Thursday, April 1, 2010

Muslim civil rights groups says all acts of terrorism should be repudiated

(WASHINGTON, DC, 3/29/2010) -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today condemned both an alleged domestic terror plot by a Christian militia group to kill law enforcement officers and two bomb attacks on the Moscow subway system that killed at least 37 people.

Nine Midwest-based militia members were charged with conspiring to kill police officers and then kill more people at the officers' funerals. The FBI apparently raided the group because it planned acts of terror sometime in April. "Hutaree" militia members reportedly viewed attacks on law enforcement personnel as part of an armed struggle against the American government.

Initial media reports indicated that the militia made threats of violence against American Muslim organizations.

In a statement, CAIR said:

"We condemn these senseless and inexcusable terror plots and attacks. We applaud the FBI for uncovering the alleged plot to kill police officers and offer our sincere condolences to the loved ones of those killed or injured in the Moscow attacks. American Muslims join with our fellow citizens and with the international community in repudiating all acts of terrorism wherever they take place and whomever they target."

Along with innumerable condemnations of terror, CAIR has in the past launched an online anti-terror petition drive called "Not in the Name of Islam," initiated a television public service announcement (PSA) campaign against religious extremism and coordinated a "fatwa," or Islamic religious ruling, against terrorism and extremism.

CAIR recently expressed concern about the reported rise in the number of anti-government and anti-immigrant extremist groups during the past year.

SEE: CAIR Concerned About Reported Rise in Militias, 'Patriot' Groups

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:


Jackson encourages about 900 at CAIR event to fight against racism, foreclosure
Oralandar Brand-Williams, Detroit News, 3/29/10

Dearborn -- Civil rights activist the Rev. Jesse Jackson urged Muslim Americans to partner with his organization not only for civil rights but on economic issues facing Americans, such as foreclosures.

"When we fight against foreclosure ... that's all of our fight," Jackson told a crowd of about 900 people gathered Sunday for a banquet marking the 10th anniversary of the Council on American-Islamic Relations Michigan...

Nihad Awad, CAIR's national executive director, said Muslim-Americans must fight against "Islamaphobia."

"Right now we are being challenged, but we are being challenged because we are about to move to the next stage. Muslim-Americans will be seen and treated as equals. Muslim-Americans will be recognized, respected and celebrated."

CAIR-Michigan Executive Director Dawud Walid renewed his call for U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to open an investigation into the October shooting death of Imam Luqman Abdullah by FBI agents during a raid at a Dearborn warehouse and to revisit the issue of racial profiling.

"Mr. Holder, we are at the front door (asking) to review the latest FBI guidelines," Walid said. (More)


Health, jobs, education are shared issues, civil rights leader tells Islamic gathering
Melanie D. Scott, Detroit Free Press, 3/29/10

The Rev. Jesse Jackson told hundreds of people gathered Sunday at the Michigan Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations banquet to fight for more than Islamic-centered issues, and would not address the shooting death of a Detroit imam.

"We didn't come to town to discuss the man who got killed," said Jackson, referring to Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah, 53, who was shot during an October FBI raid in Dearborn.

Jackson instead encouraged the crowd to fight also for health care, education and job security.

"Our quest as Americans is equal protection under the law; you can't just fight for Islamic issues," Jackson told guests at the 10th annual event, held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Dearborn. "A room can't be saved if the house is on fire." (More)


By Jonathan Oosting,, 3/29/10

Rev. Jesse Jackson spoke Sunday at a meeting of Metro Detroit Muslim leaders, calling for community action on home foreclosures and demagoguery even as fears spread that a militia group raided this weekend by the FBI may have been targeting Muslims.

Jackson was the keynote speaker at the Council on American-Islamic Relations Michigan's 10th anniversary banquet at the Hyatt Regency in Dearborn. The Detroit News and Free Press report Jackson, as he did in Detroit last October, urged attendees to continue to fight unnecessary home foreclosures, likening the need for action to the civil rights movement...

Dawud Walid, executive director of CAIR Michigan, did discuss the Imam on Sunday and also touched on a separate weekend FBI raid involving a Christian militia group in Southeast Michigan, known as Hutaree.

The News reports Walid told the crowd he'd been contacted by a journalist regarding the groups' alleged threats against Muslims, which spurred a number of audible gasps.

"Don't allow this news to scare you away from practicing your faith," he said.

The national CAIR organization yesterday called on federal authorities to release more information about "possible threats of violence" against Muslims by the militia group. It's not clear the militia was targeting any specific group, but charges that could provide answers are expected to be unsealed today in federal court in Detroit. (More)

By Dave Aeikens, St. Cloud Times, 3/29/10

More than two dozen Muslims and their supporters are rallying this morning across from Apollo High School to show support for students who attend the school.

Those at the rally say the school staff is not doing enough to keep Muslim students from being harassed and in some cases is contributing to it. The rally comes less than a week after a Minnesota Muslim civil rights group announced it asked the U.S. Department of Education to investigate a series of allegations that could create a hostile learning environment for Somali and Muslim students at Apollo and Technical high schools...

The district is investigating a series of claims from the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. He said the district acknowledges one incident in which Muslim students were teased and harassed. Two boys who are white were suspended. The district has been unable to substantiate other allegations including one that pork bacon was shoved in the face of Muslim girls. The investigations are continuing, he said. (More)



(CHICAGO, 3/28/10) -- On Monday, March 29, the Chicago Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Chicago) will hold a news conference to call on the City Colleges of Chicago to resolve complaints of discrimination by Muslim employees of Truman College.

Two separate discrimination lawsuits have been filed against the City Colleges by Muslim employees alleging a pattern of bias at the college. Zubair Khan of Rab & Khan, LLP is representing the plaintiffs in both of those cases.

WHAT: Press Conference calling on the City Colleges of Chicago to resolve complaints of discrimination at Truman College
WHEN: Monday, March 29, 2010 at 1 p.m.
WHERE: CAIR-Chicago, 28 E. Jackson Blvd., Suite 1700, Chicago, IL 60604
WHO: CAIR-Chicago Civil Rights Director, Christina Abraham Esq., and Zubair Khan Esq.

CAIR-Chicago is a chapter of 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: Ahmed Rehab, Executive Director, CAIR-Chicago, 312-212-1520 or 202-870-0166, E-mail; Amina Sharif, Communications Coordinator, CAIR-Chicago, 630-935-5562, E-mail; Christina Abraham, Civil Rights Director, CAIR-Chicago, 312-212-1520, E-mail


Detroit Free Press, 3/29/10

An attorney is to speak about "The Rights of Women in Islam" at noon Tuesday in the Michael Berry Auditorium at Henry Ford Community College, 5101 Evergreen Road, Dearborn.

The talk is part of Islamic Awareness Week with the Muslim Students Association. The lecture is to be given by Lena Masri, staff attorney with the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.



(NEW YORK, NY, 03/28/10) -- CAIR-NY is urging New York Muslims and residents of that state to ensure that every community member is counted and participates in the 2010 U.S. Census.

What is the Census?

The Census is an attempt to count every resident in the United States, a process required to take place every 10 years by the Constitution. Census data collected 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 we live in 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-NY encourages NY Muslims and residents of that state 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

As a U.S. Census partner, CAIR-NY launched CENSUS 2010: Be Counted!, an effort to promote and encourage public and civic engagement among the American Muslim community. For more information, contact CAIR-NY Community Affairs Director Faiza N. Ali at 212.870.2002,


Tim Padgett, Time, 3/29/10

Hispanic advocates often tell the story of a Census Bureau worker who visits a Puerto Rican household in New York City's East Harlem neighborhood. Seeing the family's caramel complexion, the Census taker asks which race he should put down for them -- white or black. To which the family answers: "Puerto Rican."

The story could substitute a Mexican-American family -- or Colombian- or Nicaraguan-American ones for that matter -- but the gist would be the same. Many, if not most, Hispanics in the U.S. think of their ethnicity (also known as Latino) not just in cultural terms but in a racial context as well. It's why more than 40% of Hispanics, when asked on the Census form in 2000 to register white or black as their race, wrote in "Other" -- and they represented 95% of all the 15.3 million people in the U.S. who did so. (More)


Bay City News Service, 3/27/10

San Francisco Police Chief George Gascon today apologized for remarks he made Thursday on the threat of terrorism that drew criticism from members of the city's Middle Eastern community.

Gascon spoke at a breakfast at San Francisco's Ferry Building before construction and trade groups, at which he discussed a $412 million June 8 bond measure to build a new police headquarters and implement other seismic upgrades citywide.

According to Gascon, he also discussed possible terrorist threats to the headquarters at the Hall of Justice as another reason to support the measure. He said he mentioned domestic terrorism but also the threat of international terrorism from Yemen and Afghanistan, and also noted significant populations from those countries residing in the Bay Area...

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American Islamic Relations said today that it, along with other local Arab and Muslim groups, sent a letter to Gascon in which they expressed disappointment.

The organization said they have asked the police chief to meet with leaders from the Arab and Muslim community in San Francisco to talk about possible negative impacts of his comments.


Meeting requested to discuss claim that members of the city's Middle Eastern community might blow up Hall of Justice

(SANTA CLARA, CA, 03/26/2010) - The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR-SFBA) today, with other local Arab and Muslim groups, sent a letter to San Francisco Police Chief George Gascon expressing disappointment and concern about statements he made at a breakfast in support of an earthquake safety bond measure.

It is reported that he made a statement to the effect that, "the Hall of Justice at 850 Bryant St. is susceptible not just to an earthquake, but also to members of the city's Middle Eastern community parking a van in front of it and blowing it up."

SEE: Police Chief's Remarks on Terrorism Anger Arabs (Chronicle)

The letter further asked Chief Gascon to attend a meeting with leaders from the Arab and Muslim community in San Francisco to discuss the negative impacts of his comments, and discuss the community's requests in moving forward from this incident.

The letter signed by CAIR-SFBA Programs and Outreach Director Zahra Billoo, stated in part:

"Your comments are all the more alarming given the link between Islamophobic rhetoric and anti-Muslim incidents. The reality is that such irresponsible statements a person in your position can lead only to worsening security for San Francisco, as it infuses residents of the city with irrational fears and suspicions toward a particular community and leads that community to live in constant apprehension."

After the incident, Chief Gascon stated that his comments were only directed at Yemenis and Afghans, rather than all "Arabs" or "Middle-Easterners." He further cited the attempted Christmas Day bombing incident to support his statements.

The letter states:

"Community members need to be able to turn to your office and leadership for protection and safety. Instead, they will feel even less safe as a result of your comments. If the very people that are charged with protecting them, are making sweeping racist comments about their guilt by association this may undermine their sense of safety and security. Such views and policies will trickle down to individual police officers who may abuse their powers in targeting and harassing this particular community of San Franciscans.

"We are requesting that you meet with representatives of the Arab and Muslim community to discuss the negative impact your stereotypical and offensive remarks will have on the lives of ordinary Arabs and Muslims, and to discuss steps to move forward from this incident."

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 Francisco Bay Area Programs and Outreach Director Zahra Billoo, 626.252.0885, E-mail:; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail:


By Murray Weiss, Joe Walker and Kirsten Fleming, NY Post, 3/28/10

A retired FDNY lieutenant was arrested for calling a Muslim Queens man a "terrorist" and spitting on him as they argued on an Astoria street last summer, said a spokeswoman for DA Richard Brown.

Former firefighter Gerald Duffy allegedly blew his stack after he rolled through a stop sign at 25th Avenue and 41st Street the afternoon of Aug. 7 and nearly ran into Toufik Sadouki, who was walking to afternoon prayer, cops said.

"What's your problem? Don't you stop at the stop sign?" Sadouki shouted at Duffy, who then allegedly unleashed a litany of bigoted slurs at the man.

"I don't have to stop for you, you f- - -ing terrorist," Duffy told the cabdriver, who was wearing religious garbed, according to court papers.

"You're Taliban," he snarled at the bearded man who emigrated from Algeria 20 years ago.

Duffy, 46, then allegedly got out of his car, spit on Sadouki and pushed him. (More)


Santiago Esparza, The Detroit News, 3/27/10

Detroit -- About 150 people gathered Saturday to renew a call for an independent investigation into an Islamic cleric killed during an October FBI raid.

Friends, family and supporters of Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah attended a rally to hear about Abdullah's work in the community and to demand that his death be more extensively investigated.

In February, the civil rights division of the U.S. Justice Department launched an investigation into the death, which is routine.

Abdullah was shot at least 21 times Oct. 28 during a raid on a Dearborn warehouse by FBI agents, according to autopsy reports. Agents said they shot the Islamic cleric because he fired first at an FBI dog. Agents said they were investigating Abdullah and several other men in connection with a stolen goods operation.

Imam Dawud Walid, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations Michigan chapter, said Saturday he believes Abdullah suffered injuries not detailed in the autopsy report or whose origin was deemed inconclusive by the Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office.

He said the authorities are to release to CAIR attorneys previously withheld pictures as early as next week that should support his allegations.

"There were certain things in the pictures that were not reflected in the autopsy report," he said. The FBI was unable to be reached for comment on Saturday.

CAIR has established a legal fund to raise money to probe the incident and another in Macomb County in which a jail inmate's death was labeled a suicide but friends and family believe otherwise. (More)


BY L.L. BRASIER, Detroit Free Press, 3/28/10

Leaders in the African-American community called for answers at a rally Saturday afternoon to the killing of a Muslim cleric during an FBI raid in Dearborn in October.

More than 200 people gathered at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit to protest the controversial shooting of Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah, 53. Abdullah was the target of a two-year investigation by federal agents who said he was a radical Sunni leader preaching the overthrow of the government from his small mosque...

"This is a human concern, not a Muslim concern," said Imam Dawud Walid, executive director of the Michigan chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations, one of the sponsors of the event. "The African-American community has had a long history of this kind of experience in Detroit." (More)

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