Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
Opinion Editorials, December 2014
Islamophobia in the United States, a CAIR Report, December 13, 2014
Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, December 15, 2014
Join CAIR Team at Justice for All March (#Justice4All) on Dec. 13 in D.C.
Come meet up with the CAIR team to rally with the National Action Network, the families of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice and Akai Gurley, and thousands of Americans concerned about police brutality and the lack of accountability in our justice system. Meet us at Freedom Plaza starting at 10:30 a.m. on December 13 and we will march together at noon. [Get more information]
Later today, the Washington state chapter of CAIR-WA will hold a media availability to offer an update on the medical procedures a Muslim taxi driver will undergo as part of his recovery from an alleged hate attack.
CAIR-WA will also call for the arrest and prosecution of two suspects in the attack who remain at large.
Video: New Info About Hate Attack on Seattle Muslim Cabbie (CAIR-WA)
CAIR has called for 'accountability' for those who carried out torture tactics against detainees. CAIR representative Robert McCaw explains what they are seeking.
CAIR: Urine Placed at Muslim Chaplain's Office at Wake Forest University Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for CAIR, said that the harassment of Griggs was motivated by someone's bias toward Muslims. He added that CAIR will ask the State Bureau of Investigation to review the incident. "It's kind a like a cross burning," Hooper said. "If you burn a cross in your own yard, it's not a hate crime. If you burn it in the yard of an African-American family, (then) it's a hate crime."
CAIR Files U.S. Supreme Court Brief in Oklahoma Head Scarf Case (Tulsa world)
CAIR Action Alert:
Contact CAIR About U.S. Citizens Stranded in Gaza
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 12/11/14) --
The San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SFBA) is urging the U.S. Department of State to take action to help American citizens stuck in the Gaza Strip due to border closures preventing them from leaving that blockaded area.
CAIR-SFBA has received requests for assistance from the families of several United States citizens who traveled to Gaza to visit elderly relatives prior to Egypt's closure of the Rafah border crossing and are now unable to leave.
Information is also being sought about as yet unidentified Americans who may be stranded in Gaza.
American diplomatic personnel in the area have reportedly been mostly unresponsive to the U.S. citizens seeking assistance in returning home.
A CAIR-SFBA letter sent to the White House, the Office of Israel and Palestinian Affairs, the Office of American Citizens Services and Crisis Management, and the United States Embassy in Tel Aviv expressed concern about the apparent inability of the Department of State to adequately assist United States citizens trying to return home to their families in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The letter reads in part:
"[T]he persons stuck in the Gaza strip have contacted United States officials in the region to secure their leave, but after talking to various persons and waiting weeks for a response have not been provided any substantive assistance. Our office is reaching out in the hopes that you can secure their immediate travel out of the region and back home to the United States where family members are anxiously awaiting their return." Philip Skotte, Director of the U.S. State Department's Office of American Citizen Services and Crisis Management, told CAIR Northern California Civil Rights Coordinator Brice Hamack that the department is continuing to press at various levels to coordinate a group extraction of U.S. citizens currently stranded in the region. Director Skotte also requested information about any other U.S. citizens in the region blocked from leaving.
IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUESTED:
CAIR requests any community member who may be stranded in Gaza, or has family or friends stranded there, to contact CAIR Northern California Civil Rights Coordinator Brice Hamack at email@example.com so their information can be passed on to State Department officials and included on a potential extraction list.
Backgrounder: CAIR Files U.S. Supreme Court Brief on Hijab Case
CAIR-MI: Path Forward Needed for Stronger Arab-Black Solidarity Before the two communities can work together in the face of systemic discrimination, there has to be time for honest conversations and healing. After all, neither community can make the progress that is needed to build political power without empathy and solidarity. Justice is about more than just us.
CAIR: WBEZ's Tech Shift Taking a Look at Civil Rights on Twitter We're joined on the line by colorofchange.org's executive director, Rashad Robinson, as well as Robert McCaw, from the Washington office of CAIR. MN: Federal Mosque Civil Rights Lawsuit Moves Into Settlement Talks
Idaho: New Pocatello Mosque Spurs Photographer to Exhibit Work Misunderstanding Causes Tenn. Police Manhunt after Muslim Family's Miscarriage Pennsylvania Teachers Can't Wear 'Religious Garb' to Class
Love for Jesus Can Bring Christians and Muslims Together
IMPORTANT NOTE: This commentary was very popular with readers nationwide when it was first distributed before Christmas several years ago. It is being offered again this year for those publications that were unable to publish it previously.
ISLAM-OPED is a syndication service of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) designed to offer an American Muslim perspective on current political, social and religious issues. ISLAM-OPED commentaries are offered free-of-charge to one media outlet in each market area. Permission for publication will be granted on a first-come-first-served basis.
Please consider the following commentary for publication.
CONTACT: Ibrahim Hooper, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726 (c)
Love for Jesus Can Bring Christians, Muslims Together By Ibrahim Hooper Word Count: 569
[Ibrahim Hooper is National Communications Director for the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil liberties group. He may be contacted at: email@example.com ]
"Behold! The angels said: 'O Mary! God giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him. His name will be Jesus Christ, the son of Mary, held in honor in this world and the Hereafter and in (the company of) those nearest to God.'"
Before searching for this quote in the New Testament, you might first ask your Muslim co-worker, friend or neighbor for a copy of the Quran, Islam's revealed text. The quote is from verse 45 of chapter 3 in the Quran.
It is well known, particularly in this holiday season, that Christians follow the teachings of Jesus. What is less well understood is that Muslims also love and revere Jesus as one of God's greatest messengers to mankind.
Other verses in the Quran, regarded by Muslims as the direct word of God, state that Jesus was strengthened with the "Holy Spirit" (2:87) and is a "sign for the whole world." (21:91) His virgin birth was confirmed when Mary is quoted as asking: "How can I have a son when no man has ever touched me?" (3:47)
The Quran shows Jesus speaking from the cradle and, with God's permission, curing lepers and the blind. (5:110) God also states in the Quran: "We gave (Jesus) the Gospel (Injeel) and put compassion and mercy into the hearts of his followers." (57:27)
As forces of hate in this country and worldwide try to pull Muslims and Christians apart, we are in desperate need of a unifying force that can bridge the widening gap of interfaith misunderstanding and mistrust. That force could be the message of love, peace and forgiveness taught by Jesus and accepted by followers of both faiths.
Christians and Muslims would do well to consider another verse in the Quran reaffirming God's eternal message of spiritual unity: "Say ye: 'We believe in God and the revelation given to us and to Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and that given to Moses and Jesus, and that given to (all) Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and it is unto Him that we surrender ourselves.'" (2:136)
The Prophet Muhammad himself sought to erase any distinctions between the message he taught and that taught by Jesus, who he called God's "spirit and word." Prophet Muhammad said: "Both in this world and in the Hereafter, I am the nearest of all people to Jesus, the son of Mary. The prophets are paternal brothers; their mothers are different, but their religion is one."
When Muslims mention the Prophet Muhammad, they always add the phrase "peace be upon him." Christians may be surprised to learn that the same phrase always follows a Muslim's mention of Jesus or that we believe Jesus will return to earth in the last days before the final judgment. Disrespect toward Jesus, as we have seen all too often in our society, is very offensive to Muslims.
Unfortunately, violent events and hate-filled rhetoric around the world provide ample opportunity for promoting religious hostility. And yes, Muslims and Christians do have some differing perspectives on Jesus' life and teachings. But his spiritual legacy offers an alternative opportunity for people of faith to recognize their shared religious heritage.
America's Muslim community stands ready to honor that legacy by building bridges of interfaith understanding and challenging those who would divide our nation along religious or ethnic lines.
We have more in common than we think.***
CAIR-MN: Meeting Set on Federal Lawsuit Over Denial of Islamic Center "We were shocked when St. Anthony denied the conditional use permit for the Islamic center in 2012 after getting pressured by Islamophobes," said Lori Saroya, executive director of the Minnesota chapter of CAIR, which urged the Department of Justice to file a lawsuit.
CAIR-Philadelphia: Muslim Group Sues Town Over Blocked Mosque Plan "Our community has spent five years simply trying to find an appropriate place to come together to pray," said Dr. Imtiaz Chaudhry, one of the members of Bensalem Masjid, told CAIR. "All we want is the same freedom to practice our religion that other faith groups have in Bensalem."
CAIR: Federal Lawsuit Filed in Bensalem Mosque Battle (Philadelphia Magazine)
CAIR also expressed concern about the new DOJ guidelines, stating, "CAIR is dismayed that at a time when our nation is struggling to come to terms with a series of high-profile police killings of unarmed African-Americans, the DOJ would release revised profiling guidelines that include loopholes for targeting U.S. Muslims and Hispanics."
CAIR-MI: Coalition to Improve Relations Between Community, Law Enforcement Members of the coalition include the ACLU of Michigan, Arab-American Civil Rights League, CAIR Michigan, and the Ecumenical Theological Seminary
CAIR: Religious Leaders Say Torture Report Indicates 'Complete Moral Bankruptcy' CAIR said that the use of torture undermined traditional American values and asked for accountability. "This disturbing report clearly demonstrates the need for those who approved of and carried out this campaign of torture to be held accountable for their actions. It also shows that strong legal and policy measures need to be enacted in order to prevent such illegal actions being taken during any future security crisis.
Video: CAIR Condemns ISIS Terror
CAIR Files U.S. Supreme Court Brief on Abercrombie & Fitch Hijab Case
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 12/10/14) --
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today filed an amicus ("friend of the court") brief with the U.S. Supreme Court, which is considering whether clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch's refusal to hire a Muslim woman wearing a religious headscarf (hijab) was discriminatory.
In 2015, the Supreme Court will determine whether a job applicant or employee is required to explicitly inform an employer that his or her dress or grooming practice is religiously motivated and to request that the employer provide an accommodation. The ruling will have a profound impact on the ability of many American Muslims to obtain and secure employment.
CAIR's brief to the court rejects a rigid notice rule that would permit employers to discriminate on the basis of religion because job applicants or employees are unaware of their rights or the nature of the workplace.
The case, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc., arises out of a complaint initially filed by CAIR's Oklahoma chapter on behalf of Samantha Elauf, a Muslim job applicant who was denied employment because she wears hijab.
A lower court said the company did not discriminate against the Muslim woman because she did not explicitly request a religious accommodation.
"The Tenth Circuit's explicit notice rule would, if adopted by the Supreme Court in this case, permit an employer to discriminate against a job applicant on the basis of her religion without legal consequence if the applicant does not know that she must expressly state her need for a religious accommodation, even when she is unaware of employer policies that would require it," said William Burgess, CAIR's senior staff attorney. "This creates a loophole in the law that undermines the core legislative purpose of Title VII, which was enacted to prohibit employment discrimination."
In its brief in support of the plaintiff, CAIR's attorneys wrote in part:
"CAIR believes this brief can offer the Court unique insight into the lives of American Muslims and the challenges they face in achieving equality in American public life, including in the workplace.
"In this case, the Court has been asked to resolve legal issues that profoundly affect the ability of individuals who outwardly manifest their religion to obtain and secure employment. Although many Muslims display their Islamic faith through various dress and grooming practices, this is not an issue limited to one particular religion; many followers of several other faiths, such as Judaism and Sikhism, follow their respective religiously-motivated dress and grooming practices.
"Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ensures equality of employment opportunities by prohibiting discrimination on the basis of religion. Because an applicant's religious views, and the need for the accommodation thereof, should not be any part of the basis for an employment decision, CAIR supports the position of the Petitioner and requests that the Court reverse the Tenth Circuit's decision requiring that a job applicant or employee provide direct, explicit notice of their religious observance or practice to trigger fundamental protections under Title VII.
" ... The Tenth Circuit's ruling requiring explicit, upfront notice of an employee's religious beliefs allows employers to 'weed out' religious job candidates at a vulnerable stage: before they are hired. ...
"Adoption of the explicit notice rule would likely have a disastrous effect on the Muslim community's overall employment rate. Muslims and EEOC offices have reported a "shocking" spike in anti-Muslim employment discrimination since September 2001. Despite the fact that Muslims make up only 0.8% of the country's population, around 20% of the religious discrimination complaints received by the EEOC were from 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.
CAIR Senior Staff Attorney William Burgess, 202-646-6033, firstname.lastname@example.org;
CAIR Civil Rights Litigation Director Jenifer Wicks, 202-488-8787, email@example.com;
CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, firstname.lastname@example.org;
CAIR Communications Manager Amina Rubin, 202-341-4171, email@example.com***
to Seek FBI Hate Crime Probe of Attack on Muslim Taxi Driver
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today said a long-awaited report from the Senate Intelligence Committee on the CIA's use of torture in the years following the 9/11 terror attacks should prompt "accountability," along with changes in law and government policies.
A 600-page summary from the 6,000-page report has been declassified after months of disputes between the committee and the CIA over redactions. It concludes that the CIA repeatedly tortured detainees, including using the simulated drowning technique called "waterboarding." The report also concludes that the information gathered using torture produced no security benefits and accuses the CIA of repeatedly lying to Congress, the White House and the American public.
In a statement, CAIR said:
"This disturbing report clearly demonstrates the need for those who approved of and carried out this campaign of torture to be held accountable for their actions. It also shows that strong legal and policy measures need to be enacted in order to prevent such illegal actions being taken during any future security crisis."
"Torture is not an American value. We should not be questioning whether or not it worked, but why we ever used such brutal and illegal interrogation techniques."
The Washington-based civil rights organization plans to review the summary report and urges the Senate Intelligence Committee to release the full report to ensure full disclosure and transparency of America's counterterrorism and torture programs.
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 Government Affairs Manager Robert McCaw, 202-742-6448, firstname.lastname@example.org;
CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, email@example.com;
CAIR Communications Manager Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, firstname.lastname@example.org
Opinions expressed in various sections are the sole responsibility of their authors and they may not represent Al-Jazeerah & ccun.org.
email@example.com & firstname.lastname@example.org