Cleveland, OH, 6/13/16) – The Cleveland chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Cleveland) joins Muslims across Ohio and nationwide in condemning the horrific mass shooting at an Orlando nightclub.
CAIR-Cleveland Executive Director Julia Shearson issued the following statement:
“Like all Americans, Ohio Muslims express their condemnation of this horrific act of violence. Our thoughts, prayers and condolences are with the families, friends and loved ones of the deceased and the injured.
“As a civil rights organization that works to end bigotry and hatred, CAIR-Cleveland stands in solidarity with the Florida LGBTQ community at this time of great sorrow for our entire country.
April 8, 2013
Understanding Islam is a short introduction to the Muslim Culture worldwide. The book is by Matthew S. Gordon, a history professor at Miami University in Ohio. The book focuses on key themes: the origin and development, religious elements, sacred texts, important people, principle ethics, sacred spaces, sacred history and Islamic society.
The Columbus, Ohio chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Columbus) announced today that it has filed discrimination complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) against Exel, Inc., a subsidiary of DHL, on behalf of 18 Muslim employees who were allegedly fired for praying in the workplace.
The Muslim employees reported to CAIR-Columbus that they had asked the company several times for prayer accommodations, including adjusting break times or taking their prayer breaks without pay, but the company repeatedly denied any of the accommodations proposed by the employees. One manager allegedly told the employees they should pray in the bathroom so they wouldn’t be seen praying. Other managers told them to “obey the rules or get fired.”
In their complaints, the employees say they made an effort to resolve the dispute by trying to speak to human resources, but that Exel managers and supervisors repeatedly refused to allow them access to the human resources department.
Managers reportedly began terminating Muslim employees when they saw them praying at work. On February 8, 2013 the general manager called a meeting in which he reportedly told a large group of Muslim employees, many of whom had been working for the company for years, that Exel would not change its policies and that the company could not provide a religious accommodation. He ultimately terminated the entire group when they insisted they had a right to religious accommodation.
Both state and federal law requires employers to accommodate the religious practices of their employees unless it creates an undue burden on the company.
“This company has a history of discriminating against Muslims, especially Muslims of Somali origin,” said CAIR-Ohio Legal Director Jennifer Nimer. “This is not the first time a group of Muslim employees has been fired from this company for requesting a prayer accommodation. This type of blatant discrimination cannot be tolerated.”
According to the EEOC, 21 percent of religious discrimination complaints in 2011 involved bias against Muslim workers.
TOLEDO, Ohio — A former Marine who admitted setting fire to an Ohio mosque because he wanted revenge for the killings of American troops overseas won’t be allowed to withdraw his guilty plea, a judge ruled Thursday.
Randy Linn had asked to take back his admission to hate crime charges in January, a month after he explained in detail how he drove from his Indiana home to the suburban Toledo mosque and burned a prayer rug, causing extensive damage in the building.
Linn, 52, said he was in an emotional and depressed state when he pleaded guilty. His attorney asked the judge to throw out the plea so Linn could undergo a competency exam.
U.S. District Judge Jack Zouhary rejected the request, saying there was nothing indicating Linn was a candidate for an insanity plea and that he clearly was competent when he pleaded guilty in December.
The man convicted of setting fire to an Ohio mosque earlier this year is now blaming his crime on having watched Fox News and listened to conservative talk radio shows, which he claims convinced him that Muslims are all “terrorists.”
The 52-year-old man, Randolph Linn of Indiana, recently pleaded guilty to charges of setting fire to the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo, resulting in a 20-year reduced prison sentence. His sentencing is scheduled for April 2013.
As part of his defense, the Digital Journal reports that Linn told the court that he was “riled up” from watching Fox News and consuming “45 beers” over a span of seven hours before committing his crime.
Arab-Americans are poised to play a critical role in the US presidential
election on Tuesday. Numbering about 4 million, they’re heavily
concentrated in several battleground states — including Florida,
Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia — where every vote will count
in a race that many consider too close to call, writes Vivian Salama.
Fired Norton police officer Nicholas Matheny has filed a federal lawsuit, contending city officials discriminated against him and violated his civil rights by terminating him because of his Muslim faith.
The suit, seeking job reinstatement, a court injunction to end the alleged discrimination and damages for lost pay, was filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Cleveland.
Matheny, 30, adopted the Muslim faith in early 2010 and initially kept the conversion quiet, according to the suit, because of anti-Islamic sentiment in the police department, including emails he said he received from his direct supervising officer.
But in September 2010, when Matheny handed out wedding invitations to two colleagues, with the heading “May Allah Bless This Marriage,” the alleged discrimination came to a head, the suit said. Just as Matheny was ending his final shift before his wedding, the suit said, Chief Thad Hete told him he would be fired.
As the 2012 presidential election picks up steam, Republican candidates find it tempting and beneficial to bash Muslims as a way to attract voters. In the wake of the 2010 midterm elections, “Americans are learning what Europeans have known for years: Islam-bashing wins votes,” the journalist Michael Scott Moore wrote that November. At the time, many of the 85 new Republican House members buoyed by the surging Tea Party movement found the political virtues of anti-Muslim rhetoric an easy way to prove their mettle to the surging conservative base.
Since then, the animosity against Muslims has only intensified. Republican presidential hopefuls Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich frequently warned that Muslims were attempting to take over the government and impose Shariah law, using “stealth Jihad,” as Gingrich put it in a speech at the American Enterprise Institute late last year.
The problem for the United States, the former speaker of the house argued, is not primarily terrorism; it is Shariah — “the heart of the enemy movement from which the terrorists spring forth.” Rick Santorum, not one to shy away from the subject, continues to conflate Muslims with radical Islamists. He has often warned audiences of the dangers of losing the war to “radical Islam,” even suggesting in a 2007 speech at the National Academic Freedom Conference that the American response to the threat should be to “educate, engage, evangelize and eradicate.”
Although it is true that American Muslims constitute a small percentage of the national population, they are concentrated in key swing states such as Michigan, Ohio, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Florida. Despite being very diverse and far from monolithic, this constituency is growing faster than any other religious community and has become increasingly visible and sophisticated in its political engagement. Republicans who found the Muslim community an easy target in the primaries may find themselves in trouble in the states that may determine the winner of the election.
Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum on Sunday denied questioning President Obama’s Christian faith but said the president has an environmental belief “that elevates the Earth above man.”
Santorum was quoted Saturday as telling an audience in Ohio that although he accepts the president’s Christianity, he believes Obama adheres to “some phony theology. Not a theology based on the Bible. A different theology.”
Asked to explain on the CBS program “Face the Nation,” Santorum framed the issue as a disagreement over global warming and how “radical environmentalists” care for the Earth.
“I accept the fact that the president’s a Christian,” he said. “I just said that when you have a worldview that elevates the Earth above man, and says that, you know, we can’t take those resources because we’re going to harm the Earth by things that frankly are just not scientifically proven, like for example that politicization of the whole global warming debate, this is just all an attempt to centralize power, to give more power to the government.”
Last month in Florida, Santorum faced criticism when he failed to correct a woman who told him that Obama is “an avowed Muslim.” He was later quoted as saying it wasn’t his job to correct such assertions.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission statistics show that religious discrimination complaints in workplace settings have more than doubled from a little over a decade ago, resulting in roughly $10 million in settlements. Last year, nearly 3,800 were filed.
“Religion has increasingly moved into the private sphere, so when it does pop up in the workplace, we’re less equipped to deal with it in a rational and even-handed manner,” said John Gordon, chairman of the religion department at Baldwin-Wallace College in Ohio.
Many of the complaints from employees involve wearing head garb or those who say they work for companies that refuse to accommodate their requests for religious days off.
Cynthia Stankiewicz, enforcement manager for the EEOC Cleveland field office, said not allowing time off for religious observances is a common issue. She said many cases come about when employers aren’t aware of employees’ rights or when employers don’t attempt to accommodate requests that do not pose a hardship on the business.