Friday, April 9, 2010

Administration will remove 'loaded' terms from national security document

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 4/7/10) -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today welcomed an announcement that the Obama administration will remove 'loaded' terms linking Islam to extremism from an important national security document.

Administration officials said the change would remove terms like "Islamic radicalism" from the National Security Strategy, a document that was created by the previous administration to outline the Bush doctrine of preemptive war.

SEE: Obama Sets New Approach Toward Muslim World (AP)

"We welcome this change in language by the Obama administration as another step toward respectful and effective outreach to Muslims at home and abroad," said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. "We hope this positive change in language will lead to policies that will deal more effectively with important issues such as peace with justice in the Middle East and withdrawal of our nation's forces from Iraq and Afghanistan."

He recommended that media professionals and commentators adopt similarly neutral and objective language and avoid "loaded" terminology. Awad noted that CAIR has been calling for changes in the use of terminology falsely linking Islam to terrorism for a number of years.

In 2008, the National Counter-Terrorism Center produced a document, called "Words that Work and Words that Don't: A Guide for Counter-Terrorism Communication," which encouraged government agencies and officials to avoid characterizing al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups as "Islamic" or "Muslim," as that could "unintentionally legitimize" their tactics.

SEE: U.S. Officials Urged to Avoid Linking Islam, Jihad with Terrorism
SEE ALSO: Amendment to Bill Could Serve Terrorists' Interests

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:


Omar Sacirbey, Religion News Service, 4/6/10

(RNS) When 19 Muslim men crashed two planes into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, it was widely labeled "Islamic terrorism," even as many Muslims cringed at the term.

So when nine members of a Michigan-based Christian militia, fueled by visions of the apocalypse, laid plans to gun down police officers, is it "Christian terrorism?"

Many Muslims, and others, think it should be...

Recent charges filed against the Michigan-based Hutaree militia are just the latest indication that terrorism is not unique to Islam, they say, and that other religious and ideological groups can commit violence for their cause.

Muslims aren't alone in seeing a double standard in the way terrorism is linked to Islam but not often to Christianity or other religions.

''I understand their frustration," said the Rev. Joel Hunter, a board member of the National Association of Evangelicals and pastor of Northland Church outside Orlando, Fla., who says the Hutaree militia gives the same bad name to Christianity as Osama bin Laden does to Islam.

''I can feel what Muslims feel when they watch those mischaracterizations of their faith, and wanting people to know that that's not what their faith is about."

The Hutaree militia isn't the only group that has issued an ideological call to arms. After Congress passed health care reform in March, at least 10 House Democrats reported receiving death threats, incidents of vandalism, or harassment, presumably from conservative opponents. In February, a Texas man, Joseph Stack III, flew his small airplane into an IRS office building in Austin, killing himself and an office worker.

''Terrorism is terrorism, regardless of the faith, race or ethnicity of the perpetrator of the victims," said Nihad Awad, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, in a statement that called on the U.S. government to condemn the Texas attack as terrorism. "If a Muslim had carried out the IRS attack, it would have surely been labeled an act of terrorism."

Muslims complain that although they and their leaders have condemned terrorism countless times, some of their critics still accuse them of not condemning it strongly enough. Given the recent acts of Christian and conservative terrorism, Muslims leaders said it's now up to Republicans and other conservative figures to condemn those acts.

''It's fair enough to say, 'Where do you stand on this?'" said Pamela Taylor, a Muslim activist in Cincinnati. Added Buetel, from MPAC: "The inconsistency is politically irresponsible."

Despite warnings about right-wing militias and the Hutaree arrests, many Muslims believe conservative figures —especially those who have embraced terminology like "Islamic terrorism" — have remained mostly silent on condemning right-wing violence.

Muslims point to the different labels used to describe Stack, the Texas man who flew his plane into the FBI office, and Army Maj. Nidal Hasan, who's accused of gunning down 13 people at Fort Hood. Both men showed signs of mental instability, and both had political and ideological motivations for their violence, but Muslims say many of the same people who were quick to call Hasan a "Muslim terrorist" preferred to call Stack "mentally ill." (More)


Medical Examiner Photos Also Show Deep Lacerations on Face
By Beth Tribolet and Sharaf Mowjood, ABC News, 4/7/10

A fiery Muslim leader who was shot dead during an attempt to arrest him in Dearborn, Mich., was found to have been riddled with 21 shots including one in the back. He also had a broken jaw, broken teeth and his hands were cuffed behind his back, according to an autopsy report.

An autopsy photo obtained by ABC News shows Imam Ameen Abdullah Luqman lying face down on the ground with his hands clearly cuffed behind him.

Additional photos obtained by ABC News also show deep lacerations on Luqman's face that his family believes may have been caused by a police dog...

Dawud Walid, executive director of the Council of American-Islamic Relations in Detroit, asked, "How could he be so sure?"

Walid said that despite Luqman's rhetoric, he was not dangerous. The Imam struggled to pay rent and heat at his mosque in Dearborn, and was evicted from a previous mosque for not paying rent. Walid says the police actions at the Detroit warehouse that day amounted to excessive force, borne out by the condition of Luqman's body when the medical examiner arrived.

The medical examiner's report says the body was cold when he arrived and rigor mortis had set in, so it was impossible to establish time of death. The police dog named "Freddy," a Belgian Malinois, was airlifted to get medical attention, while Luqman's body was eventually taken by ambulance to the hospital, according to his son. Freddy was later honored with a memorial service.

It remains unclear how Luqman's jaw came to be broken and his face so badly lacerated or when he was handcuffed.

After viewing all the autopsy photos with the Wayne County Medical Examiner, Lena Masri, an attorney for CAIR Michigan, said she believes Luqman's body may have moved been from the original location where was killed before the medical examiner arrived. (More)


Santiago Esparza, The Detroit News, 4/7/10

Southfield --The Council on American-Islamic Relations Michigan office released photos today that it says show evidence not detailed in official reports of the Oct. 28 fatal shooting of an imam during an FBI sting.

As result of preliminary government reports, CAIR has called for an independent investigation of the slaying of Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah, saying his body had injuries not detailed in an autopsy report and that the new photos back their claims.

CAIR says it believes the photos capture injuries that could have come from an FBI dog also killed in the incident despite the autopsy report listing the cause of those injuries as inconclusive. CAIR obtained the photos from the medical examiner. (More)



(OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – 4/7/10) – On April 9, the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-OK), in partnership with the American Red Cross of Central Oklahoma, will launch a series of blood drives at mosques across the metro area, beginning at the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City (ISGOC).

WHAT: Oklahoma Muslim Blood Drive
WHERE: Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City, 3815 N. St. Clair Ave. Oklahoma City, OK
WHEN: Friday, April 9, 2010; 2-6 p.m.
CONTACT: CAIR-OK Executive Director Razi Hashmi, 405-248-5853, E-Mail:

Blood is needed to save the lives of people undergoing surgery for trauma or heart disease; for persons suffering from bleeding disorders; for patients with severe burns; and for patients undergoing chemotherapy for cancer. Each unit of blood donated potentially saves three lives. To give blood, you must be at least 17 years of age, weigh more than 110 pounds and be in relatively good health. Please call in advance and sign up for a convenient time slot.

The blood drive is co-sponsored by CAIR-OK, Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City and Muslims Care. Muslims Care, a national CAIR program, is designed to encourage volunteerism in the American Muslim community.

CAIR-OK and CAIR-Ohio were recently featured in "Muslim Americans Answer the Call" a summary of 2009 summer of service national service projects. CAIR-OK held a disaster-training program with the Red Cross, NAACP and Latino Community Development Agency last fall.

SEE: Muslim Americans Answer the Call
SEE ALSO: CAIR-OK Answers President Obama's Call to Service (VIDEO)

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-OK Executive Director Razi Hashmi, 405-248-5853, E-mail:; CAIR-OK Chair Michael Aziz Gipson, E-Mail:; CAIR-OK Operations Coordinator Huda Abdul-Razzak, E-Mail: CAIR-OK Board Member Saad Mohammed, 405-210-4775, E-Mail:



(ST. PAUL, MN, 4/7/10) – The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) today welcomed the St. Cloud City Council's decision to establish a regional Human Rights Commission. The commission will provide community education and outreach to address bias-motivated incidents in St. Cloud and St. Joseph. The Commission will work closely with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights.

SEE: Regional Human Rights Office Expected to Open by July

In January, CAIR-MN organized a community town hall meeting in response to anti-Muslim cartoons posted around the city. At the town hall, the mayor of St. Cloud vowed to establish an active human rights commission to address the increase in hate crimes and discrimination in the city.

SEE: Forum Focuses On Posting of Cartoons in St. Cloud (St. Cloud Times)
SEE ALSO: St. Cloud Muslims Fearful and Angry After Racist Incidents (MPR)

"This is a positive step in creating a venue for residents to voice their concerns in St. Cloud," said CAIR-MN Civil Rights Director Taneeza Islam. "It sends the message that hate crimes and discrimination are not welcome in St. Cloud and that the city will work to protect everyone's civil rights."

The Commission is set to begin operating by July 1.

CAIR-MN has addressed a number of hate incidents against St. Cloud Muslims in the past few months. In March, a New Hope man was arrested after he posted threats on Craigslist targeting a Somali cultural event in St. Cloud. In December, Muslims reported anti-Muslim cartoons posted in St. Cloud, including near the mosque and Muslim-owned businesses. On March 24, CAIR-MN announced that it had asked the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) to investigate and address reports of growing racial and religious tensions in the St. Cloud Area School District.

SEE: CAIR-MN Asks DOE to Address Racial Tensions in Minn. Schools
SEE ALSO: Islamic Rights Group Wants Feds to Investigate Incidents in St. Cloud Schools

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-MN Civil Rights Director Taneeza Islam, Esq., 651-587-4712, E-Mail:; CAIR-MN President Lori Saroya, 612-327-6700, E-Mail:; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726, E-Mail:


By Andy Birkey, Minnesota Independent, 4/6/10

The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations is launching an ad of its own to counter an ad in the St. Cloud Times last month that the group deems anti-Islam.

Baptist pastor Dennis Campbell's ad for the Granite City Baptist Church read, in part, "Moslems seek to influence a nation by immigration, reproduction, education, the government, illegal drugs and by supporting the gay agenda."

CAIR's response ad bears the headline, "We are American, We are Muslim." "We are your neighbors," the CAIR-MN ad states. "We are natives and immigrants. We are educated, skilled, and working hard to achieve the American Dream. We are a part of America's history and future. We are doctors, teachers, lawyers, community activists, athletes, elected officials, taxi drivers, service workers, police officers, and business owners. We are American. We are Muslim." (More)


By Hart Van Denburg, City Pages, 4/7/10

Ever wonder where some folks get their ideas about Islam? Some of them read what Pastor Dennis Campbell of Granite City Baptist Church-Academy has to say in this St. Cloud Times newspaper ad:

"How do Moslems seek to take control of a nation?" The ad asks. "Moslems seek to influence a nation by immigration, reproduction, education, the government, illegal drugs, and by supporting the gay agenda."

"What happens when Moslems take over a nation? They will destroy the constitution and force the Moslem religion on the society, take freedom of religion away, and they will persecute all other religions."

Lori Saroya, president of the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, told us she found the pastor's ad "disturbing," especially given her group's cultural bridge-building efforts in the area after bigots reared their heads. (More)

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