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

CAIR: American Muslims Honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Struggle for Justice

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 4/4/18) -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today marked the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., by honoring his struggle for justice.

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

“American Muslims, and all Americans, continue to reap the fruit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s lifelong struggle for justice, which was cut short 50 years ago by an assassin’s bullet. As American Muslims seek to protect their civil rights, and those of their fellow Americans, we all stand on the shoulders of a giant figure who fought peacefully for social justice and equality. We are honored to help continue that struggle.”

Awad noted that CAIR has witnessed a recent increase in bigotry targeting American Muslims and other minority groups.

He said CAIR is offering an editorial, titled “Martin, Muhammad and Modern America,” written by the group’s National Board Secretary Jimmy E. Jones and available for publication free of charge.

Jones writes in part:

“In short, the best way that we, as Americans, can honor the memory of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr a half century after his death is by reclaiming and redeploying the morally-focused, peace-loving, neighborly ethos as exemplified by these two men.  As an American and a Muslim, today I am proud to be among those who strive to emulate these principles as taught by Dr. King.”

CAIR ISLAM-OPED: Martin, Muhammad and Modern America

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’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.

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CONTACT: 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 ISLAM-OPED: Martin, Muhammad and Modern America

james jonesISLAM-OPED is a syndication service of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) designed to offer an American Muslim perspective on current political, social and religious issues. ISLAM-OPED commentaries are offered free-of-charge to one media outlet in each market area. Permission for publication will be granted on a first-come-first-served basis.

Please consider the following commentary for publication.

CONTACT: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

TEL: Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726

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Martin, Muhammad and Modern America  

Jimmy E. Jones, National Board Secretary, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Professor and Chair of African Studies and World Religions at Manhattanville College

[Jimmy E. Jones may be contacted at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ]

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Today marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

One of my favorite courses to teach as a Professor of African Studies and World Religions at Manhattanville College is a seminar entitled “The Religious and Political Philosophy of Martin Luther King Jr.”

Like most other Muslims, I view the Prophet Muhammad as my primary moral exemplar. Nevertheless, as I examine the legacies of Muhammad ibn Abdullah (Prophet Muhammad) and Martin Luther King Jr closely, I find some powerful parallels and useful guidance for the difficulties we face in this seriously divided country today.

At first glance, the differences between the pacifist Nobel laureate who founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference more than 50 years ago and the political and military leader and peace maker who established the Muslim community on the Arabian Peninsula more than 1400 years ago could hardly be starker.

However, when we take a closer look at the public utterances of these two men, we find some striking similarities.

First, they both saw themselves as being motivated by the God of Jesus Christ.

The point is obvious for King, a Southern Baptist Bible-focused Christian. What is lesser known, is the fact that Jesus’ name appears much more frequently in the Quran (the Muslim sacred text) than the name of Muhammad (4 times for Muhammad and 25 times for Jesus).  Further, Jesus is the most mentioned person in the Quran by reference (more than 100 times).

The Quran, which Muslims believe was transmitted orally and publicly by the Prophet Muhammad, states: “We sent Jesus the son of Mary, confirming the Law that had come before him: We sent him the Gospel: therein was guidance and light, and confirmation of the Law that had come before him: a guidance and an admonition to those who fear Allah. (The Holy Quran, 5.46)

Second, they both argued that we, as human beings, have a special obligation to be kind and just to our neighbors.

King constantly emphasized this point as he did one last time on April 3, 1968 in his final sermon (posthumously named “I Have Been to the Mountaintop”) when he recounted the story of the Good Samaritan from the Bible (Luke 10: 25-37).

Similarly, the Prophet Muhammad repeatedly stressed the rights of neighbors as is clear from this quote from Muslim tradition (hadith), in which the Prophet states: “If you are kind to your neighbor, you will be a believer. If you like others to have what you like for yourself, you will be a Muslim.”

Third, they both condemned the racial injustices of their time.

Martin Luther King’s record is in this regard is well-known. What few people know about Muhammad Ibn Abdullah was that, in his last sermon, he said, “All mankind is from Adam and Eve. An Arab has no superiority of a non-Arab, nor does a non-Arab have any superiority over an Arab, a white has no superiority over a Black nor does Black have any superiority over a White, except by piety and good action.”

In short, the best way that we, as Americans, can honor the memory of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr a half century after his death is by reclaiming and redeploying the morally-focused, peace-loving, neighborly ethos as exemplified by these two men.  As an American and a Muslim, today I am proud to be among those who strive to emulate these principles as taught by Dr. King. 

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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.

 

CAIR-Oklahoma Welcomes Charges in Mosque Bombing Threat

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK, 4/3/2018 – The Oklahoma Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-OK) welcomed news that a man accused of threatening to blow up an Oklahoma City mosque had been arrested.

“Given the heightened atmosphere of Islamophobia that the community faces, we are glad to see local law enforcement taking seriously the threats to our mosques and community centers,” said CAIR-OK Civil Rights Director Veronica Laizure. “We urge our community to be vigilant and observant, particularly around the mosques and community centers, and to report their concerns to CAIR-OK and to local law enforcement agencies where appropriate.”

SEE: Man charged, accused of threatening to blow up metro mosque

Larry Dewayne Hornsby allegedly entered the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City (ISGOC) and stated his intent to “blow up this building.” He was later identified by video surveillance footage and arrested on April 3.

In March, a flyer was sent to Muslim homes, businesses, and community centers in London stating that April 3 was to be “Punish a Muslim Day” and detailing a morbid points system for various hate crimes against British Muslims. Although images of the flyer have circulated on social media, no credible information pointing to an increase in hate crimes on April 3 has been produced. Local mosques and congregations, however, remain wary and vigilant in the wake of violent assaults on Muslims throughout the past year.

SEE: ‘Punish a Muslim day” generates anger, fear and solidarity in Britain

CAIR-OK says they will continue to monitor reports of anti-Muslim bias incidents and encourages all community members to use their reporting form to document such incidents.

CAIR-Oklahoma is a chapter of 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 proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.

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CONTACT: CAIR Oklahoma Civil Rights Director Veronica Laizure, 405-430-9877,This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; CAIR Oklahoma Executive Director Adam Soltani, 405-248-5853, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

CAIR: Diverse Groups File Amicus Briefs Asking Supreme Court to Strike Down Trump’s ‘Muslim Ban’

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 4/3/18) -- Hundreds of businesses, national security officials, local, state, and federal elected officials of both parties, civil rights leaders, and organizations representing impacted communities announced the filing of several dozen amicus (friend of the court) briefs opposing the latest iteration of President Trump’s Muslim ban.

The briefs, which represent large swaths of Americans, provide a stark contrast to the few briefs filed in support of Trump’s ban. Oral argument on the Muslim Ban will take place on April 25.

SEE: Supreme Court Oral Arguments - #NoMuslimBanEver 

The briefs provide a variety of practical and legal arguments explaining why the Muslim Ban is unlawful and poor public policy.

"The breadth of groups and individuals filing amicus briefs against the Trump administration's Muslim Ban is yet another indication that the public understood this illegal effort to be an attempt to demonize Islam and stigmatize Muslims," said CAIR Senior Litigation Attorney Gadeir Abbas.

“Hundreds of families are being torn apart. A three-year-old child has been separated from his parents and forced to live in the care of extended family thousands of miles away,” said Ibraham Qatabi, a co-founder of the Yemeni American Justice Initiative at the Center for Constitutional Rights. “A father has had to choose between keeping his job in the U.S. or joining his stranded wife and children in Djibouti. Some families have to choose between returning to a war-torn Yemen or being stranded indefinitely in a third country. This is a great injustice.”

These briefs provide the court with perspectives that may not be presented during oral argument  in Hawaii v. Trump. Last December, the National Immigration Law Center and other civil rights groups successfully challenged the constitutionality of the Muslim ban before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. These groups, along with many others, shed light on the human toll the Muslim ban has already taken on families around the globe.

"The Muslim Ban affects all Somalis by stopping family unification, delaying the arrival of those who have already been vetted, creating fear and uncertainty, threatening humanitarian workers travel plans, and most recently, denying the entry of the former president of Somalia," said Jaylani Hussein, the executive director of CAIR Minnesota and an immigrant from Somalia.

Hawaii v. Trump challenges the latest iteration of President Trump’s Muslim ban, which seeks to indefinitely ban most nationals from six Muslim-majority countries from coming to the United States. This version of the ban has been in full effect since December 4, 2017.

“We’ve seen the devastating impact on countless families of U.S. citizens, green card holders, students, and those with urgent medical needs since the Muslim Ban has been in effect,” said Elica Vafaie, an Iranian-American staff attorney with Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus.Although the government has said that a waiver for these families is possible, in reality the government is achieving its goal of banning Muslims. We need the court to restore dignity and stop this unlawful ban.”

A full list of amicus briefs can be found here.

A coalition of civil rights organizations has engaged in legal, organizing, and advocacy efforts to fight back against each iteration of the Muslim ban. Learn more about these efforts by visiting www.NoMuslimBanEver.com.

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CONTACT: CAIR National Litigation Director Lena Masri, 248-390-9784, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; CAIR Senior Litigation Attorney Gadeir Abbas, 720-251-0425, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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