CAIR-NY, Muslim Community Leaders to Gather for Oscar Morel First Degree Murder Sentencing

Media Advisory

 
CAIR-NY, Muslim Community Leaders to Gather for Oscar Morel First Degree Murder Sentencing

(NEW YORK, NY, 6/6/18) -- Today, the New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) and other Muslim community leaders will hold a press availability following Oscar Morel’s double murder sentencing. On March 23rd, Morel was convicted of murder in the first degree for the 2016 deaths of Imam Maulana Ala’Uddin Akonjee and Thara Uddin. CAIR-NY serves as civil counsel and media representative for the Akonjee and Uddin families. Morel faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, without the possibility of parole
 
FOR BACKGROUND ON THE CASE, SEE: CAIR-NY Welcomes Conviction of Oscar Morel for Queens Double Homicide
http://www.cair-ny.org/news/2018/3/23/cair-ny-welcomes-conviction-of-oscar-morel-for-queens-double-homicide

WHAT: Press Availability – Oscar Morel First Degree Murder Sentencing
WHO: CAIR-NY and Muslim Community Members
WHEN: Wednesday, June 6th, 2018 at approximately 4:00 pm (sentencing beginning at 2:00 PM, expected to conclude at approximately 4:00 pm)
WHERE: Steps of Queens County Supreme Court, 125-1 Queens Blvd, Kew Gardens, NY 11415

 
CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
 
La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.

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CAIR-NY Expresses Solidarity with Jewish Community After Attacks in Crown Heights

(NEW YORK, NY, 4/25/18) -- The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) today expressed solidarity with Jewish New Yorkers after a second violent potentially anti-Semitic attack in Crown Heights, Brooklyn in just 10 days.

Police say that last weekend a suspect attacked Menachem Moskowitz, beating and choking the victim and leaving him with a black eye.  The attack is the second reported assault on the largely orthodox Jewish enclave in a 10-day period. 

SEE: UPDATE: Police Release Video of Suspect in Anti-Semitic Crown Heights Attack

https://bklyner.com/crown-heights-attack/

“Anti-Semitism has no place in this city, and if these attacks were motivated by bias, they must be vigorously prosecuted as hate crimes,” said CAIR-NY Legal Director Albert Cahn “It is heartbreaking to see this violence targeting New Yorkers of faith. Now is the time for all New Yorkers to come together in denunciation of both this violence and the ideologies that can lead to bias-motivated attacks.”

CAIR and the American Muslim community have in the past expressed solidarity with Jewish, Christian, Native American, African-American, and Sikh communities in New Mexico, Florida, South Carolina, Maryland, Alabama, Massachusetts, Kansas, South Dakota, Ohio, Texas, and other states following acts of hate, threats, violence, vandalism, arson, or bombings.

Individuals in New York are asked to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR-NY at (646) 665-7599, or by filing a report at: http://www.cair-ny.org/incident-report/

CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims. 

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.

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CAIR-NY Decries NY Appeals Court Ruling on NYPD’s Unconstitutional Surveillance of Muslims

(NEW YORK, NY, 3/29/18) – The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) today decried a ruling by the New York Court of Appeals permitting the NYPD to thwart requests under New York’s freedom of information law (FOIL).  Under today’s ruling, the NYPD can make a "Glomar defense," neither confirming nor denying the existence of information relevant to a FOIL request.
 
Today’s decision came in a case brought by two Muslim men, Imam Talib Abdur-Rashid and Samir Hashmi, who filed FOIL requests seeking information on the NYPD's warrantless and unconstitutional surveillance of Muslims and Islamic organizations. The NYPD has also recently used the Glomar Defense to block FOIL requests connected to surveillance of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. 

SEE: Court of Appeals allows NYPD to hide records of possible Islamic surveillance

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/court-nypd-hide-records-islamic-surveillance-article-1.3903652

NYCLU and Activists File Lawsuit After NYPD Refuses to Respond to Records Requests about Anti-Protest Activities

https://www.nyclu.org/en/press-releases/nyclu-and-activists-file-lawsuit-after-nypd-refuses-respond-records-requests-about

"Today’s decision is a blow for all New Yorkers who support government accountability," said CAIR-NY Legal Director, Albert Fox Cahn. "This goes far beyond the NYPD, setting a precedent that can be abused by law enforcement agencies across New York State. Our courts are allowing the NYPD to keep secrets our lawmakers never intended to remain hidden, and it’s now incumbent on Albany to fix the problem. We cannot let the NYPD use unconstitutional intelligence tactics without the public oversight New Yorkers demand.”  

On July 13, 2017, CAIR-NY sent Mayor de Blasio a letter urging him to support the use of FOIL requests as an important oversight tool, noting his past criticism to NYPD's failure to honor such requests when he was the NYC Public Advocate.   

SEE: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/57db6af7f7e0abec41695d80/t/595a50732994ca95c983a6be/1499091059870/2017-6-22+GLOMAR+Letter+-+FINAL+-+public.pdf

On March 16, CAIR-NY and the law firm of Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady LLP (ECBA) filed a class action civil right lawsuit in federal court alleging that the NYPD photograph policy forcing women to remove religious head coverings (like a hijab) is violation of the law. 

SEE COMPLAINT http://bit.ly/NYPD_Hijab

NY-Times - Hijab Removal by the New York Police Prompts a Lawsuit

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/16/nyregion/hijab-police-lawsuit-new-york.html

CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims. 

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.
 
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CAIR-NY Welcomes Conviction of Oscar Morel for Queens Double Homicide

For Immediate Release

CAIR-NY Welcomes Conviction of Oscar Morel for Queens Double Homicide

Morel was convicted of killing two Muslim men in case that gained global attention


(NEW YORK, NY, 3/23/18) – The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), the state’s leading Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today welcomed the conviction of Oscar Morel for the 2016 double homicide of Imam Maulana Ala’Uddin Akonjee and Thara Uddin.

 

On August 13, 2016, the two Muslim men were killed as they returned home from prayers at their local mosque. The brutal crime, which corresponded with a nationwide surge in anti-Muslim hate crimes, triggered massive demonstrations in the men’s Ozone Park neighborhood and gained worldwide media attention.

 

Morel was convicted on one count of murder in the first degree, two counts of murder in the second degree, and criminal possession of a firearm. He is scheduled to be sentenced on April 18 and faces life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

 
SEE: CAIR-NY Welcomes Charges Against Alleged Killer of Queens Imam and Associate, Urges Hate Crime Probe
http://www.cair-ny.org/news/2016/8/16/cair-ny-welcomes-charges-against-alleged-killer-of-queens-imam-and-associate-urges-hate-crime-probe

 

CAIR-New York serves as civil counsel and media representative for the Akonjee and Uddin families. The civil rights organization released the following statement on behalf of the Aknojee and Uddin families:

 

“We are grateful that Mr. Morel has been brought to justice for this horrific crime. Maulana and Thara came to this country in search of a better life, instead they found Mr. Morel’s hatred. Nothing can ever replace what Mr. Morel took from us, but this verdict helps show that this city will never accept this sort of heartbreaking violence.”

 

In a statement, CAIR-New York Executive Director Afaf Nasher said:

 

"It has been over a year and a half since the double murders of Imam Akonjee and Mr. Uddin. Many lives have been seriously impacted with the grief and continuing consequences of losing their loved ones. We pray that the conclusion of this trial allows the healing process to begin."

 

CAIR-New York Legal Director Albert Fox Cahn said:
 
“We congratulate the Queens County District Attorney for bringing Mr. Morel to justice for his heinous crimes. In recent years, as we saw unprecedented hate crimes against Muslim New Yorkers, this attack stood out for its singular cruelty. It is intolerable to think that our neighbors can be gunned down in broad daylight, in the middle of New York City, for doing nothing more than practicing their faith.”
 

The verdict came less than a week after the New York civil rights organization announced a settlement on behalf of a wrongfully terminated Muslim employee and comes amid a surge in anti-Muslim harassment, discrimination, and hate crimes in New York State. CAIR-NY noted a 974% increase in such reports from 2015 to 2017.

 

SEE: CAIR-NY Reports 74% Increase in Anti-Muslim Hate Crimes Since Trump’s Election

http://www.cair-ny.org/news/2018/3/5/cair-ny-reports-74-increase-in-anti-muslim-hate-crimes-since-trumps-election

Press Release: Civil Rights Report 2017

http://www.cair-ny.org/news/2017/5/10/press-release-civil-rights-report-2017

 

CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

 

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.

 

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CAIR-NY, Lloyd Patel Law Firm Secure $50K Settlement for Fired Muslim Worker

For Immediate Release

CAIR-NY, Lloyd Patel Law Firm Secure $50K Settlement for Fired Muslim Worker

Newly-arrived immigrant fired from first U.S. job, forced to pray outdoors in middle of winter
 
(NEW YORK, NY, 3/22/18)
– The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), a leading Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, and Lloyd Patel LLP, a leading employee-side labor and employment firm, today announced a $50,000 settlement with a Queens company for wrongfully terminating a Muslim man.
 
The 29-year-old South Asian green card holder, who prefers to remain anonymous, was wrongfully fired in 2017 simply for asking to pray. As a newly-arrived immigrant, this was the man’s first job in the United States, but he worked less than a week before being terminated.
 
The man’s supervisor reacted negatively to the revelation he was Muslim and became increasingly hostile once they learned about his faith. In his short time at the company, the man’s supervisor reportedly began to target him, sabotaging his work assignments and making derogatory statements about his faith.  
 
This same supervisor refused to let him spend a few minutes a day praying in an empty part of the office, forcing him to pray in a nearby park in the dead of winter. In addition to providing compensation for lost wages and emotional damages, the employer is also required to conduct non-discrimination training for both management and employees.
 
“No New Yorker should be forced into the cold, or fired from work, simply for wanting to pray,” said CAIR-NY Legal Director Albert Fox Cahn. “Our laws are clear: New Yorkers have the right to reasonable accommodations to practice their faith. You don’t have to choose between your religion and your job. This settlement helps send a signal to employers that Muslim New Yorkers will not accept workplace discrimination or harassment. Our laws protect the right to take reasonable breaks, to pray, to wear the hijab, and to keep a beard.”
 
“Our client made the difficult and courageous decision to take a stand against unlawful religious discrimination by taking legal action, and we could not be more proud to have represented him,” said Lloyd Patel LLP Partner Erin Lloyd. “We are pleased with the monetary award for our client and that future employees at this company will be made aware of their legal rights and protections.”
 
The announcement came less than a week after the New York civil rights organization filed a civil rights class action lawsuit against New York City, accusing the NYPD of mistreating Muslim women. The suit alleged that the NYPD’s policy of forcing Muslim women and other detainees to remove religious head coverings was unlawful and unconstitutional.
 
SEE: CAIR-NY, ECBA File Civil Rights Class Action Lawsuit to Block NYPD From Removing Arrestees’ Hijabs for Booking Photos
http://www.cair-ny.org/news/2018/3/16/cair-ny-ecba-file-civil-rights-class-action-lawsuit-to-block-nypd-from-removing-arrestees-hijabs-for-booking-photos
 
The settlement comes amid a surge in anti-Muslim harassment, discrimination, and hate crimes in New York State.  The group noted a 974% increase in such reports from 2015 to 2017.
 
SEE: CAIR-NY Reports 74% Increase in Anti-Muslim Hate Crimes Since Trump’s Election
http://www.cair-ny.org/news/2018/3/5/cair-ny-reports-74-increase-in-anti-muslim-hate-crimes-since-trumps-election
Press Release: Civil Rights Report 2017
http://www.cair-ny.org/news/2017/5/10/press-release-civil-rights-report-2017
 
CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
 
La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.
 
Lloyd Patel LLP, a leading a New York City-based labor and employment law firm representing workers in unlawful discrimination, harassment, and retaliation actions.
 
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CAIR-NY Expresses Solidarity with Christian Community After Vandalism of Virgin Mary Statue

(NEW YORK, NY, 3/19/18) -- The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) today expressed solidarity with the Suffolk County Christian community following vandalism of a statue of the Virgin Mary.

Police say the statue of the Virgin Mary at the Church of Saint Gerard Majella was vandalized sometime between Friday and Sunday. A similar incident at another local church is also being investigated as a possible hate crime.

“Whenever a house of worship is targeted by an act of violence, Americans of all faiths must speak out in defense of religious freedom and in solidarity with one another,” said CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher.

She noted that Muslims hold the Virgin Mary in the highest honor as the mother of Jesus.

The Quran, Islam’s revealed text, states: “There came the time when angels said: ‘O Mary! Surely God has exalted you, purified you, and preferred you for His service over all the women of the worlds.’” (The Holy Quran, 3:42)

CAIR and the American Muslim community have in the past expressed solidarity with Jewish, Christian, Native American, African-American, and Sikh communities in New Mexico, Florida, South Carolina, Maryland, Alabama, Massachusetts, Kansas, South Dakota, Ohio, Texas, and other states following acts of hate, threats, violence, vandalism, arson, or bombings.

Individuals in New York are asked to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR-NY at (646) 665-7599, or by filing a report at: http://www.cair-ny.org/incident-report/

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

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CONTACT: CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher, Esq. (917) 669-4006, anasher@cair.com or Legal Director Albert Fox Cahn, Esq.  (571) 766-6273, acahn@cair.com

CAIR-NY, ECBA File Civil Rights Class Action Lawsuit to Block NYPD From Removing Arrestees’ Hijabs for Booking Photos

For Immediate Release

CAIR-NY, ECBA File Civil Rights Class Action Lawsuit to Block NYPD From Removing Arrestees’ Hijabs for Booking Photos
Lawsuit claims NYPD policy traumatizes Muslim survivors of domestic violence
 
(NEW YORK, NY, 3/16/18) – The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) and the law firm of Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady LLP (ECBA), a leading civil rights firm, today filed a class action civil rights law lawsuit in federal court seeking an injunction to block the New York City Police Department (NYPD) from removing arrestees’ religious head coverings (like hijabs) for their booking photos.
 
The lawsuit claims that NYPD Patrol Guide Order 208-03 and 208-07 forces religiously-observant women to remove their head coverings for a booking photo, even when these garments leave the face completely unobstructed, as the hijab does. 
 
CAIR-NY and ECBA filed the lawsuit this morning in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York alleging that the NYPD photograph policy violates the New York State Constitution, the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). 
 
SEE COMPLAINT HERE: 
http://bit.ly/NYPD_Hijab
 
As the lawsuit notes, municipalities across the country allow arrestees to retain religious head covering for their booking photos. In addition, the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles allows women to retain their hijab for driver’s license photos, and the U.S. State Department allows women to retain their hijab in passport photos. 
 
SEE: NY-Times - Hijab Removal by the New York Police Prompts a Lawsuit

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/16/nyregion/hijab-police-lawsuit-new-york.html
 
The city of New York recently settled similar claims by Muslim women who were forced to remove their hijabs, paying $180,000 to three arrestees. However, the NYPD continues to force New Yorkers to uncover against their will, and current NYPD policy requires the hijab and other religious head coverings to be removed. 
 
NYPD booking photos are kept in arrestees’ files and computer databases where they are readily visible to officers and other men, compounding arrestees’ sense of violation.
 
SEE: Three Muslim Women Forced to Remove Hijabs for Mug Shots Snag $180G Payout from City

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/women-forced-hijabs-mugs-settle-city-article-1.3845434
 
“Our city is quick to make progressivepromises, but slow to enact reforms,” said CAIR NY Legal Director Albert Fox Cahn. “This is a moment when Muslim New Yorkers need our support, not abuse. In just the past two years, New York State saw a 974 percent increase in anti-Muslim harassment, discrimination and hate crimes. It is intolerable that our officers force Muslim women to uncover against their will. It’s time for New York City to live-up to our promise of being a sanctuary for all faiths – we’ve fallen short for too long.”
 
“No New Yorker should be mugged for a mug shot,” said ECBA Partner O. Andrew Wilson. “Stripping New Yorkers of religious head coverings that do not obscure their faces serves no legitimate purpose.”
 
“There is a rapidly-consolidating consensus among police departments across the United States that religious head coverings should not be removed for mug shots,” said ECBA Associate Emma L. Freeman. “New York should be leading this trend, not following it.”   
 
“When they forced me to take off my hijab, I felt as if I were naked, I’m not sure if words can capture how exposed and violated I felt,” said plaintiff Jamilla Clark.
 
“I expected to be celebrating the holidays with my family, but instead I found myself being forced to undress in a room full of men, my beliefs being trampled,” said plaintiff Arwa Aziz
 
“I fear this policy makes it harder for victims of domestic violence that we serve to report their abusers to the police,” said Turning Point for Women and Families’ Founder and Executive Director, Robina Niaz.
 
The lawsuit names two individual plaintiffs, including Jamilla Clark, a survivor of domestic violence, who was allegedly arrested on charges fabricated by her abuser. Even though the charges against Clark were later dropped, during the course of her arrest she was forced to remove her hijab. 
 
According to the complaint,a “NYPD officer took a photograph of Ms. Clark as she wept and begged to put her hijab back on.  The officer ignored Ms. Clark, stored the photograph in an online database and on Ms. Clark’s paper file, and showed it to numerous male officers.”  An officer also allegedly mocked Clark’s Muslim faith.
A second named plaintiff, Arwa Aziz, is a mother of two who was detained on the eve of the Eid holiday (an Islamic religious holiday) just as she planned to prepare the family’s holiday meal. Instead of celebrating with loved ones, she was held on charges allegedly fabricated by an estranged relative. The charges against Aziz were later dismissed, but she too was forced to remove her hijab. 
 
According to the complaint, “officers refused to allow Ms. Aziz to keep her hijab on while having her picture taken. . . They told her, falsely: ‘It’s the law.’  Frantic, weeping, and bareheaded in a hallway full of men who do not belong to her immediate family, Ms. Aziz felt broken.”
 
A third plaintiff is the organization Turning Points for Women and Families (TPNY), a non-profit that works on behalf of Muslim women who have survived domestic violence.  TPNY has expressed concern about how the NYPD policy, and the threat of retaliatory arrest, could deter survivors from contacting police when help is most needed.
  
Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady LLP is a litigation boutique that focuses on civil rights, commercial, criminal, and ethics matters. ECBA represents individuals, businesses, and institutions in all aspects of litigation and pre-litigation dispute resolution, from negotiation, mediationand arbitration, through hearings, trials, and appeals. More about their practice can be found at
www.ecbalaw.com.
 
CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims. 
 
La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.
 
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CAIR-NY Reports 74% Increase in Anti-Muslim Hate Crimes Since Trump’s Election

For Immediate Release

CAIR-NY Reports 74% Increase in Anti-Muslim Hate Crimes Since Trump’s Election

Hate crime figures announced at news conference with Muslim community leaders at start of Oscar Morel double murder trial

 

(NEW YORK, NY, 3/5/18) – Today, the New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) and other Muslim community leaders held a news conference following the start of the Oscar Morel double murder trial.

Morel faces first degree murder charges in the 2016 deaths of Imam Maulana Ala’Uddin Akonjee and Thara Uddin. Opening statements, which had been scheduled for Monday morning, were postponed after several jurors reported conflicts to the court and were excused from jury duty.  CAIR-NY serves as civil counsel and media representative for the Akonjee and Uddin families.

 

FOR BACKGROUND ON THE CASE, SEE:

CAIR-NY to Mark One Year Anniversary of Ozone Park Double Murder, Calls on Area Faith Leaders to Remember Victims

https://www.cair.com/press-center/press-releases/14525-cair-ny-to-mark-one-year-anniversary-of-ozone-park-double-murder-calls-on-area-faith-leaders-to-remember-victims.html

At today’s news conference, CAIR-NY presented its preliminary 2017 civil rights data, showing a significant increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes in New York State since President Trump’s election. Key findings include:

  • A 74% increase in anti-Muslim harassment, discrimination, and hate crimes statewide in 2017
  • Hate crimes increased 74% statewide compared to the 10 months immediately prior to President Trump’s election, though they remained flat when compared to 2016 overall.
    • 1/1/2016 – 1/7/2016: averaged 3.22 hate crimes per month.
    • 11/8/2016 – 12/31/2017: averaged 19.15 hate crimes per month.
    • 2017: averaged 5.58 hate crimes per month, a 74% increase.
  • Travel complaints increased 660%, including numerous complaints from U.S. citizens.
  • Immigration cases and referrals increased 314%
Capture.PNG

* A majority of 2016 anti-Muslim hate crimes occurred in the last 7.5 weeks of the year, immediately following Donald Trump’s election as president.

“Our families are grateful to be one step closer to justice,” Said Saif Akonjee, eldest son of Imam Akonjee. “My father and Brother Thara came to the U.S. to find a better life, and they pursued the American dream. But that dream, and their very lives, were stolen by violence and hate.  We hope Oscar Morel will pay for his crime.”

“Today, we stand with the Akonjee and Uddin families as we take a major step toward securing justice,” said CAIR-NY Legal Director Albert Fox Cahn. “This despicable double murder was an attack on the promise that New York is a place where we all can practice our faith in peace and safety. We are grateful to the Queen’s County District Attorney’s Office for its continuing support for the Akonjee and Uddin families throughout this case. Mr. Morel faces serious charges, and it’s disappointing to see the silly claims he’s putting forth to distract the public from the impact of his alleged actions on our city. While this was a singularly horrific crime, it was far from the only suspected hate crime to target Muslim New Yorkers. This past year saw nearly a doubling in anti-Muslim hate crimes compared to the period before President Trump’s election.”

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.

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CAIR-NY, Muslim Community Leaders to Gather for Oscar Morel Double Murder Trial, Release 2017 Hate Crimes Stats

(NEW YORK, NY, 3/2/18) -- On Monday, March 5, the New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) and other Muslim community leaders will hold a news conference ahead of opening statements in the Oscar Morel double murder trial.

 

Morel faces first degree murder charges in the 2016 deaths of Imam Maulana Ala’Uddin Akonjee and Thara Uddin. CAIR-NY serves as civil counsel and media representative for the Akonjee and Uddin families.

 

FOR BACKGROUND ON THE CASE, SEE: CAIR-NY to Mark One Year Anniversary of Ozone Park Double Murder, Calls on Area Faith Leaders to Remember Victims

https://www.cair.com/press-center/press-releases/14525-cair-ny-to-mark-one-year-anniversary-of-ozone-park-double-murder-calls-on-area-faith-leaders-to-remember-victims.html

 

At the news conference, CAIR-NY will also present its 2017 civil rights report showing a significant increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes in New York State since President Trump’s election.

 

WHAT: News Conference – Oscar Morel Double Murder Trial – CAIR-NY 2017 Civil Rights Report

WHO: CAIR-NY and Muslim Community Members

WHEN: Monday, March 5, 9 a.m.

WHERE: Steps of Queens County Supreme Court, 125-1 Queens Blvd, Kew Gardens, NY 11415

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.

 

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CAIR-NY Condemns Anti-Muslim Harassment at Hewlett-Woodmere BOE Meetings, Calls for Recognition of Eid Holidays

For Immediate Release
 
(NEW YORK, NY, 1/19/2018) -- The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), a leading Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today condemned the alleged harassment of Muslim community members and students attending Hewlett-Woodmere Board of Education meetings on January 10 and 17. 
 
During the January 10 discussion about recognizing the Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha holidays, one Muslim community member was called a “terrorist” and references were made to the September 11 terror attacks.
 
Following an almost four-hour discussion, the Hewlett-Woodmere Board of Education decided to remove the Eid holidays from the district’s calendar.
 
SEE: Muslim holiday debate turns heated at H-W board meeting
http://www.liherald.com/fivetowns/stories/muslim-holiday-debate-turns-heated-at-h-w-board-meeting,99314
 
[NOTE: Eid ul-Fitr (EED-al-FITTER) marks the end of the month-long fast of Ramadan, and is the first of the two major Muslim holidays. The second holiday, Eid ul-Adha (EED-al-ODD-ha), comes near the end of the Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca.]
 
A text message sent on January 16, urged residents to attend the January 17 meeting, warning that “observance of a Muslim holiday will draw other religious Muslims to the area, which eventually would make our houses value go down, as no decent person would want to buy a house next to that. The demographics will change and our properties will be worthless.”

clip_image002.jpg

t the January 17 meeting, one attendee tried to respond to an individual defending the Muslim community, saying “they kill us.”  Members of the Hewlett-Woodmere Board of Education were quick to denounce the anti-Muslim remarks, but declined to reverse their decision on the Eid holidays.”

“It’s disgraceful that these anti-Muslim advocates celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day by organizing in support of housing segregation,” said CAIR-NY Legal Director Albert Fox Cahn. “Our school calendars should reflect the diversity and inclusionary spirit of our state.  We applaud those board members who condemned anti-Muslim harassment, but the Hewlett-Woodmere Board of Education must take this opportunity to stand with Muslim parents and students by recognizing the Eid holidays.”
 
CAIR has worked on the issue of Eid holidays nationwide.
 
SEE: CAIR Applauds Maryland School Board's Decision to Close Schools on Eid Holiday
http://cair.com/press-center/press-releases/14775-cair-applauds-maryland-school-board-s-decision-to-close-schools-on-eid-holiday.html
 
New Yorkers are asked to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR-NY at (646) 665-7599, or by filing a report at: http://www.cair-ny.org/incident-report/
 
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
 
La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.
 
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CAIR-NY Condemns Harassment of Muslim NYPD Officers

For Immediate Release
 
(NEW YORK, NY, 1/8/2018) -- The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), a leading Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today condemned the alleged harassment of two Muslim NYPD officers, whose lockers were reportedly vandalized with messages, including "F--k you, Muslim b---h." 
 
According to police, the graffiti was discovered on Saturday night in Transit District 11’s men’s locker room, which is located in the Bronx.
 
“Muslims” was written just below one officer’s name on a "Police!! Don't Move!” sticker. "F--k You Muslim B---h" was on a duplicate sticker below a second officer’ name.
 
SEE: Lockers of Muslim Cops Vandalized with Hate Messages in the Bronx
http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/bronx/lockers-muslim-cops-vandalized-hate-messages-bronx-article-1.3744579  
 
“No officer should have to face this sort of bigotry, but it’s especially disturbing to see it happen in their own station,” said CAIR-NY Legal Director Albert Fox Cahn. “We are gratified to see this harassment being taken seriously by the NYPD. This hatred has no place in our city, and it certainly should have no place in our police force.”
 
New Yorkers are asked to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR-NY at (646) 665-7599, or by filing a report at: http://www.cair-ny.org/incident-report/
 
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
 
La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.
 
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CAIR-NY Welcomes Hate Crime Probe of Suspects who Assaulted Muslim Woman, Shouted ‘Terrorist’ and ‘Go Back to your Country’

For Immediate Release
 
(NEW YORK, NY, 12/28/2017) -- The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), a leading Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today welcomed the decision of the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force to probe the allegedly bias-motivated attack on a Muslim woman in Brooklyn. During the attack, suspects allegedly punched, kicked, and spat on the Souad Kirama a local Muslim community activist and parent advocate. The suspects also called Kirama a “terrorist” and told her to “go back to your country.”
 
The attack by 10-11 teenage suspects took place Tuesday afternoon, between 4:00 and 5:00 PM, at the Panera Bread at 345 Adams Street in Brooklyn.  The matter is currently under investigation by the NYPD’s Hate Crime Task Force. According to the victim, numerous patrons stood-by and did nothing during the attack. The victim’s Facebook Live video, which was recorded shortly after the attack, has already received more than 100,000 views.
 
VIDEO: https://www.facebook.com/skirama1/videos/10215074967215446/

“We are grateful that the NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force has been so responsive to the Muslim community,” said CAIR-NY Legal Director Albert Fox Cahn. “It is intolerable to see so many New Yorkers do nothing in the face of this sort of hatred. At this moment, when Muslim New Yorkers are enduring a historic surge in hate crimes, we must all stand up when we see our neighbors being attacked.”
 
New York are asked to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR-NY at (646) 665-7599, or by filing a report at: http://www.cair-ny.org/incident-report/
 
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
 
La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.
 
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CAIR-NY to Join Other Rights Groups at Rally Against Muslim Ban Tonight in Washington Square


Media advisory


(NEW YORK, NY., 12/7/15) -- Tonight, the New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), a leading Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, will join other civil rights organizations at a rally and press conference in Washington Square Park against the Muslim Ban, the Tax Scam, and to demand a DREAM Act Now. #NoMuslimBanEver#NoTaxScam, and #DREAMActNOW!

On Monday, the Supreme Court reinstated Muslim Ban 3.0; last Friday, the U.S. Senate moved forward with a Tax Scam that will devastate New York families; and since October, thousands of DACA recipients have been put at risk for deportation.  Earlier this week, CAIR-NY expressed deep concern over the court’s decision to allow President Trump’s latest Muslim Ban policy to be implemented until the court makes a final decision about the executive action's constitutionality.
 
SEE: CAIR-NY Says U.S. Supreme Court's Decision on Trump’s Muslim Ban Ignores Impact on Citizens and Their Relatives Abroad
http://www.cair-ny.org/news/2017/12/7/cair-ny-says-us-supreme-courts-decision-on-trumps-muslim-ban-ignores-impact-on-citizens-and-their-relatives-abroad

WHAT: Rally and march against the Muslim Ban, the Tax Scam, and to demand a DREAM Act Now!
WHEN:  Thursday, December 7, 6 p.m.
WHERE: Washington Square Park
 
 
Speakers at the rally include representatives from several rally organizers:

  • Mpower Change
  • Strong Economy for All Coalition
  • The New York Immigration Coalition
  • Arab American Association of NY
  • Asian American Federation
  • Bangla Brigade NYC
  • CAIR- NY
  • Iranian Alliances Across Borders
  • MoveOn.Org
  • National Action Network
  • New Immigrant Community Empowerment (NICE)
  • New York State Immigrant Action Fund
  • Planned Parenthood NYC
  • UNITEHERE Local 100
  • The Workmen’s Circle
  • 32BJ SEIU Iranian Alliances Across Borders (IAAB)

CAIR-NY also encourages anyone who thinks they may be impacted by the latest Muslim Ban to contact the civil rights organization or an immigration attorney. 
 
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.
 
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Supreme Court Reinstates Muslim Ban 3.0

12/4/2017

Dear Community Members,
 
The Supreme Court issued a decision on the Muslim Ban (‘Muslim Ban 3.0’) this afternoon. First and foremost, we remind our community members and supporters that this is one of many fights for social justice playing out in the federal government this week - while we are focused on the Muslim Ban, we are supportive of those who are advocating for DACA protections and those who are challenging the proposed tax plan.
 
Today’s developments have raised numerous concerns and questions, which we attempt to answer below.  Please note that this information is subject to change based on the various legal challenges that may be advanced in court. The interpretations below can change quickly and we will update you should that happen.
 
Who Will Be Impacted?
Certain nationals of eight countries - Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen. Please see below for a list of how certain nationals from each country will be impacted.

photo.jpg

 
General limitations

  • Muslim Ban 3.0 only applies to individuals who are i) outside of the U.S. on the effective date (either September 24, 2017, or October 18, 2017 depending on the country and individual), ii) who did not have a valid visa on that date, and iii) who have not obtained a waiver under Section 3(c).
  • Muslim Ban 3.0 does not apply to:
    • Lawful permanent residents (green card holders);
    • Individuals admitted or paroled into the U.S. on or after the effective date of the new Muslim Ban;
    • Those with a document other than a visa that allows them to travel to the U.S., if the document is dated on or after the effective date of the new Muslim Ban;
    • Dual-nationals traveling on a passport from a non-designated country;
    • Individuals granted asylum;
    • Refugees already admitted to the U.S.; or
    • Individuals granted withholding of removal, advance parole, or protection under the Convention against Torture

 
Impacted countries:

  • Iran
    • All immigrant and nonimmigrant entry is suspended for Iranian nationals except for those with F, J, or M visas.
    • Those with F, J, or M visas will most likely be subject to “enhanced screening and vetting requirements.”.
  • Libya
    • All immigrants and nonimmigrants on business (B-1), tourist (B-2), business/tourist (B-1/B-2) visas are suspended.
  • Somalia
    • All immigrant visas are suspended for Somali nationals.
    • Non-immigrant visas are permitted, subjected to heightened screening.
  • Syria
    • All immigrant and nonimmigrant entry is suspended for Syrian nationals.
  • Sudan
    • Sudan was removed from the list of restricted countries in the new Muslim Ban.
    • Sudanese visa holders who were impacted by earlier Muslim Bans should now be able to reapply for visa.
  • Yemen
    • All immigrant visas and nonimmigrant business (B-1), tourist (B-2), and business/tourist (B-1/B-2) visas are suspended.
  • Chad
    • All immigrant visas and nonimmigrants with business (B-1), tourist (B-2), and business/tourist (B-1/B-2) visas are suspended from entering the U.S.
  • North Korea
    • All immigrant and nonimmigrant visa holders are suspended from entering the U.S.
  • Venezuela
    • The entry of officials of government agencies of Venezuela involved in screening and vetting procedures and their immediate family members, as nonimmigrants on business (B-1), tourist (B-2), and business/tourist (B-1/B-2) visas, is suspended. Additionally, nationals of Venezuela who are visa holders are subject to additional measures.
    • Per Section 3(b)(v) of the new Muslim Ban, certain Venezuelans traveling on diplomatic visas are not affected by this order.

 
How to Get Legal Help
You can contact our organizations if:

  • You or someone you know is impacted by this executive order and would like legal advice or assistance;
  • Your community would like to request a “Know Your Rights” presentation.

 
CAIR-NY: 646-665-7599 or http://www.cair-ny.org/incident-report/
 
We remain committed to challenging this Ban and protecting the communities we serve. Please do not hesitate to reach out.
 
Sincerely,
Albert Fox Cahn, Esq.
Legal Director

CAIR-NY Says U.S. Supreme Court's Decision on Trump’s Muslim Ban Ignores Impact on Citizens and Their Relatives Abroad

For Immediate Release

 (NEW YORK, N.Y. 12/4/17) – The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), a leading Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today expressed alarm at the Supreme Court's decision to allow Muslim Ban 3.0 to be implemented until the Supreme Court makes a final decision about the executive action's constitutionality. 

Earlier today, the Supreme Court issued two orders staying the Hawaii and Maryland federal courts' injunctions which had, until today, largely prevented the Trump Administration from implementing Muslim Ban 3.0's visa restrictions.  Although this decision allows Muslim Ban 3.0 to go into effect now, the Supreme Court could still find it unconstitutional at a later date.

"This decision is nothing less than a dereliction of duty from our nation’s highest court," said CAIR-NY Legal Director Albert Fox Cahn. "The Supreme Court's actions remind us that we can't simply rely on the justices to stop President Trump's marginalization of Muslims and other minorities. The fight is far from over, and we must all do everything we can to oppose Muslim Ban 3.0."

CAIR and the Brennan Center for Justice filed suit against President Trump's Muslim Ban on behalf of six American Muslims impacted by the immigration restrictions. On appeal, this case, Zakzok v. Trump, was consolidated with two others and are jointly pending before the Fourth Circuit.  Oral argument in the Fourth Circuit is set for this Friday, December 8th, in Richmond, VA.

Video: CAIR, Other Civil Rights Groups Hold Presser After Md. Court Arguments on Trump’s Muslim Ban

In a broad ruling on October 18th, U.S. District Judge Theodore D. Chuang granted CAIR and other groups' request for a nationwide injunction prohibiting the Trump administration from implementing its latest attempt to exclude Muslims from the United States. 

Judge Chuang ruled that the plaintiffs were likely to ultimately succeed in proving that anti-Muslim animus motivated the travel ban in violation of the Establishment Clause. He also noted that the ban violates federal law, which forbids the government from discriminating against visa applicants based on their nationality.

SEE: Second Judge Rules Against Latest Travel Ban, Saying Trump’s Own Words Show It Was Aimed at Muslims

In September, CAIR -- with the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law and Profeta & Eisenstein -- filed an amicus brief with U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of seven American Muslims.

READ Amicus Brief
These groups also filed an amicus brief in the Ninth Circuit in August.

Read CAIR’s Amicus Brief
In January, just days after Trump signed the first Muslim ban executive order, CAIR filed suit. 

SEE: CAIR Files Federal Suit Challenging Constitutionality of Trump’s ‘Muslim Ban’ Executive Order
 
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.

CAIR-NY Welcomes Guilty Plea of Woman Who Assaulted Muslim Women, Infant Children in Brooklyn

For Immediate Release


(NEW YORK, NY, 11/30/17) – The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), the state’s leading Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today welcomed the guilty plea of Emirjeta Xhelili, who pleaded guilty in Kings County Supreme Court to attacking two Muslim women and their infant children. 
 
On September 8, 2016, Xhelili attacked two Muslim women in the Bath Beach section of Brooklyn, punching them, kicking them, and trying to remove their traditional headscarves (hijabs) and face veils (niqabs).  Xhelili also tried to topple the strollers with their young children. Xhelili made several anti-Muslim statements during her attack, including: “get the f--k out of America, b-----s” and “this is America — you shouldn’t be different from us.”
 
Xhelili pleaded guilty to third degree assault as a hate crime, a felony; she was sentenced to six months in prison.
 
SEE: EXCLUSIVE: Bigot tried ripping off two Muslim women’s hijabs as they strolled with their babies in Brooklyn attack
http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/bigot-ripping-muslim-women-hijabs-hateful-attack-article-1.2785475

Muslim woman who was victim of hate crime in Brooklyn speaks out
http://pix11.com/2016/10/12/muslim-woman-who-was-victim-of-hate-crime-in-brooklyn-speaks-out/
 
In a statement, CAIR-New York Legal Director Albert Fox Cahn said:
 
“We congratulate the Kings County District Attorney for swiftly pursuing the case against Ms. Xhelili. In a year that has seen unprecedented levels of hate crimes against Muslim New Yorkers, this attack stands out for its vicious cruelty. It is intolerable to think that these young mothers and their children were targeted in broad daylight, on a street in Brooklyn, for doing nothing more than practicing their faith.
 
“It is clear that the president’s anti-Muslim rhetoric, like the tweets he circulated earlier this week, is emboldening anti-Muslim extremists. Muslim New Yorkers are being targeted like never before, including attacks on mosques, Muslim children bullied at school, and Muslim New Yorkers attacked on the street.
 
“We commend DA Eric Gonzales for keeping his office’s lines of communication open with the Muslim community. This helps show the world that New York has no place for hate crimes against Muslims.”
 
SEE: CAIR Report Shows 2017 on Track to Becoming One of Worst Years Ever for Anti-Muslim Hate Crimes
https://www.cair.com/press-center/press-releases/14476-cair-report-shows-2017-on-track-to-becoming-one-of-worst-years-ever-for-anti-muslim-hate-crimes.html

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.
 
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CAIR-NY Horrified by Trump’s Incitement to Violence Against U.S. Muslims on Twitter

MEDIA ADVISORY: 
 
CAIR-NY Horrified by Trump’s Incitement to Violence Against U.S. Muslims on Twitter
 
(New York, NY 11/29/2017) -- The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), a leading Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today condemned what it called President Trump’s “incitement to violence against American Muslims” after he retweeted Islamophobic videos from an anti-Muslim British political leader who has been charged in the United Kingdom with “religious aggravated harassment.”
 
SEE: Trump Shares Inflammatory Anti-Muslim Videos
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/29/us/politics/trump-anti-muslim-videos-jayda-fransen.html
Trump Retweets Anti-Muslim Videos
http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/29/politics/donald-trump-retweet-jayda-fransen/index.html
 
MEDIA ADVISORY: CAIR will be available for interviews today in its office in Queens.
 
“These hateful an inflammatory messages are not only beneath the presidency, they are dangerous,” said CAIR-NY’s Legal Director, Albert Fox Cahn.  “New York saw a 560% increase in anti-Muslim harassment, discrimination, and hate crimes in 2016, and 2017 is on track to see even more.  All New Yorkers of conscience should condemn these bigoted videos and the anti-Muslim violence they will inevitably  inspire.”
 
SEE: CAIR Report Shows 2017 on Track to Becoming One of Worst Years Ever for Anti-Muslim Hate Crimes
https://www.cair.com/press-center/press-releases/14476-cair-report-shows-2017-on-track-to-becoming-one-of-worst-years-ever-for-anti-muslim-hate-crimes.html

CAIR Says New FBI Hate Crimes Report Shows Need to Stand Up to Increasing Bigotry
https://www.cair.com/press-center/press-releases/14780-cair-says-new-fbi-hate-crimes-report-shows-need-to-stand-up-to-increasing-bigotry.html

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.

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CAIR-NY, DOT Art Launch ‘Amplify’ Public Art, Social Justice Campaign.

(NEW YORK, NY, 11/15/17) – The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), a leading Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today Partnered with the New York City Department of Transportation’s Art Program (DOT Art) to launch AMPLIFY, a public art campaign to promote local social justice organizations.  DOT Art partnered with artists to highlight the work of ten social justice organizations and the communities they serve.

SEE: Photos

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CAIR-NY worked with the artist Morehshin Allahyari to create an original poster focused on the shocking rise in anti-Muslim hate crimes, which rose 584% nationwide between 2014 and 2016.  In New York, anti-Muslim harassment, discrimination, and hate crimes rose 560% in just 2016, faster than the national average.

“We hope AMPLIFY will help us educate New Yorkers who might otherwise know about the stunning surge in anti-Muslim hate crimes,” said CAIR-NY Legal Director Albert Fox Cahn. “We are grateful that DOT Art is helping to use our public spaces to not only support the arts, but to engage New Yorkers in the ongoing fight for civil rights.  At a time when many hate crime victims suffer in silence, AMPLIFY can help bring a bit of visibility to their plight.”

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.

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