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Muslims File Bias Claim Against Illinois Movie Theater

The Muslim Civil Rights Center (MCRC)
and the Chicago office of the Council on American Islamic Relations
(CAIR-Chicago) today announced that three Muslim men of Palestinian
heritage filed a complaint against a Chicago-area theater over
allegations of religious and national-origin discrimination.

The complaint, filed with the Illinois Department of Human Rights
against Loews Cineplex in Crestwood, Ill., alleges that the men were
evicted from a screening of Mel Gibson's "Passion of the Christ" in
February of this year.

The theater security guards allegedly mocked the Arabic spoken by the
men and told them to speak English because "this is America." The guards
also reportedly joked that the Muslim moviegoers might have a bomb.

"Under Illinois and federal law, theaters and other places of public
accommodation must treat all customers equally," said CAIR-Chicago board
member Kamran Memon, who is also legal representative for the men. "We
expect Loews to train its employees to ensure that customers do not face
such harassment, regardless of their religion, ethnicity or national
origin."

"What these men endured is unacceptable and must be addressed by theater
management," said MCRC's Community Outreach Coordinator Ahmad Tansheet.
Tansheet said there should be zero tolerance for anti-Muslim bigotry in
our society.

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.

MCRC, an Islamic civil and human rights group based in Illinois, creates
awareness about civil and human rights among American Muslims and
provides legal assistance to victims of rights violations.

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CONTACT: MCRC, Ahmad Tansheet, 708-598-6640, E-mail:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; CAIR-Chicago, Kamran Memon, 312-961-2354, E-mail:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

CAIR-OH: OSU Medical Center Accomodates Hijab

The Ohio office of the Council on
American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Ohio) today announced that Muslim women
who work at the Ohio State University Medical Center will maintain their
right to wear their religiously-mandated head scarves, or hijab. Their
jobs had recently been threatened by an attempt to more strictly enforce
a dress code that would have banned head scarves.

In discussions with CAIR-Ohio, the University Hospitals Office of
Facilities Services agreed that Muslim women will be allowed to work and
wear their head scarves, providing they are white in color. In addition,
CAIR-Ohio has been asked to conduct Islamic awareness training for
medical center staff.

"We are very encouraged by the willingness of the Ohio State University
Medical Center to accommodate the religious needs of its workers," said
Ahmad Al-Akhras, president of CAIR-Ohio.

There are more than 150,000 Muslims in Ohio. CAIR, America's largest
Islamic civil liberties group, has 28 regional offices and chapters
nationwide and in Canada. CAIR-Ohio was founded in 1998.

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CONTACT: Jad Humeidan, CAIR-Ohio Executive Director,
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 614-571-2770; Ahmad Al-Akhras, 614-989-5916

 

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.

 

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