Download CAIR's app here: http://www.cair.com/app 

CAIR to Monitor Minnesota Muslim Voters’ Access to Feb. 6 GOP Precinct Caucuses

(MINNEAPOLIS, MN, 2/5/18) – On Tuesday, February 6, the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) will monitor Muslim voters’ access to Republican Party caucuses in that state.

CAIR-MN had previously called on the Minnesota Republican Party to dismiss an official who claimed that he uncovered a plot to “mobilize Muslims to infiltrate our Republican caucuses on Feb. 6.”

SEE: CAIR to Respond to Minnesota Republicans’ ‘Smears and Conspiracy Theories’ Targeting Muslim Voters, Islam

Jeff Johnson Clarifies Comments on Muslims' Caucus Participation (Star Tribune)

“We will work to ensure that Minnesota Muslim voters have the same access to the political process as other citizens,” said CAIR-MN Executive Director Jaylani Hussein.

Hussein noted the disturbing rise of Islamophobia and other forms of bigotry targeting Muslims and other minority groups nationwide since the election of Donald Trump as president.

SEE: CAIR Welcomes Firing of White Supremacist, Islamophobic Maine Official

CAIR Welcomes Resignation of Racist, Anti-Muslim Trump Appointee

CAIR-Missouri, Muslim and Jewish Groups Say Self-Described ‘Confederate’ School Board Candidate Has History of Islamophobia, Racism

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.

La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.

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CONTACT: CAIR-MN Executive Director Jaylani Hussein, 612-406-0070, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

CAIR Urges Idaho Lawmakers to Drop Anti-Islam Bill

robert(WASHINGTON, D.C., 2/2/18) -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called on an Idaho House committee to drop consideration of proposed anti-Islam legislation.

For the third year in a row, Rep. Eric Redman introduced a bill modeled on other Islamophobic legislation considered or passed in state legislatures nationwide.

SEE: Idaho House Panel Reintroduces Anti-Sharia Law Bill

In a letter to Rep. Thomas F. Loertscher, chairman of the House State Affairs Committee, CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw wrote in part:

“On behalf of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, I write to request that the House State Affairs Committee halt its consideration of Rep. Eric Redman’s (R-Athol) House Bill 419 (HB 419). If signed into law, HB 419 would be in violation of the United States Constitution and contrary to our nation’s values of not elevating or marginalizing one faith or community. . .

“In discussing last year's draft of the bill (HB 94 of 2017) with a reporter from The Spokesman, Rep. Redman acknowledged that while the bill did not specifically mention Sharia, he said: ‘One of the overreaches is certainly the Shariah law.’ Rep. Redman also added in that interview: ‘We have freedom of religion here, but they don’t have the right to bring their Sharia law overreach on our constitutional laws.’

“In 2016, when Rep. Redman first introduced the bill, HB 568, he passed along an informational packet that included ‘pictures of a severed hand and a man about to be beheaded’ with the pictures ‘pasted in between definitions of Sharia law’ and smearing Islam’s Prophet Muhammad, according to the Associated Press.

“Rep. Redman’s campaign website, www.RedmanforIdaho.com, includes a link to a PDF copy of his ‘LATEST MAILER,’ uploaded on September 2016, touting that he, ‘Introduced House Bill 568 which states that U.S. and Idaho Constitutions take precedence over international law, protecting our sovereignty as a nation and state.’

“However, Rep. Redman’s campaign Facebook page, ‘Eric Redman for Idaho,’ includes a similar but differently worded campaign mailer, posted on November 5, 2016, that specifically states HB 568 was introduced to address Sharia. The mailer clarifies that Rep. Redman, ‘Introduced HB 568 which states that the US and Idaho Constitutions take precedence over international law, including Islamic Sharia law, protecting our sovereignty as a nation and state.’

“Legislation designed and adopted to attack a particular religion is a clear violation of the Establishment Clause, which requires that government be secular and treat all religions equally. It is impossible to mask the anti-Muslim discriminatory intent behind HB 419.”

[NOTE: In October of last year, CAIR called on state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate a cross and pig parts left at an Idaho mosque as a hate crime. CAIR said it has witnessed an unprecedented increase in hate incidents targeting American Muslims and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump.]

The Washington-based civil rights group has challenged similar unconstitutional and discriminatory “anti-Sharia,” “anti-foreign law” and “anti-Islamic Indoctrination” bills that have been introduced in state legislatures nationwide.

SEE: CAIR Calls on Wisconsin State Assembly to Drop ‘Unconstitutional and Un-American’ Anti-Islam Bill 

CAIR-Texas to Offer Testimony on Anti-Islam Bill, Urges Community to Contact Lawmakers  

CAIR Challenges Unconstitutional Anti-Islam Bills in Arkansas, Montana, Idaho, Oregon

To counter this coordinated anti-Islam campaign, CAIR published a toolkit offering a pair of anti-Islamophobia resolutions that recognize the contributions of American Muslims and reaffirm the right of citizens to practice their faith within the law and free of government interference.

CAIR’s toolkit has sections such as “Understanding the Legislative Process,” “Legislative Advocacy: Limits for Non-Profit Organizations,” “Checklist: Meeting with an Elected Official,” and “Ensuring an Effective Meeting with an Elected Official," as well as fact sheets that may be given to lawmakers and their staff in support of the two resolutions.

CAIR’s Toolkit: Recognizing American Muslim contributions in Our States

CAIR is urging Islamic communities nationwide to ask state lawmakers to stand with their Muslim constituents in countering the injustice of growing Islamophobia nationwide that is being spread by anti-Muslim activists and hate groups.

The Washington-based civil rights and advocacy organization urges community members to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR's Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or by filing a report at: http://www.cair.com/report

CAIR launched an app to share critical “know your rights” information and to simplify the process to report hate crimes and bias incidents. CAIR is urging American Muslims and members of other minority groups to download the app and utilize this resource to stay informed and empowered.

For a quick download of CAIR’s civil rights app, click here: http://www.cair.com/app

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.

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CONTACT: CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw, 202-742-6448, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

CAIR-Oregon Welcomes Hate Crime Charges Against White Supremacist

(PORTLAND, OREGON, 2/1/18) – The Oregon chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Oregon) today applauded a decision by the Benton County District Attorney’s office to pursue hate crime charges against alleged white supremacist Andrew Oswalt. 

Oswalt is suspected of vandalizing vehicles used by activists from the group Standing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) with stickers printed with a racial slur. 

SEE: OSU Grad Student Faces Felony Hate Crime Charges For Putting Racist Bumper Stickers on Strangers’ Cars

“Whenever someone with a hateful agenda attempts to intimidate others, they should be held accountable for their actions,” said CAIR-Oregon Spokesperson Zakir Khan. “The alleged bias-motivated actions by this suspect were apparently designed to traumatize Oregonians who challenge racism and other forms of bigotry.” 

SEE: OSU student charged with hate crimes

CAIR-Oregon has been meeting with government officials and community organizations throughout the year to advocate for hate crime reforms on local, state and federal levels.

The Washington-based civil rights and advocacy organization urges community members to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR's Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or by filing a report at: http://www.cair.com/report      

Last year, CAIR launched an app to share critical “know your rights” information and to simplify the process to report hate crimes and bias incidents. CAIR is urging American Muslims and members of other minority groups to download the app and utilize this resource to stay informed and empowered.

For a quick download of CAIR’s civil rights app, click herehttp://www.cair.com/app 

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.

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CONTACT: CAIR-Oregon Spokesperson Zakir Khan, 626-502-8450, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

CAIR Welcomes TPS Extension for Syrians, Seeks Stay of Deportations to Active War Zone

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 2/1/18) -- The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today welcomed the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) decision yesterday to extend for 18 months the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) of some 7,000 Syrians living inside the United States,

However, CAIR urged a formal stay on deportations to Syria, and active war zone, and expressed concern that the program was not redesignated and now remains closed to Syrians living, working and going to school in the United States since August 2016.

Yesterday, DHS Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen announced her decision to extend the TPS designation for Syria for 18 months through Sept. 30, 2019

She also announced that: “Anyone who has been here since the time of the previous [TPS] designation may be eligible to seek other forms of immigration relief.”

“Based on the State Department advisory urging Americans not travel to Syria due to the possible threat of terrorism, civil unrest and armed conflict, the Trump administration must recognize that Syrians living in the United States deserve the same consideration for their personal safety, and should not be deported,” said CAIR Director of Government Affairs Department Robert McCaw.

McCaw noted while campaigning for office President Trump often demonized Syrian refugees – falsely equating them as representing ‘a great Trojan horse’ and posing a terror threat.

CAIR is urging all Syrian nationals inside the U.S. to consult with an immigration attorney immediately to determine whether they qualify for other forms of immigration relief.

On January 11, CAIR urged the DHS to redesignate TPS for Syrians and Yemenis living in United States. 

CAIR questioned why DHS would not redesignate TPS, a move that would open the program to Syrians who have arrived in the U.S. since 2016. Under certain circumstances, some of these individuals could face deportation to an active war zone if they fail to qualify for other forms of immigration relief – compromising their personal safety.

As of January 10, 2018, the U.S. State Department Bureau of Consular Affairs has issued a travel advisory warning American citizens “Do not travel” to Syria, as “No part of Syria is safe from violence. Kidnappings, the use of chemical warfare, shelling, and aerial bombardment have significantly raised the risk of death or serious injury.”

TPS is the humanitarian relief program that has permitted Syrians to live and work in the U.S. since the 2013 outbreak of armed conflicts and civil unrest in that country. TPS is not a pathway to citizenship but a temporary humanitarian program created by Congress in 1990, to suspend deporting nationals with expired visas to countries that have been devastated by war or catastrophe.

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.

La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.

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CONTACT: CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw, 202-742-6448, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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