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Muslims Assaulted in Illinois, California

A prominent national Islamic civil rights and
advocacy group today urged state and federal law enforcement authorities to
treat attacks on a Muslim woman driver in Illinois and on a Muslim shopper
in California as hate crimes.

The driver in Illinois, a Muslim convert who wears an Islamic head scarf,
told the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) that
she was attacked June 26 after being approached by a group of two women and
one man at a stop sign in Freeport, Ill. She said the attackers began
kicking her car and shouting anti-Muslim slurs after asking for a "light."
One of the attackers allegedly shouted: "Stupid Muslims…F***ing Muslims…Go
back to your country." When the victim got out of her car, she was
allegedly punched a number of times, resulting in trauma to her head. Her
head scarf was also torn off during the assault.

One of the female attackers was charged with misdemeanor battery, but law
enforcement authorities tell CAIR that the charge may be upgraded to a
felony based on the allegations of a bias motive.

Early this morning in California, a Muslim shopper of Middle Eastern
descent was assaulted outside a San Diego grocery store. The perpetrator
allegedly shouted racist slurs before striking the victim in the face and
knocking out his front tooth. Slurs allegedly included: "You f***ing
Arab…Get out of my country."

"Given the apparent bias motives of the perpetrators in both cases, it is
imperative that these attacks be treated as hate crimes and that current or
potential charges be upgraded accordingly," said CAIR Communications
Director Ibrahim Hooper. Hooper added that these incidents come following a
string of attacks on and threats against Islamic institutions and
individuals nationwide.

In Florida, vandals wrote "Kill all Muslims" inside the Islamic Community
Center in the Tampa suburb of Lutz. The FBI is investigating vandalism and
threatening messages targeting the Islamic Community of Southwest Florida
in Charlotte Harbor. In New Jersey, liquor bottles were thrown on the
grounds of the Islamic Educational Center of North Hudson in Union City.
And in Missouri, vandals painted a Nazi swastika and the word "die" on an
addition under construction at the Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis.
Last month, three Miami Islamic centers were vandalized. Similar incidents
have been reported in other states.

In response to attacks on and threats against American Muslim individuals
and communities, CAIR has published a "Muslim Community Safety Kit." The
safety kit may be obtained by e-mailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or by calling
202-488-8787 and asking for the "Publications Department."

CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 28 regional
offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada.

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CONTACT: Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; Rabiah Ahmed, 202-488-8787 or 202-439-1441, E-Mail:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Poll: Muslim Voters Favor Kerry, Nader

Click to View Excerpts from the Video
View Excerpts from the Video

Source: C-SPAN3
American Muslim voters favored presidential candidates John Kerry and Ralph Nader in a survey released today by a prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group.

The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) reported that 54 percent of eligible Muslim voters said they would vote for Kerry, while 26 percent favored Nader. A sizable 14 percent of Muslim voters said they are still undecided. (Fifty-five percent of the respondents said they voted for President Bush in the 2000 election.)

According to CAIR's survey of 1161 individuals taken this month, 34 percent
of respondents said the Democratic Party best represents American Muslim
interests, closely followed by the Green Party at 24 percent. Almost
one-quarter (22 percent) of the respondents said no party reflected their
views.

On other issues, only 11 percent of respondents said they are better off
now than they were four years ago. Forty-five percent said they experienced
some form of anti-Muslim discrimination or bias in the past year and 87
percent felt less secure since the invasion of Iraq. However, 81 percent
said they feel free to practice their faith in America.

When asked to list the most important domestic issue they will use to
determine a presidential choice, almost 40 percent of respondents cited
civil rights, followed by the economy at 25 percent. More than 90 percent
said American policy in the Middle East is the most important international
issue.

Muslims from 43 states responded to the survey, with the most responses
coming from California (17 percent), Texas (8 percent), Virginia (8
percent), New York (4 percent), Florida (4 percent), Illinois (7 percent),
Michigan (5 percent), Ohio (5 percent), Maryland (5 percent), and New
Jersey (4 percent).

The two largest ethnic groups listed in the survey were South Asian (37
percent) and those from an Arabic-speaking background (28 percent).
Thirty-five percent of respondents said they visit a mosque once a week,
while a similar number go to mosques more frequently. Six percent said they
do not go to a mosque at all. Almost all of the respondents said they are
registered to vote or plan to vote in November.

(All figures are based on responses provided by eligible Muslim voters.
Surveys were faxed and e-mailed to Muslim individuals and organizations
nationwide.)

"This survey shows that presidential candidates will have to address issues
of importance to Muslims if they wish to garner and maintain support in the
Islamic community," said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad. Awad added
that Muslims may be swing voters in politically-important states such as
Michigan, Ohio and Florida.

CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 28 regional
offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada.

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CONTACT: Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; Rabiah Ahmed, 202-488-8787 or 202-439-1441, E-Mail:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

California Police Cadets Learn About Islam

On Monday, June 28, the Sacramento Valley
office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Sacramento)
conducted diversity training for more than 30 graduating cadets at the
Sacramento Police Department Academy.

CAIR-Sacramento representatives offered a PowerPoint presentation designed
to make the cadets aware of issues that they may face when dealing with the
diverse Muslim community in Sacramento.

Issues addressed in the presentation included the basic tenets of Islam,
the status of Muslim women, the diversity of the American Muslim community,
and ways in which area Muslims can have better relations with law
enforcement authorities. A question-and-answer session followed the
presentation.

CAIR-Sacramento also distributed a booklet, called "A Law Enforcement
Official's Guide to Islamic Religious Practices." The booklet covers issues
such as religiously-sensitive techniques for body searches, proper
etiquette for entering Muslim homes and advice on outreach to the Islamic
community.

"With more than 50,000 Muslims living in the greater Sacramento area, law
enforcement officials need to be aware of issues related to the Islamic
community, particularly the disturbing growth in bias-related incidents,"
said CAIR-Sacramento Executive Director Basim Elkarra.

"It is important to keep the lines of communication open between law
enforcement officials and the Muslim community," said CAIR-Sacramento
Executive Committee member Maren Shawesh. "Many cadets thanked us for
coming and said they found the presentation to be very informative." She
said more diversity workshops are planned in the next few months.

CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, is headquartered in
Washington, D.C., and has 28 regional offices and chapters nationwide and
in Canada.

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CONTACT: Basim ElKarra, 916-441-6269, 916-289-3748

 

CAIR Applauds Rulings on Detainees' Access to Courts

A prominent national Islamic civil rights and
advocacy group today applauded two U.S. Supreme Court rulings granting
those captured in the war on terrorism access to American courts. The
Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) called the
decisions a "victory for due process."

A ruling in the case of American citizen Yaser Esam Hamdi gave President
Bush the power to hold Hamdi without charges or trial, but said he has the
constitutional right to challenge his detention in court. Hamdi has been
detained more than two years and was only recently allowed to see a lawyer.

Justice Sandra Day O'Connor wrote for the court: "(Hamdi) unquestionably
has the right to access to counsel…a state of war is not a blank check for
the president when it comes to the rights of the nation's citizens."

In another ruling, the court said that some 600 men held at Guantanamo Bay,
Cuba, can use American courts to contest their captivity and treatment.

CAIR's statement in reaction to the court's decisions stated:

"Today's rulings are a victory for due process and a confirmation that the
executive branch of government does have limitations on how it can sidestep
constitutional civil liberties guarantees. The ability to be represented by
an attorney and to present evidence in open court is the hallmark of a just
society and must be preserved, even in times of crisis."

CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 28 regional
offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada.

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CONTACT: Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; Rabiah Ahmed, 202-488-8787 or 202-439-1441, E-Mail:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

NOTE: CAIR offers an e-mail list designed to be a journalist's window to
the American Muslim community. Subscribers to the list, called
ISLAM-INFONET, receive news releases and other materials dealing with
American Muslim positions on issues of importance to our society.

To SUBSCRIBE to ISLAM-INFONET, go to: http://cair.biglist.com/islam-infonet/

 

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