Thursday, June 30, 2011

CAIR Good News Alert #643:

CAIR Applauds Weightlifting Rule Change to Allow Islamic Attire
Change comes following intervention by Muslim civil rights group

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 6/29/11) -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today applauded a decision by the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) to modify its policy on competitor apparel to allow modest Islamic attire.


The IWF policy change, which now allows a full-body unitard under the compulsory weightlifting attire, came following intervention by CAIR in the case of a Muslim weightlifter in Georgia who wishes to compete while covering her hair, arms and legs.

CAIR: Muslim American Weightlifter ‘Presses’ On in Fight to Compete

Last week, CAIR offered the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) draft language for a policy change on Islamic attire for consideration by the IWF during its ongoing meeting in Malaysia.

The USOC agreed to ask the IWF's technical committee to review a policy preventing the Muslim athlete, 35-year-old Kulsoom Abdullah (, from competing in the USA Weightlifting Senior Nationals to be held this July in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

CAIR Offers USOC Language for New Weightlifting Hijab Policy

CAIR: U.S. Olympic Committee Asks for Review of Hijab Policy

Abdullah also submitted a video presentation on the issue for consideration by the IWF.

Video: Suggestions & Guidelines for Modified Competition Uniform

In a statement released today in Malaysia announcing the change, IWF President Dr. Tamas Ajan said:

"Weightlifting is an Olympic Sport open for all athletes to participate without discrimination on the basis of race, colour, religion, sex, age, or national origin in accordance with the principles of the Olympic Charter and values. This rule modification has been considered in the spirit of fairness, equality and inclusion."

SEE: International Weightlifting Federation Creates More Inclusive Sport Environment

"We welcome this important decision in support of greater inclusion in athletic competition and urge the representatives of other international bodies to take similar steps," saidCAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. "We thank the United States Olympic Committee for helping to empower Muslim women athletes and for taking a stand in support of the American tradition of religious diversity."

Hooper noted that a 15-year-old Canadian Muslim soccer referee was recently told she could not perform her job while wearing hijab. Earlier this month, an Iranian women's soccer team was barred from an Olympic qualifying match in Jordan because of the athletes' modest attire.

CAIR-CAN: 'Beautiful Game' Should be Open to Muslim Women

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.

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CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, or 202-488-8787, E-Mail:; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, E-Mail:


1. CONTACT the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) to thank both organizations for allowing women of all faiths to to compete while wearing modest attire.


Ms. Aniko Nemeth-Mora
IWF Director and Chief of Protocol

Mr. Scott Blackmun
Chief Executive Officer
United States Olympic Committee
27 South Tejon Street
Colorado Springs, CO 80903


COPY TO:,,,,,,,

2. DONATE to support CAIR's important work on behalf of the American Muslims and to protect the civil rights of all Americans.


CAIR staff will be attending the ISNA convention in Chicago this weekend (July 1-4), and CAIR will have a booth in the bazaar (booths #308 & 310). Please stop by and see us!

If you're interested in working for CAIR, we currently have three career opportunities at our national office:

  • civil rights manager
  • accountant
  • development director

You can learn more on our website at, or visit our booth at the ISNA convention and drop off your resume and cover letter.

If you have not had a chance to read our new report on Islamophobia, "Same Hate, New Target: Islamophobia and Its Impact in the United States," you can purchase a copy at the booth.

Also, make sure to enter CAIR's raffle to win a free iPad 2! Just stop by our booth in the bazaar, fill out a quick survey, and your name will be entered for the drawing. The winner will be randomly selected on Sunday at 6 p.m.

On Sunday at 10:30 a.m., CAIR representatives will lead a session called "Achieving the Vision: Your Role in Shaping an America Free of Islamophobia." The panel will include CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad, CAIR Government Affairs Director Corey Saylor, and UC Berkeley professor Dr. Hatem Bazian.


David Harper, Tulsa World, 6/29/2011

A Tulsa federal judge ruled Wednesday in favor of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in its lawsuit against Abercrombie & Fitch for not hiring a Muslim teenager who wore a hijab, or religiously mandated headscarf.

U.S. District Judge Gregory Frizzell found that the company did not show that it would have sustained any significant "undue hardship" if it had accommodated the religious beliefs of Samantha Elauf, who in June 2008 applied to work in a sales position at the Abercrombie Kids store in Tulsa's Woodland Hills Mall.

Frizzell's decision means a jury will determine what, if any, damages should be awarded. The trial is tentatively scheduled to start July 18.

The EEOC filed the lawsuit in September 2009 in U.S. District Court in Tulsa, citing the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1991 as the basis for the action. (More)


Yahoo, 6/29/2011

Weightlifting's world governing body agreed Wednesday to modify its clothing rules to accommodate a Muslim women competing for the United States.

Kulsoom Abdullah of Atlanta was barred from entering higher-level U.S. competitions. Her Muslim faith requires that she covers her arms, legs and head, which violates international rules governing weightlifting attire.

USA Weightlifting took her case to the International Weightlifting Federation, which agreed to change the rules after its technical committee reviewed the proposal.

"The modified rule changes permit athletes to wear a one-piece, full-body, tight-fitted 'unitard' under the compulsory weightlifting costume," IWF vice president Sam Coffa said.

"The 'unitard' will enable technical officials to effectively adjudicate areas of the body which are essential to the correct execution of the lift."

Abdullah called the ruling a great victory. (More)


VIDEO: Weightlifting Org Modifies Clothing Rule for Muslim Woman
CAIR: Weightlifting Attire Rules Changed After Muslim Woman's Mission
CAIR: U.S. Muslim Weightlifter Wins Right to Wear Hijab During Competition


Annysa Johnson, Milwaukee Wisconsin Jounal Sentinel, 6/28/2011

For 17 years, the Milwaukee Muslim Women's Coalition has worked to dispel myths and educate the public about Islam through outreach, interfaith dialogue and informational programs.

But it never had a home of its own. That officially changes next month with the opening of the coalition's newest venture, the Islamic Resource Center for Community Outreach at5235 S. 27th St. in Greenfield.

The 5,000-square-foot center, in addition to housing the coalition offices, will serve as a first-of-its-kind clearinghouse locally for all things Islam - offering a lending library, Arabic language classes, and an array of cultural programming from lectures and films to cooking classes.

"We want to be accessible to the general public, to public school teachers, anyone who just wants to learn about Islam," said Janan Najeeb, president of the coalition who with her husband, physician Waleed Najeeb, invested nearly $1 million of their own money into the project. (More)


Jerome Socolovsky, Voice of America, 6/25/2011

Some candidates for the U.S. presidential election next year have been making statements about Islam and its American adherents that are stirring controversy. Civil rights groups warn that the candidates are pushing anti-Muslim views into the mainstream.

No one has gone as far as Herman Cain. The former chairman of a pizza chain was one of the lesser known Republican candidates - that is, until a few months ago - when he said that, if he was president, he would not like to have a Muslim working for him. At a debate in New Hampshire several weeks ago, Cain said that would make him uncomfortable. "And I would not be comfortable because you have peaceful Muslims and then you have militant Muslims, those that are trying to kill us," he said.

Cain denied that he is anti-Muslim, but he argued that a Muslim applying to work in his administration would be subject to a different level of screening than someone of another faith. Another republican candidate, Newt Gingrich, suggested during the New Hampshire Republican debate that Muslims seeking a job in an administration he leads would be subject to special loyalty tests. (More)


Andy Hogue, The Lone Star Report, 6/29/2011

Thanks in part to the extension of time brought by an impasse over SB 1 and the anti-TSA-groping bill, the House met this morning and passed the courts reform bill.

The House concurred with the Senate's changes to HB 79 by a vote of 94-44.

The Senate adjourned sine die yesterday (June 28).

Though many Representatives took to the back mic to state for the record "this is a House bill, not a Senate bill" the members were willing to accept the other chamber's tweaking over the alternative: the death of the bill.

The Senate stripped, among other House amendments, an anti-"Sharia Law" provision by Rep. Leo Berman (R-Tyler). (More)


Marissa Evans, Star Tribune, 6/28/2011

A week after reaching a $10 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit brought by women and minority workers, Best Buy Co. Inc. is facing another round of accusations over discriminatory practices in the workplace.

Majeed "Todd" Abed, a Muslim Arab, sued his former employer Tuesday in federal court in Alexandria, Va., claiming he was repeatedly overlooked for promotions and fired from his 13-year career at Best Buy for refusing to follow the company's "Be On the Look Out" policy, according to the 17 page-lawsuit.

The policy was meant to tell employees which customers appeared likely to shoplift, do fraudulent credit card transactions or other illegal activity, the lawsuit said. Abed, who had received company awards for his work, claims that employees circulated e-mails among managers in the region containing images and descriptions of customers supposedly suspected of theft to be posted in their respective stores. The e-mails "identified customers as suspicious based on nothing more than bare descriptions such as 'bearded Middle Eastern guy who looked shady' or 'black ghetto guy,'" the lawsuit said. (More)


Hena Zuberi, Muslim Matters, 6/30/2011

On June 1, the Illinois House passed the Green Ramadan resolution allowing the ninth month of the Islamic calendar as a "Green Month" for all faith communities in Illinois.

"It is a great day for people of faith and for Illinois's Muslim. Illinois is the first state in the nation that recognizes the month of Ramadan, the month of fasting in Islam, as the month of protecting our environment and our earth for all faith groups." said Dr. Zaher Sahloul, Chairperson of the CIOGC. "It is incumbent on us to translate the great teachings of Islam, especially during the month of Ramadan, into serious and practical steps to address the challenges that are facing our world like poverty, hunger, wars and global warming. Let us reflect during the month of fasting, not only on how to decrease our calories, but on how to shrink our carbon prints." (More)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

U.S. Olympic Committee requested language to be discussed at June 26 meeting in Malaysia

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 6/20/11) -- A prominent national Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization today offered the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) draft language for a policy change on Islamic attire (hijab) for consideration by the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) when it meets later this month in Malaysia.

The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said the USOC requested language for a rule change that would help the IWF resolve the case of a Muslim weightlifter in Georgia who wishes to compete wearing modest Islamic attire (hijab).

CAIR: U.S. Olympic Committee Asks for Review of Hijab Policy

Following intervention by CAIR, the USOC said it would ask the IWF's technical committee to review a policy preventing the Muslim athlete, 35-year-old Kulsoom Abdullah (, from competing in the USA Weightlifting Senior Nationals to be held this July in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

USA Weightlifting is a United States Olympic Committee National Governing Body (NGB). Officials of USA Weightlifting cite IWF rules in barring Abdullah from competition.

The IWF committee's recommendation will be presented to the body's executive board, which meets the next day in Penang, Malaysia. [Abdullah is seeking to travel to Malaysia to offer a presentation on the issue of religious attire at the meeting.]

The draft language submitted to the USOC for consideration by the IWF committee states:

"Officials will provide reasonable accommodation for the religious practices of competitors on condition that the accommodation requested does not provide a competitive advantage."

In his letter to USOC CEO Scott Blackmun, CAIR Staff Attorney Gadeir Abbas wrote:

"We believe that discriminatory international rules and regulations can never supersede American laws and traditions guaranteeing religious freedom. The issue of religious attire for athletes can be addressed successfully in a mutually-agreeable manner that maintains the legitimate rights and needs of all parties.

"Therefore, if the IWF rules against allowing reasonable religious accommodation, we request that the USOC and USA Weightlifting respect our nation's longstanding tradition of religious inclusion by allowing Ms. Abdullah to compete wearing hijab."

Abbas said that a 15-year-old Canadian Muslim soccer referee was recently told she could not perform her job while wearing hijab. Earlier this month, an Iranian women's soccer team was barred from an Olympic qualifying match in Jordan because of the athletes' modest attire.

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, 202-744-7726, or 202-488-8787, E-Mail:; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, E-Mail:


Aziz Huq, New York Times, 6/19/2011

With an eye toward the 2012 elections, legislators in six states have been debating laws explicitly prohibiting courts from considering or using Sharia law, with 14 more looking at wider bans on "foreign law." They're taking a clear cue from Oklahoma's wildly popular Sharia ban, which voters approved as a state constitutional amendment last year by more than 70 percent.

Such laws are discriminatory and pointless. Civil liberties groups are fighting them in court and calling on state legislators to abandon such bills. But there is an additional reason everyone, including would-be proponents of the laws and the federal government, should oppose them: they pose a significant threat to national security. (More)


Mark Hosenball, Newsweek, 8/30/2010

A leader in the movement protesting plans to build an Islamic cultural center two blocks from Ground Zero in lower Manhattan is defending the actions of a right-wing, anti-Muslim group that was involved in violent clashes with British riot police over the weekend.

Pamela Geller is a conservative blogger, activist, and a principal organizer of Stop Islamization of America (SIOA), which seeks to block construction of the proposed center. The group is sponsoring a protest rally at the site on the 2010 anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, a week from Saturday. In a posting on her Atlas Shrugs blog, Geller expresses sympathy for the goals and actions of the English Defense League (EDL), a far-right group implicated in violent clashes with police during an anti-Islamic demonstration last Saturday in the northern English city of Bradford. "The stated goal of the EDL is to oppose militant Islam and the sharia," Geller writes. "What's wrong with that? Everything to the PC, leftist slaves in the media and the government." (More)



The anti-Islam New York bus ad campaign and the campaign to block construction of an Islamic community center in New York are both headed by an extremist Muslim-basher who claims that "Hitler and the Nazis were inspired by Islam."

UPDATE: Pam Geller, The Face Of Park51 Opposition, Now Downplaying Serbian War Crimes

Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA), the anti-Islam hate group behind both efforts, is led by Pamela Geller.

[NOTE: The United States Patent and Trademark Office refused to grant SIOA a trademark because: "The applied-for mark refers to Muslims in a disparaging manner because by definition it implies that conversion or conformity to Islam is something that needs to be stopped or caused to cease."]

Geller posted images on her blog purporting to depict Islam's Prophet Muhammad. Several of those images show the prophet as a pig. Another image, headlined "Piss Be Upon Him," shows one of the controversial Danish cartoons of the prophet covered in urine. ("Piss Be Upon Him" is designed to mock the traditional phrase "Peace Be Upon Him" that Muslims use when mentioning any prophet of God.)

She has in the past referred to President Obama as a "ball s**ker" and posted a photoshopped image of him urinating on an American flag.

On her personal blog, Geller has written of President Obama: "[O]ne thing is for sure: Hussein is a muhammadan [sic]." Geller also wrote: "[I]t is well known that Obama allegedly was involved with a crack whore in his youth."

Geller has been vocal in her criticism of the black population in South Africa and seemingly supportive of the slain South African apartheid leader Eugene Terre'blanche. Following Terre'blanche's recent murder, Geller wrote: "All I see in South Africa is Black supremacism. Terreblanche [sic] may have been a white supremacist, but he's the dead one." She has also offered rhetorical support to accused Serbian war criminal Radovan Karadzic. In one blog entry, Geller posted a video claiming that Muslims engage in bestiality.

SIOA is an outgrowth of a similar group in Europe that seeks to block the construction of mosques. That group, Stop the Islamization of Europe, "considers Islamophobia to be the height of common sense."

SEE: SIOA is an Anti-Muslim Hate Group
Fox Opens Its Airwaves to Anti-Muslim Activist Geller

Her blog has in the past featured categories such as "Advancing Islamic Lies" and "Islam 2008: Religion of Barbarism." She was recently involved in a Florida conference that invited extremist anti-Islam Dutch politician Geert Wilders to speak.

In one 2009 blog post, Geller wrote in reference to Islam's Prophet Muhammad: "And frankly I find the whole new 'Abrahamic' narrative really galling. 1,400 years ago some maniaic [sic] decided to spin the origin of a 5,767 year old religion to advance their own evil end and said it was Ishmael that Abraham was to kill and now it's taken as.....gospel? Puhleeeze."

She also claims Muslim groups "control information and how it is processed at senior levels of the CIA, the FBI, the Pentagon, and the various branches of the military."

Geller once called for the destruction of Islam's Dome of Rock in Jerusalem. She wrote: "The dome has got to go. It is sitting atop the great Jewish temple. The dome has got to go."

Geller and the deputy head of SIOA, anti-Islam blogger Robert Spencer, offered support for a call to wipe the nation of Pakistan off the map using India's nuclear weapons. They both used their blogs to promote a video urging the mass killing of all Pakistanis.

Geller wrote of the girl featured in that video making the call to genocide: "Perhaps with an online Colb. (collaboration) we can run her for president in '16. She gets it."

Spencer wrote: "The girl is right: do not fear. Fight back against the jihad. Fear hands the jihadis a weapon."

SEE: Pamela Geller: The Looniest Blogger Ever

Geller has even been criticized by other Islamophobes for her extremism and for supporting far-right fascist groups in Europe. In fact, SIOA is an outgrowth of a similar group in Europe that seeks to block the construction of mosques on that continent. That group, Stop the Islamization of Europe, also "considers Islamophobia to be the height of common sense" and, like Geller, claims that Islam "considers lying to be not only acceptable, but obligatory."


Franklin Lamb, 6/19/11

Hanan is the Islamophobic Lebanese woman, Hanan Qahwaji who as a child lived in the South Lebanon village of Maryoun overlooking the Lebanon-Palestine border during three years of the on again off again Lebanese Civil War before she became an Israeli collaborator and fled to Israel. Hanan, repackaged as "Rachael", soon quickly landed a job with Israeli TV and specialized in telling stories about how Muslims terrorized her and her Christian neighbors.

Later, repackaged as "Nour Semaan", a name she still sometimes uses, Hanan tells American audiences that she became a Middle East "anchor" in Israel. Forgetting to mention that her job was with Pat Robertson's, Christian Broadcasting Network, working to spread his politically conservative, Pentecostal faith in the Middle East which includes Robertson's vision of rapture and how righteous Jews will all convert when Jesus comes again. The others will burn in Hell according to the Pentecosts. Hanan is sometimes known as, Nour Semaan, Rachael Cohen, "Dark Angel" and more recently, Bridgitte Gabriel, founder of the anti-Islam Zionist hate group "Act! For America". (More)



ACT! for America leader Brigitte Gabriel claims an American Muslim "cannot be a loyal citizen" and that Islam is the "real enemy." She once told the Australian Jewish News: "Every practicing Muslim is a radical Muslim." She also claimed that "Islamo-fascism is a politically-correct word. . .it's the vehicle for Islam. . .Islam is the problem."

View an image of the original article here.

When asked whether Americans should "resist Muslims who want to seek political office in this nation," Gabriel said: "Absolutely. If a Muslim who has -- who is -- a practicing Muslim who believes the word of the Koran to be the word of Allah, who abides by Islam, who goes to mosque and prays every Friday, who prays five times a day -- this practicing Muslim, who believes in the teachings of the Koran, cannot be a loyal citizen to the United States of America."

Gabriel stated: "America and the West are doomed to failure in this war unless they stand up and identify the real enemy: Islam."

Along with her stated desire to have Muslims barred from public office, Gabriel has also claimed that Arabs "have no soul" and that Muslims worship "something they call 'Allah,' which is very different from the God we believe [in]."

SEE: A Case Study in Sincere Hypocrisy: Brigitte Gabriel
Video: Brigitte Gabriel Says Arabs Have No Souls

A person staffing an ACT! for America information table in Florida was caught on video bragging that he desecrated the Quran, Islam's revealed text, and urinates in the washing stations Muslims use to perform their ritual ablutions (wudu) for prayer.

That person states: "Their foot baths, I love pissing in them. . .The Quran makes worthless toilet paper. It just kind of scratches my a** a little bit. . .To me, I like desecrating their [Muslims'] holy stuff."

According to an expose of Gabriel and her group published in the New York Times:

"Through her books, media appearances and speeches, and her organization, ACT! for America, Ms. Gabriel has become one of the most visible personalities on a circuit of self-appointed terrorism detectors who warn that Muslims pose an enormous danger within United States borders. . ."

Another expose of Gabriel's hate group published on quoted an Arab-American activist who said: "The idea that congressional staffers would agree to meet an organization led by a woman whose agenda is pure unadulterated hatred and whose purported life story is a laughable fiction -- it's sad."


Niraj Warikoo, Detroit Free Press, 6/19/2011

A young Muslim girl broke down in tears after passing by a group of Christian missionaries who continued to yell insults Saturday at Muslims and others during the Arab International Festival in Dearborn. The missionaries are also now targeting Catholics.

"She's crying because of what they said," said the father of the young girl who cried after hearing the missionaries on Warren Avenue in Dearborn, as depicted on a You Tube video. The Arab International Festival, which continues today, is the largest outdoor gathering of Arab-Americans in the country and so has increasingly attracted Christian missionaries who believe Islam has taken over the city of Dearborn. (More)


Mick O'Reilly, Gulf News, 6/20/11

Dubai: The presidential election in the United States may be 18 months away but concern is already growing at the extent of anti-Muslim sentiments being expressed by leading Republicans seeking the party's nomination.

Following last week's first debate of Republican runners organised by CNN, at least two prominent groups representing mainstream American Muslims have issued statements expressing alarm at the spread of Islamophobia by those GOP candidates.

Both the Council on American-Islamist Relations (CAIR) and the American Muslim Taskforce on Civil Rights and Elections (AMT) issued statements condemning anti-Muslim sentiment expressed by candidates during the nationally televised debate in New Hampshire. (More)


Hesham Hassaballa, Middle East Online, 6/20/11

Ever since I was old enough, I voted in almost every election. In many of those elections I voted Republican. In fact, I became involved in local Republican politics, being a Committeeman and assistant Committeeman for my local township Republican party. I felt truly at home in the Republican party, with its emphasis on conservative social values and limited government intrusion intopersonal life. Even though I didn't vote for George W. Bush in 2004, I still remained loyal to the Republican party. It simply felt right.

That all changed in the 2008 Presidential election. The repeated smears among Republican and right wing circles, that Obama is somehow a stealth Muslim, was particularly distasteful to me. The repeated stoking of fear and hatred against American Muslims for cynical political gain, and the failure of Republican leadership to repudiate it solidified my resolve to leave the party. So in 2010, I voted in my first primary election as a Democrat.

Now that the 2012 election season has begun to rev up, and the field of Republican candidates for President begins to come into clearer view, the question has entered my mind: Did I make the right decision? Was I correct in leaving the Republican Party as an American Muslim? Or was my decision too hasty, based on emotion rather than facts about where the Republicans stand?

And my answer is: Absolutely not, leaving the Republican Party was exactly the right thing to do. (More)


NPR, 6/19/2011

Just 10 days after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Rais Bhuiyan was working at a gas station in Dallas when he was shot in the face by a man named Mark Stroman.

Stroman was on a shooting spree, targeting people who appeared to be Muslim or of Middle Eastern descent. Stroman is due to be executed July 20; Bhuiyan, the only survivor of the attacks, is fighting to save his life. (More)

CAIR: Texas Governor Partners with Anti-Muslim Group
Conservative Blogger Arrested for Allegedly Harassing Minn. Muslim Women
Canada: Soccer Referee Refused Right to Wear Hijab


DC: CAIR, UC Berkeley to Release First Annual Islamophobia Report
Groundbreaking report lists ‘worst’ Islamophobes, ‘best’ of those pushing back against growing anti-Muslim sentiment

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 6/21/11) -- On Thursday, June 23, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the University of California, Berkeley’s Center for Race and Gender will hold a news conference on Capitol Hill to release “Same Hate, New Target,” the first-of-its-kind annual report outlining the disturbing growth of Islamophobia in the United States during 2009-2010.

[NOTE: A number of CAIR chapters around the nation will hold similar news conferences to release the report.]

The groundbreaking report also lists the “worst” Islamophobes and the “best” of those pushing back against growing anti-Muslim sentiment in American society.

WHAT: CAIR, UC Berkeley to Release ‘Same Hate, New Target’ Islamophobia Report
WHEN: Thursday, June 23, 11 a.m.
WHERE: CAIR National Headquarters, 453 New Jersey Ave., S.E., Washington, D.C.
CONTACT: CAIR National Legislative Director Corey Saylor, 202-384-8857, E-Mail; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, E-Mail:

“This groundbreaking report creates a benchmark for examining the troubling growth of anti-Muslim sentiment in our society and offers a who’s who of those promoting or challenging Islamophobia,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. “As the recent GOP presidential debate demonstrated, Islamophobia is moving toward the mainstream and therefore must be challenged by all Americans who learned from those periods in our nation’s history when other minorities were similarly targeted.”

CAIR Says GOP Candidates Seem at Ease with Anti-Muslim Sentiment
Muslim Bashing by GOP Candidates? Nothing New Here (Wash Post)

Based on available data and interviews with experts, the report offers a definition of Islamophobia, an overview of its growing negative impact in the United States and names of individuals and institutions known for promoting or opposing the phenomenon. It has special sections on the manufactured controversy over the Park 51 Islamic community center in Manhattan, the 2010 Oklahoma ballot initiative targeting Islamic principles (Sharia) and Islamophobia in the 2010 elections.

The report also offers a vision regarding Islamophobia in America, looks toward the time when being Muslim carries a positive connotation and presents an initial set of recommendations for moving toward that goal.

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.

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CONTACT: CAIR National Legislative Director Corey Saylor, 202-384-8857, E-Mail; UC Berkeley Professor Dr. Hatem Bazian, 510-914-6722, E-Mail:; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, E-Mail:; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-341-4171, 202-488-8787, E-Mail:

Monday, June 20, 2011

· CAIR-MI: New FBI Guidelines Further Encroach on Civil Liberties
o Video: CAIR-MI Rep Defends Free Speech Rights of Anti-Islam Pastor
· CAIR-LA Helps Mark Juneteenth with Voter Drive
· MN: Hijab-Wearing 'Flash Mob' Protests Bias Incident
o Video: Hijab Flash Mob At RightOnline
· Rudy Giuliani Joins Rally for Designated Terror Group
o Muslim Bashing by GOP Candidates? Nothing New Here
· Canada: Soccer Referee Sidelined for Wearing Hijab

CAIR-MI: New FBI Guidelines Further Encroach on Civil Liberties

Friday, June 17, 2011


(ANAHEIM, CA, 6/17/11) -- The Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) today released a video following Rep. Peter King's (R-NY) second McCarthyesque hearing targeting American Muslims.

The video, "The Good, the Bad, and the King," highlights the Congressman's false allegations against American Muslims and the manufacturing of the "sharia threat" by some to stoke fear of Muslims and their faith. The video also features voices that have denounced the broad-brush indictment of American Muslims.

SEE: The Good, the Bad, & the King

"Elected officials must be commended for standing by the principles of equality and inclusivity and rejecting Rep. King's efforts to sow fear of an entire religious minority through his biased hearings," said CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush.

Americans are encouraged to share the video with family and friends, and through social media.

The second hearing, "The Threat of Muslim-American Radicalization in U.S. Prisons," held Wednesday, was described by Chairwoman of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Rep. Judy Chu (D-32) as "contributing to a climate of fear and prejudice."

Rep. Mike Honda (D-15) stated the hearings reminded him of his time in internments camps.

Moreover, the National Jewish Democratic Council released a statement saying the hearings were "a manifestation of an upsetting GOP obsession with American Muslims."

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-LA Communications Manager Munira Syeda, 714-776-1847,; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, or 202-488-8787, E-Mail:; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, E-Mail:


Nezar Hamze, Miami Herald, 6/17/2011

[Nezar Hamze is executive director of the South Florida Council on American-Islamic Relations.]

You can't turn on the news these days or pick up a newspaper without seeing or reading about Islam, Muslims or Sharia law. Unfortunately, most of what you hear is from politicians with a religious viewpoint or media outlets creating an illusion of an enemy.

They sensationalize Arabic words to feed on society's fear. The hottest topic these days is the Sharia. They claim that "Moozlims" are trying to replace the U.S. Constitution with the Sharia. Before we all run out with pitchforks and protest signs, let's understand what Islam is, and then we can understand the Sharia. (More)


Eleni Towns, Center for American Progress, 6/16/2011

Muhammed Malik is a 28-year-old Kashmiri-American human rights advocate, social commentator, and nonprofit consultant who was born and raised in Miami, FL. A former executive director of council on American-Islamic Relations (South Florida), Muhammed also worked at the ACLU Florida, coordinating its work through the Racial Justice and Voting Rights Projects.

Muhammed is a founding partner of the Black Mangrove Collective, co-producer of Miami's acclaimed "Let's Talk About It" weekly radio show (880 AM), and serves as a board member of South Florida Interfaith Workers Justice, No More Tears, and the City of North Miami Beach's Multicultural Affairs Commission. He speaks regularly at universities, places of worship, and conferences, and he's been featured by various media outlets including Al Jazeera, CNN, NPR, Democracy Now, The Miami Herald, and The Sun Sentinel. (More)


Leah Nelson, Southern Poverty Law Center, 6/15/2011

The Tea Party Patriots has already gained notoriety as the Tea Party group that's most willing to fraternize with some of the most extreme elements of the right. The group further cemented that reputation last weekend by hosting an address by Pam Geller, the shrill co-head of the New York-based Stop Islamization of America and a major force in turning Manhattan's "Ground Zero Mosque" into a national controversy.

The Patriots received a heavy dose of Muslim-bashing and circle-the-wagons paranoia. A video of her speech is posted on her Atlas Shrugs website.

"The stealth jihad is very real," the heavily made-up queen of Islamophobia told her Fort Lauderdale, Fla. audience. "I'm talking about the academic, the economic, the legal, the social, and the cultural jihad in this country. It is a covert operation, although increasingly more brazen under Obama."

Using a strategy she described as "the mosquing of the workplace," Geller claimed that Muslims everywhere are conspiring to "impose Islam," demanding time to pray and the right to wear religious garb. "They get special privileges. It's Islamic supremacism," and "the American people are like Helen Keller and someone moved the furniture. Something is wrong and they don't known what." (More)


Dean Obeidallah, CNN, 6/16/2011

Herman Cain, Republican presidential candidate and winner of this year's Arizona and Georgia Tea Party straw polls, has a campaign slogan: "Lets Get Real."

So I guess he was just keeping it real when he recently declared that he was not "comfortable" appointing an American-Muslim to his Cabinet or to a federal judgeship.

I guess it was just another mark of this realness when he announced last week that he would require a loyalty oath from any Muslim seeking a job in his administration, but would not require the same for Christians or Jews. Cain added that he has never personally met a Muslim who would take an oath disavowing sharia law--laws based on the Quran -- so it would appear that none could be qualified for a job in the Cain administration.

Inspired by Cain's keeping-it-real mantra, I am going to keep it real: Herman Cain is either a bigot, ignorant or simply a politician using fear mongering for political gain. (More)


Justin Elliott, Salon, 6/16/2011

In ominous tones, Islamophobes toss around terms like "taqiyya" and "Shariah." Do they even know what they mean?

In a now infamous column, the writer Eliana Benador argued this week that Anthony Weiner (who is a Jew) may have converted to Islam but was hiding it from the world in accordance with the practice of "taqiyya."

"It is also important, when looking at this situation, to remember that observant Muslims practice taqiyya, an element of sharia that states there is a legal right and duty to distort the truth to promote the cause of Islam," Benador wrote.

In invoking the Arabic term "taqiyya," Benador exemplified a practice we've noticed in the past few years. It's become common for right-wing writers and even politicians to matter-of-factly toss around Arabic terminology when warning of the Muslim threat to America. These references, often made in ominous tones, are almost always without context.

So we thought it would be useful to hear explanations of terms like "taqiyya" from an expert. John Esposito, university professor at Georgetown and author of "What Everyone Needs to Know about Islam," was kind enough to explain six of the more common Islamic terms we've been hearing. (More)


Julie Ingersoll, Religion Dispatches, 6/16/2011

Neither Herman Cain nor Newt Gingrich will win the Republican primary, but the manner in which both jumped on the anti-Muslim bandwagon in Monday's New Hampshire debate is instructive. Cain waffled on what he had said, what he hadn't said, and what he meant.

But Gingrich's more troubling comments arose from the systematic, orchestrated effort to foster widespread suspicion and hatred toward Muslims that Sarah has called "a cottage industry." (More)


Eman El-Shenawi, Al Arabiya, 6/16/2011

A Muslim woman's passion for weightlifting has put her at the center of a debate that could affect athletic competitions worldwide, potentially stretching as far as the Olympics.

Kulsoom Abdullah, a 35-year-old living in Atlanta, is a weightlifter with a dream of one day making it to the Olympics. She has chosen to dress according to Islamic custom while lifting; keeping her entire body covered, aside from her hands and face.

But her decision has sparked a controversial backlash from the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF). Later this month, the group will decide whether Ms. Abdullah may take part in officially sanctioned tournaments while she is covered. ...

Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which has taken up Ms. Abdullah's cause told the Daily Mail: "What we hear all the time is, 'You've got to empower Muslim women around the world.'" (More)


Jennifer Palmer, NewsOK, 6/16/2011

TULSA -- The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's discrimination lawsuit against Abercrombie & Fitch on behalf of a Muslim teen is nearing trial.

The case, filed Sept. 16, 2009, in federal court in Tulsa, accuses Abercrombie & Fitch of refusing to hire Samantha Elauf, then 17, because her hijab, or head scarf, violates the company's "Look Policy." Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects workers from discrimination based upon religion in hiring and in the terms and conditions of their employment.

Trial is set for July 18. (More)


Catherine Solyom, Montreal Gazette, 6/16/2011

UNITED NATIONS -- Twenty-two floors up, in the German mission overlooking UN plaza, Abousfian Abdelrazik finally got a hearing of sorts with representatives of the United Nations sanctions committee that has kept him on a terror watch list for five years.

Unable to travel, work or receive government benefits because of the sanctions, a delegation of Canadian supporters travelled from Montreal to New York in his place to plead his case and show a video of Abdelrazik urging them to take him off its list of suspected al-Qaida and Taliban operatives.

"I invite you and the rest of the committee to walk in my shoes," says Abdelrazik, a single father of two and the lone Canadian citizen on the UN blacklist. "I invite you to come to live with me for one day and to see the suffering. Then, when you go back to New York, I am sure -- because you are human beings -- I am sure you are going to change your mind."

While visiting his mother in Sudan in 2003, Abdelrazik was twice arrested and detained, for a total of 20 months, during which he says he was repeatedly beaten and tortured. Though subsequently cleared of any links to terrorism by both CSIS and the RCMP, he was added to the UN sanctions list in 2006, he believes at the United States' request. And because he was on the list, Canada refused to repatriate him for more than a year while he lived in the Canadian Embassy. (More)