Public Letters

Letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio

November 18, 2015

Honorable Bill de Blasio
Mayor, City Hall
New York, NY 10007

Dear Mayor Bill de Blasio,

True leadership is defined by an ability to stand firmly on principles of justice and truth, even if that stance is not seemingly popular at that moment. Yesterday, you not only made statements welcoming Syrian refugees into our beautiful City, but you also very firmly stood against religious discrimination and fear mongering. Your words actualized the principles which make our City and our Nation a place of hope and dignified strength. 

Like you, we are proud that New York City is a haven for immigrants fleeing terror and persecution not just because it houses them, but because it boldly defies the corrosive intolerance which serves as the very foundation of hatred. By exhibiting our City's refusal to perpetuate this hate, you also have taken a decisive blow against terrorism in all its forms. 

We support, applaud, and appreciate the leadership you exhibited in your statements, and we look forward to your continued support of the values that make New York City worthy of housing the Statue of Liberty that France gave us over a century ago as a symbol of our commitment to democracy and freedom.

Thank you,

Council on American-Islamic Relations-NY
Desis Rising Up & Moving
Jews Against Islamophobia
Muslim American Society
Women In Islam

Dear Dr. Ben Carson

Dear Dr. Ben Carson,

I am sorry you think that none of my Muslim children, all born and raised in the US, are qualified to be President of the US. 

Hmmmm, as I single mom in Los Angeles, I struggled to put them through private schools and college, including getting my daughter through UC Berkeley...One majored in human rights, and another in social justice, and they have been youth leaders for most of their young adult life. Alhumd'illah.
(Yep...but according to you, Dr, Carson, they are not qualified to be President.)

This could not have happened without the help of God, the Almighty, and the diverse tapestry of the American society, including the American-Muslim community. This included Islamic schools, mosques, cultural centers, summer camps, and Arab and other ethnic neighborhoods, and interfaith engagements.

Above all, this consisted of the Islamic social advocacy organizations and youth programs that taught them the Islamic principles of leadership, compassion, community service, advocacy, tenacity, mercy, the thirst for knowledge, the etiquette, art and eloquence of thoughtful public speaking, dialogue and debate, the edicts of peace making, the mandate of the constant pursuit for justice, and the importance of working respectfully with and in cooperation with our interfaith partners in a pluralistic American democracy. 

This is how my faith tradition has groomed them for their role as future servant leaders in this county, Dr. Carson, while I do commend you for your success in education and the field of medicine, I do so wish you would return to the beautiful roots of your own religious tradition, and search for, draw upon, and bear witness to, the obviously lost, beloved tenets of your faith that would allow you to be worthy enough to lead the youth of this country, including those whom you deem unfit to lead you.

May God bless, enlighten and guide,everyone, especially you, Dr. Carson, insha'allah.

Sincerely,

Sahar Alsahlani

CAIR-NY Board Member

Religions for Peace USA, Board Member

A Message From CAIR-NY Staff

"You Muslim Terrorist, F*** You!!!” - These are words the woman shouted at me when I answered the phone at the office this past week.
 
Salaam & Peace,

Working for a Muslim organization this fervid phone call was not entirely shocking however, it was heartbreaking to hear such anxiety and despair on the other end of the line. Plainly, her words came from a place of unawareness and fear, but more than that, it saddened me that CAIR-NY has been unable to reach out to everyone in our state. 
 
CAIR-NY cultivates a better understanding of Islam at the local level but, we need more support so messages like these become less common. When you donate to CAIR-NY your donations are used directly for the New York community.
 
Be a Champion of Justice! CLICK HERE to donate today. Donations are Zakat eligible and Tax-Deductible. 

 

 Since last Ramadan, through YOUR support CAIR-NY has

 

  • Assisted 73 clients who are community members throughout New York State that needed assistance in the fields of FBI interrogation, hate crimes, workplace discrimination, school bullying, housing discrimination, immigration, etc.
  • Launched our Anti-Bullying Campaign where we held workshops in 6 schools and Islamic centers
  • Launched our Muslim Youth Leadership Symposium where 50 youth attended workshops led by 20+ speakers. 
  • Launched our Halal Food Campaign for New York City Public Schools
  • Held workshops informing people about our Islamophobia Report where CAIR reported that the total revenue of the Islamophobia network from 2008-2011 was $119,662,719
  • Took 50+ community members to Albany for our 2nd Muslim Day at the Capitol where we met with more than 50 elected officials and advocated for legislation impacting our community
  • Sent out 25 Press Releases and Media Advisories where we were interviewed and referenced in major newspapers and media outlets
  • Recruited and trained more than 30 interns and volunteers
  • Held Diversity, Islamophobia, and Know Your Rights workshops in colleges and universities.
  • Distributed our "Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety" guide to mosques and Islamic centers which we mentioned at a press conference about 2 mosque hate crime incidents last weekend. We are currently mailing guides to more NY mosques. 

We need your donations to continue offering our programs and services to the NY community as we also launch new projects. At the same time, we need your help to continue being in the office 5 days a week to help clients, report hate incidents, work with the media, and work with more mosques and community centers to advocate for our rights. 

Donate today before Ramadan comes to an end! Donations are Zakat eligible and Tax-Deductible. Contact me anytime at 212-870-2002 or skhalique@cair.com to learn more about the work we do or to report an incident.
 
I am also sending you an early Eid greeting, may you have a joyous and blessed Eid! EID MUBARAK!

Thank you,
Sadyia Khalique
Director of Operations

Press Statement: Vigil At September 11 Memorial Museum

Date: May 21, 2014
Time: 6pm
Location: National September 11 Memorial Museum, Liberty Street


At 6:00 P.M. tomorrow, Wednesday, May 21, the day on which the National September 11 Memorial Museum officially opens its doors to the public, several Jewish organizations and allies will gather for a vigil in front of the Museum (Liberty Street) to call upon it to edit its six-minute video, "The Rise of Al Qaeda", so that it avoids language that helps create a climate in which hatred, discrimination, and violence thrive.

According to Rebecca Vilkomerson of Jewish Voice for Peace, an organizer of the vigil, “We know that the National September 11 Memorial Museum will play a unique and invaluable role in educating the public about September 11. But we are concerned that many people who come from all over the world, and who are not well informed about Muslims and Islam, will come away with inaccuracies and misconceptions. That would do an injustice to the Muslim community and to all our communities.”

The Jewish groups gathering in front of the Museum honor the memory of those who perished on that date and also call upon the Museum to take seriously the concerns expressed by its own multi-faith advisory council, scholars, leading Muslim American and Arab American organizations, and community leaders. According to a letter signed by 400 scholars world-wide, "Labels to describe organizations such as al-Qaeda are heavily disputed among academics, and in a public environment, without proper explanation and historical context, these terms could easily mislead and assign collective responsibility to Muslims and Islam."

As Marjorie Dove Kent from Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, another of the vigil’s co-sponsoring groups, made clear, “The video’s current script will reinforce a dangerous falsehood at the heart of a post-September 11 narrative: that all Muslims are responsible for the attacks on September 11. Connecting Islam as a religion with the September 11 attackers has helped drive a national backlash against Muslims and those assumed to be Muslims—Arab Americans, Sikhs and other South Asians.”

This backlash has included individual anti-Muslim hate crimes and government policies and actions, such as the New York Police Department (NYPD) program that has targeted Muslims because of their religion, not because of indicators of criminal activity—a program that, according to a prominent NYPD official, “never generated a lead or triggered a terrorism investigation.” “Jews have long resisted the idea of ‘collective guilt’ as applied to Jews,” said Dorothy Zellner of Jews Say No!, another one of the organizing groups. “Editing this video for fairness will prevent the acts of a small group from being associated with an entire world religion. We are standing here today as Jews, together with our allies, to reflect our profound commitment to dignity and respect for all.”

The vigil is co-sponsored by several Jewish organizations--Jews Say No!, Jewish Voice for Peace, Jewish Voice for Peace—New York, Jews Against Islamophobia Coalition, Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, Jewish Voice for Peace—Westchester.

MEDIA CONTACT: Donna Nevel 917-570-4371 denevel@gmail.com, Sadyia Khalique, 212-870-2002, E-Mail: skhalique@cair.com