Abas Idris, Muslim Security Guard, Gets $465,000 In Calif. Harassment Suit

SAN FRANCISCO — A San Francisco jury awarded $465,000 to a Muslim security guard who says his co-workers and supervisors called him a terrorist and an al-Qaida member.

The 27-year-old says he quit his job as a security guard for Los Angeles-based Andrews International in February 2010 after the company failed to take his complaints about harassment seriously. He had served as a guard at the Letterman Digital Arts Center in the Presidio.

Gay, Muslim groups relieved by changes to bullying bill

Gay and Muslim groups say they are relieved after a Michigan lawmaker agreed to drop a provision in an anti-bullying bill that would have carved out an exemption for religious or moral beliefs.

State Sen. Rick Jones, a Republican, inserted a carve-out for a “sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction” in the Senate version of the bill. The state House of Representatives’ version of the bill did not include the provision.

Jones on Monday (Nov. 14) said he would drop his amendment and vote for the House version after critics said the language could allow gay, Muslim or other minority students to face harassment.

Dawud Walid, executive director of the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, agreed that enumerations would strengthen the bill but said Muslims were still “relieved” that the Senate bill is likely dead.

Group known as Anonymous claims to have hacked Texas law enforcement website, emails

HOUSTON — The group known as Anonymous claims to have hacked into the email accounts of more than two dozen Texas law enforcement agencies or officials in retaliation for arrests of its supporters and what it sees as harassment of immigrants by authorities in the state.

The group appeared to briefly take over the website of the Texas Police Chiefs Association on Thursday, replacing its home page with one that listed police departments and officials whose email accounts Anonymous said had been hacked. The group posted a statement on the police website saying it was “attacking Texas law enforcement” because of arrests of its supporters and what the group sees as harassment of immigrants by authorities in the state.

Robert Mock, one of the individuals whose personal email account was apparently breached, said he had only been made aware of the possibility earlier Thursday.

“I’m upset, as anybody would be whose account was hacked into,” he said. “This wasn’t my work account. Got my private information out there. I don’t even know what’s out there.”

Anonymous listed Mock as being a lieutenant with the Houston police department, but Mock said he had left the department about four years ago. Mock said he still worked in law enforcement in the Houston area but declined to say where he was employed.

In addition to his cellphone and water bills, Anonymous also posted emails of jokes that were forwarded to Mock that made fun of Arabs and Muslims.

£100 Fine for ‘Gay Free Zone’ Stickers

01.06.2011
Mohammed Hasnath, a Muslim man from Tower Hamlets, was fined last week after pleading guilty to putting up stickers declaring London’s East End a “gay free zone” earlier this year. The stickers, showing a rainbow flag with a black line through it stating “gay free zone”, outraged East London’s community and were illegal under section 5 of the Public Order Act causing harassment, alarm and distress. Hasnath was fined £100 for the public order offence.

First congressional hearing on the civil rights of American Muslim

Despite the comparative lack of attention, the session chaired by Durbin (D-Ill.) made history as the first congressional hearing on the civil rights of American Muslims. About 50 people waited in line for the door of 226 Dirksen Senate Office Building to open, including a half-dozen high school students who had been sleeping on the floor since about 7 a.m. It was 90 minutes shorter, with noticeably less security and media attention — and fewer fireworks. But Sen. Richard J. Durbin’s hearing Tuesday on Muslim civil rights featured the same partisan sparring and many of the same arguments as Rep. Peter T. King’s hearing on Muslim radicals just three weeks ago.

Like the Homeland Security Committee hearing chaired by King (R-N.Y.), Tuesday’s Judiciary subcommittee session attracted Muslim leaders, civil liberties attorneys, curious graduate students and advocates for everything from conservative Christian marriage to interfaith tolerance.

Nearly a decade after 9/11, anti-Muslim harassment cases are now the largest category of religious discrimination in education cases. In addition, there has been a 163 percent increase in workplace complaints from Muslims to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission since the 2001 attacks, Perez said.

The hearing seemed to crystallize some of the key arguments made in current discussions about Islam: The importance of Muslims cooperating with law enforcement vs. some Muslims’ wariness of officials who they suspect of entrapment. Concern about discrimination against Muslims vs. concern about Muslims being discriminated against in their own community for being too outspoken against radicalization. Whether the rise in anti-Muslim incidents is being overblown when the vast majority of discrimination complaints reported to the FBI are about discrimination against Jews.

Hassen Chalghoumi Calls for an “Islam of France”

Le Monde – September 30, 2010
This short article profiles the Drancy imam, Hassen Chalghoumi, now often considered an icon of “moderate Islam” in France. Chalghoumi has received a great deal of attention for taking a public position against full-face coverings in France and for a law that would ban them. This position has meant that he has been both subject to harassment and praise from different parties. He has recently published a book, Pour l’Islam de France (For Islam of France, Le CHerche Midi, 424 pgs). With reference to the Qur’an, Chalghoumi offers a new interpretation of questions of Islamic law.

Swift Acted With Bias:Muslims were discriminated against by the meatpacker, the federal panel determines

A federal panel said Monday that it believed Greeley meatpacker JBS Swift violated the civil rights of more than 100 Somali Muslims it fired last year after a walkout over religious differences at the height of Ramadan, Islam’s holiest time.

The determination by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission comes exactly a year after hundreds of Somali workers left the slaughterhouse because the company wouldn’t accommodate requests for
prayer time…

The Muslim workers had demanded time to pray at sundown, the end of a dawn-to-dusk fast, a requirement of Islam during Ramadan. More than 300 workers walked out when told they could not break for the day’s final
prayer. About 103 workers were fired days later, not for walking off the job but for not returning to work, Keys said.

The walkout touched off a storm of protests, mostly among workers of different religious faiths who railed at the request for religious accommodation. Federal law requires employers to accommodate the religious requests of its workers.

The EEOC determined Swift had violated a portion of the civil-rights act that forbids certain forms of discrimination in employment. Specifically, it said Swift engaged in a “pattern and practice of discrimination” that included harassment, a hostile work environment, discriminatory job assignments and discipline. It also said Swift denied religious accommodation and retaliated against workers who complained about it.

CAIR-Chicago Wins Bias Suit for Arab-American Officer

Jury awards correctional officer $200K for racial harassment at the workplace

(CHICAGO, IL, 7/24/09) – The Chicago chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Chicago) today announced a verdict in favor of an Arab-American correctional officer in a discrimination case litigated pro bono against the Cook County Sheriff’s Department by CAIR-Chicago Staff Attorney Kevin Vodak.

The verdict awarded Officer Abraham Yasin $200,000 in damages for harassment found to be pervasive or severe enough to create a hostile and abusive work environment.

Green Party Leader speaks out against growth of Islamophobia

The leader of the Green Party Dr Caroline Lucas MEP has spoken out against the growth of Islamophobia in the UK. “The Green Party’s view is clear: everyone in Britain must be free to follow their chosen faith, or none, fully confident that their right to do so will be vigorously upheld by government.”

Dr Lucas, who was recently re-elected as an MEP for South East England, signed up to a statement issued by a number of politicians and other prominent figures. The full statement reads as below:

Muslims in Britain are facing attacks on many fronts. These include:

* The high-profile arrests under terror legislation of Muslims who are subsequently released without charge, creating a climate of fear and harassment.

* An increase in violent attacks on Muslims in the streets and on Muslim places of worship.

* The targeting of Muslims by the far-right British National Party.

* Aggressive policing of Muslims on demonstrations, apparently designed to deter them from participating in peaceful protests.

* The racist misrepresentation of Muslim views and practices in the mass media.

* The political harassment of Muslim leaders by government ministers.