Monday, October 29, 2012

CAIR-MN Welcomes DOJ Probe Into Rejection of Planned Islamic Center 
(MINNEAPOLIS, MN, 10/29/12) - The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) today welcomed a decision by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to launch a civil rights investigation into the rejection of the planned Abu Huraira Islamic Center in St. Anthony, Minn. The DOJ will investigate whether the city violated the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA).
"We applaud the commitment by the U.S. Department of Justice to uphold federal laws and take a strong stance against recent anti-mosque bigotry in Minnesota and nationwide," said CAIR-MN Executive Director Lori Saroya.
She added that St. Anthony is the fourth mosque opposition incident in Minnesota in the past year. The other three mosque projects - Plymouth, Willmar and Bloomington - were eventually approved despite community opposition.
CAIR-MN asked for the federal investigation in June after the St. Anthony City Council voted 4 to 1 to deny a conditional use permit for the Islamic center, despite a recommendation by the St. Anthony Planning Commission to approve the project. (MORE)

CAIR-WA Seeks FBI Probe of Anti-Muslim Attack on Sikh Cabbie
(SEATTLE, WA, 10/29/12) –- The Washington state chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-WA) called on the FBI to investigate an apparent anti-Muslim hate attack on a Sikh taxi driver in that state.
The driver was allegedly attacked by a man shouting anti-Muslim slurs after he commented on the cabbie's turban. [NOTE: Sikh men who wear beards and turbans as part of their faith are often targeted by bigots who mistake them for Muslims.] The perpetrator reportedly referred to the victim as Iranian and Iraqi, and used several anti-Arab slurs during the attack, which witnesses described as "savage."
According to police, the alleged assailant tore out chunks of the man's beard and loosened one of the driver's teeth.
"This vicious attack needs to be addressed by the FBI and federal prosecutors in the context of growing anti-Sikh and anti-Muslim prejudice nationwide, said CAIR-WA Executive Director Arsalan Bukhari. "We have asked the FBI to open a federal hate crime investigation into this case." (MORE)

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