Press Releases

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.

Know Your Rights - ICE Raid Preparedness 

ICE Raid Preparedness 

Hotlines/Apps:

●      United We Dream MigraWatch Hotline 1-844-363-1423

●      United We Dream Notifica App

Know Your Rights Resources:

●      Informed Immigrant: Know Your Rights

●      Immigrant Defense Project Know Your Rights Flyers in English or Spanish

●      United We Dream Know Your Power, Know Your Rights

●      American Immigration Lawyers Association Know Your Rights Handouts in English or Spanish

●      National Immigrant Justice Center Know Your Rights Graphics on preparing for ICE raids

●      CLINIC: Know Your Rights in Amharic, Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, Haitian Creole, Korean, and Vietnamese

●      American Federation of Teachers Know Your Rights for Families and Students

Rights During Raids:

●      Immigrant Legal Resource Center Red Cards

●      ACLU What to Do If Immigration Agents (ICE) Are at Your Door & Video in English and Spanish

●      ACLU What to Do When Interacting with ICE- Videos in 7 languages

●      American Federation of Teachers Do’s and Don’ts for students if ICE authorities come to their homes

●      National Immigration Law Center Rights at Home & Know Your Rights

●      SEIU Know Your Rights

Family Preparedness Plans:

●      Informed Immigrant Emergency Plan for Detained or Deported Family Members

●      SEIU Raids Response Checklist

●      CLINIC: Emergency Planning Guide

●      Michigan Immigrant Rights Center Preparing Your Family Guide in English and Spanish & Family Preparedness for Immigration Enforcement Video in English or in Spanish

Parental and Family Rights Toolkits:

●      Women’s Refugee Commission Parental Rights Toolkit for detained and deported immigrants

●      Freedom for Immigrants Information for Families of Detained Immigrants

General Guides:

●      Informed Immigrant Guide on how to prepare for an immigration raid

●      American Immigration Lawyers Association: Resources for Responding to Raids

●      Immigrant Legal Resource Center Compilation of Resources on Raids

●      National Immigration Law Center Toolkit for Organizations Responding to Mass Immigration Raids

Community Resources:

●      National Immigration Law Center How to Be Prepared for an Immigration Raid

●      Fair Immigration Reform Movement Community Raid Preparedness Checklist

●      National Immigrant Justice Center Community Resources

●      National Immigration Project Pre-Raid Community Safety Plan & Community Resources on Raids

●      CLINIC: Rapid Response Toolkit for Advocates and Communities

●      The Episcopal Church Resources for Communities During ICE Raids

●      LA RED: Deportation Defense Guide for the Faith Community

●      Rapid Response Toolkit for Faith Allies (shared by Church World Service)

Rights in Detention:

●      National Immigrant Justice Center Rights in Detention in English or Spanish

●      ICE Detainee Locator

Legal Providers:

●      Informed Immigrant Legal Service Locator

●      UnidosUS’s ImmLocal tool

CAIR-NY, Partners to Rally and Demand Action After NYPD Hate Crimes Unit and Bronx District Attorney's Office Drop Probe of Bias Attack on Black Muslim Woman

NYPD Deputy Inspector Mark Molinari Refuses to Investigate While Admitting “It may have been a hate crime,” citing unwillingness of the Bronx DA's office to prosecute

(NEW YORK, NY, 6/12/19) – On Saturday, June 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 rally in the Bronx to demand action following a decision by the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force to drop its investigation of the allegedly bias-motivated beating of a Black Muslim woman, Fatoumata Camara. 

fatou.jpg
 

In a phone call with a CAIR-NY representative, the head of the Hate Crimes Task Force, Deputy Inspector Mark Molinari reportedly admitted that the attack on Ms. Camara “may have been a hate crime,” but that the investigation will not be pursued by his unit because the Bronx District Attorney will not prosecute if the victim cannot identify the attacker.  Molinari is refusing to investigate despite the fact that the Task Force has not interviewed Ms. Camara and that there are surveillance videos, photographs and a witness that could identify the attackers. 

CAIR-NY is the victim’s legal representative.  CAIR-NY contacted the Bronx District Attorney asking if it had spoken with the Hate Crimes Task Force.  The Bronx DA did not respond. 

WHATRally to Demand Action & Seek #JusticeforFatou 
WHERE
: Rev. Lena Irons Unity Park, E. 168th Street, The Bronx, NY 10456
WHEN: Saturday, June 15, 12:30 – 3 p.m.
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

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-NY Litigation Director Ahmed Mohamed stated:

“Ms. Camara has suffered twice -- once by the hate crime, and again, by the NYPD's continued refusal to adequately investigate the brutal attack and the Bronx District Attorney's apparent disinterest in prosecuting the matter. The trauma suffered by Ms. Camara is tremendous. A victim's inability to identify her attackers while under the shock of trauma is not a reason for the Hate Crimes Task Force and the Bronx District Attorney's office to reject a hate crimes probe. Ms. Camara, herself, delivered video surveillance evidence of the perpetrators identities from the moment of the attack. This unwillingness to move forward is a shameful demonstration of why community trust in law enforcement is so low. It begs the question, if Ms. Camara was anyone other than an immigrant, black, Muslim woman, would a more thorough investigation be delivered?”

Last week, CAIR-NY joined the New York City Commission on Human Rights, the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, Action Network, The Bronx Borough President’s African Advisory Council, African Immigrant’s Commission, the Young African Network, and the Guinean Community of North America (GUICA) at a Day of Visibility (DOV) to bring awareness to the incident.

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

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: N.Y. Muslims to Mark End of Ramadan with Prayers, Celebrations

CAIR-NY: N.Y. Muslims to Mark End of Ramadan with Prayers, Celebrations

(NEW YORK, N.Y., 6/3/19) - On or about Tuesday, June 4, 2019* the Muslim community in New York will celebrate the end of the month-long fast of Ramadan with communal prayers and festive celebrations.

[NOTE: Ramadan is the month on the Islamic lunar calendar during which Muslims abstain from food, drink and other sensual pleasures from break of dawn to sunset. *Because dates may vary, consult local mosques or Muslim community leaders for exact dates and times of Eid ul-Fitr activities.]

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The prayers mark the beginning of the Eid ul-Fitr (EED-al-FITTER), or “feast of fast breaking” holiday, in which Muslims exchange social visits and seek to strengthen family and community bonds. During this holiday, Muslims greet each other by saying “Eid mubarak” (EED-moo-BAR-ak), meaning “blessed Eid,” and “taqabbalallah ta’atakum,” or “may God accept your deeds.” Many communities also hold multicultural bazaars and other family activities following the prayers.

Eid ul-Fitr 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.

WHENTuesday, June 4, (Consult local mosques for exact dates and times.) Prayers are held early in the morning. Ask local prayer coordinators for exact dates, times and locations. Celebrations generally occur after communal prayers. 

WHERE: The Eid prayers are held either in local mosques or in public facilities designed to accommodate large gatherings.

CONTACT: Call local Muslim organizations for details about Eid celebrations. If there are no known contacts in a particular community, contact CAIR-NY.

PHOTO OPPORTUNITY: Each year, Muslims come to the prayers in colorful attire representative of different areas of the Islamic world. The prayers themselves are quite visual, with worshipers arranged in neat rows and bowing in prayer in unison. Participants exchange embraces at the conclusion of the prayers. Celebrations include family and community gatherings, parties, and gifts for children.   

NOTE: Because this is a religious service, reporters and photographers of both sexes should dress modestly. Some communities may ask female reporters and photographers to put a scarf over their hair while in the actual prayer area. Photographers should arrive early to get into position for the best shots. Photographers are also advised not to step directly in front of worshipers and to seek permission for close-up shots. Shots of shoes removed for prayer, and rear-angle shots of prostrating worshipers are considered inappropriate.

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.

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/

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 Applauds Attorney General Letitia James for Swift Action in Response to Teacher’s Mock “Slave Auction”

CAIR-NY Applauds Attorney General Letitia James for Swift Action in Response to Teacher’s Mock “Slave Auction”

The Chapel School (Google Image)

The Chapel School (Google Image)

(NEW YORK, NY, 06/01/19) -- The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today applauded Attorney General Letitia James for her office’s swift action in investigating and responding to a teacher’s mock “slave auctions” at The Chapel School, a private Lutheran school located in Bronxville.

In March 2019, a teacher at The Chapel School set up simulations of “slave auctions” for two fifth-grade classes.  According to the Attorney General’s office: “The teacher then placed imaginary chains or “shackles,” on these students’ necks, wrists, and ankles, and had them walk back into the classroom. The teacher then instructed the African-American students to line up against the wall, and proceeded to conduct a simulated auction of the African-American students in front of the rest of the class. These “auctions” reenacted the sale of African-American students to their white counterparts.”

SEE: Attorney General James Announces Agreement with The Chapel School Following Teacher’s Mock “Slave Auction”

https://ag.ny.gov/press-release/attorney-general-james-announces-agreement-chapel-school-following-teachers-mock-slave

“It is disturbing that the teacher felt comfortable enough to recreate “slave auctions” as a way to educate the students about America’s atrocities,” said CAIR-NY Litigation Director Ahmed Mohamed.  “This conduct has no place in any classroom.  We are grateful that Attorney General Letitia James and her team took these allegations seriously, investigated thoroughly, and reached an agreement to promote a safe learning environment for African-American students and all students at The Chapel School.” 

Per the agreement between the Attorney General and the school, the school will:

·         Hire a Chief Diversity Officer, subject to the Attorney General’s approval; 

·         Develop and submit a Staff Diversification Plan proposing steps the school will take annually to increase minority representation among the school’s teaching faculty; 

·         Commit new financial aid to maintain and increase diversity within the student body; 

·         Submit a new Code of Conduct, subject to the Attorney General’s approval, governing all school community members and specifically addressing racial and ethnic discrimination and harassment, as well as other prohibited behaviors; 

·         Submit a School Discipline Reform Plan, intended to ensure equal application of disciplinary techniques to all students, with an emphasis on providing constructive feedback and teaching alternative or replacement behaviors to students; 

·         Identify and retain a Diversity Consultant to assist the school in developing training protocols to train students and school employees on racial/ethnic diversity and sensitivity in the educational setting, with training to follow no less than twice per academic year; 

·         Create a formal complaint procedure that students or parents may use to notify the school of complaints regarding harassment or discrimination, and publicize the new procedure to school community members; and  

·         Maintain records of complaints, investigations of complaints, and the implementation of other elements of relief in the agreement. 

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 and appointments.

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 Condemns Anti-Semitic Vandalism at Brooklyn’s Prospect Park

CAIR-NY Condemns Anti-Semitic Vandalism at Brooklyn’s Prospect Park

A crude Nazi swastika scrawled in blue spray paint was discovered by a Brooklyn woman walking through a bridge underpass in Prospect Park on Saturday. (Shoshana Dornhelm)

A crude Nazi swastika scrawled in blue spray paint was discovered by a Brooklyn woman walking through a bridge underpass in Prospect Park on Saturday. (Shoshana Dornhelm)

(NEW YORK, NY, 05/27/19) -- The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today condemned the anti-Semitic vandalism discovered on Saturday at Prospect Park.

On Saturday afternoon, a pedestrian in the park discovered a Nazi swastika and the words “No Jews” spray painted beneath a bridge overpass in the center of the park.  The incident is being investigated by the NYPD as a potential hate crime.

SEE: Nazi hate symbol scrawled on tunnel wall in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, latest in year of increased hate crimes.

https://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/ny-swastika-prospect-park-hate-crimes-20190526-gtpwezg7dja2xedbkxglbauxme-story.html?fbclid=IwAR3yfurXqooxgyYtitzSy4HM3XrY2SL9D-dvdqbf6lmrx2ihKt-LdkD_zNs

“Sadly, anti-Semitism continues to be a growing threat to our Jewish neighbors and to our nation.” said CAIR-NY Litigation Director Ahmed Mohamed.  “New Yorkers of all faiths must unite to denounce and tackle the hateful ideology that produces these vile acts. Hate has no place in our city, and we hope the individual responsible is brought to justice.”

Earlier this month, CAIR-NY condemned a hate attack on a Jewish, Hasidic man in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

SEE: https://www.cair-ny.org/news/2019/5/27/cair-ny-condemns-hate-attack-on-jewish-hasidic-man

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 Condemns Hate Attack on Jewish, Hasidic Man

CAIR-NY Condemns Hate Attack on Jewish, Hasidic Man

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(NEW YORK, NY, 05/06/19) -- The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), a leading Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today condemned the bias-motivated attack on a Jewish, Hasidic man in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

According to reports, a Hasidic man, wearing religious attire, was confronted by a group of men and without saying a word one of the men punched the victim in the face.  Another man in the group, shouted anti-Semitic slurs, including “you (expletive) Jew!”

The NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating the incident.  

SEE: https://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/headlines-breaking-stories/1723519/hate-in-williamsburg-hasidic-man-punched-in-the-face-on-shabbos-anti-semitic-slur-hurled-at-him.html?fbclid=IwAR0y4Eibms8Ytyih7dU6WU86rmn4xwfz-SeJz9grcyhfmhynDii5pTHzYvo

“The assault against a Jewish man perpetrated because of his faith is despicable and intolerable,” said CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher. “CAIR-NY offers its empathy to the victim and appreciation to the NYPD's Hate Crimes Task Force for its ongoing investigation. As Muslims celebrating the holy month of Ramadan, we also offer prayers for an end to the hatred that spur such crimes.”

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 Calls for Meeting with ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’ Producers Over Islamophobic Episode

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(NEW YORK, N.Y., 5/13/19) – The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today joined CAIR National in calling on producers of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (SVU) to meet with Muslim community leaders following an episode of that long-running program viewed as Islamophobic and racist.

CAIR said the episode, which included a character clearly based on real-life Muslim Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN), falsely conflated support for Palestinian rights with anti-Semitism, portrayed Muslim men in a negative light and suggested that growing Islamophobia in America is a hoax.

SEE: 'Law and Order: SVU' Episode Called 'Racist' and 'Extremely Offensive' for News-Based Storyline

https://in.news.yahoo.com/law-and-order-svu-episode-called-racist-and-extremely-offensive-221041306.html

In a letter to SVU creator and Executive Producer Dick Wolf, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad wrote in part:

“This racist and Islamophobic episode of Law & Order: SVU distorted current events to create a ridiculous plot line that mocks the real hatred being experienced by real American Muslims and other minority communities. We urge you and your staff to meet with leaders of the Muslim community to learn why this episode makes the rising tide of bigotry even worse, and what you can to do mitigate the damage that has already been done."

CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher said: “It is incumbent on producers to be responsible and avoid enflaming Islamophobia. As we have seen here in New York, Islamophobes have been emboldened by the rhetoric in our political discourse and all Law and Order SUV did was lend a hand to anti-Muslim bigots as they try to mainstream Islamophobia.”

CAIR recently released a groundbreaking report, called “Hijacked by Hate: American Philanthropy and the Islamophobia Network,” listing the philanthropic foundations, many of them mainstream, that were used by anonymous special interest donors to funnel almost $125 million to anti-Muslim hate groups between 2014 and 2016.

The report’s authors noted that one outcome of the funding and promotion of anti-Muslim hate and conspiracy theories has been the measurable nationwide increase in often-fatal anti-Muslim hate violence, bullying of children and discrimination. The period covered by the report showed a marked increase in anti-Muslim hate violence and discrimination.

New CAIR Report: Anonymous Donors Use Mainstream Philanthropic Groups to Funnel Millions to Anti-Muslim Hate Groups

https://www.cair.com/new_cair_report_anonymous_donors_use_mainstream_philanthropic_groups_to_funnel_millions_to_anti_muslim_hate_groups

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

CONTACT: CAIR-NY Litigation Director Ahmed Mohamed; ahmedmohamed@cair.com; 646-481-2103; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, ihooper@cair.com 

CAIR-NY Calls on Leaders to #StandWithIlhan After Trump’s Islamophobic Tweet Endangers Rep. Ilhan

CAIR-NY Calls on Leaders to #StandWithIlhan After Trump’s Islamophobic Tweet Endangers Rep. Ilhan Omar

CAIl-NY also called on Twitter to remove the video for incitement of violence

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(NEW YORK, N.Y., 4/13/19) - The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today condemned what it called a life-endangering tweet from President Donald Trump using shocking imagery from the September 11, 2001 terror attack that may incite violence against Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN). CAIR-NY called on elected officials to use their platforms to publicly and vocally stand in support of Rep. Omar, one of the first American Muslim women elected to U.S. Congress.

 Last night, Trump tweeted: “Never Forget!” along with a video repeating one sentence from Rep. Omar’s speech at an event last month hosted by CAIR’s Los Angeles office.

Trump's tweet comes just days after news reports of death threats targeting Rep. Omar as she finishes her first 100 days in office.

SEE: CAIR: Death threats pile up against Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar | City Pages

http://www.citypages.com/news/death-threats-pile-up-against-minnesota-rep-ilhan-omar/508246461

CAIR Calls on FBI to Take Seriously Threat to ‘Assassinate’ Minn. Rep. Ilhan Omar

CAIR-LA Condemns Bomb Threats Made on Event Featuring Rep. Ilhan Omar, Thanks LAPD

CAIR-NY Welcomes Arrest of Man Threatening to Kill Rep. Ilhan Omar; Decries Increased Islamophobic Environment

In a statement, CAIR New York Litigation Director Ahmed Mohamed said:

“Islamophobia is deadly. The President knows he is endangering lives and yet continues to place a target on Rep. Omar. His use of 9/11 imagery to incite violence against Rep. Omar is unconscionable and has no place in our politics. All New Yorkers, especially our political leaders, must reject this bigotry and #StandWithIlhan.”

Mohamed called on Twitter to remove Trump’s tweet.  “Twitter has a responsibility to remove violent content from its platform that violates its guidelines. Trump’s tweet is an incitement to violence against Rep. Omar and must be taken down,” he said.  

 Mohamed also noted the full video of Rep. Omar’s speech has been available to the public for weeks.

 SEE:  Rep. Ilhan Omar Speech - 4th Annual Valley Banquet 2019 | CAIR-LA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7INpvY0J0RI

The New York-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-New York has repeatedly expressed concern about Islamophobic, white supremacist and racist Trump administration policies.

 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.

SEE: 2018 Civil Rights Report: Targeted

http://www.islamophobia.org/reports/224-2018-civil-rights-report-targeted.html

 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 Welcomes Arrest of Man Threatening to Kill Rep. Ilhan Omar; Decries Increased Islamophobic Environment

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(NEW YORK, N.Y., 4/6/19) - 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 arrest of a New York man for threatening to assault and kill Rep. Ilhan Omar, the first Somali-American Muslim Congresswoman.  CAIR-NY also decried the increased Islamophobic environment that has led to ongoing threats to Rep. Omar’s safety.

New York resident Patrick Carlineo was arrested after he placed a call to Rep. Omar’s Washington, DC, office.  During the call, Carlineo told a staff member: “Do you work for the Muslim Brotherhood? Why are your working for her, she’s a (expletive) terrorist. I’ll put a bullet in her (expletive) skull.”  Carlineo informed FBI agents that he is a “patriot,” that he loves President Trump and hates radical Muslims in government, according to the criminal complaint. 

SEE: Feds Arrest New York Man for Making Death Threats at Rep. Ilhan Omar

https://www.stargazette.com/story/news/public-safety/2019/04/05/steuben-county-man-charged-threatening-kill-congresswoman/3377625002

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

"The political environment, led by an Islamophobe in the White House, has normalized hate speech and emboldened bigots in their actions. The rising threat of Islamophobia and white supremacy must be taken seriously. We are thankful that law enforcement tracked this individual down before he could act on his hatred for Muslims.”

Yesterday, another New York resident, white supremacist Thomas Alonzo Bolin, was arrested by the FBI after plotting New Zealand inspired terrorist attacks on Muslims in America.

SEE: CAIR-New York Welcomes Arrest of White Supremacist Who Used Facebook to Plot Attacks on Muslims; Urges Community to Remain Vigilant

https://www.cair.com/cair_new_york_welcomes_arrest_of_white_supremacist_who_used_facebook_to_plot_attacks_on_muslims_urges_community_to_remain_vigilant

CAIR-NY also cited a threat targeting a Maryland mosque, an arson attack on a California mosque, a bomb threat targeting Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, recent arrests in an alleged bomb plot targeting Muslims in New York, guilty pleas in the bombing of a Minnesota mosque, and sentencing of men in a plot to bomb Muslims in Kansas.

SEE: CAIR-San Diego Condemns Arson Attack on Escondido Mosque, Plans Interfaith Vigil

https://www.cair.com/cair_san_diego_condemns_arson_attack_on_escondido_mosque_plans_interfaith_vigil

CAIR Welcomes Stepped-Up Security After Online Threat Targeting Maryland Mosque

https://www.cair.com/cair_welcomes_stepped_up_security_after_online_threat_targeting_maryland_mosque

CAIR-LA Condemns Bomb Threats Made on Event Featuring Rep. Ilhan Omar, Thanks LAPD
https://www.cair.com/cair_la_condemns_bomb_threats_made_on_event_featuring_rep_ilhan_omar_thanks_lapd

Militia Members Get Decades in Prison in Kansas Bomb Plot

http://www.startribune.com/3-militia-members-face-sentencing-in-kansas-bomb-plot/504848242/

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

Two Militia Men Plead Guilty to Bombing Minnesota Mosque

https://www.arabamericannews.com/2019/01/27/two-militia-men-plead-guilty-to-bombing-minnesota-mosque/

The New York-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-New York 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-New York Welcomes Arrest of White Supremacist Who Used Facebook to Plot Attacks on Muslims; Urges Community to Remain Vigilant

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(NEW YORK, N.Y., 4/5/19) - 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 arrest of a white supremacist plotting a New Zealand inspired terrorist attack on Muslims. CAIR-NY also urged the Muslim community to remain vigilant. 

New York resident Thomas Alonzo Bolin, 22, was arrested for lying to the FBI about possessing a weapon. Bolin managed a white supremacist Facebook group and was reportedly plotting – along with his cousin -- a terror attack against Muslims. Bolin came under scrutiny after his cousin, Austin Witkowski, allegedly called for a re-enactment in the United States of the terror attack on two mosques in New Zealand. Witkowski reportedly sent threatening messages on the day of the New Zealand attack and “indicated that he was willing to ‘do something as of next week’ in Baltimore.”

SEE: Feds Say White Supremacist Cousins Used Facebook to Discuss Attack on Muslims 

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/white-supremacist-facebook-thomas-bolin_n_5ca63188e4b05acba4de053e

"Today's developments highlight the growing threats of white supremacy and Islamophobia in this country," said CAIR-NY Litigation Director Ahmed Mohamed. "While the FBI has identified white supremacy as a threat to society, we have a president that continues to fuel the rise of this hateful ideology."

"We are grateful that law enforcement officials disrupted this attempt to commit a terrorist attack against a Muslim community," said CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher. "White supremacy has been a violent threat to people of color and different faiths since the inception of our nation. Serious resources are needed to combat this growing threat.”

CAIR-NY cited a threat targeting a Maryland mosque, an arson attack on a California mosque, a bomb threat targeting Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, recent arrests in an alleged bomb plot targeting Muslims in New York, guilty pleas in the bombing of a Minnesota mosque, and sentencing of men in a plot to bomb Muslims in Kansas.

SEE: CAIR-San Diego Condemns Arson Attack on Escondido Mosque, Plans Interfaith Vigil

https://www.cair.com/cair_san_diego_condemns_arson_attack_on_escondido_mosque_plans_interfaith_vigil

CAIR Welcomes Stepped-Up Security After Online Threat Targeting Maryland Mosque

https://www.cair.com/cair_welcomes_stepped_up_security_after_online_threat_targeting_maryland_mosque

CAIR-LA Condemns Bomb Threats Made on Event Featuring Rep. Ilhan Omar, Thanks LAPD
https://www.cair.com/cair_la_condemns_bomb_threats_made_on_event_featuring_rep_ilhan_omar_thanks_lapd

Militia Members Get Decades in Prison in Kansas Bomb Plot

http://www.startribune.com/3-militia-members-face-sentencing-in-kansas-bomb-plot/504848242/

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

Two Militia Men Plead Guilty to Bombing Minnesota Mosque

https://www.arabamericannews.com/2019/01/27/two-militia-men-plead-guilty-to-bombing-minnesota-mosque/

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 and appointments.

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/

American Muslims, mosques and other Islamic institutions are being urged to take measures outlined in CAIR’s "Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety" booklet. Advice offered in CAIR’s security publication is applicable to all institutions, regardless of organizational mission.

The booklet may be viewed at: https://tinyurl.com/BestSafetyPractices

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

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, 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

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(NEW YORK, NY, 4/2/19) -- 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 announced the filing of a U.S. Supreme Court amicus (friend of the court) brief supporting the challengers in the ongoing 2020 census citizenship question litigation, Department of Commerce v. New York

READ THE BRIEF: http://tinyurl.com/SCOTUSCensusBrief

Other amici include the Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality at Seattle University School of Law, Norman Y. Mineta, a former Secretary of Commerce, and three other American citizens of Japanese descent whose incarceration during World War II was facilitated by the Census Bureau’s sharing of confidential census data. Akin Gump is serving as pro bono counsel for the brief.

On April 23, 2019, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments pertaining to whether the secretary of commerce’s decision to add a citizenship question violated the law. Challengers argue that the government was driven by racial and xenophobic animus and has since invented justifications for the change in policy. Judge Furman of the Southern District of New York ruled that the Department of Commerce added the citizenship question through a process that violated the Administrative Procedures Act and made several findings of fact suggesting that the government’s justifications are pretextual.

In the brief filed yesterday, amici argue that the Supreme Court should affirm Judge Furman’s ruling and reject the government’s pretextual reasons for adding a citizenship question to the decennial census. Amici emphasize that the census process works only if the public trusts that the government will not misuse the information.

Though the Census Act prohibits the government from using census information for anything other than statistical purposes, past incidents in which the government misused census data support fears that citizenship information could be misused. Amici remind the Court of one of the most glaring and heinous examples of such abuse -- the Census Bureau’s central role in targeting Japanese Americans for incarceration during World War II.

In that instance, the Supreme Court’s deference to the executive branch contributed to an appalling violation of civil and human rights. Today, amici argue, the Supreme Court must impose searching judicial scrutiny to root out any pretext for an unconstitutional census policy.

As Professor Robert S. Chang, executive director of the Korematsu Center, explains, “The shameful legacy of Japanese American incarceration during World War II shows what can happen when the courts allow themselves to be fooled by the government’s pretexts for unconstitutional policies. We urge the Court to conduct a searching review in this case to determine whether the government’s real reasons for adding a citizenship question to the census— in a process the trial judge found to be deeply flawed—support its decision or are simply a mask for a question that could deter the full participation of immigrants and communities of color.”

CAIR National Litigation and Civil Rights Director Lena F. Masri, Esq., added: “The Supreme Court should reject this administration’s latest attempt to marginalize Muslim immigrants and others from the political process.”

Ahmed Mohamed, Esq., litigation director of CAIR-NY, said: “The Court must protect the integrity of the census. This administration must not be given an opportunity to weaponize the census to suppress the voice of immigrants and minorities. We urge the court to fulfill its duty and block unlawful discrimination.”

Lead pro bono counsel Pratik A. Shah, co-head of the Supreme Court and appellate practice at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, states: “By eroding public trust in the process, the Secretary’s addition of a suspect citizenship question only undermines the government’s ability to fulfill its constitutional census duty.”

Pro bono counsel on the brief are: Robert S. Chang and Lorraine K. Bannai of the Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality at Seattle University School of Law; Ronald A. Peterson of the Law Clinic at Seattle University School of Law; as well as attorneys from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, including Pratik A. Shah, as Counsel of Record, Robert H. PeesAlice HsuZ.W. Julius Chen; and Geoffrey J. Derrick.

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 National Litigation and Civil Rights Director Lena Masri, lmasri@cair.com, 202-742-6420, CAIR-NY Litigation Director Ahmed Mohamed, ahmedmohamed@cair.com; 646-481-2103; CAIR Senior Litigation Attorney Gadeir Abbas, 720-251-0425, gabbas@cair.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, ihooper@cair.com

New York Muslims and Allies to Rally Against Islamophobia and Hate Violence

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Muslim groups to call for action to challenge growing Islamophobia, white supremacy, and anti-immigrant bigotry

(New York, NY, 03/22/2019) – On Sunday, March 24, 2019, Muslim leaders and allies across New York City will hold a rally and march against Islamophobia, white supremacy, and anti-immigrant bigotry in Times Square. The rally and march will showcase the solidarity of New Yorkers against the ideology of hatred most recently manifested in the New Zealand terror attacks that left 50 fatalities.

See: https://www.apnews.com/1555efa3ac2f4e24a7b781c4f2ae23a5

At the rally, there will be a call for action and unity to push back against growing Islamophobia, white supremacy and anti-immigrant bigotry in America and around the world. 

See Flyer:  http://unitedagainstislamophobia.org/

WHAT: United Against Islamophobia: March Against Racism, Bigotry and Xenophobia  

WHO: Hosted by Muslim organizations Majlis Ash-Shura: Islamic Leadership Council of New York,  Muslim American Society - New York (MAS-NY), Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), Muslim Ummah of North America (MUNA), Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA), Turkish American National Steering Committee (TASC), Arab American Federation (AAF), and the Council on American-Islamic Relations, New York (CAIR-NY).   

WHEN: Sunday, March 24, 2:30pm

WHERE: Times Square, Broadway and 47th Street. 

CONTACT: Majlis Ash-Shura Outreach Director Hossam Gamea at hossam.gamea@shuranewyork.org 917-607-8712; CAIR-NY Litigation Director Ahmed Mohamed at ahmedmohamed@cair.com or 646-481-2103 

-END-

CAIR New York Urges Increased Security Measures in Muslim Communities, Calls for Solidarity Against Hate

CAIR New York Urges Increased Security Measures in Muslim Communities, Calls for Solidarity Against Hate

(New York, NY, 03/15/2019) – The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today mourned the deaths of more than 40 worshipers gunned down in terror attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, during prayers on Friday, condemned the apparent anti-Muslim an anti-immigrant hate that motivated the attacks and urged Muslim communities to increase security measures.

A man who claimed responsibility for the attacks left a 74-page anti-immigrant manifesto in which he said he was a 28-year-old white Australian and a racist. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the attack was carried out "by an extremist right-wing violent terrorist” and media reports indicate that the manifesto posted before the attack includes anti-Muslim rhetoric. 

The white supremacist author of the manifesto called himself a supporter of President Donald Trump, who he sees “as a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose.”

Authorities have detained four people and defused explosive devices following what appeared to be a carefully-planned terror attack.

SEE: Christchurch shootings at two mosques leave 49 dead, Australian arrested in relation to terror attack

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-03-15/christchurch-shooting-at-mosques-leads-to-multiple-fatalities/10904306

40 Killed in New Zealand Mosque Shootings; 4 Held

https://www.apnews.com/ce9e1d267af149dab40e3e5391254530

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

“We mourn the heartbreaking killings of our brothers and sisters in New Zealand.  Mosques and other places of worship are sacred and are meant to be a place of refuge for worshipers. Our leaders at every level must forcefully condemn and work to stem the tide of anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant hate that is infecting our nation and world.  In the wake of this tragedy, we urge mosques and Muslim communities around the state to take increased security precautions, particularly during times of congregational prayer.” 

CAIR New York Litigation Director Ahmed Mohamed added:

“These heinous attacks stem from the Islamophobia, xenophobia, and anti-immigrant culture that has invaded our society.  We must do more than ‘thoughts and prayers.’  We must unite and strongly condemn anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, anti-Semitism, anti-black and all other forms of hate. And we must take action. Our elected officials must denounce the trafficking of hate ideology and take concrete steps to reverse the increase of hate attacks.” 

CAIR New York encouraged New Yorkers to join their local mosques for Friday prayers, Jummah, in a show of solidarity. Call to inform your local mosque beforehand and respect religious spaces by dressing modestly. 

CAIR New York also welcomed the NYPD’s decision to provide increased security for Mosques during Friday prayers.

SEE: https://newyork.cbslocal.com/2019/03/15/nypd-mosque-security/

CAIR New York also welcomed Governor Cuomo's directive for State Police to increase security presence around mosques and houses of worship following New Zealand attack.

SEE: https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-cuomo-directs-state-police-increase-security-presence-around-mosques-and-houses

Video of the attacks has been posted online. CAIR New York is asking that the video not be shared. Please request that social media platforms and other website take the videos down.

“Instead of spreading the hate-filled message of white supremacists killers, we should share messages of love and solidarity with the loved ones of those killed or injured in the attacks,” said Nasher.

CAIR New York is also advising mosques and other religious institutions to review its “Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety” guide that can be view online at  http://www.cair.com/mosque-safety-guide.html   

It may also be viewed at: http://www.cair.com/CAIR_Mosque_Safety_Guide.pdf

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

Community members are also being urged to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR New York 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 -

CAIR-New York Calls On New York Congressional Delegation to Investigate Why More Than 1400 Private Companies Have Secret Access to Illegal Watchlist

(NEW YORK, NY, 2/21/19) – The New York Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called on the New York Congressional Delegation to investigate why the federal government has given more than 1,400 private companies access to the unconstitutional terrorist watchlist.

CAIR: Feds Share Terrorist Watchlist with 1,400 Private Groups (AP)

https://apnews.com/ae4779a057c04947a332fce64f6cf345

The federal government's disclosure comes in response to a court order obtained by CAIR in its legal challenge to the watchlisting system (El Hady v. Kable). After years of denying that the watchlist is available to private companies, the government’s disclosure raises critical questions about how the watchlist is shared and what recipients of watchlist information -- which include hospitals and universities, among other private entities -- do with that access.

"The secret dissemination of the watchlist to private companies is further evidence that the watchlisting system is unconstitutional and designed to stigmatize innocent Muslims,” said CAIR New York Litigation Director Ahmed Mohamed. "The watchlist has wreaked havoc on the lives of countless Muslim New Yorkers, and we call on the New York congressional representatives to investigate the federal government’s secretive and illegal sharing of watchlisting information to private companies."

[MEDIA ADVISORY: Whether this disclosure complies with the federal court's order to provide comprehensive information about private sector dissemination is subject to a pending legal dispute, which will be heard by a federal judge this Friday in Alexandria, Va. 10 a.m., Judge Anderson’s Chambers, Eastern District of Virginia, 401 Courthouse Sq., Alexandria, VA 22314]

For years, CAIR has represented innocent Muslims -- people who have not been charged, arrested, or convicted of a violent offense -- who have been targeted by the watchlisting system. Some have lost jobs, been separated from their families, and all have been stigmatized by being treated as a “terrorist” by their own government.

SEE: Detroit Mother Calls Out Feds For Breaking Up Family, Files Lawsuit

https://www.wxyz.com/news/metro-detroit-father-calls-out-us-government-for-breaking-up-family-files-lawsuit

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

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

CAIR-NY Condemns Apparent Hate Attack on Muslim Woman

CAIR-NY Condemns Apparent Hate Attack on Muslim Woman

(NEW YORK, NY, 2/2/19) -- The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today condemned an apparent bias-motivated attack on a Muslim woman in Long Island City.

Police released video of a man who allegedly spat on the Muslim woman, who was wearing an Islamic head scarf (hijab). The incident is being investigated as a hate crime and police are offering a reward of up to $2,500 for information leading to the perpetrator’s arrest.

SEE: Cops launch hate crime probe after man spit on woman in hijab on a Long Island City street
https://qns.com/story/2019/02/02/cops-launch-hate-crime-probe-as-they-seek-man-who-spit-on-hijab-wearing-woman-on-a-long-island-city-street/

“New Yorkers of all faiths should be able to go about their daily business without fear of bias-motivated attacks," said Afaf Nasher, executive director of CAIR-NY. "Unfortunately, we have seen an increase in the targeting of all minority communities in recent years."

She 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 Condemns NYPD Launch of Drone Surveillance Program

(NEW YORK, NY, 12/4/18) – The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) today condemned the New York City Police Department’s (NYPD) announcement that it will launch a drone surveillance program. NYPD officials announced the purchase of 14 drones in total, including 12 smaller quadcopters, and two larger drones equipped with thermal imaging cameras that can see through walls.

 

SEE: NYPD Launches Drone Program
http://www.fox5ny.com/news/nypd-drone-program 

NYPD Unveils New Unmanned Aircraft System Program
https://www1.nyc.gov/site/nypd/news/p1204a/nypd-new-unmanned-aircraft-system-program#/0

In August 2016, the NYPD Inspector General found a pattern of systematic religious profiling by the NYPD, with 95 percent of intelligence investigations targeting the Muslim community.  At the same time, the NYPD has failed to monitor white supremacist and right-wing extremist groups. 

In October, the NYPD drew widespread criticism for failing to include the Proud Boys white supremacist organization in the department’s “gang database” following their October group assault on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. 

SEE: An Investigation of NYPD’s Compliance with Rules Governing Investigations of Political Activity
https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/oignypd/downloads/pdf/oig_intel_report_823_final_for_release.pdf

Second Proud Boy Arrested, McInnes Says More Will Turn Themselves In
http://gothamist.com/2018/10/19/geoff_young_proud_boy_arrest.php

“It’s wrong of the NYPD to take to the skies before tackling ground-level privacy concerns,” said CAIR-NY Legal Director Albert Fox Cahn. “These drones will leave no corner of our lives private. The benefits of the drones are hazy, but the cost to New Yorkers’ privacy is crystal clear. The NYPD has a history of targeting Muslim New Yorkers and ignoring the threat posed right-wing extremists and white supremacist. The NYPD shouldn’t be permitted to purchase these new tools until it shows it can use its existing tools without discriminating against marginalized communities.”

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

 

CAIR-NY Condemns Anti-Semitic Vandalism at Columbia University

(NEW YORK, NY, 11/29/18) -- The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today condemned the anti-Semitic vandalism discovered yesterday at Columbia University.

Professor Elizabeth Midlarsky, a clinical psychologist and Holocaust scholar at Columbia’s Teachers College, discovered large Nazi swastikas and the anti-Semitic slur “yid” spray-painted in the foyer of her upper west side office. Professor Midlarsky’s work includes the study of “non-Jewish heroes” who rescued Jewish families from the Holocaust.  The incident is being investigated by the NYPD as a potential hate crime.

SEE: 'They got me. I’m afraid’: Swastikas spray-painted on a Jewish professor’s office at Columbia

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2018/11/29/they-got-me-im-afraid-swastikas-spray-painted-jewish-professors-office-columbia/ 
 
“This sort of vile anti-Semitism has no place in our city or universities,” said CAIR-NY Legal Director Albert Cahn. “New Yorkers of all faiths must unite to denounce this grotesque vandalism. Sadly, anti-Semitism is not just an artifact of history, it is a growing threat to the Jewish community and to our nation. These sorts of attacks show why Professor Midlarsky’s work is so vital, why we must constantly strive to better-understand the unique horrors of the Holocaust.” 
 
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

Canceled: CAIR-NY, ECBA, Faith Leaders and Elected Officials to Hold Press Conference Ahead of Court Hearing

(NEW YORK, NY, 11/26/18) –The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), the law firm of Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady LLP (ECBA), a leading civil rights firm, faith leaders, and elected officials have postponed their scheduled November 28th press conference about CAIR-NY and ECBA’s federal class action lawsuit against the NYPD. The November 28th oral arguments in the matter have also been postponed to a yet-undermined date.
 
WHAT: Canceled
 
WHO: Canceled
 
WHEN: Canceled
 
WHERE: Canceled
 
CONTACT: CAIR-NY Legal Director Albert Fox Cahn; acahn@cair.com; 571-766-6273; ECBA Partner O. Andrew F. Wilson; awilson@ecbalaw.com; 212-763-5000.
 
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.
 
Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady LLP is a litigation boutique that focuses on civil rights, commercial, criminal, and ethics matters. We represent individuals, businesses, and institutions in all aspects of litigation and pre-litigation dispute resolution, from negotiation, mediation and arbitration, through hearings, trials, and appeals.
 
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CAIR-NY, CAIR-NJ Settle Challenge to Trump Administration’s ‘Digital Muslim Ban’ Cellphone Seizure, Customs to Delete Data


Customs officials agree to delete data copied from cellphone seized without any warrant or explanation

(NEW YORK, NY, 10/31/18) – The New York and New Jersey chapters of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY and CAIR-NJ), state chapters of the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights group, today announced the settlement of a federal court case challenging U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) warrantless and unconstitutional seizure of an American Muslim U.S. citizen’s cell phone. 

Rejhane Lazoja, a 39-year-old woman residing in Staten Island, N.Y., had her phone taken when she landed at Newark Liberty International Airport earlier this year.  CBP held Lazoja’s iPhone 6S Plus and SIM card for 130 days, never explaining why they were taken. Under this groundbreaking settlement, CBP agrees to delete all data copied from Lazoja’s iPhone. 

SEE: Feds took woman’s iPhone at border, she sued, now they agree to delete data
https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2018/10/feds-agree-to-delete-data-seized-off-womans-iphone-during-border-search/

Numerous lawsuits have challenged CBP’s deletion of data at the border, but this settlement is the first in the country to secure the deletion of illegally-seized data. Under the agreement, CBP did not admit any wrongdoing.  The case was also novel for proceeding under rule 41(g) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, a provision for recovering property unlawfully seized by federal authorities. The case appears to be the first in the country to use rule 41(g) secure the deletion of electronic information that was unlawfully seized at the border. It also appears to be the first such settlement since the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in U.S. v. Carpenter, striking down warrantless seizure of cellphone location data.

SEE: August 23, 2018 Brief Supporting Motion for Return of Property.
http://www.cair-ny.org/s/Lazoja-v-Nielsen-et-al-DNJ-FRCrP-Rule-41g-motion-8d5y.pdf

 “The Trump administration needs to understand that our border is not a Constitution-free zone,” said CAIR-NY Legal Director Albert Fox Cahn. “This settlement brings us one step closer to the day when Americans can travel with the peace-of-mind that our rights will be respected.  As the U.S. Supreme Court has recognized, there is nothing more invasive than searching and copying the data on our smartphones. These phones track our location, our conversations and even our passing thoughts. Muslim travelers must not be subjected to this warrantless electronic dragnet simply for practicing their faith. If CBP wants to search our phones, or if they want to access our social media accounts and text messages, I have a simple answer: get a warrant.”

“The CBP has been profiling Muslims for years as they cross the border,” said CAIR-NJ Legal Director Jay Rehman. “Their latest tactic of confiscating phones and attempting to retrieve data is a blatant violation of the Fourth Amendment privacy guaranteed under the Constitution.”

“When I came back to the U.S., I expected to be welcomed home,” said plaintiff Rejhane Lazoja. “Instead, I was questioned, degraded, and had my phone taken away. I’m incredibly relieved to know that my files and my photos have been deleted. After this settlement, I hope others won’t have endure the same degradation I faced.

“This is a win for Ms. Lazoja and an important outcome in an emerging area of law,” said CAIR-NY Attorney Carey Shenkman. “Sadly, so many Muslims who travel endure circumstances like in this case, but we hope this result shows CBP that we will be there to challenge them as long as they keep violating constitutional rights at the border.”

SEE: October 30, 2018 Stipulation Re Data Deletion and Dismissal.
http://www.cair-ny.org/s/20181030-FILED-Stip-of-Dismissal.pdf

CAIR-NY and CAIR-NJ filed the case on August 23rd, 2018, in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey alleging that CBP violated the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution both by taking Lazoja’s iPhone, and by keeping it for months after she returned home to the United States on February 26, 2018. The case is styled as a motion for return of property under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 41(g), and the Defendants include U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kristjen Nielsen, CBP Commissioner Kevin K. Mcaleenan, and CBP Newark Port Director Adele Fasano.

The motion argues that CBP violated Lazoja’s Fourth Amendment rights not only by seizing the phone, but by the length of time the phone was retained and by any copying of her personal data. In June the U.S. Supreme Court held in Carpenter v. United States that police need to obtain a warrant in order to seize cell tower location data.

According to the filing: “Seizing and searching a cell phone is unlike seizing or searching any other property. Cell phones are a uniquely intimate and expansive repository of our lives. They do far more than just make calls and send e-mails; they monitor and log much of our movement, activity, and even our thinking in real time. They enable us to stay connected with coworkers and loved ones -- losing a phone essentially cuts one off from modern society. In June, the Supreme Court recognized the indispensability of cell phones and the heightened privacy interests at stake when they are utilized in warrantless investigations.”

CBP has steadily increased electronic device searches at airports in recent years.  In fiscal year 2017, they searched 30,200 devices, up from 19,051 in the prior fiscal year. 

SEE: The Cybersecurity 202: Warrantless device searches at the border are rising. Privacy advocates are suing.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/the-cybersecurity-202/2018/08/07/the-cybersecurity-202-warrantless-device-searches-at-the-border-are-rising-privacy-advocates-are-suing/5b6883771b326b0207955f46/?

Meanwhile, Muslim travelers report that they are stopped for highly-invasive secondary inspection searches nearly three times as often as other Americans when traveling. According to a recent survey of Muslim travelers, 30 percent reported being subjected to secondary screening, which often includes cellphone searches, compared with 12 percent of overall travelers.

SEE: ISPU American Muslim Poll 2017

https://www.ispu.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/American-Muslim-Poll-2017-Report.pdf
 
The case comes as federal courts increasingly recognize that cellphones contain uniquely intimate data, and that searches of the data, apps, and other records they contain should require a warrant. 

The invasion was even more severe for Lazoja, whose phone contained confidential attorney-client communications and photos of her without her hijab (Islamic head scarf). Lazoja wears the hijab as an expression of her Islamic faith, covering her hair in front of men who are not relatives. CBP’s retention of such photos only compounds the trauma of this warrantless invasion of her privacy. Additionally, CBP may share this same data with local and other federal law enforcement agencies.

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