CAIR ASKS CONGRESS TO PROBE FEDERAL AGENCY'S ANTI-MUSLIM BIAS - TOP
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 2/18/10) - A prominent nationaland today called on Congress to probe allegations of anti-Muslim bias at the taxpayer-funded agency that advises the president and other government officials on issues related to religious freedom worldwide.
Current and former staff and commissioners of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom say the agency discriminates against Muslim staffers, targets Muslim countries for extra scrutiny, focuses disproportionately on the persecution of Christians, and downplays violations of religious rights in places like Israel and Europe.
A Muslim policy analyst contracted by the commission recently filed a complaint with the(EEOC) alleging that her contract was canceled because of her faith and her past affiliation with an American Muslim organization.
SEE: Agency that Monitors Religious Freedom Abroad Accused of Bias (Wash. Post)
The commission was created by Congress in 1998 as part of the International Religious Freedom Act. It has a $4.3 million budget. Next year, Congress must decide whether to extend the commissions life beyond its 2011 sunset date.
"The disturbing allegations of anti-Muslim bias at the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom must be investigated by Congress prior to instituting any necessary reforms," said CAIR National Executive Director . "Taxpayer dollars should not be used to promote the religious agendas or pet projects of those with an ideological ax to grind."
Awad noted that the commission devoted extensive resources to examining the textbooks used at an Islamic school in Virginia, despite the fact that the agency was created to monitor religious freedom overseas.
In 2001, a group of American Muslim, Christian and secular organizations criticized the commission's lack of balance in its reporting on violations of religious freedom.
CAIR is America's largest Muslim 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.and
GROUP LAUNCHES RACIAL PROFILING: FACE THE TRUTH DIALOGUE SERIES - TOP
From February 22-28, 2010, the Rights Working Group will host dialogue events to help people "talk about how government policies are undermining the civil liberties and human rights of people living in America and how to work together to ensure these rights are restored."
This year's topic is racial, religious and ethnic profiling. CAIR strongly opposes such profiling and encourages people of conscience to join these conversations.
To learn more about the project, see: http://www.nightof1000conversations.org/
Order tickets online here.
Unity Productions Foundation is a nonprofit production company whose mission is to develop balanced, fair and accurate journalistic material concerning the world's cultural and spiritual traditions in order to help increase understanding and tolerance. For more information, visit www.upf.tv.
The Columbus chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations will sponsor a screening of Inside Islam: What a Billion Muslims Really Think at 7 p.m. Sunday in the Drexel Theatre, 2254 E. Main St., Bexley.
The 55-minute documentary examines the findings of a Gallup Poll in which researchers interviewed tens of thousands of residents in 35 predominantly Muslim countries.
A panel discussion will follow the screening.
Admission is $5, or free for students.
Indiana University religious studies professor Edward Curtis' recent book, "," is, according to his publisher, the first single-author history of American Muslims from Colonial times to the present.
There is not a whole lot of competition. I don't know of any textbooks that mention how there werelike Hassan and Ali in documents from our Spanish colonial period (in the American Southwest) in the 1600s.
In 1730, roughly 280 years ago, the first identifiable Muslim arrived on the Eastern Seaboard. (More)