Saturday, April 3, 2010


(WASHINGTON, D.C., 4/1/2010) -- CAIR is urging American Muslims to participate in "Census Day" by completing and mailing in census forms. (CAIR chapters nationwide are Census 2010 partners.)

SEE: Census Day Questions Answered (CNN)

What is the Census?

The census is an attempt to count every resident in the United States, a process required by the Constitution to take place every 10 years. Census data will influence the distribution of more than $400 billion of federal funds to state and local governments. All personal information remains strictly confidential under federal law and cannot be shared with any federal, state or city agency.

Who should take part and how?

All U.S. residents, citizens and non-citizens alike must be counted.
Starting March 15, Census questionnaires were mailed to every household across the country. It takes only 10 minutes to complete the questionnaire and mail it back.

Why should Muslims participate?

Although the census does not ask about faith and religion, Muslims make up an ethnically and culturally diverse subset of the American population. Census data directly impacts the communities in which Muslims live by guiding funding decisions for schools, hospitals, and more. This data also affects your voice in Congress, as well as redistricting of state legislations, county and city councils and voting districts.


1. Complete the Census: CAIR encourages American Muslims to complete and mail back the Census form.

2. Spread the Word: Encourage your family, friends and community to participate in completing the census and be counted.

For more information, visit:


Strapped for cash, schools and boosters are getting creative with fundraising. But are these shows going too far?
Sarah Lemagie, Star Tribune, 3/31/10

This fundraiser was no bake sale.

Fake punches flew and tattooed muscles rippled on Saturday in the gym of St. Michael-Albertville High School, where proceeds from tickets and snacks sold at an indie wrestling show went to the football booster club.

In a spectacle of caricatured roles -- a fur-clad Norseman, a pair of fighters in kilts -- a wrestler playing an Iranian made a show of unrolling a rug and kneeling to pray, then insulted Americans as the crowd booed...

But some are concerned. A spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations said the Muslim civil rights advocacy group plans to follow up with the school. "When you start associating the promotion of religious stereotypes with a public school, that's of great concern to us," Ibrahim Hooper said.

The comments by the wrestler portraying an Iranian are "nationalist in a negative sense and, frankly, racist," said Katherine Fennelly, a professor of public affairs at the University of Minnesota who specializes in immigration. (More)


By Mike Baker, The Associated Press, 4/1/10

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Camp Lejeune officials violated the rights of a military veteran who came to his job on base in a vehicle emblazoned with anti-Islamic decals after his son died in a terrorist bombing, a federal judge ruled. (More)



(SOUTHFIELD, MI, 4/1/10) -- The Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MI) recently joined the Canton Response to Hate Crimes Coalition in Southeast Michigan.

The coalition's mission focuses on law enforcement and community organizations collaboration to educate citizens about bias-motivated crimes, to respond to support victims and to mentor victims and perpetrators during the healing process.

Other members of the coalition include the Canton Police Department, Michigan Department of Civil Rights, Michigan Alliance Against Hate Crimes, Plymouth-Canton Community Schools, NAACP and the Triangle Foundation.

Following Hutaree (Christian Militia) raid in Adrian, coalition members recently met to discuss the growing threat of White supremacist, right wing extremism in Southeast Michigan.

Recently in Rochester, not far from one of the largest mosques in Michigan, derogatory flyers were thrown in families' yards in plastic Easter egg containers with anti African-American caricatures and rhetoric. The flyers, which carry the logo of the Aryan Nation refer to African-Americans as the N-word and that they should be sent back to Africa.

The distribution of the flyers is being currently being investigated by the Michigan Department of Civil Rights.


"With the rise of hate crimes and racial tension in Michigan, we welcome such opportunities to partner with law enforcement and community organizations to challenge hate in our state," said CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid.

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-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid, 248-559-2247, E-Mail:, CAIR-MI Staff Attorney Lena Masri, 248-559-2247, E-Mail:


By Edward Cody, Washington Post, 4/1/10

LYON, FRANCE -- The clean-cut young Frenchman seemed to have everything going for him. A graduate of an elite French engineering school, he had interned at the upper-crust Rothschild bank in Paris, handled wealth management for a while on Wall Street and was accepted for a prestigious master's degree program at the University of California at Berkeley.

Except for one thing: His name was Mohamed Youcef Mami.

The State Department held up his student visa for more than two months for "administrative processing," which according to diplomats is the euphemism-of-art for a check against multiple watch lists maintained by intelligence agencies in Washington designed to prevent suspected terrorists from entering the United States.

Since President Obama scolded the agencies for overlooking warning flags against Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian charged with trying to blow up an Amsterdam-to-Detroit flight on Christmas Day, the checks have been reinforced and the lists have grown. With that comes a higher likelihood of "administrative processing" for visa applicants whose names may resemble those of terrorist suspects but who are "guilty" of nothing more than having Muslim parents.

While the computers whirred and security bureaucrats scrutinized their lists, Mami's nonrefundable flight from Lyon to San Francisco departed March 18 without him, and nobody would tell him why. As a result of the delay, he missed orientation and the first week of his financial engineering courses at Berkeley. After dozens of increasingly desperate telephone calls, e-mails and letters, Mami, 27, had concluded that he was being discriminated against because of his name and that Obama's speech in Cairo calling for friendship with the Muslim world was hollow PR. (More)


Outrage as personal files of undergraduates at Detroit bomb suspect's college handed to US
By Syma Mohammed and Robert Verkaik, The Independent, 4/1/10

Personal information concerning the private lives of almost 1,000 British Muslim university students is to be shared with US intelligence agencies in the wake of the Detroit bomb scare.

The disclosure has outraged Muslim groups and students who are not involved in extremism but have been targeted by police and now fear that their names will appear on international terrorist watch lists. So far, the homes of more than 50 of the students have been visited by police officers, but nobody has been arrested. The case has raised concerns about how the police use the data of innocent people and calls into question the heavy-handed treatment of Muslim students by UK security agencies.

This week, MPs criticised the Government's key policies on countering extremism which they said were alienating Muslim communities.

Last year, The Independent reported on the alleged harassment of young Muslims by the police and security service, MI5, whose officers had tried to recruit them as spies. (More)


By Michelle Boorstein, Washington Post, 3/31/10

For a photo slide show, click here.

If there were a prototype for an American-style imam, Adeel Zeb might be it.

In Koran study groups, the 28-year-old volunteer chaplain at American University weaves in references to U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and comedian Dave Chappelle (both Muslim),, frat life and President Obama.

He preaches tolerance and civic idealism and sports a pinstriped suit, a GQ-ish trimmed beard and an animated delivery he learned from the Baptist college where he minored in communications. He'd like to become part of the first generation of American-born imams, but it's a career path that is proving much more difficult than he expected...

He received a bachelor's degree in Islamic studies after studying on weekends and became a spokesman for the local branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. He did Muslim outreach for two Texas members of Congress and helped navigate civil rights discussions with the departments of Justice and Homeland Security. (More)


Tim Townsend, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 4/1/10

Adil Imdad, 41, moved to the United States as a teenager from his native Pakistan in 1981. Five years later, he became an American citizen, and in 1995, he moved to St. Louis to pursue a master's degree in environmental engineering at Washington University.

Imdad loves his adopted country. He also loves Islam, and his story embodies the reason the American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri is launching the Muslim Rights Project. The program, which ACLU officials say may be its first nationwide, will provide volunteer attorneys for Muslims questioned by law enforcement officers...

The project, an extension of the ACLU's 5-year-old Muslim Rights Task Force, will provide volunteer attorneys for Muslims questioned by law enforcement officers. Other organizations, such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, have founded similar programs. (More)



(SANTA CLARA, CA, 4/1/2010) - On Friday, April 2, the Arab American Grocers Association, Arab Resource and Organizing Center, Arab Film Festival, Arab Cultural & Community Center, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and National Association of Yemeni Immigrants will host a communal Friday Prayer at the Van Ness Holiday Inn Hotel. After the prayer, San Francisco Police Chief George Gascon will address attendees regarding his recent comments that many in the local Middle Eastern community found offensive. Gascon later apologized for the remarks.

WHAT: San Francisco Police Chief George Gascon to Address Arab and Muslim Community Members
WHEN: Friday, April 2, 1:45 p.m. (Pacific)
WHERE: Holiday Inn Hotel, 1500 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco, CA
CONTACT: CAIR-SFBA Programs and Outreach Director Zahra Billoo, 626.252.0885,

The chief's comments at an earthquake safety breakfast last week implied that members of the city's Middle Eastern community, specifically those of Yemeni and Afghan origin, posed a terrorist threat to San Francisco.

Gascon says he is committed to addressing the large community gathering on Friday to express his regret over his choice of words as well to listen to personal testimony from community members expressing the negative consequences of his comments.

"Community members look forward to hearing from and continuing to work with Chief Gascon," said CAIR-SFBA Programs and Outreach Director Zahra Billoo. "We hope to build bridges between public officials and the Muslim and Arab-American communities to remedy the long term impact that such statements can have."

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:


Staff Reporter, India Journal, 4/1/10

LOS ANGELES, CA - The Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) along with the California Sikh Council and the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF) condemned a recent vicious murder of a Sikh man, Jaspal Singh, in Pakistan.

According to news reports, the Pakistani man was kidnapped along with two other Sikhs by militants in the Khyber region on the Afghanistan border in January. Singh was beheaded on February 21, after his relatives reportedly failed to pay the ransom. Pakistani security forces earlier this month rescued two of the three Sikhs kidnapped.

In a statement, CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush said:

“We condemn this barbaric attack, offer condolences to the loved ones of the man killed and call for the swift apprehension and prosecution of the perpetrators. We commend the Pakistani security forces on their success in rescuing the two other victims and call on all religious communities, in particular Pakistan’s Muslim majority and Sikh minority, to promote unity and reject all those who spread hatred and extremism.”

He also noted that political and religious leaders in Pakistan condemned the attack.

No comments: