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CAIR-CHICAGO NEWSLETTER






CAIR-Chicago Announces New Online Volunteer Activist Center!
 
We are pleased to announce the completion of our volunteer online center. Please take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the center and what it has to offer.

What makes volunteering with CAIR-Chicago interesting? Our volunteer program does not simply enlist random individuals to handle random tasks. A well-organized system is in place that takes into account the skill-set of the volunteer, their preferred area of work, and their availibility; it then matches them with the best fit program available. This way we ensure maximum effectiveness of the work while ensuring that the work is enjoyable for our volunteers.

Ours is a case of organized community activism. As such, our volunteers are not thought of as simply volunteers, but full-fledged community activists, hence the title of Volunteer Activist (VA) that CAIR-Chicago has opted to use in labelling this crucial segment of CAIR-Chicago's team.


Drawing inspiration from our legacies

Volunteering is a cornerstone of our Islamic legacy. The Holy Qur'an 93:11 states, "And by the Bounty of your lord - Proclaim". This is a direct order instructing us to share whatever blessings God has showered upon us. This does not simply constitute wealth, but also one's time, talents, skills, and expertise. Volunteering time, talent, and expertise was indeed instrumental in establishing the first Muslim community in the days of the Prophet (Pbuh). CAIR-Chicago is keen to adopt this social model of our forefathers as one bearing the true Islamic spirit of how to bring about positive change.

Drawing from our American legacy, president John F. Kennedy famously said, "ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country". Becoming a more politically mature, well-integrated, though uniquely Muslim community is good for our country. Fighting prejudices and bias whether levelled against us or against others will better the quality of life in America. And making America a better country fulfills the core of our Islamic message which instructs us to "enjoin goodness" wherever we may be.

Volunteering is therefore the epitome of good Muslim and American citizenship. Please join our team today, and start making a personal difference in causes that matter to you and your family & friends.

Visit Now

Project O 'Marathon Day'
 
As part of our political empowerment endeavor called Project O, Fadi Farhan, Director of Governmental Relations and Dina Rehab, Outreach Coordinator, held CAIR-Chicago's first Marathon Day at the Downtown Islamic Center (231 S. State Street, Chicago IL 60604) on May 13. The Marathon Day was a milestone of Project O. CAIR-Chicago would like to thank all of the volunteers who took time out to help us with this important project. With the help of these dedicated individuals, we managed to designate all the registered American Muslim voters of the entire 8th Congressional District for entry into our databases in less than one day!

Women's Rights in Islam
 
CAIR-Chicago's Outreach Coordinator, Dina Rehab, gave a presentation on Women's Rights in Islam as part of a Women's Studies class at the Institute for Learning in Retirement at Northwestern University. The class is composed of retired professional women. The session took on a discussion format where students had a chance to openly address any questions they had about women and Islam. Some of the topics discussed included female Islamic dress, gender equality, polygamy, the right to education, and the right to own property. A distinction between cultural and religious practices was emphasized by the speaker.





Civil Rights Update 5/4/05:

The following incidents were reported to CAIR-Chicago within the past two weeks:

Government:

  • A Muslim male was approached by the FBI for a “voluntary” interview. CAIR-Chicago will represent him in the “voluntary” interview.

Employment:
  • A Muslim woman was hired and worked for a week without difficulty at a financial services firm. The employer required her to bring in her passport for identification, not allowing for any other form of identification (which will suffice legally if accompanied with her SS Card). Upon their discovery that her nation of origin was Iran, they began to treat her disrespectfully. Two days later another individual was hired and she was terminated without being given a reason.

Criminal:
  • Due to a severely inaccurate article published on an online magazine, a Muslim university professor has been receiving hate mail and threatening phone calls. CAIR-Chicago has contacted the FBI regarding the situation; it is currently being investigated.

Prison:
  • A Muslim inmate detained in an Indiana Federal Prison was denied copies of the Quran and not allowed to have Jumua’a (Friday) prayer services by prison personnel.

General:
  • A Muslim male’s business was misleadingly portrayed by a local Indianapolis news station as having funneled money to terrorist organizations during a feature on the evening news.

Ongoing Progress:
  • CAIR-Chicago has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request on behalf of a Muslim male who was detained in a Federal Correctional Institution regarding an incident in which the male was punished for praying on Eid (major Muslim Holiday).
  • CAIR-Chicago attended a meeting between a Muslim woman and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The woman was discriminated against for her Iranian nationality at a financial services firm; a complaint was filed against the firm.
  • A 13 year old Muslim junior high school student was repeatedly harassed and physically assaulted by two students since his transfer to the school in January. The school’s administration has asked CAIR-Chicago to conduct sensitivity training sessions for faculty/staff and students in the district as a result of the incident.

CAIR-Chicago Success:
  • After praying in an empty classroom, a female student of a community college was verbally attacked by another student. The student made vulgar comments to the woman regarding her daughter, her faith, and her person, making comments such as “you don’t have a religion”. The female student became physically and emotionally agitated because of the comments.

    CAIR-Chicago met with the college’s administrators to ensure that the offender was dealt with appropriately and to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future. The offending student was required to receive anger management counseling as well as a disciplinary warning. In addition, the college administration will receive sensitivity training sessions for faculty/staff, and will work with CAIR-Chicago on diversity programs geared towards students at the college, as well as special “know your rights” sessions for Middle Eastern, Asian, and Muslim students.





Action Alert Update: Religious Discrimination at Standardized Testing Centers:
 
As part of a 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.

Below are the facts of the case of the class action law suit:

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.



Action Alert Upate: Religious Discrimination Delays Citizenship Process

CAIR-Chicago has received reports from five individuals in the last two weeks that have experienced a delay in their citizenship status due to an ongoing background check.

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.


 
 




CAIR-Chicago presents... Hate Crimes: Define and Act
June 12, 2005

Where?
Muslim Community Center, (Community Hall)
4380 N Elston Ave., Chicago

When?
Sunday, June 12th (2-4 pm)


Expert Speakers will address:
What is a hate crime?
How do I know if I am a victim of a hate crime?
What do I do if I am exposed to a hate crime?


Guest Speakers:
Christina Abraham (CAIR-Chicago)
Jacob Overton (FBI)
Diana Lin (Chicago Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights Under Law)
Chicago Police Department

Co-sponsored by MCC


Foundation Fair
June 12, 2005

What?
CAIR-Chicago will take part in the Foundation Fair at the Islamic Foundation. The Foundation Fair is an afternoon bazaar of booths filled with everything from international cuisine of the Middle East, Persia, and South Asia to booths containing ethnic clothing and jewelry. Come visit our booth and learn more about our activities and how you can get involved.

When?
June 12 (12pm - 6pm)

Where?
The Islamic Foundation (300 W. Highridge Road, Villa Park, IL. 60181).


Muslims Care Initiative
June 19, 2005


CAIR-Chicago is taking part in a summer-long campaign initiated by CAIR-National to promote community service in the Muslim community. A theme is selected for each month (June-August).

Timeline
June: Health Awareness Month
July: Help the Needy
August: For Our Youth

CAIR is currently coordinating a June blood drive with several Chicagoland Muslim organizations: On a typical day, 1500 blood donors are needed to meet patient's needs in the Chicagoland area. Blood is needed to save the lives of people undergoing surgery for trauma or heart disease; for persons suffering from bleeding disorders; for patients with severe burns; and for patients undergoing chemotherapy for cancer. If every eligible donor would give-the-gift-of-life only 2 times annually, there would never be a blood shortage in Chicagoland. Each unit of blood donated potentially saves three lives. If you are a person over the age of 18, weigh more than 100 lbs, have not donated in the past 2 months, have no significant heath problems, and have not traveled to Asia or Africa within the last 12 months, you can donate.

What?
Come donate blood during June (Health Awareness Month)

Where
Muslim Community Center
4380 N. Elston Ave. Chicago IL 60641
Call (773) 775-9047 to volunteer or email info@mccchicago.com

When?
June 19, 2005 (9 AM -1 PM)

The June Blood Drive is co-sponsored by the Health Awareness Committee of MCC (www.mccchicago.org) and the Compassionate Care Network (CCN) (www.ccnchicago.com).

Blood Drives to be held at the Islamic Society of Northwest Suburbs, Downtown Islamic Center and Mosque Foundation. Stay tuned for more detailed information! If your mosque or community center is interested in hosting a blood drive, please contact Dina Rehab, CAIR-Chicago's Outreach Coordinator, at outreach@cairchicago.org or 312-212-1520. Check our website and newsletter regularly for future MUSLIMS CARE summer events.







 


CAIR Offers Free Copies of the Holy Quran to the American Public
 
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is proud to announce a new campaign intended to promote understanding of the Quran by distributing complimentary copies to any interested member of the American public. This campaign, titled Explore the Qur’an, serves as a response to those who would defame and desecrate the holy book of Muslims without full knowledge of its teachings. Visit Site

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).
 

 


Help Wanted: Operations Coordinator

CAIR-Chicago has an immediate opening for the full-time position of Operations Coordinator. This position requires working knowledge of IT related issues (HTML, MS Office, Excel and Access). A college graduate is preferred. For more information, visit our career center. Qualified candidates may email their resume to director@cairchicago.org












Executive Director
Yaser Tabbara

Director of Communications
Ahmed Rehab

Director of Governmental Relations
Fadi Farhan

Civil Rights Coordinator
Christina Abraham

Outreach Coordinator
Dina Rehab

Board of Directors
Susan Janaan Hashim, JD - Treasurer
Shakeela Hassan, MD
Alim Elliott Khan
Mazen Kudaimi, MD
Kamran Memon, Esq.
Alif Muhammad
Ahmed Rehab
Zaher Sahloul, MD
Abdullah Salah, Esq. - Vice President
Yaser Tabbara, Esq. - Secretary
Safaa Zarzour, Esq. - President






Click Here





'The Last Prophet' is back by popular demand. Fine Media Group is re-releasing the movie in several locations. The first release was a great success and was very well received. If you missed it last time, don’t let it pass you by this time! To find a time and location near you please visit www.finemediagroup.com or call 1.800.FMG.2000



    

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