuvering that led to the revocation of Article 370 has been widely panned by legal experts as unconstitutional and a complaint has already been filed in the Indian Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of the revocation. The Indian government’s mobilization of more than 50,000 additional military personnel to the existing 750,000 stationed troops in the region has also made it the most militarized region of the world.
 
Since revoking Article 370, India’s military has maintained a continued communications and internet blackout of Kashmir, forcibly detained some 4,000 elected Kashmiri political leaders, business leaders, civil society members, and rights activists in secret jails and levied a near-constant curfew on the region’s 8 million residents. There are widespread reports of torture of detainees. Indian security forces have also arrested children and kept their whereabouts secret from their parents.
 
On December 5, CAIR also urged U.S. House representatives to co-sponsor and support the adoption of Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib’s (D-MI) House Resolution 724 condemning the human rights violations taking place in Jammu and Kashmir and supporting Kashmiri self-determination.

In October, CAIR submitted a written statement to the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and Nonproliferation’s hearing on “Human Rights in South Asia: Views from the State Department and the Region.” CAIR’s statement focuses on Kashmir and the Indian government’s revocation of that region’s protected status and accompanying human rights abuses. The hearing was convened by Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA).
 
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, 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.  
 
END
 
CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Coordinator Ayan Ajeen, 202-774-0770, aajeen@cair.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, ihooper@cair.com

 


CAIR Calls on Amazon, Google, AudioBooks, and Barnes and Noble to Remove White Supremacist, Pro-Confederate Materials

 .    

 

  • Amazon, Google, AudioBooks, and Barnes and Noble all sell neo-confederate book “The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Civil War”
  • Amazon and Barnes and Noble also found selling neo-confederate book “The South Was Right”
  • Third party sellers on Amazon distributing neo-Nazi recruitment novel “The Turner Diaries”

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 12/9/19) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called on Audible and Kindle (companies of Amazon), Amazon, Google Play Books (operated by Google), AudioBooks, and Barnes and Noble to remove all white supremacist and pro-confederate digital audio books and related social media ads.

CAIR found that all those companies sell the pro-Confederacy audiobook “The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Civil War.”

The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Civil War promotes white supremacist themes, including:

  • “That the south” i.e. Confederacy, “had the moral high ground in the” Civil War.
  • The Confederacy was based “not on treason” but “the preservation of the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness of South Carolinians, Mississippians, Floridians, Alabamans, Georgians, Louisianans and Texans.”
  • Confederate leader and defender of slavery Jefferson Davis was “pillar of rectitude and principle, of constitutionalism and liberty, and of Christian stoicism and political conservatism.”
  • The Civil War was unnecessary because under the Confederacy slavery was “expected. . .to fade away naturally.”
  • Neo-Confederate talking points rebranding the Civil War as "the War of Northern Aggression," with the author calling that phrase "much more accurate."
  • That the 14th Amendment was "never constitutionally ratified," a White Supremacist claim rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • That “if the [Confederacy] had won, we might be able to enjoy holidays in the sunny Southern state of Cuba.”
  • “That southern succession was legal.”

Amazon’s Audible is advertising the book as promotional item on Facebook.

SEE: NY Times: Review: The Difference Between Politically Incorrect and Historically Wrong

“It is inexcusable for internet retailers like Amazon, Google, Audio Books, and Barnes and Noble to profit from the mainstreaming of White supremacist historical revisionism that celebrates the treason of the Confederacy and excuses the abomination of slavery,” said CAIR Director of Government Affairs Robert S. McCaw. “Amazon, Google, Audio Books, and Barnes and Noble should immediately remove all white supremacist and pro-Confederacy digital audio books and related social media ads.”

McCaw added: “Amazon should also make sure once and for all that third-party sellers are barred from selling neo-Nazi recruitment materials like The Turner Diaries.”

CAIR also found that Amazon and Barnes and Noble carry print versions of the neo-confederate book “The South Was Right,” which promotes the idea that the Confederacy “was an independent country invaded, captured, and still occupied by a vicious aggressor.” The South Was Right is also available on Amazon’s Kindle service.

Moreover, CAIR found that the neo-Nazi race war novel “The Turner Diaries” is being sold on Amazon by third parties in paperback and audio CD. The Southern Poverty Law Center denotes that the book is “the bible of the racist right’” “known to have drawn many into the movement” and “was a key inspiration for Timothy McVeigh's 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.”

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, 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.

END

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

 


CAIR-San Diego Welcomes Sentencing of Man Who Attacked Syrian Refugee Teen

(SAN DIEGO, CA, 12/6/2019) – The San-Diego chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-San Diego), a chapter of the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today welcomed the sentencing of a man who attacked a 16-year-old Syrian refugee on the San Diego trolley.

The attacker, who assaulted and berated the teen with racial epithets, faces a sentence of five years. 

SEE: Attacker of Syrian Teen Gets 5-Year Prison Sentence for Assault, Hate Crime

https://timesofsandiego.com/crime/2019/12/05/attacker-of-syrian-teen-gets-5-year-prison-sentence-after-pleading-guilty-to-hate-crime/

CAIR Condemns Hate Attack on Syrian Refugee in San Diego

https://www.cair.com/cair_condemns_hate_attack_on_syrian_refugee_in_san_diego

“We welcome this strong sentence for an act of violence and hate,” said CAIR-San Diego Executive Director Dustin Craun. "All those who value justice and mutual understanding must continue to speak out against the growing bigotry nationwide that can lead to such attacks.”

Craun added that CAIR has reported an unprecedented spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims, immigrants and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump as president.

SEE: CAIR-Colorado Calls for Disciplinary Action After Muslim MSU Denver Students Harassed While Praying

https://www.cair.com/cair_colorado_calls_for_disciplinary_action_after_muslim_msu_denver_students_harassed_while_praying

CAIR Calls on State Department to Dismiss Senior Adviser with History of Anti-Muslim Views

https://www.cair.com/cair_calls_on_state_department_to_dismiss_senior_adviser_with_history_of_anti_muslim_views

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. 

END 

CONTACT: CAIR-San Diego Outreach Coordinator Aleena Nawabi, 858-752-1243, anawabi@cair.com; CAIR-San Diego Executive Director Dustin Craun, 303-667-4027, dcraun@cair.com; CAIR National Communications Coordinator Ayan Ajeen, aajeen@cair.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787, ihooper@cair.com

 

 


CAIR Backs Scrapping of Racist Virginia Laws Still on the Books

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 12/6/19) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today supported the scrapping of racist Virginia laws that remain on the books. 

Almost 100 unenforced laws in Virginia still exist that state, “no child shall be required to attend integrated schools,” and order segregation in playgrounds. They also prevent African-Americans from voting and make interracial marriage illegal.

SEE: Virginia looks at scrapping defunct, racist laws still on the books
https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/virginia-politics/virginia-looks-at-scrapping-defunct-racist-laws-still-on-the-books/2019/12/05/e06b3b62-1781-11ea-9110-3b34ce1d92b1_story.html

Panel calls for Virginia to purge dozens of old racist laws
https://www.newstribune.com/news/national/story/2019/dec/06/panel-calls-for-virginia-to-purge-dozens-of-old-racist-laws/807074/

“Though rendered null and void by subsequent legislation and legal actions, these unjust and racist laws remain on the books and stand as a reminder of the discrimination, racism and white supremacy that continue to this today,” said CAIR National Communications Coordinator Ayan Ajeen. “It is essential to send a clear message repudiating racism at a time when minority communities are increasingly targeted by bigotry.”

SEE: CAIR-Colorado Calls for Disciplinary Action After Muslim MSU Denver Students Harassed While Praying

https://www.cair.com/cair_colorado_calls_for_disciplinary_action_after_muslim_msu_denver_students_harassed_while_praying

CAIR Calls on State Department to Dismiss Senior Adviser with History of Anti-Muslim Views

https://www.cair.com/cair_calls_on_state_department_to_dismiss_senior_adviser_with_history_of_anti_muslim_views

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, 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.

END

CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Coordinator Ayan Ajeen, 202-774-0770, aajeen@cair.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, ihooper@cair.com


CAIR Calls for Firing of All West Virginia Government Workers in Nazi Salute Photo

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 12/6/19) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called for the firing of all the West Virginia government workers who participated in a Nazi salute photograph.

In the photo, employees of the state’s Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety pose making the racist Nazi gesture. The employees were posed under the text, “HAIL BYRD!” ― an apparent reference to a salute once offered to the Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. Three people have already been fired and 34 have been suspended without pay.

SEE: 3 fired, 34 suspended in WV investigation of Nazi salute photo

https://www.whsv.com/content/news/WV-launches-investigation-into-completely-inappropriate-photo-of-correctional-trainees-565845011.html

West Virginia Government Employees Suspended After Giving Nazi Salute
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/west-virginia-nazi-salute-photo_n_5de96627e4b0d50f32b0bb68

W.Va. Officials Announce Suspensions Over Photograph of Corrections Trainees Giving Nazi Salute

https://www.wvpublic.org/post/wva-officials-announce-suspensions-over-photograph-corrections-trainees-giving-nazi-salute#stream/0

“This blatant act of anti-Semitism and hate must be repudiated by relevant authorities through actions, not just words,” said CAIR Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. “We call for the swift firing of all those involved in this disturbing incident.”

The Washington-based civil rights organization has reported an unprecedented spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims, immigrants and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump as president.

SEE: CAIR-Colorado Calls for Disciplinary Action After Muslim MSU Denver Students Harassed While Praying

https://www.cair.com/cair_colorado_calls_for_disciplinary_action_after_muslim_msu_denver_students_harassed_while_praying

CAIR Calls on State Department to Dismiss Senior Adviser with History of Anti-Muslim Views

https://www.cair.com/cair_calls_on_state_department_to_dismiss_senior_adviser_with_history_of_anti_muslim_views

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, 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.

END

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

 


CAIR-Houston to Hold Annual Gala Celebrating 18 Years of Defending Civil Rights and Featuring Imam Khalid Latif, Texas Anti-BDS Case Plaintiff Bahia Amawi

(HOUSTON, TX, 12/6/19) - On Sunday, December 8, the Houston chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Houston) will hold its 18th annual gala featuring Imam Khalid Latif and Texas Anti-BDS case Plaintiff Bahia Amawi. 

CAIR-Houston's almost sold-out is one of the largest Muslim gatherings in the Houston Area. More than 600 community members, public officials and interfaith partners are expected to attend to hear from nationally-known speakers and local leaders, and to celebrate the accomplishments of the local chapter of America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization over the past 18 years.

SEE: CAIR-Houston 18th Annual CAIR Gala

https://cairhouston.cbo.io/

WHAT: CAIR-Houston 18th Annual Gala 

WHEN: Sunday, December 8, 6:30 p.m.

WHERE: Hyatt Regency Downtown, 1200 Louisiana Street, Houston Texas

CONTACT: Email ahernandez@cair.com for complimentary press passes

Earlier this week, CAIR-Houston received a proclamation from Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner in which he proclaimed December 8, 2019 -- the day of CAIR-Houston's 18th Annual Gala -- as "CAIR-Houston Day."

View the Proclamation: 

https://tinyurl.com/t8sjxjf

Imam Khalid Latif will be the keynote speaker for this year’s event. Imam Latif is the University Chaplain for New York University and Executive Director of the Islamic Center at NYU. Under his leadership, the Islamic Center at NYU became the first ever established Muslim student center at an institution of higher education in the United States.

Also being featured at the Gala:

  • Mayor Sylvester Turner, City of Houston
  • Lubabah Abdullah, Esq., CAIR-Houston Executive Director 
  • Judge Rabeea Collier, 113th District 
  • Bahia Amawi, Speech Pathologist, Texas Anti-BDS Case Plaintiff 

CAIR-Houston will also honor members and supporters of the American Muslim community for their outstanding service and contributions. 

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, 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.

END

CONTACT: CAIR-Houston Development and Outreach Coordinator, Ambreen Hernandez, 973-495-0976; ahernandez@cair.com; Executive Director, Lubabah Abdullah, Esq.(713) 838-2247; labdullah@cair.com 


CAIR-Colorado Calls for Disciplinary Action After Muslim MSU Denver Students Harassed While Praying

(DENVER, CO, 12/05/19) – The Colorado chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Colorado), a chapter of the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called for disciplinary action against a student who allegedly harassed Muslim students at MSU Denver while they were praying in a computer lab. 

The incident was captured on video and tweeted by one of the Muslim students. 

SEE: Tweet and Video of Incident 

The students were praying one of the five daily prayers in Islam when a female student allegedly told the two Muslim students, “F— your religion,” and “F— you and your family.”

MSU Denver said that it is working to confirm any university and campus affiliation of those involved.

SEE: Metro State University of Denver investigating confrontation over Muslim men praying in computer lab

https://www.denverpost.com/2019/12/03/metro-state-denver-muslim-prayer-confrontation/

MSU Denver Investigating Video of Confrontation Over Muslim Students’ Praying

https://www.mymetmedia.com/msu-denver-investigating-video-of-confrontation-over-muslim-students-praying/

“Our religious freedoms grant us the right to practice our faith publicly and to be free of harassment or intimidation while doing so,” said CAIR-Colorado Acting Board Chair Krista Cole. “We urge MSU Denver to continue investigating this incident and work to ensure all students are comfortable practicing their faith on campus.”

The Washington-based civil rights organization has reported an unprecedented spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims, immigrants and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump as president.

SEE: CAIR-Florida Condemns GOP Candidate’s Letter Calling for Rep. Ilhan Omar to Be Hanged

https://www.cair.com/cair_florida_condemns_gop_candidate_s_letter_calling_for_rep_ilhan_omar_to_be_hanged

CAIR Condemns Anti-Semitic Vandalism Targeting D.C. Synagogue 

https://www.cair.com/cair_condemns_anti_semitic_vandalism_targeting_d_c_synagogue

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, 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.

END

CONTACT: CAIR-Colorado Acting Board Chair Krista Cole, kcole@cair.com, 703-501-0961; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, ihooper@cair.com 

 


CAIR Action Alert: Demand Congress Investigate Amazon’s Surveillance Practices

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 12/5/19) -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Fight for the Future and dozens of other civil rights groups need your help in urging members of Congress to investigate Amazon over its privacy practices. 

Amazon is already under pressure from antitrust investigations, and it's facing growing scrutiny on the privacy front amid revelations of Ring's work with police agencies as well as concerns about the company's Rekognition facial recognition software. The participating groups complain that "surveillance is at the heart of Amazon’s monopolistic business model."

TAKE ACTION: Demand Congress Investigate Amazon’s surveillance Practices

https://www.investigateamazon.com/?referrer=group-council-on-american-islamic-relations-cair

Message Being Sent to Members of Congress:

“It’s time to investigate Amazon.

Surveillance is at the heart of Amazon’s monopolistic business model.

Amazon’s Alexa records our conversations. Their Rekognition technology identifies our faces and tracks our movement in the public sphere. Their Ring doorbell company partners with local police to provide backdoor, warrantless access to mass surveillance footage collected from millions of American homes and neighborhoods.

Amazon’s ever-expanding surveillance empire threatens our privacy and civil liberties, especially in brown and black communities already vulnerable to racial profiling and heightened surveillance. 

These threats are coupled with security concerns. Ring cameras don’t use end to end encryption and have already leaked customers’ Wi-Fi passwords to open networks leaving users vulnerable to cyber-attacks, hackers, and foreign governments. 

Amazon needs to be held accountable. I’m calling on you to investigate Amazon. 

Please work with your colleagues to bring Amazon executives, including Amazon Ring CEO Jamie Siminoff, before Congress to answer questions about Amazon’s business practices and the threats their nationwide surveillance network pose to our security and your constituents’ privacy and civil liberties. 

Thank you.”

What they're saying:

  • Evan Greer, deputy director of Fight for the Future: "During this holiday season, people are going to buy Amazon’s product unaware of the surveillance features and the threats they pose to their personal data and civil liberties. Meanwhile, Amazon gains access to video footage and sensitive audio recordings from millions more Americans and their families."
  • Jelani Drew, campaign manager at CREDO Action: "Amazon has too much access to our everyday lives and is relentlessly trying to gain more through surveillance technology. Amazon's Ring in particular is a perfect yet horrifying example of how Amazon, in partnership with law enforcement, is effectively making each and every one of our homes an extension of the police."
  • Gadeir Abbas, national senior litigation attorney at CAIR: "Amazon devices are in our homes listening to our most intimate conversations and affixed to front doors where they create an in-real-time record of all that happens in our neighborhoods."

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, 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.  

END 

CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Coordinator Ayan Ajeen, 202-774-0770, aajeen@cair.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, ihooper@cair.com


CAIR Action Alert: Urge U.S. House to Support Rep. Tlaib’s Resolution Against Human Rights Violations in Jammu and Kashmir

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 12/5/19) -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, is calling on all Americans to urge their U.S. House representative to co-sponsor and support the adoption of Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib’s (D-MI) resolution condemning the human rights violations taking place in Jammu and Kashmir and supporting Kashmiri self-determination. 

ACT NOW: URGE CONGRESS TO SUPPORT RESOLUTION AGAINST HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN JAMMU AND KASHMIR, KASHMIRI SELF-DETERMINATION

https://www.votervoice.net/CAIR/campaigns/69752/respond

In August, the Indian government illegally revoked Article 370 of the constitution, taking away the protected status of the Indian-controlled state of Jammu and Kashmir. The legal maneuvering that led to the revocation of Article 370 has been widely panned by legal experts as unconstitutional and a complaint has already been filed in the Indian Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of the revocation. The Indian government’s mobilization of more than 50,000 additional military personnel to the existing 750,000 stationed troops in the region has also made it the most militarized region of the world.

Since revoking Article 370, India’s military has maintained a continued communications and internet blackout of Kashmir, forcibly detained some 4,000elected Kashmiri political leaders, business leaders, civil society members, and rights activists in secret jails and levied a near-constant curfew on the region’s 8 million residents. There are widespread reports of torture of detainees. Indian security forces have also arrested children and kept their whereabouts secret from their parents.

Titled H.RES. 724 “Condemning the human rights violations taking place in Jammu and Kashmir and supporting Kashmiri self-determination,” it is the first “sense of” resolution that attempts to formally express the opinion of Congress on the Indian government’s human rights abuses in Kashmir and a Jammu, and to support Kashmiri self-determination. If adopted, it would be the formal position of the U.S. House of Representatives and not need the Senate or President’s approval. See below for a full copy of the resolution.

In October, CAIR submitted a written statement to the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and Nonproliferation’s hearing on “Human Rights in South Asia: Views from the State Department and the Region.” CAIR’s statement focuses on Kashmir and the Indian government’s revocation of that region’s protected status and accompanying human rights abuses. The hearing was convened by Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA).

HOUSE RESOLUTION 724

Condemning the human rights violations taking place in Jammu and Kashmir and supporting Kashmiri self-determination.

Whereas the United States Government seeks friendly relations and has long shared an important relationship with the Republic of India;

Whereas the United States Government seeks to preserve peace and security in Jammu and Kashmir;

Whereas the United States Government seeks to promote the human rights and liberties of all people, including the freedom to practice, worship, or observe one’s own religion;

Whereas the Government of India has unilaterally changed the status of Jammu and Kashmir without a direct consultation or the consent of the Kashmiri people;

Whereas the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has reported gross human rights abuses in Jammu and Kashmir;

Whereas the Government of India has enforced a strict curfew in Jammu and Kashmir that has restricted freedom of expression, assembly, and movement;

Whereas, on August 5, 2019, the Government of India enacted a communications blockade in Jammu and Kashmir that includes the suspension of landlines and shutdown of mobile phone networks and internet access, and service has only been partially restored as of October 14, 2019;

Whereas Kashmiri Americans and Kashmiris around the world have had difficulty or been unable to contact their family members since the imposition of the communications blockade on August 5, 2019;

Whereas press accounts and human rights observers have documented that the actions of the Government of India in imposing a communications blockade have inhibited access to life-saving medical care;

Whereas international human rights observers have documented the security services of the Government of India’s excessive use of force against civilians in Jammu and Kashmir, including the use of pellet shotguns, tear gas, and rubber bullets against protestors, as reported by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights;

Whereas the Government of India has used the arrest and indefinite detention of thousands of people to control civilians of all ages, including minors as young as nine, in Jammu and Kashmir using the Public Safety Act, which violates article 9(2) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;

Whereas the Government of India has detained Kashmiri civil society leaders of all political perspectives without charge or trial and, as of September 25, 2019, prominent political and business leaders remain in detention;

Whereas detentions and harassment of journalists in Jammu and Kashmir has been reported by independent observers and journalistic organizations;

Whereas the right to religious expression has been severely curtailed, including the closures of mosques and religious buildings;

Whereas the Government of India has barred senior United States Government officials and foreign journalists from traveling to Jammu and Kashmir since August 5;

Whereas the actions of the Government of India are not reflective of the shared democratic norms and values between the United States and India;

Whereas the actions of the Government of India constitute violations of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights;

Whereas the Government of India has failed to hold its military accountable and perpetuated a state of impunity for members of the Indian Armed Forces and related security services, in part through the Armed Forces Special Powers Act;

Whereas the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights issued reports in 2018 and 2019 calling for the Governments of India and Pakistan to implement policy recommendations to safeguard human rights; and

Whereas, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights “Update on the Situation of Human Rights in Indian-Administered Kashmir and Pakistan-Administered Kashmir from May 2018 to April 2019”, the militant groups Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Hizbul Mujahideen, and Harakat Ul-Mujahidin have contributed to the harsh conditions and dire human rights situation faced by civilians in Jammu and Kashmir: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives—

(1) opposes any use of force against civilian populations by governmental and nongovernmental actors alike;

(2) opposes and condemns the use of pellet shotguns and rubber bullets as a crowd-control method in any case;

(3) affirms that any changes to the status of Jammu and Kashmir must be made with the direct consultation of the Kashmiri people, who must play a central role in the determination of their future;

(4) urges the Government of India to immediately lift all remaining elements of the communications blockade imposed in Jammu and Kashmir, including restoring phone and internet access and refraining from any interference with the provision of medical treatment;

(5) urges the Department of State to facilitate contact between Kashmiri Americans and their family members in Jammu and Kashmir;

(6) reaffirms its strongly held belief that freedom of religion is a central and inalienable right of all people as promulgated in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and urges the Government of India to ensure compliance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Jammu and Kashmir;

(7) urges the Government of India to exercise restraint when performing security and policing operations and denounces the widespread use of threats and excessive force against civilians, protestors, and detainees;

(8) urges the Government of India to immediately release unjustly and indefinitely detained people in Jammu and Kashmir and to cease arbitrary and politically motivated detentions;

(9) urges the Governments of India and Pakistan to engage in dialogue to deescalate tensions and protect human rights;

(10) urges the Governments of India and Pakistan to renounce the use of force to settle the status of all disputed territories between them;

(11) urges the Governments of India and Pakistan to grant representatives of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights full and unfettered access to their respective sides of the Line of Control; and

(12) urges the Governments of India and Pakistan to implement the policy recommendations of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights contained in its 2018 and 2019 reports. 

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, 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.  

END 

CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Coordinator Ayan Ajeen, 202-774-0770, aajeen@cair.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, ihooper@cair.com