March 6th, 2010 10:00 EST
CAIR Helps Defend U.S. Rights
As the recently-elected CAIR board chairman, I am blessed and honored to lead an organization that has gained tremendous respect and credibility through many years of hard work on your behalf. Now it`s my turn to give back " and you can join me in this effort to help CAIR continue to defend your rights and mine.
Join me in taking CAIR and the community to a new level of engagement and ability to defend civil rights, to enhance understanding of Islam and to promote justice and mutual understanding. Our 15-year-long track record makes us uniquely qualified to carry out this mission - but not without your support.
Our community is facing some serious challenges and opportunities, from profiling and discrimination to religious accommodation and the need for greater interfaith dialogue.
As we strive to move forward, there are those who would turn back the clock on our constitutional and civil rights. We cannot afford to let this happen.
In recent weeks, committed staff and volunteers at CAIR chapters nationwide have been defending your right to free speech and freedom of religion.
Our Southern California chapter requested the U.S. Attorney General to launch an investigation into the FBI`s arrest of a man who claims his arrest was in retaliation for his refusal to become an informant.
CAIR`s Minnesota chapter invited the FBI director to a recent mosque open house to discuss allegations against community members and to hear about claims of "profiling" by agents.
In State Legislatures
In Oklahoma and Minnesota, CAIR chapters are challenging proposed legislation that would deny a Muslim woman wearing hijab, or people of other faiths who wear religious head coverings, from obtaining a driver`s license.
Yesterday in Minnesota, representatives of CAIR`s chapter there met with the sponsor of the legislation targeting head coverings who told them the amended bill would have a religious exemption.
The proposed Oklahoma bill banning head coverings was introduced following a successful campaign by CAIR`s chapter in that state to allow hijab in driver`s license photos.
Also recently in California, CAIR chapters defended Muslim women who were denied service at two banks in that state because they wear hijab.
Just yesterday, the Washington Post carried a story about CAIR`s role in defending another Muslim woman who was twice taken out of a waiting line at a Maryland bank because of her hijab.
Today`s Post notes that the bank was forced to apologize to the Muslim customer.
As you can see, our rights should not be taken for granted. CAIR is vigilant and works daily to defend the rights of all Americans.
Sen. Larry Shaw