Press Releases

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.
 
- END –

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

CAIR-NY Condemns Trump’s ‘Racist, Politically-Motivated and Unconstitutional’ Plan to End Birthright Citizenship

For Immediate Release

NEW YORK, NY, 10/30/18) – The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) today condemned President Trump’s pledge to strip away by executive order the right to citizenship for children born in the United States to non-citizens and immigrants not authorized to be in the U.S. as “racist, politically-motivated and unconstitutional.”

In an interview with "Axios on HBO," a new documentary news series debuting next Sunday, Trump said he plans to issue an executive order that would remove the right to citizenship for children born in the U.S. to non-citizen and undocumented immigrant parents.

SEE: Trump Targeting Birthright Citizenship with Executive Order 

The 14th Amendment to the Constitution states that: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”

“Let us be clear: no president has the power to take away citizenship from those who were born here,” said CAIR-NY Legal Director Albert Fox Cahn. “This order betrays the promise made by earlier generations who wanted to make sure that America never repeated the injustice inflicted on countless African Americans who were born into a country that would never recognize them at citizens. We have long failed to live up to the higher ambitions of true equality for all, but we will never let this President drag us down to new depths of division.”

He added: “If Trump follows through on this threat, we and the nation’s other immigrant, human and civil rights organizations will fight him in court.”

Last week, CAIR condemned Donald Trump’s use of a racist and Islamophobic “dog whistle” to promote his “divisive political agenda” prior to the midterm elections.

In a tweet, Trump claimed – without offering evidence – that "unknown Middle Easterners are mixed in" the migrant caravan making its way through Mexico toward the United States border. 

SEE: CAIR Condemns Trump’s Racist, Islamophobic ‘Dog Whistle’ on Migrant Caravan

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 Apparent Anti-Semitic Attack in Brooklyn

For Immediate Release

(NEW YORK, NY, 10/14/18) -- The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) today condemned the apparent anti-Semitic attack on a 62-year-old man in the Boro Park section of Brooklyn
 
According to media reports, Police arrested Farrukh Afzal, 37, of Staten Island, charging him with assault as a hate crime, criminal mischief and harassment.  The incident was captured on a video that has already been circulated widely on social media.
 
SEE: Man Charged With Hate Crime in Brooklyn Beating: Police
https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Man-Charged-With-Hate-Crime-in-Brooklyn-Beating-Police-Boro-Park--497530191.html
 
“It is appalling to see this sort of violence unfold in broad daylight,” said CAIR-NY Legal Director Albert Cahn. “All New Yorkers must unite against this sort of violence. If this was motivated by anti-Semitism as alleged, it would truly be heartbreaking; this cannot become New York’s new normal. This incident also highlights the need for the type of bystander-intervention education that CAIR-NY has called on the city and state to support for years. Hopefully this latest incident inspires elected officials to support the programing to ensure that no New Yorker will again stand by when our neighbors are attacked.”
 
 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 –

CAIR-NY Expresses Solidarity with Jewish Community After Vandalism of Manhattan Sukkah

For Immediate Release

(NEW YORK, NY, 10/1/18) -- The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) today condemned the anti-Semitic defacement of a Sukkah in Carl Schurz Park on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

The police have not arrested any suspects for vandalizing the Sukkah. Many Jewish families eat meals or sleep in the traditional hut during the Sukkot holiday. The matter is being investigated by the NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force.

SEE: Hate crime probe over 'Free Gaza' graffiti scrawled on Upper East Side sukkah
http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-crime/ny-metro-graffiti-sukkah-nypd-hate-crime-20180930-story.html

“There is no place for this anti-Semitism in our city,” said CAIR-NY Legal Director Albert Cahn. “It is heartbreaking to see a place of religious observance vandalized; to see a symbol of celebration transformed into an instrument of hate. All New Yorkers must unite in our denunciation of this vile harassment.”

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 –

CAIR-NY, CAIR-NJ Challenge Trump Administration’s ‘Digital Muslim Ban’ Cellphone Seizure

CAIR-NY, CAIR-NJ Challenge Trump Administration’s ‘Digital Muslim Ban’ Cellphone Seizure

Muslim civil rights group says customs officials kept cellphone for 130 days without any warrant or explanation

(NEW YORK, NY, 8/23/18) – 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 filed a case in federal court 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. When CBP finally returned the phone, they refused to destroy copies of the data.

SEE: Woman: My iPhone Was Seized at Border, Then Imaged—Feds Must Now Delete Data

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2018/08/woman-my-iphone-was-seized-at-border-then-imaged-feds-now-must-delete-data/

“The Trump administration needs to understand that our border is not a Constitution-free zone,” said CAIR-NY Legal Director Albert Fox Cahn. “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. Americans don’t forfeit their Fourth Amendment rights against searches simply for going to the airport. 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.”

“It is astonishing that our government believes it is lawful to take phones for months from people who have done nothing wrong,” said CAIR-NY Attorney Carey Shenkman. “What happened to Ms. Lazoja, and so often does to Muslims who travel, is reprehensible.”

 

“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 expected better from my country and from customs officials.”

 

CAIR-NY and CAIR-NJ filed the case this morning 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.”

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

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

CAIR-NY Welcomes Arrest in Islamophobic Hate Attack on Manhattan Street Vendor

(NEW YORK, NY, 7/25/18) - The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) today welcomed an arrest for the allegedly Islamophobic hate attack on a Manhattan street vendor Hassane Elbaz.


The attacker reportedly insulted and harassed Elbaz for days before the July 12 attack. The assailant allegedly snuck up behind Elbaz’s cart and attacked and injured both Elbaz and his colleague. The alleged attacker also reportedly shouted “I'm going to f--k you up, terrorist m----------r! Arab, go back to your country!” The suspect fled before the NYPD arrived. After initially declining to label the attack bias-motivated for a week, the NYPD reassigned the case to the Hate Crimes Task Force following CAIR-NY’s call for a hate crime investigation.


SEE: CAIR-NY Condemns Assault on Muslim Street Vendor, Calls for Hate Crime Probe  

http://www.cair-ny.org/news/2018/7/17/cair-ny-condemns-assault-on-muslim-street-vendor-calls-for-hate-crime-probe-

Manhattan Food Vendor Says Man Beat Him Outside His Cart in an Anti-Muslim Attack

http://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/news/2018/07/17/manhattan-man-says-man-beat-him-after-days-of-racist-verbal-harassment  

 

SEE: Photos of Injuries

https://tinyurl.com/y7qtm7yn

https://tinyurl.com/y924746j

https://tinyurl.com/yayezx44

 

CAIR-NY Legal Director Albert Fox Cahn said in a statement. 


“We’re grateful to the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force for its quick response to our call for a hate crime investigation. There is no place for this sort of hate or violence in our city. How have we become a place in which our neighbors are being stabbed and brutalized in broad daylight because of their faith or national origin? All New Yorkers must stand in solidarity with our Muslim neighbors and show that we’re better than this. Together we must show that New York is still a city in which we all can practice our faith in safety.” 

 

Cahn said his attack shows why it is dangerous for the NYPD to push anti-Muslim measures like Int. 0959 – 2018, which would ban predominantly Muslim vendors from large portions of Lower Manhattan.

 

“These anti-Muslim measures and the hatred from leaders in Washington is creating a climate of violence on our streets,” said Cahn.

This attack is the latest in a string of anti-Muslim attacks and incidents of harassment. From 2015-2017, CAIR-NY has recorded a 974 percent increase in the number of anti-Muslim acts of discrimination and violence that occurred across the state. Despite the acute uptick in bias incidents, a recent report by the NYC Commission on Human Rights found that up to 71 percent of victims don’t report these incidents to anyone.

Last month, CAIR-NY testified against Int. 0959 – 2018, a city council measure that would evict 22 street vendors from Lower Manhattan. Of the 22 vendors that would be affected, 18 are Muslim. At the same time, a farmer’s market with predominately non-Muslim vendors would be permitted to remain on the World Trade Center site itself.

SEE: CAIR-NY Testimony against Int. 0959 – 2018

https://static1.squarespace.com/static/57db6af7f7e0abec41695d80/t/5b2298c48a922dcebae2fa56/1528993988846/2018-6-14+WTC+Food+Vendors+Testimony+FINAL.PDF

Advocates Slam City Proposal Limiting Vendors Near WTC

https://patch.com/new-york/downtown-nyc/advocates-slam-city-proposal-limiting-vendors-near-wtc

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’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 Legal Director Albert Fox Cahn; acahn@cair.com; 571-766-6273

CAIR-NY Condemns Assault on Muslim Street Vendor, Calls for Hate Crime Probe   

(NEW YORK, NY, 7/17/18) – The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), a leading Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today condemned an allegedly bias-motivated attack last week in Manhattan targeting Muslim street vendor Hassane Elbaz.

According to media reports, the attacker insulted and harassed Elbaz for days before the attack. On July 12, the alleged assailant reportedly snuck up behind Elbaz’s cart and attacked and injured both Elbaz and his colleague. The alleged attacker reportedly shouted “I'm going to f--k you up, terrorist m----------r! Arab, go back to your country!” The suspect fled before the NYPD arrived. According to media reports, the NYPD has not yet classified the assault as a hate crime.

SEE: Manhattan Food Vendor Says Man Beat Him Outside His Cart in an Anti-Muslim Attack

http://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/news/2018/07/17/manhattan-man-says-man-beat-him-after-days-of-racist-verbal-harassment  

CAIR-NY Legal Director Albert Fox Cahn said in a statement. 

“There is no place for this sort of hate or violence in our city. How have we become a place in which our neighbors are being stabbed and brutalized in broad daylight because of their faith or national origin? All New Yorkers must stand in solidarity with our Muslim neighbors and show that we’re better than this. Together we must show that New York is still a city in which we all can practice our faith in safety.” 

Cahn said his attack shows why it is dangerous for the NYPD to push anti-Muslim measures like Int. 0959 – 2018, which would ban predominantly Muslim vendors from large portions of Lower Manhattan.

“These anti-Muslim measures and the hatred from leaders in Washington is creating a climate of violence on our streets,” said Cahn.

This attack is the latest in a string of anti-Muslim attacks and incidents of harassment. From 2015-2017, CAIR-NY has recorded a 974 percent increase in the number of anti-Muslim acts of discrimination and violence that occurred across the state. Despite the acute uptick in bias incidents, a recent report by the NYC Commission on Human Rights found that up to 71 percent of victims don’t report these incidents to anyone.

Last month, CAIR-NY testified against Int. 0959 – 2018, a city council measure that would evict 22 street vendors from Lower Manhattan. Of the 22 vendors that would be affected, 18 are Muslim. At the same time, a farmer’s market with predominately non-Muslim vendors would be permitted to remain on the World Trade Center site itself.

SEE: CAIR-NY Testimony against Int. 0959 – 2018

https://static1.squarespace.com/static/57db6af7f7e0abec41695d80/t/5b2298c48a922dcebae2fa56/1528993988846/2018-6-14+WTC+Food+Vendors+Testimony+FINAL.PDF

Advocates Slam City Proposal Limiting Vendors Near WTC

https://patch.com/new-york/downtown-nyc/advocates-slam-city-proposal-limiting-vendors-near-wtc

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’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.

CAIR-NY Condemns Anti-Muslim Harassment on NYC Transit, Calls for Increased Bystander Education

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

(NEW YORK, NY, 07/12/18) – The New York chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), a leading Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today condemned a recent act of anti-Muslim harassment on a NYC bus and called on the MTA to implement bystander-education programs.

In a YouTube video posted Wednesday night, a hate-spewing passenger on a Brooklyn-bound bus allegedly named “Ashley” can be seen viciously harassing a Muslim passenger who was wearing a headscarf. In the video, “Ashley” shouts at the Muslim woman “you f---ing speak English?” and “ICE is here for you.” She gives her name and says, “I’m fighting… because she thinks she has rights that she doesn’t have.” Many of the passengers can be seen ignoring the situation entirely.  

“It’s time the MTA got serious about combating acts of harassment that New Yorkers witness every day that pose just as much a threat to the system as the ongoing infrastructure woes,” said CAIR-NY Legal Director Albert Cahn. “This city prides itself on its commitment to diversity, and it cannot continue to lag behind others where it should be leading. Every New Yorker has a role to play in making public transportation safer for everyone.”

This latest incident is part of a well-documented pattern of anti-Muslim harassment on public transportation in New York City. A recent report by the New York City Commission on Human Rights found more than a quarter of Muslim women who wear the hijab have been pushed on the subway platform. Since 2016, CAIR-NY has recorded a 974% increase in the number of anti-Muslim acts of discrimination and violence. Despite the acute uptick in discrimination, the NYC Commission’s report also found that up to 71% of victims don’t report the incidents to anyone.

Given these statistics, CAIR-NY is calling on the MTA to implement bystander education programs, with a focus on preparing New Yorkers to intervene in acts of discrimination on public transit. Cities including Boston and San Francisco have already tackled similar problems by posting informational posters throughout their transit systems. The posters empower commuters to be prepared and diffuse volatile and hate-filled situations.

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/

Yesterday, CAIR’s national office released an update on anti-Muslim incidents nationwide in the second quarter (April-June) of 2018. CAIR’s quarterly report indicated that anti-Muslim bias incidents and hate crimes are up 83 and 21 percent respectively, as compared to the first quarter of 2018.

 READ the Full CAIR Quarterly Report on American Muslim Civil Rights:

https://www.cair.com/cair_report_anti_muslim_bias_incidents_hate_crimes_spike_in_second_quarter_of_2018

 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.

 The Washington-based organization’s recently-released 2018 Civil Rights Report, “Targeted,” showed a 17 percent increase in bias-motivated incidents against American Muslims from 2016 to 2017, and a 15 percent increase in the number of anti-Muslim hate crimes in that same time period.

 New CAIR Report: Trump's Muslim Bans Increased Anti-Muslim Discrimination, Violence

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.

CAIR-NY Files Amicus Brief Challenging 2020 Census Citizenship Question.

July 11, 2018

CAIR-NY filed an amicus curiae as part of a group including former Secretary of Commerce, Secretary of Transportation and Congressman Norman Y. Mineta, Joy Sakamoto Barker, Eileen Yoshiko Sakamoto Okada, and Sharon A. Sakamoto, who were incarcerated along with tens of thousands of other Japanese Americans during WWII; the Council on American-Islamic Relations, New York, Inc.; and the Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality in filing a brief challenging the 2020 census citizenship question.

[NEW YORK, NY] joined an amicus curiae group in filing a brief today supporting the challengers in the ongoing 2020 census citizenship question litigation (New York Immigration Coalition v. United States Department of Commerce). The amici include the Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality at Seattle University School of Law (Korematsu Center), the Council on American-Islamic Relations, New York (CAIR-NY), and four American citizens of Japanese descent whose incarceration during World War II was partly due to the Census Bureau’s cooperation and sharing of data with the War Department.

In the brief filed today, the amici argue that the District Court can and should meaningfully review the Census Bureau’s addition of the citizenship question to determine whether it violates the Administrative Procedure Act and the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution. The amici remind the court that absolute deference to the political branches has permitted historical abuses of both individual and group-level census information. Further, they argue that the government’s insistence on such deference relies on a novel, untenable distinction between constitutionally-mandated enumeration and the manner of that enumeration. History shows that the form of the census can meaningfully stunt the quality of its enumeration results. 

With respect to the filing, Professor Robert S. Chang, executive director of the Korematsu Center, said, “Norman Mineta, Joy Sakamoto Barker, Eileen Yoshiko Sakamoto Okada, Sharon A. Sakamoto, and the tens of thousands of other Japanese Americans incarcerated during World War II experienced the effects of abuse by the political branches of the census process and know how important it is for courts to execute their constitutionally mandated oversight to prevent such abuses. Today, the Korematsu Center is proud to stand with them and with CAIR-NY to defend the rights of immigrants and their communities against the return of abusive census policies.”

Albert Fox Cahn, legal director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said “History shows how dangerous census data can be when abused to target immigrant and minority communities. Our brief calls on the district court to fulfill its constitutional duty to block unlawful discrimination. If we fail to stop these abuses, it could damage our democracy for the next decade, if not a generation.”

Sharon Sakamoto on behalf of her sisters, Joy Sakamoto Barker and Eileen Yoshiko Sakamoto Okada, said “In 1940, the power of the census was levied against our family and our community, resulting in the incarceration of hundreds of thousands of Japanese Americans. Today, we and our fellow amici ardently urge the court to prevent a repeat of this abuse against today’s at-risk immigrant communities.”

Norman Y. Mineta, former Secretary of Commerce in the Clinton administration and Secretary of Transportation in the George W. Bush administration, said of the amicus brief “Public trust in the census is critical if we are to continue using it to determine political representation and the allocation of public funds. That trust cannot exist when the census is used as a tool of marginalization against immigrant communities as it was in 1940.”

Lead pro bono counsel, Robert H. Pees of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, said, “This court should exercise its constitutionally mandated role to subject the executive branch’s actions to meaningful judicial review under the Equal Protection Clause.”

The individuals and organizations joining the amicus brief today are: Norman Y. Mineta, Joy Sakamoto Barker, Eileen Yoshiko Sakamoto Okada, Sharon A. Sakamoto, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, New York, and the Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality at Seattle University School of Law.

Pro bono counsel on the brief are: Robert S. Chang and Lorraine K. Bannai of the Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality, Albert Fox Cahn of CAIR-NY and attorneys from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, including Robert H. Pees, Alice Hsu, Martine E. Cicconi, Geoffrey J. Derrick, Bailey A, Pepe and Elizabeth G. Atkins.

The amicus brief filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York is available at http://www.cair-ny.org/s/Census-Amicus.pdf.

Procedural Background

 

The census provisions at issue are questions about the citizenship, country of origin, and naturalization of census respondents. Opponents of the policy, including ten former Census Bureau directors spanning 34 years of service under both Republican and Democratic administrations, note that such questions have not been asked of all census-takers since 1950 and could potentially cause a major undercount of certain communities. That, in turn, threatens federal funding and representation in the Electoral College for cities and states with significant immigrant populations. The Census Bureau has published internal research showing that the climate of fear created by the Trump administration has increased immigrant concerns about census confidentiality, which may disproportionately impact data quality and coverage of those immigrant communities on the 2020 Census.

In the instant case, plaintiffs, including the New York Immigration Coalition, assert that the Department of Commerce’s addition of the citizenship question violates the Administrative Procedure Act and the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution. They also contend that the question is designed to function as a tool in the Trump administration’s campaign of hostility and fearmongering towards immigrants and people of color.

In its defense, the federal government responded that the court should defer wholly to the executive branch because the citizenship question does not affect the constitutionally required enumeration of citizens. Instead, the government argues that the citizenship question is merely part of the manner of executing that enumeration. The government contends that because the Constitution gives Congress the power to “direct” the “[m]anner” of the decennial enumeration, and Congress has delegated that power to the Secretary of Commerce and the Census Bureau, the judiciary is unable to review the “manner” of enumeration.

Oral arguments on a Motion to Dismiss in a companion case, New York v. United States Department of Commerce, as well as discovery requests in both cases, took place on July 3, 2018. At the conclusion of those arguments, Judge Jesse Furman ordered significant discovery for the plaintiffs in the consolidated cases and indicated his intention to rule that at least some of the claims would survive the motion to dismiss. He also stated his finding that the New York plaintiffs had made a plausible prima facie case that the Secretary of Commerce’s justification for the citizenship question – enforcement of the Voting Rights Act – was pretextual.

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

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

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