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RECENT CASES:

Civil Rights Update – 12/02/05

The Civil Rights Department at CAIR-Chicago currently has 259 cases documented in which 102 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.

Criminal:

  • A Muslim family was subjected to racial and religious based verbal and physical assault during an international flight. The flight attendant on the flight initially refused to deal with the issue when the Muslim family complained to her. The man was eventually moved to another seat on the flight after a complaint was made to the supervising flight attendant. CAIR-Chicago will seek to file a complaint against the flight attendant for her inaction, as well as seek to have the offender charged with a hate crime in the U.S.

Employment:
  • Two Arab and Muslim men were terminated from their place of employment on suspicious grounds on the same day. CAIR-Chicago will investigate the situation and take whatever action deemed necessary to resolve the issue, including filing a formal complaint against the company for discrimination if necessary.
  • A Muslim employee was refused proper training by his supervisor and subsequently fired by the company. The supervisor would also make comments regarding his religion and required him to shave his beard, which he grew for religious purposes. CAIR-Chicago will investigate the complaint and take whatever action necessary to resolve the incident positively.
General:
  • A Muslim man has experienced constant harassment from another tenant in his building. The tenant has placed offensive and derogatory writings on the building’s community bulletin board. CAIR-Chicago will work with the building’s administration to resolve the matter.

Government:
  • 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 due to pending background checks. CAIR-Chicago is incorporating these two cases into the Citizenship Delay Project. For more information on the Citizenship Delay Project, please see the action alert below, as well as the current update in the “Progress Report” section.
  • An Arab furniture store owner was threatened by police officers to refund the money of a customer who was a relative of one of the officers. The police officers threatened to arrest the store owner despite a valid contract signed by the customer. CAIR-Chicago has consulted an attorney regarding the issue and is looking into legal action that can possibly be taken against the police officers involved in the incident.

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.









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

Our Annual Event is set to take place Inshallah on Saturday, February 4th, 2006 at The Sabre Room in Hickory Hills. Please mark your calendars and show your support by attending that day. Reserve your ticket today by going to: http://www.cairchicago.org/fundraiser2006.php. Tickets are $45 bought in advance, or $75 at the door.

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 Hires New Full-Time Governmental Relations Coordinator

CAIR-Chicago is pleased to announce Sadiya Ahmed as its new Governmental Relations Coordinator. She is a graduate from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a degree in Political Science and Gender & Women's Studies. A lifelong activist and organizer, Sadiya co-founded the Muslim Student Action Network (MSAN), a student organization focused on social and political activism from an Islamic perspective. She also has a background in journalism, serving as Editor-in-Chief and contributor for both the Islamic Society of North America Conference Bulletin and the UIC Women's Studies Newsletter.

Currently, Sadiya plans to continue bridging the gap between activism and academia through grassroots organizing and eventually by pursuing graduate studies in comparative Muslim women's social movements and contemporary social theory.

Sadiya is CAIR-Chicago's sixth full-time staff member. Welcome on board Sadiya!



CAIR-Chicago Recruits New IT Intern Intern


Aemun Askari has recently joined CAIR-Chicago as an IT intern working under the Civil Rights and Operations departments. Aemun is currently a sophomore at the University of Illinois (Honors College). Her major is neuroscience/premed. Her duties at CAIR-Chicago currently involve managing and structuring new databases for all departments. She is also assisting with compiling chapter monthly reports for the Civil Rights department.


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

Governmental Relations Coordinator
Sadiya Ahmed

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







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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