Since the Associated Press broke the story about the âDemographics Unitâ and the NYPDâs extreme efforts to spy on and intimidate the New York Muslim community through predatory policing tactics, CAIR-NY has redoubled its efforts to educate the community about both their rights when engaging with law enforcement as well as the realities which they face as targets of a specific policy of repression and discrimination. CAIR-NYâs educational initiative has primarily taken the form of Know Your Rights workshops and community teach-ins, which, in combination with other initiatives, have allowed us to reach diverse segments of the community.
Since September, CAIR-NY has helped to organize ten Know Your Rights workshops and nearly as many additional appearances related to civil rights and dealing with law enforcement. We have reached out to local universities (Baruch College, Borough of Manhattan Community College, Brooklyn College, Brooklyn Law, City College, Columbia University, CUNY Grad School and Fordham University), youth programs (Turning Point for Women & Familiesâ Youth Program ARISE! NY in August, Arab American Association of New Yorkâs Youth Summit in September, and Pearls of Hope in November), as well as local mosques, churches and Islamic centers (Dawood Masjid, Islamic Center of Long Island and Judson Memorial Church). CAIR-NY representatives have also spoken about police repression and civil rights at City Council hearings and demonstrations, such as the Jummah at Occupied Wall Street and last weekâs Rally to End NYPD/CIA Repression of Muslims.
It is of tremendous importance that we thank our many colleagues and organizers for their continued support and leadership. In the past months, we have been proud to work with the Muslim American Civil Liberties Coalition (MACLC), CUNY CLEAR, National Lawyers Guild (NLG-NYC), New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), the International Action Center and the Committee to Stop FBI Repression.
We are not, however, anywhere near done with our efforts to bring civil rights education to the community. Our next teach-in will be held on Thursday, December 8 at the NY Institute of Technology (NYIT) from 12:45 – 2 pm.
All of our services continue to be free of charge and open to the public. To support our work and provide these much-needed services to New York communities, please donate by going to our newly renovated website: www.cair-ny.org
We rely on you to bring our workshops to your community. If you have not been able to attend one of our past workshops, email Cyrus at firstname.lastname@example.org to set one up in your mosque, school or community center. If you canât make it out to a workshop, please watch the video (http://tinyurl.com/5d36wn) from Muslim Advocates discussing what to do when law enforcement visits you at home and stops you in the airport. It is short and available in several languages (Arabic, Urdu, Farsi, Somali, French), so please watch and share with your families and communities.
Finally, an editorial currently featured on Al Jazeera English (http://tinyurl.com/ct6z69x) written by Ramzi Kassem and Amna Akbar, supervisors of CUNY Lawâs Creating Law Enforcement Accountability & Responsibility (CLEAR) project, clearly highlights the issues at stake for the New York Muslim community and rejects outright the notion that this community is uncooperative with law enforcement. The article mentions last weekâs rally as a signal of hope for the restoration of civil rights to New York Muslims, a sentiment of optimism and drive shared by CAIR-NY.
Peace and blessings to you and yours,
The staff and interns of CAIR-NY