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RECENT CASES:

Civil Rights Update – 11/18/05

The Civil Rights Department at CAIR-Chicago currently has 250 cases documented in which 101 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 young Muslim boy was interrogated at school after a neighbor, who had a history of making racist threats and comments toward the family, complained to the police about the boy stealing a paper-made ghost decorative on her yard. The police pulled the boy out of classes to question him without notifying his parents until after the questioning was conducted. It was later determined that the young boy was not involved in stealing the decoration. CAIR-Chicago is contacting the local police department to determine whether questioning the boy without the presence of his parents was appropriate in this situation.

  • A Muslim woman awaiting Permanent Residency status was informed that if she left the country to go visit her dying father she would likely not be permitted to reenter the U.S. CAIR-Chicago is assisting the woman in exploring the options available to her.

  • Another Muslim has reported a delay in his citizenship process, having applied for his citizenship and passing all necessary USCIS requirements, but has been waiting for citizenship status due to a pending background check. CAIR-Chicago is incorporating this case into the Citizenship Delay Project. For more information on the Citizenship Delay Project, please see the action alert below.

Employment:
  • An Arab man was terminated from his place of employment. The man believes he was discriminated against because he was given a set of tasks that were impossible to complete in the same day, as requested. After requesting, and receiving, help, he completed his share of the work. However, his supervisor maintained that he did not complete his work and terminated him. CAIR-Chicago is investigating the incident and will take whatever action deemed appropriate to resolve the issue.

  • A Muslim woman was terminated from her place of employment after requesting Eid off. The manager reportedly told the woman that she did not “recognize Eid as a holiday”, and then fired her after years of loyal service. CAIR-Chicago will assist the woman in pursuing a complaint against the company.

  • A Muslim man has been overlooked for several promotions in his years of service with a government organization. CAIR-Chicago will investigate the issue further and will take whatever action deemed necessary to resolve the matter.

Airline/Airport:
  • A Muslim family was denied passage on an airplane. The family first had their flight switched without explanation, and then waited the remainder of the day to be put on another flight. After having boarded another plane later that evening, the family was escorted off the plane before take-off and bags that had already been loaded onto the plane were returned to them. They were later told that the reason for being refused service was because of a problem in the name check, although they had previously cleared federal security checks. An employee of the airline also later informed the family that the airline may have decided to refuse them service for security purposes despite security clearance from federal officers. CAIR-Chicago will investigate the issue further to determine whether the denial of service came from the airline or government and take whatever action appropriate to resolve the issue.

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.










Join Chicago Muslims and ICIRR in the Biggest Celebration of Immigrant Families in the History of Illinois

Our Families, America's Future: Immigrant Justice Convention

Join us in celebrating immigrant families and discussing the Immigrant Power Action Plan. Your presence will demonstrate to the Illinois congressional delegation that immigrants are a growing and significant voice in Illinois. Help us send a unified and loud message in favor of legalization and civil liberties restoration.

SPEAKERS - Governor Rod Blagojevich, Senator Richard Durbin, Congressman Danny Davis, Congressman Luis Gutierrez and Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky.

WHEN - Saturday, November 19th, 2005 Doors Open: 10:30 a.m. Meeting Time: 11:00 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

WHERE - Chicago's Navy Pier, Grand Ballroom 600 East Grand Avenue Chicago, IL 60611

Stay after the Convention and enjoy the family fun of Navy Pier!

TRANSPORTATION - Buses will be available (locations to be announced)

RSVP - If you are interested in attending, please email Dina Rehab, Outreach Coordinator at outreach@cairchicago.org.

CAIR-Chicago is a member of the Illinois Coalition of Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR).




CAIR-Chicago's Annual Event Set for February 4th!

Our Annual Event is set to take place Inshallah on Saturday, February 4th, 2006. Please mark your calendars and show your support by attending that day. We are still recruiting volunteers to help with this event. If you are interested in volunteering for this event, please contact Shyema Azam at operations@cairchicago.org.

Be part of helping a chapter of the largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy group in the country!




CAIR-Chicago Recruits Police Misconduct Project Intern


M. Hasan Ali has recently joined CAIR-Chicago as an intern working in the Civil Rights Department. Hasan, is currently a 4th-year History major at the University of Chicago, focusing his research on Muslims in America. Hasan is also the President of the University of Chicago's Muslim Students' Association. Throughout his college years he has been involved in numerous on-campus organizations seeking to increase awareness of Islam and increase Muslim campus presence. He hopes interning at CAIR-Chicago will provide him a solid base for a future career in law and civil rights. Hasan is currently heading the Civil Rights Department's Police Misconduct Project to address complaints of Muslims being mistreated by the police.


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