CAIR-Chicago will be co-hosting a night of comedy, music, song, and spoken word featuring Muslim and Jewish artists from across the Chicagoland area in an effort to build ties and nurture a greater understanding between diverse communities.
"We in the Muslim-American community are part of the American fabric and these kinds of messages that speak to promote intolerance and suspicion are anti-American, not just anti-Muslim," said Ahmed Rehab, CAIR Chicago.
• A man began receiving threats because his affiliation with another Muslim. CAIR-Chicago has advised the man to file a police report.
• A condo association issued a newsletter that included a monthly calendar of events. However, for the holiday Isra Al Mi-Raj (Ascent of the Prophet Muhammad) the calendar displayed the infamous Danish cartoon that depicted the prophet Muhammad as a suicide bomber. CAIR-Chicago wrote to the condo association and asked for a written apology. The condo association agreed to publish an apology in their next newsletter.
• After injuring one of her toes, an Arab Muslim woman was required to wear sandals at work according to a doctor’s note. The woman claims that other non-Muslim and non-Arab employees dress more inappropriately than her and are not punished by supervisors. The woman has already filed a complaint with Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR). CAIR-Chicago will take action to provide assistance for the woman.
• A Muslim man received a demotion and $20,000 pay cut from his employer. The man reports that he was called into his supervisor’s office to receive his demotion and his supervisor’s reasoning was that a coworker had complained against him. The man believes that the decision was not due to performance because he received a positive annual review and had received all of his bonuses. CAIR-Chicago advised the man to file with Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) as well as complain to the human resources department.
• A Muslim man was hired in 2001 as an assistant manager for a large national retail store. He began training in 2003 to become a manager. Since beginning his training he reported having been harassed on the basis of ethnicity, religion and age. He claims that his district manager along with three previous managers have participated in the harassment. According to the Muslim man, most mangers in training receive their promotion after two years. He has yet to be promoted since beginning his training in 2003. The man has already filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). CAIR-Chicago will be in communication with the man to ensure that he receives the proper representation.
• A Muslim man applied to become a police officer with the Chicago Police Department. The man reported that he satisfied all the necessary requirements but was rejected because he had not been a resident for ten years, although he is a U.S. citizen. The man filed a complaint with Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) and Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC). CAIR-Chicago will take whatever action it deems appropriate to finding a positive resolution.
• A Muslim man reported discrimination by his employer on the basis of his religion. The man stated that he was punished harsher than a coworker despite that them having committed the same offense and giving the same story to their supervisor. Because the case was outside the state of Illinois, CAIR-Chicago referred the man to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission of Milwaukee and the Wisconsin Equal Rights Division.
• A Muslim man who is a pilot for a large airline company was denied a request for religious accommodation of his beard because of the airline’s no-beard policy. The airline’s current regulations state that beards are prohibited for safety reasons. However, after contacting the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), a representative of the FAA stated that having a beard does not pose a safety risk and that it was up to the specific airlines. CAIR-Chicago will take whatever action it deems appropriate to find a positive resolution.
• A Muslim restaurant owner contacted CAIR-Chicago regarding permits that are needed to allow prayer in a restaurant basement. The owner allows 30-35 people pray in his restaurant’s basement. Recently, a city inspector told the owner that he needed a permit to allow prayer in his basement, although a previous inspector told the owner he did not need a permit. CAIR-Chicago contacted the city regarding the permit issue, and the city stated that no permit was required. CAIR-Chicago will continue to monitor the situation to ensure that the restaurant owner is not discriminated against.
• A Muslim man reported that two federal agents visited his home for questioning. The man invited the agents into his home. There, the agents asked the man a series of questions regarding family in the United States, acquaintances in Egypt, and ties with the Muslim non-profits and charitable organizations. CAIR-Chicago advised the man to obtain attorney representation before speaking to law enforcement.
• Another Muslim reported a delay in obtaining citizenship. The man passed the exam and met all the necessary requirements for obtaining citizenship. CAIR-Chicago is incorporating this case into the Citizenship Delay Project.
• A Muslim woman attempted to display information about Ramadan in a display case at her local library. In the past she has been able to put up such displays, but under a new library director she was not permitted to do so. In the past, the library has allowed displays for other religions as well, such as Christmas and Kwanzaa. CAIR-Chicago contacted the board of the library, who subsequently permitted the woman to post an informational display for Ramadan. CAIR-Chicago is requesting that the library include a provision in its policy that is inclusive of all religious groups.
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The Chicago Office of the Illinois Chapter of The Council On American-Islamic Relations:
28 E. Jackson Blvd, Suite 1410, Chicago IL 60604
Phone: 312-212-1520, Fax: 312-212-1530
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Website: www.cairchicago.org
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