Islamic civil rights group asks FBI to investigate threats posted on anti-Muslim website

FALLS CHURCH, Va. — A Muslim civil rights group on Friday asked the FBI to investigate a series of threatening posts on an anti-Islam website.

The threats posted by visitors to the Bare Naked Islam website include a post from one person who urges Christians to “kill every Muslim twice” and mentions that he routinely drives by a specific northern Virginia mosque. Another recommends blowing up mosques.

In making the request, Council for American-Islamic Relations spokesman Ibrahim Hooper said the Internet is replete with hateful commentary about Muslims. But he said these comments differ because they routinely contain explicit calls for violence.

“The Internet is a cesspool of bigoted speech, but this is something else entirely,” Hooper said.
The Bare Naked Islam site depicts flames superimposed over a mosque and declares: “It isn’t Islamophobia when they really ARE trying to kill you.” In an email, the site’s author, who identified herself as a New York City resident named Bonni, said she tries to delete comments that call for genocide against Muslims. But she said she does not consider a threat to be explicit unless it targets a specific individual.

Muslims call for reforms 10 years after Patriot Act

A Muslim civil rights group is accusing the FBI and other federal agencies of “bad policing” and flaunting the Constitution in a 56-page report released to mark the 10th anniversary of the Patriot Act.

The Tuesday (Oct. 25) report by Muslim Advocates, “Losing Liberty: The State of Freedom 10 Years After The Patriot Act” recommends more than 40 legal and policy changes to enforcement of the anti-terrorism law.
The report accuses the FBI of religious profiling, using informants to spy on mosques, and asking Muslims prohibited questions about their religious beliefs and practices.

“FBI agents are instructed to view Muslims with suspicion by, for example, looking out for converts to Islam and those who wear ‘traditional Muslim attire,? attend mosques, and have strong religious beliefs,” the report said.

Ontario Islamic Centre Receives Protection After Hate-Crime Incident

The Niagara Falls Review – December 8, 2010
A Niagara Falls, Ontario Islamic Centre has formally requested police protection as they begin a 10-day religious observance less than a week after two of their members were allegedly attacked outside a doctor’s facility. Justin Nasser, a spokesman for the Almahdi Islamic Centre of Niagara, said centre officials made the request of police because they have concerns about the safety of their members following Friday’s incident.
Niagara Regional Police hasbannounced they had charged two men with assault with a weapon in connection with the incident, which occurred inside the centre’s gated parking lot. Police allege racial slurs were directed toward the victims throughout the attack. Other members of the centre came to the aid of the victims and held the suspects until police arrived.
The Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN), a national Muslim civil rights organization, issued a statement applauding the way police in Niagara are handling the case. Members of the Almahdi Islamic Centre of Niagara were expected to begin a series religious events marking Muharrum, the first month of the Islamic calendar.

Arab-American to advise TSA

Nawar Shora, the legal director for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee is going to join Transportation Security Administration (TSA) as a senior advisor in the TSA office of civil rights and liberties. Mr. Shora, 33, has been working on the issue of security abuses against minorities since the attacks of September 11, 2001. Originally from Syria, Mr. Shora is going to join the Department of Homeland Security in line with his campaign to encourage young Arab-Americans to enter the federal service and work within the system in order to “reenergize trust-building.”

Reactions to the protest at UC Irvine against Israeli official

More than two weeks ago, the speech by the Israeli ambassador, Michael Oren, was disrupted by a group of students at UC Irvine. Since then, different Jewish and Muslim groups have reacted to the incident. The Zionist Organization of America (based in New York City) asked donors to rethink their donations to the university while The Council on American-Islamic Relations (a leading Muslim civil rights group) argued that no charges should be filed against the protestors. In the incident, the protesting students were held by campus police till the speech ended but were not taken into custody. The Muslim Student Union has said that independent individuals protested the ambassador’s speech and that the Union was not involved.

CAIR: Islamophobia machine targets American Muslims

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today distributed an editorial, entitled “Islamophobia Machine Targets American Muslims,” outlining what the Washington-based Muslim civil rights group says is a campaign by “extremists of all stripes who coordinate and cooperate in a relentless effort to demonize Islam and deprive American Muslims of their civil rights.”

CAIR distributed the editorial through ISLAM-OPED, a syndication service designed to offer an American Muslim perspective on current political, social and religious issues.

CAIR Applauds Decision to Allow Hijab in Georgia Courts

Muslim civil rights group had challenged ban on religious attire in courtrooms

WASHINGTON, July 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today applauded a decision by the Judicial Council of Georgia to allow religious attire such as Islamic headscarves, or hijab, in that state’s courtrooms.

CAIR prepares delegation to Iran seeking journalist’s release

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is preparing to send a delegation to Iran to seek the release of American journalist Roxana Saberi, who was recently sentenced by an Iranian court to eight years in prison.

In an April 17 letter to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, CAIR Board Chairman State Senator Larry Shaw (NC) and CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad requested that the Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization “be allowed to travel to Iran to discuss with you and other officials the case of Roxana Saberi and how it may be resolved in a way that helps improve relations and benefits the cause of international peace and stability.”

Earlier this April, CAIR called on Iran to release Saberi as a “gesture of reconciliation” to help improve relations between Iran and America.

Chairman of Council on American-Islamic Relations resigns

The chairman of the largest Muslim-American advocacy group in the US has resigned this week. The move comes after Parvez Ahmed expressed growing frustration with the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ (CAIR) direction. Ahmed expressed that he wanted CAIR to be more proactive in the promotion of Muslim civil rights, and inclusive of younger, less religious Muslims. I also wanted to send a message that a change in leadership is needed at the highest level, that we need some new blood at the board and executive levels,” he said. Ahmed has served as the board chairman of CAIR since 2005.

Tension Grows Over Mosque In Boston

BOSTON – It was to be the biggest mosque in the northeastern United States, a center of worship for Boston’s 70,000 Muslims and a milestone for America’s Muslim community.?Instead, construction of the $24.5 million center has been stalled by lawsuits and a deepening row between Jewish and Muslim leaders that reflects broader suspicions facing American Muslims after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Jewish leaders charge that former and current officials in the Islamic Society of Boston, which is building the 70,000-square-foot mosque, are linked to terrorist groups and have failed to distance themselves from radical Islam and anti-Jewish statements. The Islamic Society denies any connection to terrorism and considers itself victimized by a campaign to taint the mosque with accusations of ties to radical teachings. The society says it has repeatedly distanced itself from anti-Jewish statements by some of its leaders. Among Jewish concerns is whether a former Islamic Society trustee – outspoken Egyptian Sunni cleric Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawi – praised Hamas and Hezbollah, which the U.S. State Department regards as terrorist organizations. “There is a great deal of anxiety,” said Larry Lowenthal, executive director of the American Jewish Committee’s chapter in Boston, whose Jewish population of 240,000 is the fifth- largest of U.S. cities. American Muslims are watching the case closely. “Unfortunately, I see the Boston case as indicative of a growing trend in anti-Muslim rhetoric that has grown after 9/11,” said Arsalan Iftikhar, legal director of the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation’s largest American Muslim civil rights group.