Tuesday, March 9, 2010


(NEW YORK, NY, 3/9/10) - The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), together with Theatres Against War, hosted a vigil yesterday for Fahad Hashmi, an American citizen who is being held on material support charges in a federal jail under conditions that threaten his mental health and his ability to participate in his own defense.

SEE: Manhattan Vigil for Muslim Held Prisoner for Three Years
Guantánamo at Home

More than 100 supporters gathered across from the Metropolitan Correctional Centerwhere Hashmi is being held. Monday, March 8th marked the 1,371st day of Hashmis incarceration and the 871st day since the implementation of Special Administrative Measures in his case, under which he has been held in pre-trial solitary confinement.

SEE: Opinion: Let Our Name Not be Mudd

The constraints placed on Hashmi jeopardize his right to a fair trial, said CAIR-NY Civil Rights Director Aliya Latif. Prolonged solitary confinement may severely impair his mental well-being and thus his right to testify on his own behalf. These conditions are draconian and are tantamount to torture.

CAIR, 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-NY Civil Rights Director Aliya Latif, 212-870-2002, 732-429-4268,alatif@cair.com; CAIR-NY Community Affairs Director Faiza N. Ali, 212-870-2002, 718-724-3041, fali@cair.com



SAN FRANCISCO, 3/9/10 - The ACLU of Northern California (ACLU-NC), The Asian Law Caucus (ALC), and the San Francisco Bay Guardian filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request today seeking records relating to federal government activity in connection to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) investigation of Muslim communities. The groups seek records related to domestic intelligence practices including the use of informants and infiltrators (such as those reportedly used in gyms, community centers and mosques), the FBI Junior Agent Program's recruitment of Muslim and Arab American children, and investigations of Muslim leaders and imams in northern California.

"According to civil rights organizations, community members, and media reports, the FBI has engaged in a deliberate plan to infiltrate Muslim communities through the use of informants and covert actions. Tensions are especially high between the FBI and Muslim groups following the death of Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah, a Detroit cleric who was killed under questionable circumstances during an FBI raid in October 2009.

"When there are repeated and widespread reports that the FBI is building a dragnet that is detrimental to the lives of innocent Americans, the ACLU and other civil rights organizations must step in," said Julia Harumi Mass, staff attorney of the ACLU-NC. "The first step is to see all the records regarding the planning and implementation of any such spying and surveillance programs, including those that target children and have a potential chilling effect on free speech and religious practices."

Despite official overtures, including a recent statement by Attorney General Eric Holder that "the tension that arises [between the Muslim American community and the FBI] is unacceptable," many Muslim religious and cultural organizations question the intent and effectiveness of FBI activities in their environment.

"Muslim Americans play an important role in domestic intelligence investigations. That is why we want to examine the policies and investigative practices that are intrusive to our communities and that ultimately could be dangerous for our country as a whole," said Veena Dubal, staff attorney at the Asian Law Caucus.

"If the federal government is going to spend taxpayer dollars on a questionable enforcement action, the public has the right to know the details of how it was implemented," said Tim Redmond of the San Francisco Bay Guardian.

The ACLU-NC has requested expedited processing because of the urgency of this issue to members of several northern California communities.

Mass added: "We are seeking expedited processing because there is urgency to inform the public concerning federal government activity. Initial reports have caused widespread anxiety in Muslim communities and raised widespread concerns about the federal government's misconduct, including racial and religious profiling and violations of the constitutional rights of United States residents in northern California." If expedited processing is granted, the FOIA request will be processed "as soon as practicable," and prior to the agency's large backlog of less urgent requests.


Veena Dubal - Staff Attorney, ALC, (415) 896-1701 ext. 119
Summer Hararah - Program Coordinator, ALC, (415) 848-7714
Civil Rights Groups Seek Records of FBI Surveillance of Mosques in Northern CA



(WASHINGTON, D.C., 3/9/10) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called on Massachusetts' Brandeis University and relevant law enforcement authorities to investigate vandalism at a Muslim Student Association (MSA) office on campus as a possible hate crime.

A Muslim leader at Brandeis suspects that the vandalism could have been prompted by a sign put up recently for the Muslim Worship Center.

SEE: New Muslim Student Association Lounge Vandalized

"The university and law enforcement authorities need to determine whether or not there was a bias motive in this case," said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. "All students deserve a learning environment free of intolerance and harassment."

Yesterday, CAIR noted that its chapters nationwide have recently responded to a growing number of bias-motivated incidents targeting Muslims.

SEE: CAIR Responds to Rise in Anti-Islam Bias

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, 202-744-7726, E-Mail: ihooper@cair.com; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, E-Mail: arubin@cair.com



(SAN DIEGO, CA, 3/9/10) The San Diego chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-San Diego) today commended California State University, San Marcos (CSU San Marcos) for investigating the recent graffiti found last week in several campus bathrooms as a hate crime.

Last Wednesday, students reported to the university police that hate graffiti was found on one of the stalls of the womens bathroom in Markstein Hall. Three more incidents of hate graffiti was found in other womens bathrooms around campus. The hate graffiti made derogatory statements toward Muslim, Latino, LGBT, and African American studentsand included a drawing of a noose.

SEE: CSUSM Investigating Alleged Hate-Speech Incidents

We commend CSU San Marcos for swiftly investigating these hate-motivated incidents, says CAIR-San Diego Public Relations Director Edgar Hopida. We are very troubled and concerned about the growing trend of hate-motivated incidents occurring at San Diegouniversities and ask administrators to insure that their campuses provide a safe environment for their students.

Similar hate-motivated incidents occurred at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD)s campus when a fraternity allegedly held a party known as the Compton Cookout, which mocked Black History Month. Several other incidents occurred two weeks later.

SEE: CAIR San Diego Condemns Recent Racial Incidents at UCSD

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-San Diego Public Relations Director Edgar Hopida, 619.913.0719 or858.278.4547, E-mail: ehopida@cair.com



Watch the video here.


By Tara Bahrampour, Washington Post, 3/9/10

The millions of blue forms being mailed this month in the first census count since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, do not ask about religion. But the idea of answering any questions posed by the government makes some Muslims uneasy, so community leaders are worried that many may avoid the Census altogether...

Muslim leaders have been holding forums to explain the process. Last week, the Justice Department said that information-gathering and sharing provisions of the Patriot Act do not override federal confidentiality laws related to the Census, with stiff penalties for sharing information about an individual.

"That would go a long way toward calming fears," said Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations. (More)


KPFK, 3/9/10

The Council on American-Islamic Relations of Los Angeles filed a complaint on Friday alleging that Nevada police detained seven California Muslims for suspicious activity.

The men had been traveling through Henderson, Nevada when they stopped at a local shopping center for gas and food. It was in the parking lot where the Muslims from various ethnic backgrounds openly prayed. Soon, after receiving a report, police cars arrived to question the men, search their vehicle, and ultimately detain them.

A CAIR-LA staff attorney contacted the Henderson police chief asserting that the police actions were unreasonable and illegitimate.

One of the seven Muslim men involved in the Nevada incident will join with civil liberties advocates, academics, researchers and other activists for a local town hall tomorrow discussing the phenomenon of suspicious activity reporting. Co-hosted by CAIR - LA, the gathering will also highlight a new study to be released by Political Research Associates detailing the practice as one that all too often institutionalizes domestic surveillance, promotes racial profiling, and, despite claims to the contrary, actually undermines national security.

GUEST: Ameena Mirza Qazi, Deputy Executive Director and Staff Attorney for CAIR-LA

CAIR-LAs event on suspicious activity reporting is on Wednesday, March 10, 2010 at 6:30pm (reception), with the program starting at 7:00pm.

LOCATION: CAIR-LA main office, 2180 W. Crescent Ave., Ste. F (2nd floor), Anaheim , CA 92801

SPACE IS LIMITED. RSVP Required. Please RSVP to info@losangeles.cair.com with subject heading SAR EVENT RSVP.


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