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News, June 2012


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Islamophobia News from the U.S.

June 14, 2012

CAIR-MN: St. Anthony to Vote on Islamic Center (Pioneer Press ) The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations is calling on the council to green-light the project.


CAIR Asks FBI to Probe Fire at Building Associated with Mich. Mosque

(SOUTHFIELD, MI, 6/12/12) --

The Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MI) today called on the FBI to investigate a possible bias motive for a fire and hate graffiti targeting a building associated with a Dearborn mosque.

CAIR-MI said obscene graffiti with the word "Arabs" was discovered today along with an apparently intentionally-set fire at the Dearborn Woods Community Center, which is associated with the nearby American Muslim Center.

"If a bias motive is revealed in this case, the FBI should add its resources to those of local law enforcement authorities to help bring the perpetrators to justice," said CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid, who informed local FBI officials of the incident.

Walid noted that there have been a number of similar incidents targeting mosques nationwide. Video: CAIR-MN Says Mosque Vandalism Should Be Taken Seriously Video: FBI Joins Possible Hate Crime Investigation at Md. Mosque (CAIR) Video: CAIR Seeks Bias Probe of Calif. Mosque Vandalism CAIR: Politics Behind Rise in Muslim Hate Crimes (LA Times) Video: CAIR Seeks Hate Crime Probe of Threats Sent to N.C. Mosques

CAIR-MI is asking members of the Muslim community to review security procedures using advice contained in its "Muslim Community Safety Kit."

A number of recent reports have documented the growth and promotion of Islamophobia nationwide.

CAIR: Same Hate, New Target Center for American Progress: Fear, Inc. Southern Poverty Law Center: Jihad Against Islam People for the American Way: The Right-Wing Playbook on Anti-Muslim Extremism

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.


Religious Freedom Commission Accused of Anti-Muslim Bias

(Wash. Post) The lawsuit, which follows an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint that Ghori-Ahmad filed in 2010, lays blame on several longtime commissioners, including Nina Shea, an attorney and writer who focuses on religious freedom crises abroad, particularly the plight of Christian minorities. The suit quotes Shea as writing that "hiring a Muslim like Ms. Ghori-Ahmad to analyze religious freedom in Pakistan would be like 'hiring an IRA activist to research the UK twenty years ago.'"

Backgrounder: Coalition Opposes New Religious Freedom Appointee A broad national coalition of 64 organizations and individuals today sent a letter to Senators Inouye, McConnell and Durbin expressing "deep concern" at the recent appointment of Zuhdi Jasser to the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).

CAIR-LA: Workplace Religious Freedom Act Passes Calif. Assembly Yamada's legislation is co-sponsored by the Sikh Coalition, the Hindu American Foundation and the Council on American Islamic Relations, along with several other civil rights organizations. CAIR-MN: Delays May Be Over for Islamic Center (Star Tribune) Lori Saroya, executive director of the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said that proposed mosques or Islamic centers have met opposition in Plymouth, Bloomington and Willmar, Minn., as well as St. Anthony in the past year. While mosques are primarily used for worship, Islamic centers can have multiple uses, including worship, dining and other events. Governments have eventually moved ahead on approving them, she said.

Muslim Heroes: Lori Saroya (Executive Director, CAIR-MN) Under Lori's leadership, CAIR-MN has had incredible success. It was named a 2010 "Difference Maker" by the St. Cloud Times and received the 2011 MN Council of Nonprofits Mission and Excellence Anti-Racism Award. Last year, CAIR-MN assisted over 400 individuals and was quoted in the media more than 115 times. Last month, CAIR-MN created an interfaith coalition and led the effort to remove an "anti-Sharia," discriminatory bill introduced in the Minnesota Senate.




MN: Tea Party Candidate Compares Muslim Women to Garbage Bags

Islamophobes Criticize Depiction of Islam in Penn. History Text

Video: CAIR-MN Seeks Accommodation for Somali Workers

CAIR: No-Fly List Keeps Calif. Muslim Grounded in Costa Rica

Video: CAIR Helps Calif. Muslim Student Placed on No-Fly List

Video: Calif. Muslim Student Fights 'No Fly List' (CAIR)

Dean Obeidallah to Perform at CAIR LA Summer Night for Civil Rights

Members of Congress Urge Probe of FBI Muslim Surveillance

Judge Blocks Anti-Sharia Lawsuit Against Government


Judge Rejects 'National Security' Defense in Muslim's Bias Suit Muslim employee forbidden to go to floors of the hotel occupied by Israeli delegation

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 6/7/12) -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today welcomed a federal judge's ruling that rejects a claim by a Washington, D.C., hotel that it had the right to discriminate against a Muslim employee because of a "national security exemption."

United States District Judge Barbara J. Rothstein ruled yesterday that "the national security exemption does not immunize Defendant from liability as to Plaintiff's retaliation claim."

Judge Rothstein's ruling came in response to a motion filed by the Mandarin Oriental Hotel with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia claiming CAIR's lawsuit on behalf of the Muslim employee should be rejected by the court because the hotel "was following a mandate from the federal government regarding a matter of national security."

The hotel's motion blamed its discriminatory actions on security requirements allegedly imposed by the State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security Service (DSS).

"We welcome Judge Rothstein's ruling and are pleased that this case can now move forward to examine the employee's allegations of retaliation for complaining about the treatment he was subjected to because of his faith and ethnicity," said CAIR National Legal Counsel Nadhira Al-Khalili.

Al-Khalili said CAIR's suit states that in December 2010, the employee, an American citizen of Moroccan heritage, was forbidden to go to the 8th or 9th floors of the hotel because an Israeli delegation was staying there.

The Muslim employee was reportedly barred from those floors despite the fact that he had previously undergone an FBI background check and had carried out his duties for other foreign delegations and dignitaries, including a former U.S. president.

According to the suit, when the Muslim employee asked why he was barred from those floors, he was told by a supervisor, "You know how the Israelis are with Arabs and Muslims." As quoted in CAIR's lawsuit, another hotel supervisor allegedly stated that "the Israeli delegation does not want to be served by Defendant's Muslim employees and that Defendant accommodates this preference because it does not want to lose the Israeli delegation as clients."

The suit also alleges that hotel supervisors believed the Muslim employee "would particularly pose a problem for the Israeli delegation, because if they encountered him, members of the delegation would easily be able to see his name -- Mohamed -- written on his employee nametag."

After the Muslim worker's colleagues learned of the restrictions the hotel had placed on his duties, several of them ridiculed him as a potential terrorist, "poking him in the stomach to feign checking his body for explosives."

CAIR's suit also alleges that the hotel retaliated against the employee for complaining about the discriminatory treatment.

The lawsuit seeks cultural competency training for hotel employees, back pay for the Muslim worker, compensatory and punitive damages, attorney's fees, and an order requiring the hotel to adopt a non-discrimination and retaliation policy and to establish an effective mechanism for receiving and responding to complaints of discrimination and retaliation.

You can read the entire lawsuit here.

CAIR offers a booklet, called "An Employer's Guide to Islamic Religious Practices," to help employers gain a better understanding of Islam and Muslims in the workplace.

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.




CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid, 248-842-1418, E-Mail:; CAIR-MI Staff Attorney Lena Masri, 248-390-9784, E-Mail:; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, E-Mail:; CAIR Communications Manager Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, E-Mail:

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