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Internship Opportunities at CAIR-Chicago:

CAIR-Chicago, the local chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, is currently offering 8 internship opportunities. To apply, please email a resume and cover letter to outreach@cairchicago.org

Operations Intern:

Intern will work closely with CAIR-Chicago's Operations Coordinator on the following:
  • Data entry
  • Maintaining and keeping the various databases up-to-date
  • Research
  • Administrative and IT related tasks

Governmental Relations Intern:

Intern will work closely with the Governmental Relations Department in the analysis of complex local, state, and federal level political issues as they pertain to the Chicagoland Muslim Community. S/he will also assist in the following as each pertains to the community:
  • Voter mobilization of the local Muslim population
  • Outreach to Muslim and non-Muslim community organizations
  • The development of effective relationships with publicly elected officials
  • Writing and editing of pertinent documents
The Intern would also partake in workshops that help community members understand and utilize the political system, "Know Your Rights" educational campaigns, and civic training of future leaders at mosques and Muslim centers.

Communications Intern:

Intern will work closely with the Communications Department on the following:
  • Work on pieces that deconstruct sensational and biased coverage of issues pertinent to Muslims and Islam. The purpose is to flag such pieces, to highlight their inaccuracies, and to offer thoughtful analyses that diffuse misconceptions.
  • Students work will be published and featured in a variety of ways:

    a. Published as letters to the editor and as perspective pieces in Chicago's main newspapers such as the Chicago Tribune, Sun Times, Daily Herald, and Daily Southtown b. Submitted to fourteen community newspapers published by the Southwest News Messenger c. Published on the CAIR-Chicago website as well as other well-traversed websites such as Media Monitors (archived by Google) d. Featured in the upcoming Chicago Media Review Blog (to be launched in October).

    The targeted audience of these pieces is the general American public ­readers of the main Chicagoland newspapers and web surfers. Journalism students preferred.

Civil Rights Intern:

Intern will work closely with CAIR-Chicago's Civil Rights Coordinator on the following:
  • assist in documenting incidents of religious discrimination by counseling and interviewing complainants regarding their incidents
  • research laws and policies on employment, student conduct, and immigration procedures, as well as criminal offenses and other areas as seen fit
  • assist in maintaining the Civil Rights Online Center
  • updating databases containing information about abuses reported to CAIR-Chicago
The ideal candidate should be organized and demonstrate the ability to follow through the various on-going and newly assigned tasks. The ideal candidate will possess excellent written communication skills and a commitment to serving the community. Law students preferred.

Grant Research Intern:

Intern will work closely with CAIR-Chicago's Outreach Coordinator on the following:
  • Research grants online and at Donors Forum
  • Create a database with grant information
  • Create an Events Portfolio for all of CAIR-Chicago's past events
  • Maintain Events database and files

Public Education Intern:

Intern will work closely with CAIR-Chicago's Outreach Coordinator on the following:
  • Create educational material on Islam and Muslims
  • Conduct workshops on Islam and Muslims
  • Coordinate CPDU workshops for educators
  • Create a speaker's bureau database on topics relating to Islam
  • Assist in educating and mobilizing the Muslim Community on relevant issues
  • Assist in setting up internships for University students and completing the necessary paperwork
The ideal candidate should be organized, multi-tasked and demonstrate the ability to follow through the various on-going and newly assigned tasks. The ideal candidate will possess excellent oral and written communications skills as well as the ability to do extensive research. Candidate should be familiar with excel, access and Microsoft PowerPoint. Education, Middle Eastern Studies, and Islamic Studies majors preferred.

Community Service Intern:

Intern will work closely with CAIR-Chicago's Outreach Coordinator on the following:
  • Assist in Recruiting volunteers
  • Conduct presentations on volunteerism and volunteer opportunities at CAIR-Chicago
  • Coordinate volunteers and liaisons as needed
  • Plan and coordinate community service events with other organizations
  • Plan and coordinate social outings for volunteers
  • Assist in developing volunteer gear
  • Follow-up on new volunteer applications using SmartFTP (training will be provided)
  • Maintain Online Volunteer Center blackboard (training will be provided)
  • Manage the Muslims Care project: a national initiative that promotes volunteerism, and update the Muslims Care website.
The ideal candidate should be friendly, outgoing, and demonstrate strong leadership skills. Candidate should also be self-motivated and possess excellent oral and written communications skills.

Marketing Intern:

Intern will work closely with CAIR-Chicago's Outreach Coordinator on the following:
  • Design promotional materials for different events and different audiences
  • Publicize CAIR-Chicago events
  • Post events to appropriate websites and list serves
  • Manage CAIR-Chicago Publicity Committee
  • Assist in coordinating events
  • Maintain relevant outreach databases and files
The ideal candidate should be community-oriented, self-motivated, organized, multi-tasked and demonstrate the ability to follow through the various on-going and newly assigned tasks. The ideal candidate will possess excellent oral and written communications skills, the ability to work quickly and well under pressure, and a commitment to serving the community. Candidate must have excellent critical thinking and visual skills. Marketing students preferred.

All internships are unpaid. Students may receive college credit. Please call or email Dina Rehab, CAIR-Chicago's outreach coordinator, at 312-212-1520 or outreach@cairchicago.org for more information.




RECENT CASES:

Civil Rights Update – 8/28/05

The Civil Rights Department at CAIR-Chicago currently has 156 cases documented in which 71 cases are active and are being pursued by department personnel. Below are the cases that were reported to CAIR-Chicago within the last two weeks.

Government:

  • A Muslim man has been consistently detained every time he crosses the U.S. border or boards a plane since 1996. Each time he is detained for several hours as federal agents question him and then send him on his way. The man estimates that this has happened at least 13 times in the past 9 years, each time he has traveled outside the country either by land or by air. CAIR-Chicago is working to determine the reason for this constant detainment and will work with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on incorporating this case as a part of a class action law suit being filed against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). For more information on this class action law suit, see the “Muslim Americans Detained and Questioned When Traveling Outside of the U.S.” action alert below.
  • Three more Muslims have reported delays in their citizenship process, having applied for their citizenship and passing all necessary USCIS requirements, but have been waiting for citizenship status do to pending background checks. The cases are being dealt with as a part of a nation-wide CAIR project in collaboration with the Arab American Action Network (AAAN). For more information on this project, see the “Religious Discrimination Delays Citizenship Process” action alert below.
  • A British-born Muslim man was placed on the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Fly Watch-List, and was questioned by DHS agents at his home, while his possessions appeared to have been searched by an agent in the next room during the interview. As per the advice CAIR-Chicago gives to anyone in the community that has been approached by federal agents for questioning, CAIR-Chicago advised the man to contact us or a legal representative for advice before agreeing to an interview in the future.
  • Federal agents contacted a Muslim woman for questioning. The family obtained a legal representative and will update CAIR-Chicago after the interview has taken place.
Employment:
  • A Muslim woman has experienced retaliation in the work place after having informed her supervisor of a need for certain accommodations related to a medical condition and her practice of wearing the headscarf (hijab). CAIR-Chicago is contacting the company in order to address the issue.
  • A Muslim woman was terminated from her job after a new supervisor openly stated that she didn’t want “Arabians working here.” A few weeks before this incident another Arab woman was terminated by the same supervisor. The company has since then offered the woman her job back. CAIR-Chicago will seek disciplinary action be taken against the supervisor and will take any other action deemed necessary.
Public Accommodation:
  • A Muslim woman wearing the headscarf (hijab) was subjected to racist derogatory remarks by another passenger on the CTA while the bus driver did nothing to stop the disruption. CAIR-Chicago is currently investigating the complaint further and will take any action necessary to resolve the issue positively.
Ongoing Progress:
  • CAIR-Chicago represented a Muslim woman at an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Mediation session on Friday, August 5, 2005. The session, designed to give both parties the opportunity to resolve the issue before an investigation is conducted, addressed facts surrounding the wrongful termination of a Muslim woman who was required to show her U.S. passport as verification of identity for employment. Specifying which type of identification to present is illegal under federal law. The woman was terminated four days after management learned of her nation of origin.

  • CAIR-Chicago will conduct sensitivity training sessions for the employees of a company that was involved in an employment discrimination incident recently. An employee of the company had told a Muslim woman that she could not wear her headscarf (hijab), referring to it as a “turban” and “that thing on your head.” In addition, the company has agreed to create a written policy specific to Muslim women’s headscarves and other religious garments that would prohibit anyone in the company from requiring it to be removed as a condition for employment, pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

  • CAIR-Chicago will conduct sensitivity training sessions for the faculty and staff of a Chicago Public High School. The sensitivity training sessions are a result of an offensive website that was being used to teach students taking a World History class and made a distorted and false depiction of the status of women in Islam. In addition to agreeing to sensitivity training sessions for faculty and staff, the principal of the school agreed to discontinue use of the website, monitor all future resources used by the teacher responsible, and collaborate with CAIR-Chicago to find more accurate and balanced resources to teach students about Islam, as well as create programs to educate students about Islam. CAIR-Chicago will meet with the principal in order to further develop plans in addressing this issue.

ACTION ALERTS:

Muslim Americans Detained and Questioned When Traveling Outside of the U.S.:

As part of a potential class action law suit, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and CAIR-Chicago is asking anyone who has been detained and questioned at the U.S./Canadian border to please contact civilrights@cairchicago.org.

The facts of the above case are as follows:

A Muslim American man says he has been searched and questioned four times while trying to re-enter the country from trips abroad, even though he had proper identification. The man was held for six hours last month as officials at a U.S. checkpoint in Canada questioned him about the September 11th terrorist attacks. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is representing the man and says they have heard similar complaints from other Muslim Americans.

Religious Discrimination Delays Citizenship Process:

As a joint effort with the Arab American Action Network (AAAN), CAIR-Chicago is asking individuals who passed a citizenship examination and have been waiting for over 90 days, or have been waiting for a Green Card for permanent residence for over 90 days to contact us at either civilrights@cairchicago.org or mennakhalil@gmail.com.

Religious Discrimination at Standardized Testing Centers:

As part of a potential class action law suit, CAIR-Chicago is asking for anyone who has experienced any form of religious discrimination at a testing center to please contact us at civilrights@cairchicago.org. An example of a possible form of religious discrimination includes requiring or requesting the removal of a headscarf for searches, or discriminatory remarks made by employees about Muslims or Islam.

The facts of the above case are as follows:

A Muslim student was asked to remove her headscarf on two separate occasions at a testing center before she began a standardized test required for graduate school. The supervisor and employees of the testing center refused to show her a written copy of the policy requiring Muslim women wearing a headscarf to be searched. A witness at the testing center also observed the employees making discriminatory remarks about Muslims while the victim was taking the test.

Please let us know if you or someone you know have experienced a similar incident and would like to take action to prevent such forms of religious discrimination at standardized testing centers in the future.

Vandalized Property in the North-Side

In the past several months several Muslim families from the north-side of Chicago and the northern suburbs have had property vandalized by unknown perpetrators in the late hours of the night. If you or someone you know has had property vandalized, and feel that you may have been the target of a hate crime, please contact civilrights@cairchicago.org.






















6 Volunteers Needed for CAIR Booth at ISNA 2005

Come visit CAIR-Chicago's Booth at the 2005 ISNA Convention on September 2-4 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center - 5555 N. River Road, Rosemont , Illinois 60018. CAIR-Chicago will be set up at the CAIR main booth. 6 volunteers are needed.

Contact Dina Rehab for more information at outreach@cairchicago.org or 312-212-1520 Training provided Friday, September 2nd at 3:00 PM (Donald E. Stephens Convention Center) Stay tuned to our volunteer center for more opportunities:

www.cairchicago.org/volunteercenter.php





Outgoing Staff Member

CAIR-Chicago's Board, Staff, and Interns would like to express their heartfelt gratitude to Fadi Farhan, outgoing Governmental Relations Director. Fadi who is focusing on study preparations for Law School joined CAIR-Chicago at the very beginning of its rebirth in 2004. He has contributed positively to the organization in substance and in image. Fadi will continue to be an avid activist, advocating for the rights of Muslims in America, and he will continue to be a friend and ally of CAIR-Chicago.


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IT Talent Wanted
 
If you have strong HTML skills, good graphics skills, and are interested in web development, please contact us at 312 212 1520 or email us at communications@cairchicago.org. Please specify if you are interested in volunteering (2-10 hours) or interning (10-20 hours).
 
Journalism Talent Wanted
 
If you are a journalism student or someone who is interested in covering news, commenting on issues, or interviewing people, then please contact us at 312 212 1520 or email us at communications@cairchicago.org. CAIR-Chicago can provide you with a heavily-visited forum through which you can share your work. Please specify if you are interested in volunteering (2-10 hours) or interning (10-20 hours).
 










Executive Director
Yaser Tabbara

Director of Communications
Ahmed Rehab

Civil Rights Coordinator
Christina Abraham

Outreach Coordinator
Dina Rehab

Operations Coordinator
Shyema Azam

Board of Directors
Shakeela Hassan, MD
Alim Elliott Khan
Mazen Kudaimi, MD
Alif Muhammad
Ahmed Rehab
Zaher Sahloul, MD
Yaser Tabbara, Esq. - Secretary
Safaa Zarzour, Esq. - President







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For more information, please contact:

CAIR-Chicago (A Chapter of The Council On American-Islamic Relations)
28 E. Jackson Blvd, Suite 405, Chicago IL 60604
Phone: 312-212-1520, Fax: 312-212-1530
Email: info@cairchicago.org, Website: www.cairchicago.org


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The Chicago Activist is a publication of CAIR-Chicago
17 N. State St., Suite 1500, Chicago IL 60602
Phone: 312-212-1520, Fax: 312-212-1530
Email: info@cairchicago.org, Website: www.cairchicago.org