Thursday, October 15, 2009


(WASHINGTON, D.C., 10/14/09) - CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad spoke today at an interfaith hearing on universal health care hosted by the American Muslim Taskforce on Civil Rights and Elections (AMT), a coalition of major national Islamic organizations, on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

The hearing, which included presentations by Christian, Muslim, Jewish, and Buddhist leaders and by members of Congress, was designed to mobilize support for “genuine health care reform.”

Scheduled speakers at the interfaith hearing included:

  • Rev. Walter Fauntroy, Pastor, New Bethel Baptist Church
  • Ibrahim Ramey, Director, Human and Civil Rights Division - MAS Freedom
  • Hilary Shelton, Director, NAACP Washington Bureau
  • Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH)
  • Rev. Kaz Nakata, Ekoji Buddhist Temple
  • Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN)
  • Rev. Louisa Davis, Coordinator, Greater Washington Allies in Reconciliation
  • Rabbi Benyamin Biber, Machar, Washington, D.C.
  • Lavanya Sithanandam M.D., Board Member, South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT)

AMT is an umbrella organization that includes American Muslim Alliance (AMA), American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA), MAS-Freedom, Muslim Student Association-National (MSA-N), Muslim Ummah of North America (MUNA), and United Muslims of America (UMA). Its observer organizations include American Muslims for Civic Engagement (AMCE), Islamic Educational Council of Orange County (IECOC), the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), and Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC).

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.

CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail:; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787 or 202-341-4171, E-Mail:


Jake Sherman and Martin Kady II, Politico, 10/14/09

Four Republican lawmakers have accused the most prominent Islamic advocacy group in Washington of trying to plant "spies" as interns on Capitol Hill.

The claim was quickly denounced as "racist" and "insidious" by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and the effort appears to have little support from GOP leaders.

In an unusual announcement this morning, four conservative Republicans — Reps. John Shadegg (Ariz.), Paul Broun (Ga.), Trent Franks (Ariz.) and Sue Myrick (N.C.) — formally asked the House Sergeant at Arms to launch an investigation of the Center for American-Islamic Relations. They accused CAIR, a non profit group, of trying to infiltrate Capitol Hill with interns and staffers.

And the response from CAIR?

"We would love to help people find jobs on Capitol Hill," said Ibrahim Hooper, the communications director for CAIR. "There's a Muslim Staffer Association. Should they be investigated?"

The proclamation from the four Republicans came in advance of a book, entitled "Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld that's Conspiring to Islamize America," which includes a forward by Myrick. The author of the book, Dave Gaubatz, an anti-Islam activist who wrote last year that “a vote for Hussein Obama is a vote for Sharia Law.”

The lawmakers also released a one page "strategy" document they said they obtained from CAIR. But the document basically lays out a fairly straight forward public relations and lobbying strategy and indeed, one of the goals is "placing Muslim interns in congressional offices" and registering people to vote…

Hooper pointed out that there are indeed many Muslim staffers on Capitol Hill, CAIR is a lobbying organization, and its executive director is on Capitol Hill today -- speaking at an interfaith forum on health care with other religious groups in the Rayburn building. (More)



Along with his past rhetorical attacks on CAIR, Dave Gaubatz has called President Obama a “crack head” and wrote that “a vote for Hussein Obama is a vote for Sharia Law.”

He has defamed Islam’s Prophet Muhammad, calling him a “loser” and writing that the “prophet will look at my dog and kiss him.” In a post on the blog of a Muslim critic, the hate blogger wrote: “I recommend to my friends and others to watch my dog lead the prayer services [at a Washington-area mosque].”

The hate blogger has also called Islam a “terminal disease that once spread is hard to destroy.”

CAIR noted that the blogger is a former employee of the racist group Society of Americans for National Existence (SANE). On its now members-only website, SANE offered a policy proposal that would make it illegal to be a Muslim: “Whereas, adherence to Islam as a Muslim is prima facie evidence of an act in support of the overthrow of the US. [sic] Government through the abrogation, destruction, or violation of the US Constitution and the imposition of Shari’a on the American People…It shall be a felony punishable by 20 years in prison to knowingly act in furtherance of, or to support the, adherence to Islam.”

In explaining why he seeks to infiltrate mosques and Islamic institutions nationwide, the hate blogger who targeted CAIR wrote on the SANE web site: ‘…the real answer to Why is the fact that in this country, our government and its myriad of agencies and bureaucracies have determined that a priori Islam itself is NOT the evil ideology it in fact is.”

SANE’s web site once contained the following white supremacist language as part of its mission statement: “America is a unique people bound together through a commitment to America’s Judeo-Christian moral foundation and to an enduring faith and trust in G-d and in His Providence…America was the handiwork of faithful Christians, mostly men, and almost entirely white, who ventured from Europe to create a nation in their image of a country existing as free men under G-d.”

Other articles on the SANE website made other racist statements that questioned the right of African-Americans and women to vote: “There is a reason the founding fathers did not give women or black slaves the right to vote,’ and ‘Race matters and affects your intelligence. Jews are the smartest white people around. Orientals smarter than Whites. Latinos next. Then Blacks.”

Another SANE article stated: “Is there something unique about the Black American (or, at least the Black New Yorker) that leads him to murder so disproportionately and to most often kill and victimize his own?”



NOTE: An edited version of the letter below was published in today’s Washington Times.

SEE: No Savagery by CAIR

To the Editor:

It is a pity columnist Jeffrey T. Kuhner (“Silencing Savage,” 10/11/09) does not read his own newspaper. For if he had, he would not have put forward the central smear in his bizarre list of lies and distortions about the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) -- that we support the ban on controversial radio talk show host Michael Savage entering Britain.

In the May 11 and 17, 2009, editions of the Washington Times, I was quoted as saying: "Even though we have challenged Michael Savage's hate speech and even ran an advertising campaign against his show, we still do not back this ban from Britain based on principle, not based on the man himself. We believe freedom of speech is a two-way street.” (“Surviving the 'cauldron'; Always up for a fight, radio host leads Nation,” Washington Times, 5/17/09)

On May 11, the Times’ reporter wrote: “An unlikely group [CAIR] is calling for Britain to remove conservative talk-radio host Michael Savage from its banned-persons list.”

SEE: Strange Bedfellows

With a little extra research, Mr. Kuhner might also have discovered that CAIR never called for Savage to be “yanked off the air.”

As I stated in reference to another talk show host who vilified Islam and Muslims: "Radio hosts are free to hold bigoted views, but listeners have no obligation to subsidize those views by purchasing the goods or services of companies that choose to advertise on hate-filled programs." (CAIR News Release, 4/2/09, See Also:,

So what Mr. Kuhner falsely describes as an attempt by CAIR to silence Savage, was in fact a defense of his free speech rights and a very American affirmation of the right to challenge hate by using our own freedom of speech.

Ibrahim Hooper
National Communications Director
Council on American-Islamic Relations
202-744-7726 (c)



(CLEVELAND, OH, 10/14/09) - The Cleveland Chapter of the Ohio office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Ohio) recently co-hosted a domestic violence forum at the Islamic Center of Cleveland. The forum, entitled “Facing Domestic Violence in the Muslim Community,” was designed to raise awareness about domestic violence and to help prevent and address this serious public health and safety issue.

The forum, which was attended by more than 100 members of the Muslim community and co-hosted by CAIR-Ohio, Salaam Cleveland and the Islamic Center Women’s Committee, provided a basic understanding of domestic violence and addressed the challenges and barriers victims face.

A panel of community advocates, domestic violence experts and justice system professionals explained the resources available to victims and their families. The forum placed special emphasis on the barriers and obstacles Muslim and immigrant victims face in seeking relief from domestic abuse. A future forum is also planned for First Cleveland Mosque.

“Violence in the home is a serious public health and law enforcement problem that cuts across all demographic lines.” said Julia A. Shearson, executive director of the Cleveland chapter of CAIR-Ohio. “Education and open discussion are the keys to breaking down barriers so that victims can get help.”

In addition to providing family violence seminars to the Muslim community, CAIR-Cleveland has also designed a training course for victim/witness advocates, law enforcement and social service providers entitled Islamic Perspectives on Domestic Violence.

The training provides tools and suggestions for optimizing services for Muslim victims, and covers issues such as: the impact of family violence on the Muslim community; challenges and barriers for advocates and victims; resources for combating domestic violence in Muslim communities; marriage and gender roles in Islam; the role of religious texts; and Islamic perspectives on healthy relationships.

CAIR-Cleveland has also partnered with six area non-profits to co-author a special training for law enforcement entitled Domestic Violence in Immigrant Communities. That training is currently being provided to law enforcement in the greater Cleveland area.

The overall goal of CAIR’s training is to break down barriers to effective treatment and prevention by offering law enforcement, justice system professionals, and social workers the awareness and tools to provide culturally aligned approaches to help stop domestic violence in diverse communities.

CONTACT: Julia A. Shearson, 216-830-2247 or 216-440-2247, E-Mail:; Isam Zaiem, 216-337-7928, E-mail:



(CINCINNATI, OH, 10/14/09) - The Cincinnati office of Council on American-Islamic Relations-Ohio (CAIR-OH) yesterday held its first informational event for media professionals, entitled “A Journalist’s Guide to Understanding Islam and Muslims.”

The breakfast event was designed to give local journalists the tools they need to gain a better understanding of Islam and to write more informed stories about Muslims.

Today’s program offered basic information on Islamic beliefs and practices as well as demographics of the Muslim community and ways for the media to better interact with the Muslim community.

“This event was a great success and offered us an opportunity to work with local media representatives,” said CAIR-Cincinnati Director Karen Dabdoub. “Today’s event helped educate and promote a better understanding of Islam in the media and will help to open up communications between media professionals and the Muslim community” she continued.

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.

CONTACT: Executive Director Karen Dabdoub, 513-281-8200, E-mail:



(SAN ANTONIO, TX, 10/14/09) More than 250 people turned out Sunday for the annual fundraising banquet of the San Antonio chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SA).

Dinner attendees, including many community leaders, heard from the keynote speaker former congressman Paul Findley, CAIR National Board State Senator Larry Shaw (N.C.) and Imam Siraj Wahhaj.

"We are very fortunate to have a community that has always shown appreciation and support for CAIR’s civil rights and advocacy work,” said Sarwat Husain, president CAIR-SA. "We thank all those who helped make our dinner such a success. This kind of support from the community will help us carry out our mission of defending civil liberties and promoting justice."

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.

CONTACT: CAIR-SA Board President Sarwat Husain 210-378-9528, E-Mail:



The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) calls on all Muslims in the New Jersey area to assist Muslims Against Hunger by volunteering at the Morristown Community Soup Kitchen.

"Muslims Against Hunger Project" has launched its "Fight Against Hunger in Our Backyard" campaign by organizing special "Muslims Serve Day" in various parts of the NY/NJ metropolitan area. Volunteers will gather to prepare hot lunches/dinners and serve the working poor, hungry and homeless at the Soup Kitchens. It is an Islamic tradition to feed the poor and needy. This time of the year the crowd in soup kitchens is larger than usual because bad economy has put many laborers out of work. Also, seniors on fixed incomes are running low on cash as the month wears down. Serving at the Soup kitchen gives Muslim community an opportunity to participate in the "Act of Righteousness" and shows the greater communities true and compassionate face of the Muslims and Islam.

WHAT: Volunteer Opportunity
WHEN: Thursday, October 15th, 2009
WHERE: Community Soup Kitchen, 36 South St in Morristown, New Jersey 07960 T
TIME: Please mention the Shift you wish to work;
Full shift: 9:30am to 1:30pm
Dinner Prep in kitchen Shift: 9:30 am to 11:15am
Lunch Serve line up Shift: 11:00am to 1:30pm (10 volunteers needed)
Clean up shift: 12:30pm to 1:30pm
For more information contact Zamir Hassan Phone: 908-364-4441 or
Community Service Certificate for 4 hours will be available at request

If you are unable to volunteer time, please consider sponsoring a meal for $5.74. Please make your tax deductible donations by checks payable to "Al-Hilal" and mail to: P. O. Box 12, Pluckemin, NJ 07978

In an ongoing effort to promote volunteerism among our communities under the "Muslims Care" Campaign, CAIR-NJ Public Relations Director, Afsheen Shamsi has committed to volunteering with the Interfaith Soup Kitchen on an ongoing basis and encourages others in the NJ Muslim community to do the same.

To learn more about CAIR-NJ or Muslims Care please contact: CAIR-NJ Public Relations Director, Afsheen Shamsi at 908-938-5990 or

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