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Islamophobia in the U.S., CAIR Report

March 24, 2014


CAIR: 'Your Account is Closed' Banking While Muslim in Minnesota (Daily Planet)

The letters arrived at the end of a busy semester, the middle of summer, and even as recently as a few weeks ago, according to the Minnesota Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN). They notified Minnesota students, families, and business owners that their TCF Bank accounts would be closed. Despite the fact that none of the letters provided an explanation for the account's closure, TCF Bank maintains that they did not discriminate against their former customers. However, all of the account holders happened to have Muslim-sounding names. Since 2012, more than 30 bank accounts of Minnesota Muslims have been closed by TCF Bank. According to CAIR-MN, there are reports that account closures also are happening in other states.

Backgrounder: CAIR Welcomes Minneapolis Civil Right Director's Probe of Muslim TCF Bank Account Closures

CAIR: Fla. Official Denying Reports of Clearing FBI Agent Who Killed Muslim

CAIR-LA: ABC Family Scraps 'Alice in Arabia' Following Muslim Outcry (Hollywood Reporter)

The recently ordered pilot came under fire from Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization Council on American-Islamic Relations and after Buzzfeed reported Friday it had obtained a script for the show, which is "about an American teenage girl kidnapped by her extended royal Saudi Arabian family and forced to live with them."

CAIR said earlier this week that it had asked ABC Family to meet with leaders in the Muslim community to discuss "concerns about potential stereotyping in the pilot," and on Friday evening the network said it had nixed the pilot. . . Following ABC family's decision, CAIR expressed happiness in a statement issued early Saturday. "We welcome ABC Family channel's decision to respond to community concerns by canceling plans for a program that had the potential to promote ethnic and religious stereotyping," said CAIR executive director Hussam Ayloush. MN: Ramsey County Jail Joins Hennepin in Allowing Hijab (Pioneer Press)- Although officials had been working on a policy for months, they made it official Thursday, shortly after the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office said that it would allow inmates to wear a hijab, the Muslim head scarf, or other religious headwear in jail, Gustafson said.

Backgrounder: CAIR-MN Welcomes New Hennepin Co. Policy Allowing Hijabs in Jails, Booking Photos 

CAIR Welcomes ABC Family's Cancellation of 'Alice in Arabia'

(ANAHEIM, CA, 3/21/14) The Greater Los Angeles-Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) tonight welcomed the decision by ABC Family channel to cancel plans to produce a pilot for a new series called "Alice in Arabia."

According to Variety:

"Just days after the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) expressed concerns over potential stereotyping in the pilot for ABC Family's 'Alice in Arabia' and requested a meeting with execs, the network has decided not to pursue the show that had been announced Monday."

SEE: ABC Family Pulls Plug on 'Alice in Arabia' After Muslim Org Backlash CAIR Asks ABC Family Channel for Meeting on 'Alice in Arabia' Stereotypes

Concerns about anti-Muslim and anti-Arab stereotypes were apparently confirmed with the release of a leaked copy of the pilot's script.

CAIR: We Got A Copy of the Script for "Alice In Arabia" and It's Exactly What Critics Feared

"We welcome ABC Family channel's decision to respond to community concerns by canceling plans for a program that had the potential to promote ethnic and religious stereotyping," said CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush. "We thank all those who voiced their concerns on this issue, and particular thanks go to the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and the Muslim Public Affairs Council."

Ayloush said CAIR-LA worked closely with both organizations in discussions with ABC Family channel. He also thanked the many activists who took to social media to voice their outrage using #AliceinArabia.

CAIR is the nation'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: We Got A Copy of the Script for "Alice In Arabia" and It's Exactly What Critics Feared The Council of American-Islamic Relations said in a letter to ABC Family that they were "concerned about the negative impact this program could have on the lives of ordinary Arab-American and American Muslims" and that the series "may engage in stereotyping that can lead to things like bullying of Muslim students."

CAIR-LA: Civil Rights Groups Charge ABC with Bigotry Over Pilot 'Alice in Arabia' (Al Jazeera)

CAIR: National Civil Rights Organization Seeks Probe in Hattiesburg Islamic Center Shooting "We have seen too many attacks on mosques nationwide to ignore the possibility of a bias motive for this shooting incident," said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper in a prepared statement. CAIR-MN: Henn. County to Let Prisoners Wear Religious Head Coverings (MPR)

CAIR-MN: Hennepin County Jail to Allow Religious Head Coverings (Star Tribune) CAIR-MN: Minnesota Jail to Allow Religious Head Coverings (AP)

Muslims Who Sued NYPD Over Spying at NJ Mosques File Appeal

CAIR Video News Update, March 21, 2014 

If you missed any recent news impacting the American Muslim community, here's a 5-minute video review. 

Topics covered in the video include:

CAIR Calls for Bias Probe of Shots Fired Into Mississippi Mosque Man Threatens Staff at CAIR-Ohio Office CAIR-MN Welcomes Policy Allowing Hijabs in Jails CAIR-FL Seeks Halal Meals for Prison Inmates CAIR-CT Welcomes School District's Recognition of Muslim Holidays Hundreds Turn Out for CAIR Banquets in Chicago and Philadelphia CAIR Activists Meet with Elected Officials CAIR Director Speaks at Capitol Hill Event CAIR Takes Part in Launch of US Council of Muslim Organizations 

Man Threatens Staff at CAIR-Ohio Office

(COLUMBUS, OHIO, 3/19/14)

Earlier this afternoon, a man entered the office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Columbus, Ohio, walked down a hallway to the last office he found, and reportedly told an intern: "I'm going to take you all down. This whole place, this whole organization, I'm going to take you all down." He also allegedly stated: "I know what's going on here." After making his threat, the man walked out, slamming the exit door.

Police have been called to the scene.

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.

 

600 Turn Out for CAIR-Philadelphia Annual Banquet Some 600 people turned out on Saturday for the Philadelphia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Philadelphia) annual banquet, themed "Faith and Freedom."

CAIR-Chicago Marking 10 Years of Fighting Bigotry Author of 'Thomas Jefferson's Qur'an; to Speak at CAIR-Cleveland Banquet Denise A. Spellberg, author of the new book "Thomas Jefferson's Qur'an: Islam and the Founders," will speak on May 11 at the CAIR Cleveland-Northern Ohio 12th annual Faith in Freedom Dinner. Imam Mahdy Bray, national director of the American Muslim Alliance, also will speak. For tickets or more information call 216-830-2247, or email: events@ClevelandCair.com

WATCH: CAIR-FL Seeks Halal Meals for Prison Inmates CO: Soccer Team Dons Hijabs in Solidarity with Muslim Player When Samah Aidah was prohibited by soccer referees in Aurora, Colo. from playing in a game due to her hijab, her teammates on the Overland High School girls soccer team didn't let them have the last word. TN: Mosque Cemetery to Be Challenged in Court

CAIR-CT Welcomes School Board's Recognition of Muslim Holidays

(HARTFORD, CT, 3/17/14)

The Connecticut chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CT) today welcomed the recognition of Muslim school holidays by the New London Board of Education.

In its school calendar for the year 2014-2015, listed religious holidays include Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. [NOTE: Eid al-Fitr, which comes at the end of the month-long fast of Ramadan, is the first of the two major Muslim holidays. The second holiday, Eid al-Adha (EED-al-ODD-ha), comes at the end of the Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca.] SEE: New London Board of Education 2014-2015 Calendar

A note to the listings states:

"While school is in session on the following dates, teachers are asked to be mindful of these religious holidays and to refrain from scheduling tests or major activities on these dates. Also, in accordance with Board policy, students will be excused from school if they observe these holidays."

"We welcome the inclusion of Islamic holidays in the school calendar because it will serve to enhance the learning environment for Muslim students," said CAIR-CT Executive Director Mongi Dhaouadi.

CAIR offers a booklet, called "An Educator's Guide to Islamic Religious Practices," designed to help school officials provide a positive learning environment for Muslim students.

SEE: An Educator's Guide to Islamic Religious Practices

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.

***

Video: CAIR Director Nihad Awad's Remarks at Muslim Capitol Hill Event

Video: CAIR-Chicago Banquet Celebrates Diversity of Muslim Community

Islamophobia Watch: Fla. Republicans to Host Anti-Muslim Hate Group Leader If you believe that Islam is just another religion (and not a threat to America and the world). . .then you especially need to hear this presentation. 

CAIR Islamophobia Backgrounder: ACT! for America and 'Brigitte Gabriel' CAIR Alert: Ask GOP Women's Group to Stop Promoting Anti-Islam Speakers

FBI Alleged to Have Sought Mosque Spy (AP) An attorney for an American man who claims he was tortured in the United Arab Emirates at the behest of the U.S. government said Friday that his client is too afraid to try to travel back home. The contention came at a hearing involving a lawsuit filed by Yonas Fikre, alleging the FBI and State Department demanded that he spy on a Portland mosque in 2011, then had him abused in a UAE prison when he refused.

Background: CAIR Seeks Probe of Torture of U.S. Muslim

CAIR: New Organization Unites American Muslims in One Coalition (RNS) "This is the dream of every American Muslim, to unify the approach, agenda and vision of the Muslim community," said Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, at the National Press Club.

Video: Major Muslim Groups Launch New Council at D.C. News Conference

Virginia School Board Candidate Apologizes for 'Jihad' Remark (Times-Dispatch) Hours before attending Friday prayers at a mosque, Chesterfield County School Board candidate Bob Olsen said Muslims he met with previously were so excited about being involved in the campaign that "you'd have thought I was getting ready to start a jihad." CAIR: Hip Hop for Hope Brings Hobson Jobson to Illini Union (Daily Illini) The concert was hosted by the University chapters of the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Arab Student Association. Both organizations seek to integrate Arab culture into the University as well as create a more politically active Muslim-American student body. Jersey City Muslims Who Lost Mosque to Fire Praying at Church (Jersey Journal)

MN: Somali Students Adjust to Hibbing (Daily Tribune) From time to time in Hibbing, Najma Mumin, Safia Farah or Hamdi Omar are approached by a curious local with questions. The women are among the few Somalis in the area, and their hijabs head scarfs worn by Muslim women stand out among the sea of stocking caps in Northern Minnesota. CA: Anaheim's Little Arabia Pushing for a Higher Profile (LA Times) Ohio Middle Easterners Assert Their Own Unique Identity (Toledo Blade) FL: Muslim Student Association Wants To Know Who Bugged Prayer Room

Number of Muslim Converts in US Increasing Day by Day  After growing up in the Episcopal Church, Caldwell rediscovered his spirituality in Islam and decided to convert. Now, less than a hundred miles from where he was raised, onlookers see Caldwell's prayer as a potential threat. Why might this be?

 

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editor@aljazeerah.info & editor@ccun.org