Saturday, September 25, 2010
At a time of growing tensions involving Muslims in the United States, a record number of Muslim workers are complaining of employment discrimination, from co-workers calling them "terrorist" or "Osama" to employers barring them from wearing head scarves or taking prayer breaks.
Such complaints were increasing even before frictions erupted over the planned Islamic center in, with Muslim workers filing a record 803 such claims in the year ended Sept. 30, 2009. That was up 20 percent from the previous year and up nearly 60 percent from 2005, according to federal data.
The number of complaints filed since then will not be announced until January, butsay they have received a surge in complaints recently, suggesting that 2010’s figure will set another record.
The federal More)has found enough merit in some of the complaints that it has filed several prominent lawsuits on behalf of Muslim workers. (
FBI INVESTIGATES MOSQUE DEFACING IN SOUTH ST. LOUIS - TOP
The FBI is investigating an act of vandalism against a south St. Louis mosque, amid rising rhetoric against Muslims.
Mosque member Tim Kaminski says it’s no accident.
"We know it’s directed at us, "Kaminski said, "because they know we’re a house of worship, a house of prayer.". . .
Meanwhile, an attorney for the local chapter of thebelieves the graffiti attack is part of a pattern of escalating rhetoric against Muslims.
Jim Hacking cites this summer’s tension over the New York City Mosque, the Florida pastor threatening to burn the Fairview Heights, Illinois standoff with the man accused of threatening Muslims., and this week’s
"Nationally on things like FOX News, you have people like Newt Gingrich comparing Muslims to Nazis," Hacking said, "Just really negative, stereotypical hatred that’s been spewing out, and it’s really at it’s worse level, even worse than after 911." (More)
MAN IN STANDOFF WANTED WAR WITH MUSLIMS, FBI SAYS - TOP
A man who held federal agents at bay with fake explosives wanted to start a war between Christians and Muslims and kill President Barack Obama, according to charges filed against him Wednesday. (More)
MUSLIM FAMILY SUES WILLOWS HIGH - TOP
SACRAMENTO — A Willows Muslim family that garnered national attention on the Dr. Phil Show has now filed a lawsuit against the Willows Unified School District, claiming district officials did nothing to stop the harassment inflicted on the four former Willows High School students.
Chico lawyer Larry Baumbach filed a motion for a jury trial in federal Eastern District of California Court in Sacramento late last week, charging the school district failed to uphold the of Luz, Mohammad, Salam and Shawki Al-Rifai.
The complaint alleges the 18-year-old quadruplets were subjected to years of "severe, pervasive, verbal and physical harassment" while attending Willows High School, with the actions "tacitly encouraged" by the district, Superintendent Steven Olmos and Willows High Assistant Principal Jerry Smith. (More)
CAIR-CINCINNATI HOLDS MEDIA RELATIONS WORKSHOP - TOP
(CINCINNATI, 9/23/10) –- On Saturday, September 18, the Cincinnati chapter of Council on American-Islamic Relations-Ohio (CAIR-Cincinnati) presented a Media Training Workshop. The workshop, which was held at the Islamic Association of Cincinnati, was attended by a dozen members of the Cincinnati area Muslim community.
The workshop covered the basics of media relations such how to write a letter to the editor and how do a media interview.
"It is very important for community members to understand how to work with media professionals to offer accurate and balanced information about Islam and Muslims," said CAIR-Cincinnati Executive Director Karen Dabdoub, who presented the workshop.
Groups and organizations in the Muslim community that want to host a workshop should contact the CAIR-Cincinnati office at.
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect , empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
CONTACT: Karen Dabdoub, 513-281-8200, E-Mail:; Roula Allouch, E-Mail:
CAIR: TEXAS SBOE DEBATES 'PRO-ISLAMIC' BIAS IN TEXTBOOKS - TOP
It appeared that Texas had finished battling over textbooks - with social conservatives winning a clear victory in May - but the Texas State Board of Education is taking up another explosive curriculum question: Are Texan youth being fed a sugar-coated version of Islam while Christianity is unfairly taken to task for its sins?
At a three-day meeting that started Wednesday, the board is scheduled to consider a resolution that would require it to reject textbooks that it determines are tainted with teaching "pro-Islamic, anti-Christian half-truths and selective disinformation," a bias that it argues is reflected in current schoolbooks...
From Ahmed Rehab’s point of view, American culture — including textbooks — routinely vilifies Islam and focuses unduly on the militaristic aspects of the religion.
"Islam has a wealthy history that goes beyond the battles, in the arts and cultures and sciences," said Rehab, spokesman for the Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR). "There’s this strange attempt to portray anything Islamic as uniquely bad.
"When someone comes along and then speaks the truth, or basically renders an accurate account of reality, then (readers) are shocked and confused because it goes against everything they have heard, therefore it must be a lie. It’s what I call willful ignorance."
Social conservatives are seeking to curtail references to Islam in Texas textbooks, warning of what they describe as a creeping Middle Eastern influence in the nation's publishing industry. . .
"It's just more of the same Islamaphobic, xenophobic attitude we've been seeing around the country," said Mustafaa Carroll, executive director of the Council of American Islamic Relations of Texas. "It's not like Muslims are not part of the country. This kind of attitude is not healthy, it's not even American." (More)
CAIR-MI: QURAN BURNING: IS IT AN INSULT OR INTIMIDATION? - TOP
A few bullet holes may be the difference between a burnt East Lansing, Mich.left at a mosque in Knoxville, Tenn., and one left at a mosque in
On Tuesday, Ingham County Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings said the man who allegedly left a burnt Quran outside the Islamic Center of Lansing on Sept. 11 would not face charges because the act doesn't fall under Michigan's criminal code. . .
The Michigan chapter of the Council of American-Islamic Relations has called on hate crime charges in the East Lansing case against the alleged perpetrator, who turned himself in on Sept. 15 after police announced a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.officials to consider bringing federal
"If the KKK burns a cross on private property, that's legal. But if they burn a cross at an African-American church, that's a hate crime," said, a spokesman at CAIR's Washington headquarters.
"It's the same with a Quran. If you burn a Quran in your backyard or in your church, that's free speech. But if you leave a burnt Quran at the entrance of mosque, you're trying to scare people." (More)
CAIR-WA DECRIES THREAT AGAINST CARTOONIST - TOP
. . .Fortunately, some of that is happening after Seattle Weekly cartoonist Molly Norris was forced to change her name and go into hiding at the advice of the FBI. Norris was put on an execution list by U.S.-born Yemeni cleric in July after Norris suggested a controversial “Everybody Draw Muhammad Day!” (Muslims generally believe that depicting any prophet is blasphemous.)
While Norris’ suggestion touched off street riots in Pakistan, the head of the Seattle chapter of the said the group “has a no-tolerance policy for threats of violence.” That group’s actions deserve praise. Hopefully, others will continue to visibly make the point that violence is unacceptable as an approach to religious differences. (More)
CAIR VIDEO: ABC NEWS TESTS HOW AMERICANS RESPOND TO HIJAB - TOP
View the video.
NY PARK51 DEVELOPER TO SPEAK AT CAIR OCT. 9 BANQUET - TOP
Sharif El-Gamal, the main developer of the Park51 project in lower Manhattan, will speak at CAIR's 16th annual banquet on Saturday, October 9 in Arlington, Va. A recent summit of national Muslim leaders expressed strong support for Park 51 project.
Register today to hear from the man at the center of the manufactured controversy that has sparked an anti-Muslim backlash nationwide.
GO TO: http://www.cair.com/banquet/
CAIR is also holding an intensive day-long critical leadership skills training conference on the same day as the banquet.
The conference will include training sessions for public speaking, on-camera interviews, using social media, political engagement, challenging Islamophobia and knowing your legal rights with .
You can find details, including session descriptions, at: http://tinyurl.com/CAIRworkshops
To make a reservation over the phone or to reserve an entire table for eight people, call, or you can e-mail