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Recent TV & Radio Coverage
    In the past two weeks, CAIR-Chicago has made appearances on Channel NBC 5, ABC 7, WGN 9, CLTV, WBBM radio, and two times on Chicago Public Radio to raise awareness on the Pakistan Earthquake relief efforts. TV Appearances in the past two weeks also include ones on Milwaukee affiliate stations of NBC, CBS, FOX, WB and Milwaukee Public Radio in regards to the Ayman Khatib Case. Snipets will be added to CAIR-Chicago's multimedia page as they are obtained.







RECENT CASES:

Civil Rights Update – 10/21/05

The Civil Rights Department at CAIR-Chicago currently has 225 cases documented in which 86 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.

Employment:

  • Muslim male who working for a governmental agency was initially granted national security clearance and then was denied access and, as a result, was terminated from his place of employment. The administrator of the governmental agency told the man that the rejection it was due to his background, his nationality, and the fact he traveled to an Arab country. CAIR-Chicago will investigate the complaint and take whatever action deemed necessary.

  • A Muslim male requested days off for Ramadan, which were approved, but his manager has kept scheduling him for days requested off even though there are other employees that can cover for him. When confronted, the manager he told him that he didn’t have to accommodate him. CAIR-Chicago will assist the man in filing a complaint and take whatever action deemed necessary to resolve the issue.

  • Muslim male doctor suffered extensive harassment and verbal abuse from his supervisor. He has reported the events many times to the hospital administration, which did not take any action. He was later terminated by the hospital. CAIR-Chicago will investigate the complaint and take whatever action necessary to assist the man’s pending EEOC complaint.

  • Muslims at a half-way house were not being allowed to congregate for prayer and iftar during Ramadan. CAIR-Chicago contacted the director of the halfway house. The director of the halfway house later stated that there had been a misunderstanding and that they would arrange something by the end of the week.

Government:
  • A Muslim female’s five year old daughter complained that her father, who shared custody of the child, touched her inappropriately. She filed a complaint with DCFS, which found credible evidence and proceeded with the case. The husband appealed and during the trial the judge was disrespectful and culturally insensitive towards the woman and her mother. The Judge accused the woman of being a liar and stated that she was manipulating her many expert witnesses and then granted the ex-husband’s appeal. CAIR-Chicago is working to determine the best possible course of action.

  • A Muslim female protestor had her hijab intentionally pulled off by a police officer who was forcefully arresting her. She was also forced to remover her headscarf during lockup. CAIR-Chicago is currently in contact with the local police department regarding the issue.

  • Two 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.

  • A Muslim male university student was interviewed and fingerprinted by the FBI after a black-box with wires that was left on the CTA caused a bomb-scare and was traced to a class that the student was enrolled in at his university. Although another student came forward stating that he had inadvertently left the black-box on the train, the FBI proceeded to question the Muslim student, all the while knowing that another student had already come forward. CAIR-Chicago will contact the FBI agents involved and resolve the issue.

  • A Muslim male was pulled over by a police officer and then arrested for allegedly driving a stolen car although he had shown the officer proof that he had bough the car a week ago. The officer rejected the receipt, accusing him of lying. The officer then asked him if he was Palestinian, and stated that “a lot of Palestinian auto stores on Western steal cars and alter the license plates.” He was taken to police headquarters and his car was impounded but was released and reissued his car after the police learned that it wasn’t stolen. CAIR-Chicago will contact the police department and take whatever steps necessary to resolve the issue.

  • A Muslim man has experienced a delay in obtaining his Green Card for permanent residency. CAIR-Chicago referred the man to the Midwest Immigration and Human Rights Center for legal representation.

  • A Muslim female was pulled over by an officer for failing to stop at a stop and was treated disrespectfully by the officer. CAIR-Chicago is investigating whether discrimination was involved in the officer’s behavior, and if determined will take whatever measures deemed necessary to resolve the issue.
School:
  • A Muslim female medical student reported harassment by her attending physician while completing her residency. The woman claims that the attending physician treated all the Muslim residents badly. As a result of the mistreatment by the attending physician, the woman is being required to re-take exams and perform her residency once again. CAIR-Chicago will work to determine whether at this point any suit can be filed on behalf of the woman since the incident took place several years ago, and will work with the local CAIR chapter where the incident took place to issue a positive resolution and prevent mistreatment of Muslim students completing their residency in the future.

  • A Muslim female student-teacher reported disrespectful treatment by her supervising teacher, claiming that she was being treated differently than other student teachers. In one incident, the Muslim woman was explaining the Muslim woman’s headscarf (hijab) to a student and the supervising teacher started to scoff as she explained it. When the Muslim woman brought it up to another supervisor at site, she was blamed her for having "cultural baggage". She also brought the issue up to the university’s program director, but the nothing was done in response to the complaint. CAIR-Chicago will work with the woman to determine the best possible course of action and try to establish a positive resolution to the issue.

  • A university MSA requested their school to provide halaal food, a place to pray salat, recognition of Eid and other holidays, and the ability to skip class for jumah prayers. CAIR-Chicago will investigate the complaint and work with the students to have their religious needs accommodated.

  • Muslim male university student is being harassed by another student for backing out of a group project. CAIR-Chicago is currently investigating the complaint to determine the best possible course of action.

ONGOING PROGRESS:

View reports of ongoing progress for cases with the Civil Rights Department in the “Progress Report” section.

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. It is important for Muslims who have faced this type of treatment to join the lawsuit so as to show that it is not an isolated case. The more people that join the case the more strength it will have to force positive changes in how Muslim Americans are treated in the future at our borders.

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.

Have a Complaint Against DHS?:

CAIR-Chicago will be meeting with representatives of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), and the Attorney General’s Office as a part of periodic Community Leadership Liaison Group meetings. If you have any issues or incidents pertaining to the DHS, FBI or Attorney General’s Office that you would like presented at this meeting, please contact Christina Abraham at "a href="mailto:civilrights@cairchicago.org">civilrights@cairchicago.org or 312-212-1520 as soon as possible.

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.










Sign Up to Be a Committe Head for CAIR-Chicago's Annual Event!

Our Annual Event is set to take place Inshallah on Saturday, February 4th, 2006, and we need people to step up as Committee Heads to help organize a successful dinner. Lots of planning and preparing will be taking place from now until the dinner.

We are currently looking for volunteers to join OR head committees. Please respond back to Shyema Azam at operations@cairchicago.org with your contact information if you are interested in taking part in CAIR-Chicago's most important annual event.

Committees and Duties: (Note: Duties are not limited to what is listed):

Phone Banking/Mail
  • Secure Sponsors/Guests over the phone

  • Preparing mail to be sent out (invitations, flyers, special letter requests, tickets)


  • Advertising
  • In charge of handing out flyers, putting up flyers, securing jummah/other announcements for dinner

  • E-Mail announcement/reminders


  • Registration
  • Sell Tickets Day-of-Event

  • Help Guests with any questions they Have

  • Preparing guest registration area


  • Ushering
  • Helping guests to their seat and answering other questions

  • Go-to for taking care of special guests


  • Fundraising
  • Volunteers to be assigned to fundraising section of the hall

  • Taking donations and logging in donation amounts at event


  • Decoration/Set-up
  • Selecting color scheme and decoration for hall

  • Responsible for setting up decorations day of

  • Responsible for photography throughout the event


  • Deadline to sign up as a Committee Head: MONDAY, OCTOBER 31st

    (Please note that we will be taking volunteers as an ongoing process)

    Be part of helping a chapter of the largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy group in the country! Please contact Shyema Azam (operations@cairchicago.org) with any further questions.


    Click Here


    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
    Hina Sodha, Esq.
    Yaser Tabbara, Esq. - Secretary
    Safaa Zarzour, Esq. - President







    Click Here





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    co-sponsored by CAIR-Chicago



        

    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