CAIR SEEKS HATE CRIME PROBE OF VANDALISM AT CALIF. MUSLIM CANDIDATE’S HOME - TOP
(SANTA CLARA, CA, 10/16/09) The San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SFBA) today called on state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate a possible bias motive for vandalism of the home of a Muslim woman who is running for elected office.
CAIR said the house of Nadja Adolf, a Newark resident running for a seat on her local city council, was egged on Sunday, October 11. Adolf is a long-time Newark resident and has never had any previous complaints about property vandalism. A picture of her, wearing an Islamic head scarf, or hijab, was published in a local newspaper just days before the incident.
“Because of the circumstances surrounding this incident, we believe it is important that a possible bias motive be investigated,” said Zahra Billoo, programs and outreach director for CAIR-SFBA. “Our community’s religious, political and community leaders need to be vigilant of and address the growing anti-Muslim rhetoric in our society that can lead to such incidents.”
Billoo also urged American Muslim individuals and institutions to review advice on security procedures contained in its "Muslim Community Safety Kit."
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-SFBA Programs and Outreach Director Zahra Billoo, 626-252-0885, E-Mail: email@example.com
(RNS) When a local Muslim activist told Chuck Warpehoski that the FBI was using undercover informants to collect information on people attending mosques, he knew the issue couldn't be ignored.
After all, Warpehoski said, his group, the Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice, had once been the target of FBI surveillance during the Vietnam War.
So Warpehoski, a Quaker, wrote a letter earlier this year to Attorney General Eric Holder, urging him to investigate the allegations and review FBI policies on profiling and surveillance. "If there is a reason to investigate, there is a reason," he said. "But to investigate just because of religious affiliation is not sufficient."
Warpehoski said a local Muslim activist told him about the FBI surveillance program, but as he sees it, it's not just an issue for Muslim groups. If G-men can infiltrate a mosque, why not a church, synagogue or temple?...
While Muslim groups have applauded the solidarity of groups like the Interfaith Council in Ann Arbor, they say they are the exception.
“It's understood that this is only going to target Muslims. And if it's only going to affect Muslims, why worry about it?" said Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Washington. (More)
VIDEO: RACHEL MADDOW EXPOSES ANTI-ISLAM EXTREMISTS IN CONGRESS - TOP
At the heart of this issue is whether or not diverse populations are given a fair shot at representing their legitimate political interests in Congress, either as interns, as staff or as Members. The climate in Congress is clearly not as conducive as it should be in encouraging democratic representation, as exemplified by recent fear-rousing antics.As a result of the innumerous obstacles facing Muslim-Americans in this post-9/11 environment, their political participation is stifled and often stymied. More channels for Muslim participation are sorely needed, as well as a friendlier climate that embraces, not discourages, diversity. These fallacious allegations implicate the existence of a society still struggling with anti-Muslim sentiment. My Muslim colleagues in the House of Representatives, along with the highly qualified, patriotic and committed Muslim staffers and interns that have worked with my office and with CAPAC, contribute mightily to our democratic process. Any slander against these fellow patriots is slander against democracy and religious freedom.
MAS FREEDOM JOINS CONGRESSIONAL CONDEMNATION OF LATEST ISLAMOPHOBIC ATTACK AGAINST MUSLIM COMMUNITY - TOP Rep. Loretta Sanchez and House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers, Jr. Condemn Accusations Against CAIR
WASHINGTON, D.C. (MASNET) Oct. 16, 2009 MAS Freedom (MASF), as the civic and human rights advocacy entity of the Muslim American Society (MAS), joins Representative Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) and House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), in condemning what has been described as one of the most despicable domestic political events of the year stemming from a October 14, 2009, report that four Republican U.S. Representatives, John Shaedegg (AZ), Paul Broun (GA), Trent Franks (AZ), and Sue Myrick (NC) have accused the Center for American Islamic Relations (CAIR) of placing Muslim spies in Congress and requested a formal investigation into CAIR from the House Sergeant at Arms.
Rep. Shadegg even called for an IRS and DOJ investigation into CAIR stating that it is an organization "members of Congress should be aware of and that should be investigated by the Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service."
MAS Freedom Executive Director, Mahdi Bray stated, "This latest Islamophobic attack against members of the Muslim community is based on the extreme and repugnant anti-Muslim paranoia propagated by the authors of a newly released book (the forward of which was written by Rep. Sue Myrick), written by Paul Sperry and David Gaubatz, who has been described as a 'paranoid, racist loon' whose organization publishes 'mineral-rich' and 'protein-packed' material to 'strengthen America's national existence' the same kind of strengthening the likes of David Horowitz and Steve Emerson would have the nation subscribe to?"
Bray added, "It is ludicrous to suggest that advocating for democracy in seeking to help interns obtain positions in Congress should be seen as nothing short of a sinister plot to influence government officials in any way detrimental to our nation. Why must the work of a single group, whether it be CAIR, MAS, ICNA, MANA, AMA, AMT, or any other organization comprised of or supported by members of the Muslim community, be deemed outside of the norm of what every other advocacy group in the nation strives toward? As a longtime civil rights activist, I witnessed these same racist tactics used against Dr. King and other organizations in the civil rights movement, in their fight against injustice and bigotry."
"I am appalled by this request [for an investigation of Muslim ‘spies’ in Congress], and the insinuation that Muslim-Americans are somehow conspiring against this country through their work on Capitol Hill. As a strong advocate for diversity and religious freedom, I find these claims to be outrageous and offensive. I urge the rest of my colleagues to join me in denouncing this witch hunt, which is clearly intended to create fear and distrust in our Capitol Hill community," stated Representative Loretta Sanchez.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr. added, "It shouldn't need to be said in 2009, and after the historic election of our first African-American president, but let me remind all my colleagues that patriotic Americans of all races, religions, and beliefs have the right - and the responsibility - to participate in our political process, including by volunteering to work in Congressional offices. Numerous Muslim-American interns have served the House ably and they deserve our appreciation and respect, not attacks on their character or patriotism."
"These unwarranted, ludicrous calls for terrorism investigations into political activist groups based on their constituencies’ nationality and religion are eerily similar to accusations of "terrorism" made 50 years ago against peace activists and civil rights groups, like the NAACP," stated former Department of Justice ethics attorney Jesselyn Radack.
Radack is widely known as the whistleblower that exposed the Bush Administration's misconduct in the case of John Walker Lindh, the "American Taliban"; one of the most prominent prisoners of the Afghan war, who's naked, blindfolded, tied-up and bound to a board image in December of 2001, became the nation's first glimpse of American-led torture.
MAS Freedom (MASF) is the civic and human rights advocacy entity of the Muslim American Society (MAS), the largest Muslim, grassroots, charitable, religious, social, cultural, civic and educational organization in America - with 55 chapters in 35 states.
MAS Freedom 1325 G Street NW, Suite 500 Washington DC 20005 Phone: (202) 552-7414 or (703) 642-6165 Toll Free: 1-(888)-627-8471
MPAC: RIGHT-WING CONSPIRACY THEORY OF THE WEEK: MUSLIM INTERNS "SPYING" ON CONGRESS - TOP
This week, four Republican members of Congress, Rep. Sue Myrick, Rep. John Shadegg, Rep. Paul Broun, and Rep. Trent Franks, called on the U.S. House of Representatives’ Sergeant-at-Arms to investigate a national Muslim American civil rights organization, the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), for encouraging young Muslim Americans to intern in Congressional offices. By encouraging community members to engage in the civic process and engage in advocacy like most other major Washington, DC organizations, CAIR is being accused by these lawmakers of trying to plant "spies" into Congressional offices.
In a bizarre McCarthy-era like press conference, the four lawmakers quoted various excerpts from a yet-to-be released Islamophobic publication entitled, "Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That's Conspiring to Islamize America." The publication is co-authored by Dave Gaubatz, an individual who has repeatedly attacked members of Congress and the President for trying to implement sharia (Islamic law) in the United States.
It is unfortunate that four members of Congress from the party of Abraham Lincoln have used their official government capacity to characterize Muslims’ civic engagement as evidence of espionage and subversion. This accusation goes beyond the work of one organization; it is an affront to the countless number of patriotic Muslim Americans serving at all levels of government and civil society. This type of reckless behavior casts a phony net of suspicion on young Muslim Americans serving in various government offices.
MPAC calls on the House Leadership, specifically the Republican House leadership, to follow in the footsteps of Rep. John Conyers, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, and Rep. Loretta Sanchez to condemn this vicious and unfounded attack, and prevent a climate of Islamophobia from spreading on Capitol Hill. In a clear statement yesterday, Rep. Conyers addressed the issue by saying:
"It shouldn't need to be said in 2009, and after the historic election of our first African-American president, but let me remind all my colleagues that patriotic Americans of all races, religions, and beliefs have the right - and the responsibility - to participate in our political process, including by volunteering to work in Congressional offices, Numerous Muslim-American interns have served the House ably and they deserve our appreciation and respect, not attacks on their character or patriotism."
This type of behavior by four House Republicans will only embolden the extremists. The lawmakers are making a mockery out of our legislative process with empty and hollow conspiracy theories. It is hypocritical of them to accuse Muslim organizations of subversion on America, while they themselves apparently sent a spy to infiltrate the national office of CAIR so they could get a copy of an internal memo.
The four members of Congress should be reminded of the words of President John Adams when he addressed America’s relationship to Islam, "The United States has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Muslims." Muslim Americans will continue to engage in the civic process and serve their country at all levels.
Those who insist on choosing fear as a tool of exclusion will not hinder our country and the sacred involvement of its citizens in the civic process.
[Haris Tarin, Community Development Director, 202.547.7701, firstname.lastname@example.org]