CAIR-NY Calls on Colonie Police to Probe Threats to Kill Muslims as Hate Crime

CAIR-NY Calls on Colonie Police to Probe Threats to Kill Muslims as Hate Crime

Muslim civil rights group asks for public’s help in identifying white male suspect who shouted Islamophobic slurs

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(NEW YORK, N.Y., 8/20/19) – The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), the state’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called on the Colonie Police Department in the Town of Colonie, N.Y., to investigate alleged Islamophobic threats to kill Muslims as a hate crime. 

CAIR-NY is also asking for the public’s help in identifying the white male suspect (pictured above holding a drink in his right hand) who reportedly claimed to be a police officer. 

According to Rashad Mohamed Benantar, while he was at the Crossings of Colonie playground yesterday with his young nephews and one-month-old son, a white man approached his nephews. The man allegedly began to shout Islamophobic, xenophobic and racist comments such as “your prophet is a dog” and “this is a Christian country” at the children.   

When Benantar came to the children’s aid, the white man reportedly threatened Benantar, telling him “You came here today to die. You are going to die.” Once the man noticed that 911 was being called, he fled the scene in a white Mercedes SUV.  During the incident, the alleged assailant identified himself as a police officer. 

SEE BENANTAR’S FACEBOOK POST:  https://www.facebook.com/IPMhmd

CAIR-NY Litigation Director Ahmed Mohamed said:

“The Colonie Police Department must investigate this incident as a hate crime and needs to do so before this suspect tries to follow through with his deadly promises. The thought that he may be a police officer is disturbing. This family has allegedly been terrorized by this bigot and we are asking for the public’s help in identifying him. Anyone with information about this incident, should contact Colonie Police and our office at 646-665-7599 or legal@ny.cair.com. This incident is yet another example of how the political environment has emboldened bigots to attack marginalized communities. We need law enforcement to send a loud message that terrorizing civilians will not be tolerated.”  

Yesterday, CAIR-NY called on the NYPD to probe the stabbing of an Afro-Caribbean Haitian as a hate crime when a white suspect allegedly yelled “All of these ni**ers need to get the hell out of the community.”

SEE: https://www.cair-ny.org/news/2019/8/19/cair-ny-community-advocate-call-on-nypd-to-probe-stabbing-of-afro-caribbean-haitian-as-hate-crime

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.

END 

CONTACT:  CAIR-NY Litigation Director Ahmed Mohamed ahmedmohamed@cair.com; 646-481-2103

CAIR-NY Welcomes NYPD Firing of Officer Daniel Pantaleo

CAIR-NY Welcomes NYPD Firing of Officer Daniel Pantaleo

Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/AP

Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/AP

(NEW YORKN.Y., 8/19/19) - The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today welcomed NYPD’s decision to fire Officer Daniel Pantaleo for causing the death of Eric Garner on July 17, 2014.

SEE: https://www.thedailybeast.com/daniel-pantaleo-cop-who-killed-eric-garner-fired-by-nypd-commissioner-james-oneill

Earlier this month, an NYPD judge recommended that Officer Pantaleo be fired for fatally choking Eric Garner in 2014.  This came after the Department of Justice declined to bring federal charges against Pantaelo.

SEE: CAIR-NY Slams DOJ for Failure to Charge NYPD Officer for Eric Garner’s Death 

In a statement, CAIR-NY Litigation Director Ahmed Mohamed said:

“Nothing will bring back Eric Garner; however, we are glad that Commissioner O’Neill did the right thing in firing Officer Pantaleo. We hope this is just the beginning of the NYPD’s process of disciplining the officers involved in Mr. Garner’s death. The fact it took 5 years and international outcry to reach today’s decision means we must continue to fight so that law enforcement truly value the lives of our black brothers and sisters. Unfortunately, we continue to see a lack of accountability and transparency, in addition to biased policing that led to Mr. Garner’s inexcusable death.”

Mohamed cited to three recent bias policing cases, including police excessive use of force, filed by CAIR-NY.

SEE: https://patch.com/new-york/new-york-city/muslim-nyers-choked-brushed-nypd-cops-complaints-say

SEE ALSO: https://www.politico.com/states/new-york/albany/story/2019/08/15/under-increased-scrutiny-nypd-faces-bias-complaints-from-muslim-new-yorkers-1144522

CAIR-NY is a chapter of 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.

END

CONTACT: Ahmed Mohamed, CAIR-NY Litigation Director: Ahmedmohamed@cair.com; 646-481-2103; Afaf Nasher, CAIR-NY Executive Director: anasher@cair.com; 917-669-4006

CAIR-NY, Community Advocate Call on NYPD to Probe Stabbing of Afro-Caribbean Haitian as Hate Crime

CAIR-NY, Community Advocate Call on NYPD to Probe Stabbing of Afro-Caribbean Haitian as Hate Crime

White suspect allegedly said: ‘All of these ni**ers need to get the hell out of the community’

(NEW YORK, N.Y., 8/19/19) – The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), the state’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called for a hate crime investigation of an East Flatbush stabbing.

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According to reports, Michael Fasulo, a white male, walked into a Boost Mobile in East Flatbush and stabbed an Afro-Caribbean Haitian male employee. Prior to the stabbing, Fasulo allegedly called the black victim the N-word. The suspect is charged with two counts of assault and criminal possession of a weapon. NYPD is not investigating the incident as a hate crime.  According to witnesses, while Fasulo was escorted by NYPD, he yelled “All of these ni**ers need to get the hell out of the community.”

SEE News 12 Report: http://brooklyn.news12.com/story/40929017/community-members-want-east-flatbush-stabbing-treated-as-hate-crime  

CAIR-NY Litigation Director Ahmed Mohamed said:

“When a suspect reportedly shouts racial slurs during and after an attack, there is no excuse for the NYPD not to investigate the incident as a hate crime. This suspect used a variation of Trump’s trademark hate speech phrase ‘get the hell out of the community.’ NYPD has to send a message to bigots that their hateful actions have consequences.” 

Community Advocate Anthony Beckford said:

“Michael Fasulo knowingly went into the Boost Mobile with a knife with the intent to harm someone. The racist derogatory words that he used before and even after the vicious attack prove that this was a malicious hate-filled attack which deems it as a hate crime. We are demanding that he be charged with a hate crime and that any and all hate crimes against our community, be categorized as such and no longer dismissed or miscategorized. There are disparities in the way that we are policed and evidently in the way that the police department chooses to protect our community. It is now known that this racist attacker is a Trump supporter as many of the perpetrators of past hate crimes against the black, Muslim and Jewish communities have been. We must unite together against this one common enemy which is out to divide us and destroy us. I call on every single black, Brown, White, Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Catholic, Hindu and Asian Community member in Brooklyn and throughout the city and the country to come together in a unified stance against hate, bigotry, racism, xenophobia, islamophobia and white supremacy.”
 

CAIR-NY is asking community members to call the Hate Crimes Task Force at 1-888-440-HATE and the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office at 718-250-4949 to demand that Michael Fasulo be investigated for a hate crime. 
 

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.

END

CONTACT:  CAIR-NY Litigation Director Ahmed Mohamed ahmedmohamed@cair.com; 646-481-2103; Community Advocate Anthony Beckford 347-729-9775

CAIR-NY Litigation Director To Speak at APPAC Annual Youth Conference

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CAIR-NY Litigation Director To Speak at APPAC Annual Youth Conference
CAIR-NY Encourages Youth Registration

(NEW YORK, NY, 8/15/19) - On Saturday, August 17, the litigation director of the New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, will speak at the APPAC 2019 Annual Youth Conference at St. John’s University in Jamaica, Queens. 

The Youth Conference is hosted and organized by the American Pakistani Public Affairs Committee (APPAC). The event is free, but participants must register. Registration is still open. 

Register Here: APPAC Youth Conference 

WHAT: APPAC 2019 Annual Youth Conference

WHEN: Saturday, August 17, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

WHERE: D’Angelo Center, St. John’s University; Gate 6, 81-98 170th St. Jamaica, NY 11439

CAIR-NY’s Litigation Director Ahmed Mohamed will speak in the 12 p.m. to 12:45 p.m. forum about fighting the hate. Other speakers at the conference include: NYS Senator John Brooks, Emgage Rep. Ahsia Badi, and NYC Deputy Public Advocate Kashif Hussain.  

CAIR-NY encourages all interested youth to register for the conference before registration closes. 

New Yorkers experiencing discrimination are encouraged to file an incident report online at www.cair-ny.org/incident-report or by calling 646-665-7599.  

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.

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.

- END -

CAIR-NY, Allies, Clients Press Conference Announcing NYPD Misconduct Complaints and Call for Accountability and Transparency

MEDIA ADVISORY

CAIR-NY, Allies, Clients Press Conference Announcing NYPD Misconduct Complaints and Call for Accountability and Transparency

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(NEW YORK, NY, 8/14/19) – On Thursday, August 15, the New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), along with civil rights activists and community partners, will hold a press conference outside of NYPD Headquarters at 1 Police Plaza to announce two bias policing and a police excessive use of force complaints with the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB). 

CAIR-NY and allies will be calling for police accountability and transparency. 

WHAT: Press Conference Announcing NYPD Misconduct Complaints and Call for Accountability and Transparency
WHERE: NYPD Headquarters, 1 Police Plaza 
WHEN: Thursday, August 15, 10am 
WHO: CAIR-NY; Allies; and Complainants Abrar Chowdhury (and his family) and Rayhanah Alhanafi.
CONTACT
:  CAIR-NY Litigation Director Ahmed Mohamed, ahmedmohamed@cair.com; 646-481-2103; CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher, anasher@cair.com; 917-669-4006

The complainants comprise of the following:

Abrar Chowdhury: Abrar is a 16-year-old Muslim teenager of Bengali descent.  Abrar was attacked by a 35-40-year-old Hispanic male and other teenagers. Abrar suffered serious bodily harm requiring surgery and a 3-day hospital stay. Abrar had 4 titanium plates inserted in his face. The NYPD did not notify the family of the case closure and stopped communicating with the family after Abrar failed the photo lineup. The family contacted NYPD with case leads but has received no response. 

SEE: Photos of Abrar’s Injuries at https://www.cair-ny.org/abrar-photos-of-injury

Rayhanah Alhanafi: Rayhanah is an African American Muslim woman. Rayhanah was pulled over for a traffic violation.  NYPD Officers sought to arrest and search her. Rayhanah did not protest the arrest but informed the Officers that she was Muslim and requested a female officer to pat and search her in accordance with her religious beliefs.  Rayhanah was surrounded by 4 male officers.  Once Rayhanah took a step backwards, the male officers grabbed and threw her to the ground. One officer placed his knees on her upper back/neck and his hands around her throat.  During the assault, Rayhanah pleaded with officer to “stop,” “that hurts,” and “I can’t breathe.”  Officers only relented once bystanders started filming and yelling for them to stop.  Thereafter, she was denied medical treatment.  Rayhanah suffered a hairline fracture in her neck.  Rayhanah was charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. 

Fatoumata Camara: A black Muslim woman that was victim of a hate crime of May 10, 2019. NYPD allegedly failed to investigate and prematurely closed the case. Camara investigated her own hate crime and NYPD was forced to re-open the investigation on June 7, 2019.  However, NYPD has made no arrests since.  

SEE: Muslim Woman Investigated Her Own Hate Crime After NYPD Dismissed Her Case

Video: CAIR-NY Represents Muslim Woman Beaten by Group of Teens Hurling Religious, Racial Insults
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2QTlNwXMyFA

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.

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.

Become a Fan of CAIR-NY on Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/CAIRNewYork/

Subscribe to CAIR-NY's E-Mail List
https://www.cair-ny.org/

Follow CAIR-NY on Twitter
https://twitter.com/CAIRNewYork

Follow CAIR-NY on Instagram
https://www.instagram.com/cairnewyork/

CAIR-NY Files Federal, State Religious Discrimination Complaints Against NYS Dept. of Corrections on Behalf of Muslim Chaplain

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CAIR-NY Files Federal, State Religious Discrimination Complaints Against NYS Dept. of Corrections on Behalf of Muslim Chaplain
Supervisor: ‘I find it hard to respect a woman who covers her hair.’

(NEW YORK, N.Y., 8/13/2019) – The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today filed federal and state employment discrimination complaints against the New York State Department of Corrections on behalf of a former Muslim chaplain employee for alleged harassment, hostile workplace and retaliation.

The former employee, a Muslim American woman who wears a hijab, religious head cover, alleges that a supervisor engaged in years of harassment in an attempt to terminate her. The supervisor told colleagues that she “find[s] it hard to respect a woman who covers her hair.”

At the beginning of the discriminatory treatment, the supervisor informed colleagues that she wanted to pursue termination to get rid of the American Muslim chaplain. When the Muslim chaplain reported the discrimination to the superintendent, the superintendent failed to investigate and took no corrective action.

Other discriminatory and retaliatory conduct included: denial of time to prepare for Friday congregational prayer; punitive schedule changes; destruction of Islamic scriptural decals; false misconduct allegations; and undermining of authority with inmates. Before her resignation, the Muslim chaplain’s supervisor refused to give her access to prayer rugs that were ordered for the facility. The supervisor informed her that “I am not giving them to you.”

Because of the workplace hostility, the Muslim chaplain started counseling to cope with the hostility and was placed on anti-depressants by her doctor. As a result, the Muslim chaplain was forced to resign her position.

SEE Discrimination Complaint: Muslim Chaplain v. DOCCS

CAIR-NY Litigation Director Ahmed Mohamed stated:

"Our client stood up for herself numerous times but the people whose job it was to investigate and protect her from this hostility failed her. The Department of Corrections has a lot of explaining to do for its refusal to take any corrective steps. The Department of Corrections condoned this behavior and caused severe emotional and psychological pain and suffering. We hope the Department will come to its senses, pass down discipline, and make this right.”

CAIR has reported an unprecedented spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump as president.

In a published report, CAIR noted a 17 percent increase in bias-motivated incidents and a 15 percent increase in hate crimes against American Muslims since Trump took office.

New Yorkers may also contact CAIR-NY for assistance by filing an incident report online at www.cair-ny.org/incident-report or by calling 646-665-7599.

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.

END


CONTACT: CAIR-NY Litigation Director Ahmed Mohamed, ahmedmohamed@cair.com, 646-481-2103; CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher, anasher@cair.com, 917-669-4006

CAIR-NY; Tariq Law Firm File #BankingWhileMuslim Federal Lawsuit Against Citibank

CAIR-NY; Tariq Law Firm File #BankingWhileMuslim Federal Lawsuit Against Citibank

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(NEW YORK, N.Y., 8/12/2019) – The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, and the Tariq Law Firm today announced the filing of a federal discrimination lawsuit against Citibank for closing, without justification, credit and bank accounts of a Muslim customer.

According to the lawsuit, Citibank closed Mohammed Ahmed’s, an American-Muslim of Bangladeshi descent, bank accounts around March 4, 2019, without providing any reasons for the closure. The following week, Citibank closed Ahmed’s credit card accounts.  When Ahmed requested an explanation for the closures, Citibank refused to provide one.

SEE #BankingWhileMuslim Lawsuit: Koysor v. Citibank

The lawsuit was filed on August 1, 2019 and is part of the #BankingWhileMuslim campaign to end discriminatory policies by banks and other financial institutions.  Ahmed is suing for violations of federal, state, and city anti-discrimination laws.

The lawsuit comes after years of discriminatory banking practices targeting Muslims.

SEEAre Muslim-owned bank accounts being singled out by big banks?

Last month, CAIR-NY filed a discrimination complaint against Citibank for refusing to open a savings account once Citibank learned of the beneficiary’s Arabic name. 

SEE Discrimination Complaint Against Citibank For Denial of Services

SEE ALSO:

NY Daily News: https://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/ny-muslim-lawsuit-citibank-20190723-bdsrchkbkjf5vfm3wol3qdwfcq-story.html

The Hill: https://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/454374-muslim-group-alleges-religious-discrimination-by-citibank

Subhan Tariq of The Tariq Law Firm stated:

“Unfortunately, this is part of a growing trend we are seeing in the last number of years. We call on the Department of Justice to do a thorough inquiry of the underlying circumstances that have led to numerous Muslims being de-banked by the largest banking and financial institutions in our country.”

Ahmed Mohamed, CAIR-NY Litigation Director stated:

“Closing bank accounts on the basis of nationality or religion is illegal. Citibank must do the right thing and stop its discriminatory practice of singling out American Muslims. ‘Banking while Muslim’ is not crime. If Citibank and other financial institutions continue to discriminate, we will be there to hold them accountable.”

Mohamed noted that CAIR-NY has documented a pattern of banking discrimination targeting Muslims and individuals of Arab ancestry. 

ALERT: CAIR-NY is in the process of collecting data for its #BankingWhileMuslim campaign. If you have faced discrimination at a bank or had a bank or credit account closed without justification or explanation, please tell us your story by taking our banking while Muslim survey at www.cair-ny.org/bankingwhilemuslim or by going to social media (Facebook; Twitter; Instagram) and sharing your story using the #BankingWhileMuslim.  

New Yorkers may also contact CAIR-NY for assistance by filing an incident report online at www.cair-ny.org/incident-report or by calling 646-665-7599.  

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

The Tariq Law Firm is a consumer rights law firm committed to protecting average consumers from unfair and unethical treatment. 

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.

END

CONTACT: CAIR-NY Litigation Director Ahmed Mohamed, ahmedmohamed@cair.com, 646-481-2103; Subhan Tariq, 718-674-1245, subhan@tariqlaw.com

GOOD NEWS ALERT: CAIR-NY Reunites Yemeni-American Family Separated by Muslim Ban

GOOD NEWS ALERT:

CAIR-NY Reunites Yemeni-American Family Separated by Muslim Ban

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(NEW YORK, N.Y., 8/6/2019) – The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today announced the reunification of a Yemeni-American family that was separated by President Trump’s Muslim Ban. 

Yesterday, Saleh Almuganahi and his wife and two daughters arrived in New York City. Last month, CAIR-NY sued the Trump administration for retroactively applying the Muslim Ban to revoke an approved visa for Almuganahi’s wife. Within 24 hours of filing suit, the U.S. Embassy approved the visa.  Almuganahi immediately departed the United States to make arrangements for his family to make their way to America.   

Before CAIR-NY’s intervention, the Almuganahi’s visa was pending for more than 21 months. 

SEE CAIR-NY LAWSUIT

SEE ALSOhttps://www.amny.com/news/travel-ban-lawsuit-1.33597533

 Ahmed Mohamed, CAIR-NY Litigation Director stated:

 “We are happy for the Almuganahi family and welcome them to New York City. This family has suffered needlessly to satisfy Trump’s thirst to block Muslims and immigrants from entering the country. It is very sad that American-Muslims have to resort to federal lawsuits to force this administration to follow the law. There are countless families that are not as lucky today because they are still separated by Trump’s cruel policies.” 

Carey Shenkman, CAIR-NY Of Counsel stated:

"We are proud to welcome the Almuganahi family to New York and hope to be able to soon welcome other families impacted by the terrible Muslim ban."

Muslims who have had their previously approved visas revoked because of the Muslim Ban are being urged to contact CAIR-NY for assistance by filing an incident report online at https://www.cair-ny.org/incident-report or calling 646-665-7599. 

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

END

CONTACT: CAIR-NY Litigation Director Ahmed Mohamed, ahmedmohamed@cair.com, 646-481-2103; CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher, anasher@cair.com, 917-669-4006

CAIR, CAIR-NY Call on New York Young Republican Club to Disinvite Anti-Islam Speaker Pamela Geller

CAIR, CAIR-NY Call on New York Young Republican Club to Disinvite Anti-Islam Speaker Pamela Geller

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(NEW YORK, NY, 8/2/19) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, and its New York chapter (CAIR-NY) today called on the New York Young Republican Club to disinvite Pamela Geller, an anti-Islam speaker who claims that “Hitler and the Nazis were inspired by Islam” and that Islam “mandates” lies and deception.

The club plans to host Geller at the Women’s National Republican Club on August 15th for its August Speaker Series.

SEE: New York Young Republican Club August Speaker Series With Pamela Geller
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/new-york-young-republican-club-august-speaker-series-with-pamela-geller-tickets-64975692044

Geller is a notorious Islamophobe who seeks to mainstream the false idea that terrorist acts carried out by Muslims spring not from perversions of Islam but from the religion itself. She is the president of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, an anti-Muslim organization known for its demeaning print media advertising that has likened Muslims to savages.

SEE: CAIR Backgrounder on the American Freedom Defense Initiative
http://www.islamophobia.org/islamophobic-organizations/39-american-freedom-defense-initiative.html

“The New York Young Republican Club should not provide a legitimizing platform to a speaker who promotes a false, vitriolic conception of Islam and American Muslims, some of whom are themselves Republicans,” said CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher. “If the New York Young Republican Club is interested in hosting a speaker who accurately portrays Islam and Muslims, we would be happy to work with them to suggest credible and objective alternatives.”

Previous Islamophobic Statements by Geller:

  • “The fact is that the quran [sic] is war propaganda, and you are the target.” On her blog, 2013.

  • Geller attacked the Pope, saying “At a time when Christianity worldwide is under siege by Islamic jihadists, the leader of the Catholic Church claims that the quran [sic] teaches non-violence. As Christians across the Muslim world live in abject terror and fear kidnapping, rape and slaughter to the bloodcurdling cries of ‘Allahu akbar,’ the pope gives papal sanction to the savage.” On her blog, 2013.

  • Geller ranted against a group of Christian, Muslim and Jewish leaders in Denver who had launched a “Love Thy Neighbor” ad campaign. She called them “craven quisling crew,” “knaves,” “nudniks” and “clowns.” On her blog, 2012.

  • After news emerged that U.S. Marines had urinated on corpses in Afghanistan, Geller stated, “I love these Marines. Perhaps this is the infidel interpretation of the Islamic ritual of washing and preparing the body for burial.” On her blog, 2012.

  • “Asking for prayer space in public schools for Muslim children is imposing Islam. If the child is religious, send them to madrassa.” In a New York Times interview, 2010.

  • Sharia law is “the most radical and intolerant system of governance on the face of the earth.” In her book, Stop Islamization of America, 2011.

  • "Islam is not a race. This is an ideology. This is an extreme ideology, the most radical and extreme ideology on the face of the earth." In an interview on Fox Business' "Follow the Money," 2011.

  • "Hitler was inspired by Islam.” In an interview on the Alyona Show, 2010.

  • Geller promoted a conspiracy theory alleging, Muslim groups "control information and how it is processed at senior levels of the CIA, the FBI, the Pentagon, and the various branches of the military.” Her blog, 2010.

  • “I don’t think that many westernized Muslims know when they pray five times a day that they’re cursing Christians and Jews five times a day. I don’t think they know that…I do not believe in the idea of a moderate Islam.” In a New York Times interview, 2010.

  • "Now do I see everything through the prism of Israel? No, I don't, but I do think it's a very good guide. It's a very good guide because, like I said, in the war between the civilized man and the savage, you side with the civilized man. … If you don't lay down and die for Islamic supremacism, then you're a racist anti-Muslim Islamophobic bigot. That's what we're really talking about." In a New York Times interview, 2010.

  • “Pious Muslims are jihadis.” On her blog, 2008.

The Washington-based civil rights organization has witnessed an unprecedented spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims, immigrants and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump as president.

CAIR has repeatedly expressed concern about Islamophobic, white supremacist and racist Trump administration policies.

Muslim community members 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-NY is New York’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.

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

END

CONTACT: CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher, 917-669-4006, anasher@cair.com; CAIR-NY Litigation Director Ahmed Mohamed, 646-481-2103, ahmedmohamed@cair.com

CAIR-NY Calls for Hate Crime Probe of Noose Found Hanging from Tree in Louis Engle Park

CAIR-NY Calls for Hate Crime Probe of Noose Found Hanging from Tree in Louis Engle Park

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(NEW YORK, N.Y., 8/1/19) – The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), the state’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called for a hate crime investigation of an incident involving a noose hanging from a tree at Louis Engle Park in Westchester County. 

According to a News 12 report, police officers have removed the noose and are investigating to see if this was a hate crime.  Police are describing the noose as a “string from sweatpants.” 

SEE News 12 Report: http://westchester.news12.com/story/40863012/suspicious-rope-found-hanging-on-tree-at-louis-engle-park

CAIR-NY Litigation Director Ahmed Mohamed said:

“CAIR-NY stands strongly against bigotry and hate crimes. Hanging a noose in a local park is repugnant, harmful and can only send a message of hate and intimidation. It is important for law enforcement to accurately categorize the rope for what it is: a noose. Accordingly, authorities must swiftly investigate this racist incident as a possible hate crime. Bigots must understand that their hateful actions have consequences.” 

Mohamed noted that New York state has an anti-noose bill that makes hanging of a noose to intimidate the public illegal.

SEE Anti-Noose Crime Statutehttps://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/laws/PEN/240.31

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.

END

CONTACT:  CAIR-NY Litigation Director Ahmed Mohamed ahmedmohamed@cair.com; 646-481-2103; CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher anasher@cair.com; 917-669-4006

CAIR-NY Files Discrimination Complaint Over MTA Employees’ Mistreatment of Muslim Traveler

CAIR-NY Files Discrimination Complaint Over MTA Employees’ Mistreatment of Muslim Traveler
African-American Muslim Woman told ‘I don’t answer questions from people who look like you,’ CAIR-NY asks public to share their #myMTAstory

mta.png

(NEW YORK, N.Y., 7/30/2019) – The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today announced the filing of a discrimination complaint with the New York City Human Rights Commission against the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (“MTA”) for refusing service to Leitoya Dixon, an African-American Muslim who wears a hijab (religious headscarf).

SEE Discrimination Complaint Against MTA For Denial of Services

According to the discrimination complaint, on May 7, 2019, during the holy month of Ramadan, Dixon requested assistance locating her train from two MTA agents at Penn Station. The agents refused to assist her, causing her to miss her train. One of the agents told her “I don’t answer questions from people who look like you.” Another MTA employee reportedly informed Dixon that this is not the first time that the agent had discriminated against customers. As a result of her experience with MTA, Dixon no longer feels comfortable or safe wearing her hijab in public.

“I am an unapologetically proud African-American Muslim woman who wears a hijab,” said Ms. Dixon, the complainant. “Still, it took time to feel that same pride after I was humiliated and denied service by MTA during Ramadan, my holy month. The promise of America is one of freedom and equality for all people, including me, but that seems to be lost on the MTA. I am a woman, a mother, and a human being who just wants to make it home to her family like everyone else.”

“New York City prides itself on being an epicenter of diversity and social justice, yet the MTA’s actions in this case diametrically oppose that ideal,” said Princess Masilungan, CAIR-NY’s legal fellow. “We are grateful that Ms. Dixon had the courage to stand up against the discrimination she experienced, and now it is up to us and the Commission to hold the MTA accountable and ensure that it does not sweep Ms. Dixon’s complaint under the rug.”

In a show of solidarity and to bring attention to similar discriminatory issues at the MTA, CAIR-NY is asking New Yorkers to share their #myMTAstory on social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram).

New Yorkers may also contact CAIR-NY for assistance by filing an incident report online at www.cair-ny.org/incident-report or call 646.665.7599.

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.

END

CONTACT: CAIR-NY Litigation Director Ahmed Mohamed, ahmedmohamed@cair.com, 646-481-2103; CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher, anasher@cair.com, 917-669-4006

CAIR-NY to Offer Free Legal Clinic at 30th Avenue Astoria Festival

MEDIA ADVISORY

CAIR-NY to Offer Free Legal Clinic at Astoria Festival

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(NEW YORK, NY, 7/26/19) - On Sunday, July 28, 
the New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), a chapter of the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, will hold a free legal clinic at the 30th Avenue Astoria Festival in Astoria, Queens. 

WHAT: CAIR-NY Free Legal Clinic at 30th Avenue Astoria Festival 

WHEN: Sunday, July 28, 1 – 4 p.m.

WHERE: 30th Avenue and 38th Street (across the street from NY Sports Club) – table/booth 69

CONTACT: CAIR-NY Litigation Director Ahmed Mohamed, ahmedmohamed@cair.com, 646-481-2103

The Free Legal Clinic will be led by CAIR-NY’s litigation director Ahmed Mohamed. CAIR-NY’s attorneys will answer questions about the Trump administration’s “Muslim ban,” discrimination in the workplace or in schools, bullying of Muslim students, and other topics of concern to the American Muslim community. 

New Yorkers experiencing discrimination are encouraged to file an incident report online at www.cair-ny.org/incident-report or by calling 646-665-7599.  

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.

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.

- END -

CAIR-NY Files Discrimination Complaint Against Citibank for Denial of Services, Launches #BankingWhileMuslim Campaign

CAIR-NY Files Discrimination Complaint Against Citibank for Denial of Services, Launches #BankingWhileMuslim Campaign

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(NEW YORK, N.Y., 7/23/2019) – The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today announced the filing of a discrimination complaint with the New York City Human Rights Commission against Citibank for refusing to open a savings account for a Muslim New Yorker.  

According to the discrimination complaint, on July 3, 2019, the complainant, a married Muslim woman who wears a hijab (religious head scarf), attempted to open a savings account at Citibank. The complainant wanted to designate her husband as the beneficiary of the account. When she provided Citibank with her husband’s name, she was informed that Citibank would need three to four days to investigate her husband before an account could be opened.  The husband has an Arabic name and is of Palestinian origin

Citibank did not provide the complainant with any reasons for their investigation, and she was not able to open the savings account at Citibank. She left Citibank feeling embarrassed, offended and humiliated.  

SEE Discrimination Complaint Against Citibank For Denial of Services

“’Banking while Muslim’ is not a crime, yet financial institutions are singling out American Muslims for discriminatory treatment,” said CAIR-NY Litigation Director Ahmed Mohamed. “The inability to open a bank or savings account can have dire financial consequences for a family, in addition to the emotional and psychological effects associated with being denied service because of your race, nationality or faith. Citibank must respect the civil rights and liberties of Muslim New Yorkers and immediately amend its policies to stop discriminating against Muslims.” 

Mohamed noted that CAIR-NY has documented a pattern of banking discrimination targeting Muslims and individuals of Arab ancestry. 

ALERT: CAIR-NY is in the process of collecting data for its #BankingWhileMuslim campaign. If you have faced discrimination at a bank or had a bank or credit account closed without justification or explanation, please tell us your story by taking our banking while Muslim survey at www.cair-ny.org/bankingwhilemuslim or by going to social media (Facebook; Twitter; Instagram) and sharing your story using the #BankingWhileMuslim.  

CAIR-NY expects to file multiple complaints, and lawsuits over the coming weeks against Citibank and other financial institutions for banking discrimination against Muslim New Yorkers.

New Yorkers may also contact CAIR-NY for assistance by filing an incident report online at www.cair-ny.org/incident-report or by calling 646-665-7599.  

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.

END

CONTACT: CAIR-NY Litigation Director Ahmed Mohamed, ahmedmohamed@cair.com, 646-481-2103; CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher, anasher@cair.com, 917-669-4006.

CAIR-NY Condemns Brutal Attack on Hindu Priest Near Queens Temple; Calls for Swift Hate Crime Probe

CAIR-NY Condemns Brutal Attack on Hindu Priest Near Queens Temple; Calls for Swift Hate Crime Probe

(NEW YORK, NY, 7/21/19) -- The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), a leading Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today condemned the brutal attack on a Hindu priest near a Queens temple this past Thursday.

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According to reports, Swami Ji Harish Chander Puri, a Hindu priest, was attacked by 52-year old Sergio Gouveia who was yelling “this is my neighborhood” during the incident.  Puri was dressed in religious clothing at the time of the attack.  Gouveia is charged with assault, harassment and criminal possession of a weapon. This attack comes on the heels of President Trump’s racist attacks of Reps. Omar, Cortez, Tlaib, and Pressley. 

SEE: Hindu priest brutally attacked near Queens temple

https://pix11.com/2019/07/19/hindu-priest-brutally-attacked-near-queens-temple/  

SEE ALSO: CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher Responds to Racist ‘Send Her Back’ Chants at Trump Rally

Reports indicate that the NYPD is conducting a hate crimes inquiry but have not specified if Hate Crimes Task Force would be in charge of the inquiry. CAIR-NY calls on the NYPD to conduct a hate crimes investigation swiftly.    

 “We stand by our Hindu brethren during this hardship. No human being should suffer through an assault because of his color or faith,” said CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher. “As hate crimes continue to break record numbers, our President revels in promoting a divisive, racist nation. The president can help our nation heal if he wanted to, but he shamefully chooses to stoke flames for his political gain."

CAIR-NY 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, 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.

END

CONTACT:  CAIR-NY Litigation Director Ahmed Mohamed, ahmedmohamed@cair.com; 646-481-2103; CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher, anasher@cair.com; 917-669-4006.


CAIR-NY Joins Other Civil Rights and Community Groups Skeptical of Second NYPD Spying Report

CAIR-NY Joins Other Civil Rights and Community Groups Skeptical of Second NYPD Spying Report

[NEW YORK, NY, 7/18/2019]
 -- Today, the New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, joined other civil rights and community groups in responding to the second annual public report on the New York City Police Department’s (NYPD) intelligence operations from Stephen Robinson, the Civilian Representative on the NYPD’s “Handschu Committee.”

Mayor de Blasio appointed Robinson as the Civilian Representative in 2017. The position came as part of a series of reforms resulting from community mobilization in reaction to widespread NYPD spying on Muslim communities. The Handschu Guidelines were revised to limit surveillance of religious and political activity. Judge Robinson issued his first report in 2018. The second report covers the period March 2018 to March 2019.

Read the 2019 Civilian Representative Report: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/57db6af7f7e0abec41695d80/t/5d30d804e172f9000122cb90/1563482119321/2019.07+Second+CR+Report+Handschu.pdf

CAIR-NY’s Litigation Director Ahmed Mohamed stated:

“Unfortunately, Judge Robinson's 12-page report fails to answer community concerns related to how bias in leads impacts the opening of NYPD investigations. Instead of providing meaningful insight into how the NYPD is safeguarding constitutional protections, the report is as transparent as the NYPD's secretive use of military grade surveillance technology that has zero oversight. It is disappointing that Judge Robinson has recycled the NYPD’s old adage of ‘trust me’ without giving us much reason to do so.”

He noted that CAIR-NY recently launched its anti-surveillance project to educate New Yorkers about the NYPD’s secretive and illegitimate surveillance practices and to advocate for appropriate oversight. 

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See CAIR-NY Anti-Surveillance Project: www.aspny.org

CAIR-NY’s Executive Director Afaf Nasher stated:

"The role of the civilian representative is to critically examine the NYPD's intelligence gathering practices in relation to civil rights abuses. However, Judge Robinson's commitment to truly advocate for the communities most impacted by unjust surveillance has not yet been demonstrated convincingly. We hope that will change as further discussions with Judge Robinson take place, enhancing the understanding of the deeply seeded and well-founded concerns of the Muslim American community."

For a second year, Judge Robinson’s report is silent on the percentage of surveillance targeting Muslims. In August 2016, the NYPD Inspector General found that more than 95 percent of the NYPD’s Surveillance activities were focused on Muslims.

SEE: August 2016 NYPD Inspector General Report

https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/oignypd/downloads/pdf/oig_intel_report_823_final_for_release.pdf

SEE ALSO: The NYPD Targeted Muslims in Over 95-Percent of Investigations That Broke Surveillance Rules

https://www.brennancenter.org/blog/nypd-targeted-muslims-over-95-percent-investigations-broke-surveillance-rules

Last year, community groups voiced similar concerns, including the issue of the demographics of the targets of these investigations, which remains unaddressed.

Originally ordered by consent decree in 1985, the Handschu Guidelines are the result of a class action lawsuit, Handschu v. Special Services Division, which established important limits on NYPD intelligence operations. The new safeguards— including the placement of a Civilian Representative within the Handschu Committee overseeing Intelligence Bureau surveillance of constitutionally protected religious and political organizing— were introduced into the Guidelines as part of the joint settlement process of an enforcement motion in the Handschu class action and the Raza v. City of New York case.

As part of his duties, the Civilian Representative is required to file an annual report on the NYPD’s compliance with the Handschu Guidelines. Community and civil rights organizations look forward to continuing to meet on a regular basis with the Civilian Representative.

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

END

CONTACT: CAIR-NY Litigation Director Ahmed Mohamed: ahmedmohamed@cair.com or 646-481-2103; CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher: anasher@cair.com or 917-669-4006

CAIR-NY Urges State Prosecutor to seek Hate Crime Charge Against Lockport Man for Attacking African-American Muslim Woman  

CAIR-NY Urges State Prosecutor to seek Hate Crime Charge Against Lockport Man for Attacking African-American Muslim Woman  

Applauds Good Samaritans for Assisting Victim

Jeanneie Muhammad with civil rights and community advocates.

Jeanneie Muhammad with civil rights and community advocates.

(NEW YORK, NY, 07/18/19) -- The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today urged Erie County District Attorney John Flynn to seek hate crime charges against Jeffrey Calhoun for brandishing a gun at Jeanneie Muhammad, an African-American Muslim woman who was wearing a hijab.

The incident started after a traffic accident.  While Muhammad attempted to get her car insurance information, Calhoun allegedly reached into Muhammad’s car and took her keys. According to Muhammad, Calhoun then tried to steal her pursue, grabbed her, threw her to the ground and bit her left arm.  After good samaritans arrived, Calhoun brandished a handgun at Muhammad and the good samaritans.  Calhoun is charged with Attempted Robbery 1st, Menacing 2nd, and Harassment 2nd.  

Video of the incident can be seen here (warning: offensive language):

https://www.facebook.com/100015299131084/videos/651982108655088/

See also: Lockport man held behind bars; civil rights advocates suggest hate crime prosecution 

https://www.wivb.com/news/crime/lockport-man-held-behind-bars-civil-rights-advocates-suggest-hate-crime-prosecution/

Muhammad and the Buffalo Civil Rights Initiative allege that Calhoun’s actions were motivated by his assumption that Muhammad was not a U.S. citizen. Additionally, Muhammad has alleged that Calhoun called her the “n” word. 

See also: https://buffalonews.com/2019/07/17/lockport-man-charged-with-trying-to-rob-woman-at-gunpoint-in-north-buffalo/

 CAIR-NY Litigation Director Ahmed Mohamed stated:

“The hateful nature of our political landscape has emboldened bigots with a belief that they can act in this way with impunity. Thankfully, good samaritans stepped in to prevent further harm. We hope the District Attorney will vigorously prosecute this case by including a hate crime charge and sending a message that hate has no place in Erie County. Mr. Calhoun is very lucky he is a white man because most black men are shot dead by police for pulling out a cell phone from their pockets much less an actual handgun.”

 He said CAIR has reported an unprecedented spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims, immigrants and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump as president. CAIR has repeatedly expressed concern about Islamophobic, white supremacist and racist Trump administration rhetoric, policies and appointments.  

SEE: CAIR Says Trump’s Islamophobic ‘Prayer Rug’ Tweet Designed to Distract from Latest Legal Problems

https://www.cair.com/cair_says_trump_s_islamophobic_prayer_rug_tweet_designed_to_distract_from_latest_legal_problems

CAIR Asks Feds to Charge Men Accused in Bomb Plot Targeting New York Muslim Community

https://www.cair.com/breaking_cair_asks_feds_to_charge_men_accused_in_bomb_plot_targeting_new_york_muslim_community

CAIR-Kentucky Condemns Hate Vandalism of Hindu Temple

https://www.cair.com/cair_kentucky_condemns_hate_vandalism_of_hindu_temple

Bias incidents should be reported 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.

END 

CONTACT: CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher at anasher@cair.com or 917-669-4006; CAIR-NY Litigation Director Ahmed Mohamed at ahmedmohamed@cair.com or 646-481-2103.

CAIR-NY Slams DOJ for Failure to Charge NYPD Officer for Eric Garner’s Death 

For Immediate Release 

CAIR-NY Slams DOJ for Failure to Charge NYPD Officer for Eric Garner’s Death 

Muslim civil rights group calls on NYC mayor and NYPD commissioner to fire Officer Pantaleo

A screenshot of Eric Garner in a NYPD chokehold that caused his death.

A screenshot of Eric Garner in a NYPD chokehold that caused his death.

(NEW YORK, N.Y., 7/16/19) - The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) today slammed the Justice Department for its decision not to pursue federal charges against Officer Daniel Pantaleo in the death of Eric Garner, an unarmed African-American man and married father of six, who died after being put in a chokehold.

On July 17, 2014, Garner, who was approached by police for peddling loose cigarettes, raised both hands in the air and asked officers not to touch him. A video shows officers place him in a chokehold and throw him to the sidewalk. While being held down by multiple officers, Garner said, "I can't breathe! I can't breathe!"

The medical examiner reported that the cause of Garner's death was "compression of neck (chokehold), compression of chest and prone positioning during physical restraint by police." That examiner also said the manner of death was "homicide."

The DOJ’s decision comes 5 years after Mr. Garner’s death. Officer Pantaleo is currently on desk duty at the NYPD. 

SEE: Prosecutors say they could not prove NYPD officer acted willfully in Eric Garner's death

https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/16/us/eric-garner-death-five-years-later/index.html

In a statement, CAIR-NY Litigation Director Ahmed Mohamed said:

“Today’s decision is not surprising. The Justice Department has a track record of failure when it comes to holding police officers accountable for killing unarmed black men. Mr. Garner’s death was a homicide and Officer Pantaleo has received a free pass. Today’s decision highlights why the Black Lives Matter movement is needed and why police reform must be a priority for the NYPD and law enforcement agencies nationwide. Mayor DeBlasio and Commissioner O’Neil must act swiftly to terminate Officer Pantaleo.”

CAIR-NY is asking the public to post messages of solidarity with the Garner family using the #Icantbreathe along with photos of their mouths taped shut on social media.

In 2014, a New York jury failed to indict Officer Pantaleo for the Garner’s death.

SEE: CAIR-NY 'Dismayed' at Grand Jury Decision to Not Indict on NYPD Chokehold Death

https://www.cair.com/decision_to_not_indict_on_nypd_chokehold_death_of_eric_garner

CAIR-NY is a chapter of 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.

END

CONTACT: Ahmed Mohamed, CAIR-NY Litigation Director: Ahmedmohamed@cair.com; 646-481-2103; Afaf Nasher, CAIR-NY Executive Director: anasher@cair.com; 917-669-4006

CAIR-NY to Co-Sponsor #ClosetheCamps Rally, Vigil in Foley Square Against Detention of Migrant Children, Family Separation

MEDIA ADVISORY

CAIR-NY to Co-Sponsor #ClosetheCamps Rally, Vigil in Foley Square Against Detention of Migrant Children, Family Separation

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(NEW YORK, N.Y., 7/12/2019) – Later today, the New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, will co-sponsor a rally and vigil in Foley Square to call on Congress to denounce the continued operation of immigrant detention camps and the rampant abuse of migrants seeking help at the border and inside the country. The event is being co-hosted by CAIR-NY, NYIC, New Sanctuary Coalition, and Lights for Liberty. 

WHO: New Sanctuary Coalition, Lights for Liberty, NYIC, CAIR-NY, and Others

WHAT: #ClosetheCamps Rally and Vigil

WHEN: Friday, July 12, 7 – 9 p.m.

WHERE: NYC Foley Square (Lafayette Street Worth Street, Centre St, New York, NY 10013)

CONTACT: CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher, anasher@cair.com, 917-669-4006

CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher stated:

"The shameful conditions experienced by those being held in detention centers is an unacceptable tragedy that no human being should suffer. Irrespective of one’s ethnic, racial or religious background, fleeing from vulnerable situations should not be criminalized. Being human is never ‘illegal.’ We should be horrified and furious to know children’s human rights are violated by the Trump administration as they are forced to sleep on floors in overcrowded and unsanitary facilities, unsure if they will ever be reunited with their families. We ask all people of conscience to stand with us and join in the fight for the inviolable dignity of every life."

Eyewitness accounts last week revealed that children in the camps have been denied soap and toothbrushes, crowded into unsafe conditions, separated from their families, and subjected to harsh treatment that can lead to trauma.

Two weeks ago, images of a father and daughter drowning in the Rio Grande brought close to home the extent and severity of the crisis. 

SEE: The father and daughter who drowned at the border were desperate for a better life, family says

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2019/06/26/father-daughter-who-drowned-border-dove-into-river-desperation/

SEE ALSO: CAIR Issues Immigrant Community Advisory Ahead of Anticipated ICE Raids on Families

https://www.cair.com/cair_issues_immigrant_community_advisory_ahead_of_anticipated_ice_raids_on_families

The civil rights organization has released a Know Your Rights guide to encounters with law enforcement.

SEE: CAIR ‘Know Your Rights During Encounters with Law Enforcement’ Guide

https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/cairhq/pages/1125/attachments/original/1561736429/199334_proof2LR.PDF?1561736429

CAIR offers free know your rights, anti-bullying and bystander intervention workshops, as well as a series of guides to explain relevant Muslim religious practices to employers, educators, healthcare providers, and law enforcement and correctional facility agents.

SEE: Guides to Muslim Religious Practices https://www.cair.com/guides-to-muslim-religious-practices

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

END

CONTACT: CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher, anasher@cair.com, 917-669-4006

CAIR-NY Sues Trump Administration Over Muslim Ban to Reunite Yemeni-American Family

CAIR-NY Sues Trump Administration Over Muslim Ban to Reunite Yemeni-American Family

(NEW YORK, N.Y., 7/8/2019) – The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, filed suit against the Trump Administration for retroactively applying the Muslim Ban to revoke an approved visa for a Yemeni-American family. 

SEE CAIR-NY LAWSUIT

The suit alleges that U.S. Embassy officials approved the plaintiff’s visa in October 2017. Months later, Embassy officials reversed the decision by unlawfully applying the Muslim Ban to revoke a previously approved visa. The Muslim Ban does not permit retroactive application. 

“Our client’s experience is all too familiar for the Yemeni-American community and the families affected by the Muslim Ban,” said Ahmed Mohamed, CAIR-NY Litigation Director. “Simply put, the administration is willing to stoop to any level to keep out Muslims and immigrants and effectuate its white supremacist agenda, including sending women and children to live in a war zone.”  

“The moment our visa was approved was one of the happiest moments of our lives,” said Mr. Saleh Almuganahi, the plaintiff. “I thought I would finally be reunited with my family. Instead, my family has been placed in an indefinite limbo. We are being punished because we happened to be born in Yemen. How does the President expect me to live my life knowing that my wife and two children are trapped in a war zone? As any husband and father, I just want my family out of harm’s way and safe in my arms.”

 Mr. Almuganahi also expressed disbelief that he would be “treated as a second-class citizen” by a country he now calls home. 

"The principle here - that new laws or policies don't apply to the past - is one as old as the Magna Carta,” said Carey Shenkman, CAIR-NY Of Counsel. “Yet the administration is doing precisely that to Mr. Almuganahi and his family, retroactively applying a xenophobic, draconian policy to keep a mother and her two young children separated from their father. We hope that this case can lead to justice for the family, as well as others similarly situated."

According to the complaint, the plaintiff filed a petition for visa for his Yemeni national wife. Plaintiff’s wife was interviewed by the U.S. Embassy in Djibouti. The U.S. Embassy orally informed the family that the visa had been granted and provided written documentation stating “Your visa is approved” months before the Muslim Ban went into effect.  After the Supreme Court lifted the stay on Trump’s Muslim Ban, the U.S. Embassy revoked the visa, applying the Muslim Ban retroactively. 

The plaintiff, Mr. Saleh Almuganahi, is a U.S. citizen and long-time resident of New York City.  Mr. Almuganahi and his wife have two children, both U.S. citizens.  Mr. Almuganahi’s wife and children live in Sana’a, Yemen.  Mr. Almuganahi seeks to reunite his family in America in order to escape the violence of the war in Yemen. 

The lawsuit brought by CAIR-NY argues that these actions violate federal laws and the Constitution.  It seeks an order from the court to force the U.S. Embassy to issue the visa that was already approved. 

Muslims who have had their previously approved visas revoked because of the Muslim Ban are being urged to contact CAIR-NY for assistance by filing an incident report online at https://www.cair-ny.org/incident-report or calling 646-665-7599. 

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

CONTACT: CAIR-NY Litigation Director Ahmed Mohamed, ahmed.mohamed@cair.com, 646-481-2103; CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher, anasher@cair.com, 917-669-4006.

BREAKING: CAIR-NY Welcomes SCOTUS Decision Blocking Citizenship Question on 2020 Census for Now

CAIR-NY Welcomes SCOTUS Decision Blocking Citizenship Question on 2020 Census for Now

screenshot-www.google.com-2019.06.27-14-26-40.png

(NEW YORK, N.Y., 6/27/19) – The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision to block a question about citizenship status from being included in the 2020 Census.

“The Trump Administration has been relentless in its xenophobic assaults, but today is a day of celebration for our immigrant population,” said CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher. “Our vital immigrant population can now be counted in the census without intimidation, and in doing so, will improve its accuracy. Every resident, regardless of citizenship status, deserves to be amongst those who share in the hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding to programs that are crucial to the well-being of families and communities."

“CAIR New York stands ready to support immigrant communities to ensure an accurate count and to protect census data from abuse,” said CAIR-NY Litigation Director Ahmed Mohamed. “The Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, and President need to respect the Supreme Court’s decision and immediately proceed with a 2020 Census that does not include the citizenship question. The President has had his day in court and must now abide by the law. New Yorkers will not be intimidated; we will be counted in the 2020 Census. ”

CAIR-NY noted that, while the Supreme Court was unwilling to allow the citizenship question at this time, the decision indicated that the Trump administration could offer a more convincing justification for including the citizenship question on the census at a later date.

Last year, the United States Department of Commerce, which oversees the census, said that the question will be added at the request of the U.S. Department of Justice to prevent violations of the Voting Rights Act. President Trump falsely claimed that millions of illegal immigrants voted in the 2016 presidential election.

Census data determines representation in Congress and how the federal government allocates more than $400 billion in public funds to state, local and tribal governments. Faith-based organizations and institutions can use census data to apply for grants.

Researchers estimated that the citizenship question would reduce responses by 8 percent.

SEE: U.S. Census Bureau Working Paper: "Predicting the Effect of Adding a Citizenship Question to the 2020 Census" (June 2019
https://apps.npr.org/documents/document.html?id=6165808-U-S-Census-Bureau-Working-Paper-Understandin

Earlier this year, CAIR and its New York chapter (CAIR-NY) joined the Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality and three American citizens of Japanese descent who were incarcerated during World War II in filing an amicus brief supporting challengers of the 2020 census citizenship question.

SEE: CAIR, CAIR-NY Join Japanese Americans Incarcerated in World War II and the Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality in SCOTUS Brief Challenging Census Citizenship Question
https://www.cair.com/cair_cair_ny_join_japanese_americans_incarcerated_in_world_war_ii_and_the_fred_t_korematsu_center_for_law_and_equality_in_scotus_brief_challenging_census_citizenship_questio

A federal court in Maryland recently heard evidence indicating that the Trump administration conspired with an anti-immigrant extremist to include the citizenship question for the purpose of discriminating against Latinos and other immigrant communities.

SEE: Federal judge says census citizenship question merits more consideration in light of new evidence
https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2019/06/19/maryland-judge-rules-new-evidence-census-citizenship-question-lawsuit

The New York-based civil rights organization encourages the New York Muslim community to be counted.

In January, a federal judge in New York struck down the proposal to include a citizenship question but the Trump administration appealed the ruling, taking it to the Supreme Court.

SEE: CAIR Applauds Judge’s Decision on 2020 Census Citizenship Question
https://www.cair.com/cair_applauds_judge_s_decision_on_2020_census_citizenship_questio

When the citizenship question was first proposed, CAIR issued a statement decrying it as a part of President Trump’s ‘White Supremacist Agenda

SEE: CAIR Says Citizenship Question on Census Part of Trump’s ‘White Supremacist Agenda
https://www.cair.com/cair_says_citizenship_question_on_census_part_of_trump_s_white_supremacist_agend

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

END

CONTACT: CAIR-NY Litigation Director Ahmed Mohamed, ahmed.mohamed@cair.com, 646-481-2103; CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher, anasher@cair.com, 917-669-4006.