CAIR report says US Muslims still face civil rights issues

The Council on American-Islamic Relations’ (CAIR) annual report on the status of civil rights for American Muslims has been released.

The findings indicate that while hate crimes against Muslims are down, reported complaints of discrimination and civil rights violations continue to rise. In fact, the numbers are the highest they have been since CAIR was founded.

“Hate crimes and vandalism are down but we are seeing more workplace and media bias,” says Dawud Walid, local CAIR executive director.

While discrimination issues at school and work are cause for concern, there is also room for optimism.

“At least we had someone like Colin Powell saying publicly ‘what if Obama was a Muslim,’ and we had a senator McCain rejecting the claim that Obama is a Muslim in a public forum,” says Ibrahim Hooper, CAIR Communications Director. “There are two competing trends, and we hope new emerging one wins up.”

American Muslims quick to congratulate Obama

The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), the largest U.S. Islamic civil rights group, congratulated President-Elect Barack Obama. “President-elect Obama’s victory sends the unmistakable message that America is a nation that offers equal opportunity to people of all backgrounds,” said a statement released by CAIR.

Although Christian, Obama’s background represents a new chapter in American presidential politics, being the son of a Kenyan Muslim father, and holding the Arabic middle name of Hussein. Opponents of Barack Obama have tried to falsely portray the president-elect as Muslim. Many, including former Secretary of State Colin Powell, have condemned such attacks, both for being completely false, and also for the rooted anti-Muslim sentiments contained in the attacks.

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