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Dear imam, activist, community leader, brother or sister: As-salaamu alaykum. Peace be to you,
This Muslim Community Safety Kit was developed to better equip you and your community with the knowledge necessary to protect against anti-Muslim bigotry or attacks, and to secure your basic legal rights. In times of difficulty we remind people to depend on God the Almighty with sincere prayers, especially for those who are suffering.
To make the best use of this resource kit, we recommend that you read this kit carefully and circulate it to your friends and family. You may want to photocopy relevant portions and post in your local mosque, Islamic center or organization. Feel free to contact CAIR if you have any questions.
Muslims must do their part to ensure the safety and security of our nation. If anyone notes suspicious persons or activities in their community, they should report it immediately to the local field office of the FBI.
Develop a list of attorneys who are willing to be consulted by the Muslim community in response to backlash incidents. Ask Muslim attorneys to volunteer their services to community members during this time of crisis.
Community leaders should immediately coordinate meetings between representatives of the Muslim community and local, state and national law enforcement agencies. These meetings should focus on ways in which the community can help national security and on how authorities can protect Muslims and Arab-Americans from harassment and discrimination.
Delegations of Muslim representatives should schedule meetings with local, state and national elected representatives or their key staff to discuss community concerns. To find out who represents your area on the national level, go here.
Similar meetings should be coordinated with representatives of local interfaith and minority groups. These meetings should focus on building lines of communication and support, and hearing from these groups how they deal with discrimination and bigotry.
Representatives of the Muslim community should meet with local school administrators to discuss safety plans for students and to sensitize the administrators to harassment of Muslim students.
Community leaders should develop emergency e-mail and phone contact lists to be used in case of an incident that threatens the community's safety. Local imams, Islamic center board members, and Muslim activists should be on the lists.
A second list should be developed containing contact information for all local law enforcement agencies.
Call for a meeting of the local Muslim community to discuss the information outlined in this kit. The meeting should take place at a local mosque or Islamic center and should be advertised using the emergency contact list.
Establish a network of community members who can offer emotional and material support to those who may be the victims of hate crimes or discrimination. Victims should not be left alone to deal with the negative impact of such incidents.
If you believe you have been the victim of an anti-Muslim hate crime or discrimination, you should:
Areas of vulnerability:
Take the following safety measures:
What to look for:
What to do:
Over the years, CAIR has produced television and radio public service announcement (PSA) to help increase understanding of Islam and Muslims among our fellow Americans.
In 2010, the national debate over the construction of mosques focused on a center to be built near Ground Zero in New York City, triggering hostility toward Muslims as the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks approached. CAIR produced two video PSAs featuring Muslim first responders describing how they helped after the 9/11 attacks. Within a month, more than 13 million people watched the PSAs. The simple reminder that 9/11 happened to us all helped calm the anti-Muslim hysteria.
At the same time, we produced a PSA featuring a Jewish, Christian and Muslim religious leaders describing the three faiths' versions of the Golden Rule and expressing solidarity and support for the religious rights of all Americans.
American Muslim's have consistently condemned terrorism in all forms. In 2005, CAIR produced a PSA for TV and radio to add another clear voice to the condemnations.
Radio versions of the "American Muslims condemn terrorism" PSAs were produced in English, Arabic and Urdu.
CAIR's 30 and 60-second PSAs feature American Muslims of European, African-American, Hispanic, and Native American heritage. Each describes how they and their families have served America and ends by saying, "I am an American Muslim."