Sunday, March 11, 2012


CAIR: Minn. Muslim, Interfaith Leaders to Challenge Anti-Islam Bill

(MINNEAPOLIS, MN, 3/4/12) -- On Monday, March 5, the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) -- along with interfaith leaders -- will hold a news conference in Minneapolis to challenge the threat to religious freedom posed by a new "anti-Sharia" bill, written using a template provided by an anti-Islam extremist, to be introduced in that state's legislature.

NOTE: CAIR Staff Attorney Gadeir Abbas, a national expert on anti-Sharia initiatives in other states, will speak at the news conference via phone from Washington, D.C.

WHAT: CAIR-MN News Conference to Challenge New Anti-Islam Bill
WHEN: Monday, March 5, 10 a.m. (Central)
WHERE: CAIR-MN's Office, 2021 E. Hennepin Ave. Suite 407, Minneapolis, MN, 55413
CONTACT: CAIR-MN President Lori Saroya, 612-327-6700, E-Mail:; CAIR-MN Civil Rights Coordinator Munazza Humayun, Esq., 763-227-7650,; CAIR Staff Attorney Gadeir Abbas, 720-251-0425

"Across the nation, similar anti-religious freedom bills are being used by Islamophobic extremists to demonize Islam and marginalize American Muslims," said CAIR-MN President Lori Saroya. "We must not let those who seek to spread intolerance and restrict religious freedom gain a foothold on our state."

The bill, S2281, will be formally introduced Monday by Sen. Dave Thompson (R-Lakeville). According to media reports, his anti-Islam bill is a "boilerplate copy-pasted verbatim from a far right policy group."

SEE: Dave Thompson Introduces Boilerplate Anti-Sharia Law Bill

Last week, CAIR's national office released a community toolkit designed to assist those seeking to preserve America's ideal of religious pluralism in the face of similar unconstitutional anti-Sharia bills that have been introduced in more than 20 states nationwide.

SEE: CAIR Releases Community Toolkit to Challenge 'Anti-Sharia' Bills

CAIR's toolkit includes background on David Yerushalmi, the anti-Islam extremist who authored the template for the anti-Sharia bills.

Yerushalmi is head of the anti-Islam hate group Society of Americans for National Existence (SANE), which once offered a policy proposal that would make "adherence to Islam" punishable by 20 years in prison, called for the immediate deportation of all non-citizen Muslims and urged Congress to declare war on the "Muslim Nation," which SANE defined as "all Muslims." The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) named Yerushalmi a member of the "anti-Muslim inner circle."

SEE: A SANE Act to Deal with the Islamic Threat to America's National Existence
SPLC: The Anti-Muslim Inner Circle

Links to Background Information on David Yerushalmi:

David Yerushalmi: A Driving Force Behind Anti-Sharia Efforts in the U.S.
Meet the White Supremacist Leading the GOP's Anti-Sharia Crusade
The Man Behind the Anti-Shariah Movement (NY Times)
Anti-Islam Activist Yerushalmi Measures Imams' Beards
Profile of Anti-Sharia Extremist David Yerushalmi

CAIR-MN recently received the 2011 Mission & Excellence Anti-Racism Award from the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN) and MAP for Nonprofits. The annual "Mission & Excellence" awards are given to six non-profit organizations that make "outstanding contributions to Minnesota's high quality of life."

Video: CAIR-MN Receives Major Anti-Racism Award
CAIR-MN: 2011 Anti-Racism Initiative Recipient

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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