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(Updated May 2016)
(Note: For the awards and recognitions and Federal Elected Officials sections, we only include items from the last five years, January 2011 onward, in this document. See previous versions of the document for years not covered here. This document is a representative collection of the support CAIR is privileged to enjoy. Due to space limitations we do not include all the material we have.)
AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS
2016: CAIR-Oklahoma Executive Director Adam Soltani received the Angie Debo Civil Libertarian of the Year Award presented to him by the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma at their annual meeting.
2016: CAIR-Minnesota received the 2016 Winds of Change diversity award from the Forum on Workplace Inclusion, in partnership with the University of St. Thomas – Opus College of Business.
2015: CAIR-Florida Legislative and Government Affairs Director Laila Abdelaziz received a Silver Medallion Award from Community Tampa Bay, which works to create a community free from all forms of discrimination.
2015: CAIR-Oklahoma Executive Director Adam Soltani received the Oklahoma Conference of Churches Interfaith Leadership Award presented to him by Rabbi Vered Harris of Temple B’nai Israel at the 2015 Oklahoma Conference of Churches Annual Dinner.
2015: CAIR-National Maryland Outreach Manager Zainab Chaudry received a Governor’s Volunteer Service Award.
2015: CAIR-National Maryland Outreach Manager Zainab Chaudry was appointed to the Maryland State Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
2015: CAIR-Iowa received the 2015 Best of Cedar Rapids Award in the Nonprofit Institutions category by the Cedar Rapids Award Program.
2015: CAIR-National Board Member Lori Saroya received the Minnesota Governor’s Distinguished Service Award.
2015: CAIR-National Board Member Lori Saroya received a Congressional Tribute from Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District.
2015: CAIR-San Francisco Bay Area Government Relations CoordinatorSameenaUsman was named among California Assembly District 25’sCommunityHeroes by Assembly member Kansen Chu.
2015: CAIR-San Francisco Bay Area received the Yuri Kochiyama Impact Award from the Asian Law Caucus.
2015: CAIR-Cleveland Executive Director Julia Shearson received recognition by the City of Cleveland during its “Salute to Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones.”
2015: CAIR-Cleveland Executive Director Julia Shearson received recognition from Black on Black Crime, Inc. for Contributions by the Courageous Women in Our Community.
2015: CAIR-Washington received a 2015 Champion ofCivil and VotingRightsAchievementaward for an organization from the Board of Directors of the League of Women Voters of Seattle King County.
2015: CAIR-National Maryland Outreach Manager Zainab Chaudry was named an “Ambassador for Peace” by the Universal Peace Federation, a United Nations partner organization.
2015: CAIR-National Executive Director Nihad Awad was named an emerging voice for civil rights leadership in the 21st Century by the LA Times.
2015: CAIR-National Litigation Director Jenifer Wicks was named a “Super Lawyer” in the Washington, D.C. Area by Super Lawyers Magazine.
2015: CAIR-Minnesota Executive Director Jaylani Hussein received the “Visionary Leader” Award from the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits.
2015: CAIR-Cincinnati was presented the Outstanding Case of the Year Award by the Cincinnati Employment Lawyers Association with special attention given to Staff Attorney Booker Washington’s contributions.
2015: CAIR-Sacramento Valley Executive Director Basim Elkarra was given the Power of Voice award by Access Sacramento.
2014: CAIR-Sacramento Valley Executive Director Basim Elkarra was featured in Comstock Magazine as one of a group of young professionals helping shape the future of the Sacramento Valley.
2014: CAIR-National Executive Director Nihad Awad was again named one of the world’s 500 most influential Muslims by Jordan’s Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center.
2014: CAIR-National Executive Director Nihad Awad was included among Arabian Business Magazine’s annual “500 most powerful Arabs in the world.”
2014: CAIR-Oklahoma Executive Director Adam Soltani received the 2014 Human Rights Award that was presented by the Oklahoma Human Rights Alliance.
2014: CAIR-San Francisco Bay Area Executive Director Zahra Billoo received an Unsung Hero Award from the National Lawyers Guild-SF Chapter.
2014: CAIR-San Francisco Bay Area Government Relations Consultant and CAIR-Calif. Board Secretary Sameena Usman received an Asian Pacific Islander American Leadership Award from Calif. Assembly Member Bob Wieckowski.
2014: CAIR-Sacramento Executive Director Basim Elkarra was named as a Rising Trailblazer on a Comstock Magazine’s Masters of Strategy List.
2014: CAIR-Michigan Executive Director Dawud Walid received the 2014 Booker T. Washington Social Justice Award from the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Task Force, Inc.
2014: CAIR-Connecticut. Executive Director Mongi Dhaouadi received the National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers 2014 Award at the “It Takes a Village” Banquet.
2014: CAIR-Minnesota Board Chair Kausar Hussain received the Outstanding Contribution Award from the Council on Asian-Pacific Minnesotans (CAPM).
2014: CAIR-Minnesota Executive Director Lori Saroya was awarded a 2014 Bush Fellowship by the Minnesota-based Bush Foundation.
2014: CAIR-Los Angeles’ Communications Coordinator Yasmin Nouh received a “Women Making a Difference” award from Calif. State Senator Lou Correa.
2014: Co-Founder and Chair of CAIR-Maryland Zainab Chaudry, received a governor’s citation signed by Governor Martin O’Malley for her work with the South Asian Community at the Governor’s Pan Asian Summit.
2013: CAIR-National Executive Director Nihad Awad received the Prophet Ibrahim Interfaith Award from the National Islamic Committee on Scouting.
2013: CAIR-Michigan Staff Attorney Lena Masri was honored by the Federal Bar Association for her extensive “pro bono legal services on behalf of poor and indigent clients in the Eastern District of Michigan.”
2013: CAIR-Michigan Staff Attorney Lena Masri was awarded by the Syrian American Medical Society, Michigan Chapter (SAMS-MI) and the Syrian Expatriates Organization (SEO) for her “dedication and commitment to serve the cause of medical and humanitarian relief.”
2013: CAIR-Minnesota won the “Making a Difference through Pro Bono Work.” This award commemorates institutions in the legal profession that have been committed to volunteering their services for the poor and disadvantaged.
2013: CAIR-Minnesota was recognized by the Minnesota Philanthropy Partners among the ‘Nonprofits to Know.’”
2013: CAIR-Los Angeles Deputy Director Ameena Qazi received the Beacon of Light Award from Rev. Sarah Halverson at Fairview Community Church in Costa Mesa, Calif.
2013: CAIR-San Francisco Bay Area received the “Fred Korematsu Civil Rights” award from American Muslim Voice.
2013: CAIR-San Francisco Bay Area received the Champions of Justice Award from Muslim Legal Fund of America’s-SF Chapter.
2013: CAIR-San Francisco Bay Area Executive Director Zahra Billoo received the Trailblazer award from the South Asian Bar Association of Northern California.
2013: CAIR-San Francisco Bay Area Executive Director Zahra Billoo received an Asian Pacific Islander American Leadership Award from CA Assembly Member Bob Wieckowski.
2012: CAIR-San Francisco Bay Area Executive Director Zahra Billoo received the Community Service Award from the ICNA San Francisco Bay Area Chapter.
2012: CAIR-National Executive Director Nihad Awad was listed among the world’s 500 most influential Muslims Jordan’s Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center.
2012: During Women’s History Month, Islamic Networks Group recognized five of CAIR’s key female leaders.
2012: CAIR-Minnesota staffer Nausheena Hussain was given a Minnesota Council of Nonprofits 2012 Leadership Award in the Catalytic Leader category.
2012: CAIR-Michigan Executive Director Dawud Walid received an award from the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) for his work in promoting intrafaith and interfaith understanding and cooperation.
2012: CAIR-Chicago Executive Director Ahmed Rehab was appointed by Chicago’s mayor to the city’s New Americans Advisory Committee.
2011: CAIR-National received an award for “Civil Rights Preservation” from the Muslim Journal, the nation’s oldest American Muslim newspaper. The Muslim Journal has over 36 years of continuous weekly publication.
2011: CAIR-San Francisco Bay Area Executive Director Zahra Billoo received the 2011 Public Interest Attorney of the Year Award from the South Asian Bar Association of Northern California (SABA-NC).
2011: CAIR-Minnesota was awarded the 2011 Mission & Excellence Anti-Racism Award by the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN) and MAP for Nonprofits. The annual “Mission & Excellence” awards are given to six non-profit organizations that make “outstanding contributions to Minnesota’s high quality of life.”
2011: CAIR-Minnesota received the award in the “Anti-Racism” category. It awards an organization that “works to eliminate prejudice and racism in society; demonstrates a commitment to pluralism and inclusively; and develops unique and thought-provoking strategies to combat racism.”
2011: CAIR-National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper was recognized among the world’s “500 Most Influential Muslims” by the Jordan-based Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center.
2011: CAIR-Michigan Executive Director Dawud Walid received two awards for civil rights advocacy at the Michigan Council of Human Rights (MCHR) annual banquet.
2011: CAIR-Michigan Executive Director Dawud Walid accepted the Spirit of Detroit Award given by the City Council of Detroit and the MCHR 2011 Activist Organization Award for advocating for the civil rights of all Americans through encouraging dialogue and building coalitions that promote justice and understanding.
2011: CAIR-Oklahoma Executive Director Muneer Awad was awarded the Russell Bennett Recognition by the Tulsa Metropolitan Ministries.TheRussellBennettRecognition is given toan individualwho, likeRussellBennett, provides courageous social justice leadership within the Tulsa Metropolitan Ministry area.
2011: CAIR-National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper was profiled as a “DC Influencer” by PR Week. The publication is “the essential title for PR professionals in the US.”
2011: CAIR-Minnesota was named a “2010 Difference Maker” by the St. Cloud Times. Each year, the publication’s editorial board selects individuals and groups it believes have made the biggest difference in the community.
2011: CAIR-Minnesota co-founder and president Lori Saroya received the St. Catherine University ‘Rising Star’ Alumni Award for her community advocacy and social justice work with CAIR-Minn.
2011: CAIR-Washington received the “Connecting Communities” award from the Faith Action Network.
2011: CAIR-National Executive Director Nihad Awad was included on the “Power 500” list compiled by Arabian Business Magazine.
2011: CAIR-Michigan Executive Director Dawud Walid was awarded the “Pastor’s Award” at Central United Methodist Church’s 7th Annual Peace and Justice Banquet. The award recognizes Walid’s work in promoting religious dialogue and cooperation among Christian and Muslim clergy and speaking out against religious intolerance.
FEDERAL ELECTED OFFICIALS
Background for U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry quote: In 2014, government officials in a number of western countries were shocked when the United Arab Emirates (UAE) released a list of about 80 entities it considers to be terrorist groups. The UAE arbitrarily included a number of highly regarded western humanitarian and advocacy organizations, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). THE UAE government is authoritarian. It is engaged in suppressing basic democratic ideals such freedoms of speech, dissent, association, and assembly. In a personal letter to CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad, U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry wrote the following:
“Let me reiterate, first, that the U.S. government clearly does not consider CAIR to be a terrorist organization. As your letter noted, the Department of State rejected this allegation immediately after the UAE designations were announced in November, and we will continue to do so.” Kerry added, “U.S. officials have raised the issue of CAIR’s inclusion on the UAE’s terror list with UAE officials on multiple occasions…”
“I have personally met with CAIR members in Connecticut though your advocacy at the state level, and your core principles of justice and mutual understanding have been an inspiration to me.” -Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) (October 2015)
“CAIR is an important and influential organization in Ohio and throughout the country. For two decades CAIR has brought together people of all faiths, along with members of the community, to encourage compassion and understanding between all Americans.” -Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) (October 2015)
“I applaud CAIR for empowering American Muslim in Washington State and throughout the country to play an active role in our political system and in our communities.” -Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) (October 2015)
“CAIR-Chicago advances a greater understanding of the Muslim culture and serves as an essential thread in the multicultural fabric of our nation. Your efforts to advocate for tolerance promote the civil liberties of all communities.” -Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) (April 2011)
“Through their continued efforts to educate and introduce Americans to positive aspects of the Muslim community, CAIR-LA provides an important link and resource for the Los Angeles region. Their unwavering dedication to increasing awareness and acceptance is truly praiseworthy.” -Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) (November 2011)
“CAIR’s efforts to defend the constitutional rights of American Muslims to encourage their participation in the political process strengthen democracy for all Americans. In fact, your work on behalf of Minnesota’s Somali-American community has proved crucial to strengthening its relationship with our state and our communities.” -Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.) (October 2015)
“I am grateful for organizations like CAIR that are dedicated to defending civil liberty for all New Yorkers… Your devotion to civil rights strengthens our commitment to democracy throughout New York State and the Muslim Community.” -Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) (October 2015)
“[CAIR’s 21st annual banquet] highlights the efforts of community leaders, scholars and activists to defend civil liberties and promote mutual understanding, and I send my congratulations as you celebrate 21 years since your founding in 1994.” -Senator Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) (October 2015)
“By elevating the understanding of Islam, encouraging dialog and empowering American Muslims, you have become a strong force for justice and the protection of civil rights in America” -Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) (October 2015)
“Your efforts to enhance the understanding of Islam and build coalitions that promote justice and respect is both timely and beneficial.” -former Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) (September 2014)
“Since its inception in 1994, CAIR has grown and flourished, so that now your programs and services help foster not only an understanding of Islam, but you are also working to bring the community together to break down social barriers though the encouragement of dialog, protection of civil liberties and by promoting justice and mutual understanding of all members of society.” -Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) (October 2015)
“Our communities are stronger because of our faith and our diversity, and I salute the Council for empowering American Muslims to participate locally and nationally in political and social activism. By protecting and defending the constitutional rights of American Muslims, you support the rights of all Americans.” -Sen. Christopher S. Murphy (D-Conn.) (August 2014)
“I am proud to be your friend in the United States Senate and I look forward to continuing to work with the Council on American-Islamic Relations long into the future.” -Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) (October 2015)
“As the sole organization promoting civil rights for Muslim-Americans CAIR lobbies for effective civil rights polices and changes in discriminatory practices that directly affect Islamic–Americans in the United States and participating fully in the American civic life.” -Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) (October 2015)
“This event is a testament to the pride you take in your community and in the Commonwealth of Virginia… I commend your work.” -Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.) (October 2015)
“I commend the Council for their efforts promoting justice and mutual understanding.” -former Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) (September 2011)
“I commend the Council on its efforts to empower Muslim Americans to participate in both local and national politics as well as striving to encourage dialogue that presents a comprehensive and accurate understanding of Islam.” -Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) (September 2014)
“I want to thank CAIR for the last twenty years of educating and uplifting our community and protecting and defending the rights of every American. Through the help of groups like CAIR, we can make democracy work for everyone.” -Rep. Ami Bera (D-Calif.) (October 2015)
“As a firm believer in civil rights, I salute CAIR for empowering American Muslims nationwide in political and social activism for the last two decades. Our democracy requires the active participation of informed citizens and I commend CAIR for its efforts to support the principles of civic engagement upon which the United States was founded.” -Rep. Donald S. Beyer (D-Va.) (October 2015)
“CAIR’s work continues to ensure that the principles upon which our nation was founded are upheld.” -former Rep. Bruce L. Braley (D-Iowa) (2013)
“I have seen firsthand the type of important work CAIR does every day. In my district along California’s Central Coast we are fortunate to have many Muslim residents who contribute extensively to our community…Their efforts, along with CAIR, are allowing us to build a more robust and pluralistic society, a foundation of American democracy.” -Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.) (October 2015)
“I commend CAIR for its tireless dedication to non-discrimination, advocacy and grassroots government involvement.” -Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-Calif.) (October 2015)
“I applaud CAIR and all of its supporters for empowering Muslims nationwide to stand up and help shape our country’s identity.” -Rep. Andre Carson (D-Ind.) (October 2015)
“Democracy requires the active involvement of its citizens, and I am inspired by CAIR’s efforts to support the principles of civic engagement upon which the United States was founded.” -Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.) (October 2015)
Foley: ‘What did you think about the swipe? Because it certainly seemed that [CAIR] is the group that this hearing was designed to go after.”
Clarke: “Well I’m glad you mentioned that and that’s why in my statement I raised the fact that the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Michigan worked with Federal law enforcement officials. As a matter of fact just last year alone CAIR-Michigan met with the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security combined thirteen times to help coordinate work between law enforcement at the Federal level and the Muslim community. So CAIR in Michigan definitely had good relations with law enforcement and that has been helpful to protect our citizens from any type of likely threat.” -former Rep. Hansen Clarke (D-Mich.), interview with the Craig Foley Show on WDET Detroit, March 11, 2011.
“I thank [CAIR] for your important work to this end and I wish you the best during your 21st Anniversary Banquet.” -Rep. Gerald Connolly (D-Va.) (October 2015)
“As a firm believer in civil rights, I salute the Council for empowering American Muslims nationwide in political and social activism for the last two decades…
By protecting and defending the Constitutional rights of American Muslims, you support the rights of all Americans. Your work truly is essential in making democracy work for everyone.” -Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) (October 2015)
CAIR has worked diligently to champion the rights of all Americans and make democracy work for everyone. Your leadership and steadfast commitment to fostering understanding and peace are inspiring.” -Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) (October 2015)
“CAIR understands that in defending Muslim Americans against employment discrimination, prison abuse, hate crimes, and citizenship delays they are also defending our American values for every American.” -Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-Ill.) (March 2011)
“CAIR’s twenty years of bringing together communities and defending civil liberties is commendable, and the work you do for the state of Maryland is greatly appreciated.” -Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.) (September 2014)
“I look forward to continuing to work together to ensure the voices of American Muslims are heard and respected. As you commemorate 21 years of CAIR’s accomplishments across the country, please accept my best wishes for a successful banquet.” -Rep. Suzan Delbene (D-Wash.) (October 2015)
I congratulate the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) on 21 years of community service as you host your 21st Anniversary Celebratory Banquet: “Champions for Justice.” -Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D-Calif.) (October 2015)
“Through town hall meetings discussing Muslim civil rights or fighting for American Muslim employees to receive the same benefits as their colleagues, CAIR has done an admirable job advocating for equality for the American Muslim population in Michigan.” -former Rep. John D. Dingell (D-Mich.) (August 2013)
“The council’s work in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and across the nation is much appreciated.” -Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Penn.) (October 2015)
“Through organizations like CAIR and the support of those in attendance tonight was can overcome the obstacles ahead to achieve our shared goals of justice and understanding.” -Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) (October 2015)
“As representative for Maryland’s 4th Congressional District, I value the importance of the Council and its ability to empower American Muslims across my district to participate in political and social activism.” -Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) (October 2015)
“As a firm believer in civil and human rights, I am inspired by CAIR’s work to ensure that the system of justice works for all, not some.” -Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) (October 2015)
“I’m proud to represent members of the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of CAIR and I commend you for your tireless advocacy.” -Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) (October 2015)
“I want to recognize the dedication and ambition of Council members, advocating, and your partners for continuing to go above and beyond to building bridges between people of all backgrounds.” -Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-Conn.) (October 2015)
“I congratulate the Council on American-Islamic Relations on 21 years of excellence and community service as you host your 21st Anniversary Celebratory Banquet: “Champions for Justice.” -Rep. Marcia L. Fudge (D-Ohio) (October 2015)
“I thank you for your commitment to defending civil liberties in the state of Florida and across the nation.” -Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) (2014)
“Your work truly is essential in making democracy work for everyone in this country.” -Rep. Marcia L. Fudge (D-Ohio) (September 2014)
“By protecting and defending the constitutional rights of American Muslims, you support the rights of all Americans.” -Rep. John Garamendi (D-Calif.) (September 2013)
“Congratulations on celebrating 21 years of excellence. I look forward to continuing to work with CAIR in the future.” -Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) (October 2015)
“It is with great honor that I congratulate the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) on 21 years of excellence and community service as you host your 21st Anniversary Celebratory Banquet: ‘Champions for Justice.’” -Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Calif.) (October 2015)
“CAIR has been instrumental in strengthening our democracy as it has championed the principles of civic engagement. This is particularly true for the outstanding work CAIR has done in the State of Florida.” -Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.) (October 2015)
“During the first National Muslim Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill this past year, my office had the great pleasure of meeting with the CAIR Bay area chapter. We were inspired by their tremendous work in encouraging leadership, bolstering civic participation, and promoting social activism. -Rep. Michael Honda (D-Calif.) (October 2015)
“The Council’s work in the state of Texas and across the nation is much appreciated… I commend CAIR for its efforts to support the principles of civic engagement upon which the United States was founded.” -Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) (October 2015)
“I applaud the council for continuing this great tradition of bringing together community leaders, scholars and activists to celebrate CAIR’s work of defending civil liberties. The council’s work in the state of Ohio and across the nation is much appreciated.” -Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) (October 2015)
“I applaud the Council for continuing this tradition of bringing together community leaders and scholars to celebrate CAIR’s work defending civil liberties.” -Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) (October 2015)
“As I continue my work representing Michigan’s Fifth District in Congress, I stand with [CAIR] to continue building coalitions to promote social justice and mutual understanding.” -Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Mich.) (October 2015)
“In my home state of Ohio, CAIR has helped make my district a more inclusive and welcoming place for American Muslims.” -former Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D-Ohio) (September 2011)
“This year’s banquet theme, “Champions for Justice,” truly embodies CAIR’s mission. From public service to protecting civil liberties, the Council continues to be at the forefront of community leadership and advocacy for the American Muslim community.” -Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) (October 2015)
“Since its establishment in 1994, CAIR has worked to promote a positive image of Islam and Muslims in America. Through media relations, lobbying, education and advocacy, CAIR puts forth an Islamic perspective to ensure that the Muslim voice is represented.” -Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) (October 2015)
“I send warm wishes to the Michigan Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, as it joins its parent organization in celebration of 21 years of dedicated community service and civil rights advocacy. -Rep. Sander Levin (D-Mich.) (October 2015)
“…the Council is especially close to my heart. I like to remember that all of us, no matter our faith, are part of one house and one family – the American family.” -Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) (October 2015)
“For 21 years, CAIR has worked to promote civic engagement, protect civil liberties, and combat discrimination and stereotypes in my home, Santa Clara County.” -Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) (October 2015)
“I continue to be inspired by CAIR’s critical work in not only furthering the civil rights of the American Muslim community, but all communities through the nation.” -Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.) (October 2015)
“As a firm believer in civil rights, I applaud the Council for empowering all Americans to participate in the political process, both in Sacramento and across the nation.” -Rep. Doris O. Matsui (D-Calif.) (October 2015)
“I am honored to work with CAIR-WA on issues of civil rights and social justice… I look forward to your continued my work with you in this regard in the years to come.” -Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) (October 2015)
“CAIR’s work in California and across the country is much appreciated, and as an advocate for civil rights and religious freedom, I recognize the progress made towards empowering American Muslim in social and political participation. -Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.) (October 2015)
“Minnesota’s growing, vibrant Muslim community is an indispensable part of the fabric of our state, and I am pleased that CAIR is representing their interests at home and across the United States.” -Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) (October 2015)
“I am honored to work with CAIR-WA on issues of justice and civility important not only to my Congressional district, but to the entire nation.” -Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) (September 2014)
“I commend CAIR for its extensive efforts to combat hate crimes and racial intolerance. Please accept my best wishes on continuing your work on social justice and American Muslim empowerment for many years to come!” -Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.) (October 2015)
“I commend the Council for empowering American Muslims to take an active role in local and national politics.” -former Rep. Gary G. Miller (R-Calif.) (September 2014)
“As a lifelong believer in civil rights, I deeply value CAIR’s efforts to defend the rights of not only American Muslims, but of all Americans. This advocacy is crucial in the effort to protect the individual liberties that we so strongly cherish.” -former Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) (September 2014)
“Your work is essential in making democracy work for everyone in this country.” -former Rep. Gloria Negrete McLeod (D-Calif.) (August 2013)
“On behalf of the 8th District of Virginia, I wish your family, friends, and community the high recognition and appreciation you deserve throughout the community.” -former Rep. James P. Moran (D-Va.) (September 2014)
“The Council’s work in defending civil liberties in the state of Connecticut and across the nation is much appreciated… Your work truly is essential in making democracy work for everyone.” -Rep. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) (October 2015)
“I congratulate you on preserving this wonderful tradition of bringing different members of the community together in celebration of your dedication to the defense of civil liberties.” -Rep. Patrick E. Murphy (D-Fla.) (January 2013)
“As a firm believer in civil rights, I salute CAIR for empowering American Muslims nationwide in political and social activism for the last two decades.” -Rep. Eleanor Norton (D-District of Columbia) (October 2015)
“I … send my greetings to all those who are participating in CAIR’s national banquet. Best wishes for many years of continued success.” -Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-N.J.) (October 2015)
“…CAIR’s work in defending civil liberties is one that I am proud to support year after year. The council’s work in the state of New Jersey and across the nation is much appreciated. ” -Rep. Donald Payne, Jr. (D-N.J.) (October 2015)
“The work that CAIR does for our city and across the nation not only enriches the Muslim community but also expands productive dialog between cultures.” -Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) (October 2015)
“The Council’s work in the State of Maryland and across the nation is exceptional… I commend CAIR for striving to uphold the Constitutional rights of all Americans, while promoting Islam in a positive light. ” -Rep. C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.) (October 2015)
“As a firm believer in civil rights, I salute CAIR for empowering American Muslims nationwide in political and social activism for the last two decades. Our democracy requires the active participation of information citizens and I commend CAIR for its efforts to promote civic engagement…” -Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) (October 2015)
“The Council’s work in the state of Ohio and across the nation is much appreciated…I commend CAIR for its efforts to support the principles of civic engagement upon which American was founded. -Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) (October 2015)
It is with great pleasure that I congratulate the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) on 21 years of excellence and community service as you host your 21st Anniversary Celebratory Banquet: “Champions for Justice.” -Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.) (October 2015)
“I applaud the Council for continuing this great tradition of bringing together community leaders, scholars, and activists to celibate CAIR’s work in defending civil liberties. The Council’s work in the state of California and across the nation is much appreciated.” -Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.) (October 2015)
“Our democracy requires the actives participation of informed citizens and I commend CAIR for its efforts to support the principles of civic engagement upon which the United States of America was founded.” -Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.) (October 2015)
“Founded in 1994, CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil advocacy organization…and the Council’s work in Los Angeles, the state of California, and across the nation is much appreciated.” – Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) (September 2013)
“…CAIR has maintained its presence on the front lines of the struggle to ensure that all rights and civil liberties extend to every citizen within our country.” -Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) (October 2015)
“CAIR provides American Muslims with the support and resources needed to becomes engaged and informed citizens, and for your continued efforts to promote peace and unity, you have my utmost thanks and appreciation.” -Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) (October 2015)
“The Council’s work in Washington State, which gives people a voice, is much appreciated… I look forward to hearing about CAIR’s positive contributions to the community in the years to come… ” -Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) (October 2015)
“I applaud CAIR’s mission to “enhance the understanding of Islam and to encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.” – Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) (October 2011)
Awarded Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition to the CAIR-Ohio “in recognition of their 9th Annual Banquet” -former Rep. Betty Sutton (D-Ohio) (May 2011)
“Whether it is promoting civil rights, civil liberties, our constitutional right to freedom of religion, or opposing policies that allow racial and religious profiling and inhibit Americans of any faith from engaging in civic life, the Council has worked tirelessly for outcomes that benefit all Americans.” -Rep. Paul D. Tonko (D-N.Y.) (September 2014)
“The Council’s work in California and across the nation is much appreciated, and essential to our continued support of civil rights.” -Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.) (October 2015)
“I have had the pleasure of working with the Council and New York’s Capital Region Muslim community for many years. I want to express my gratitude for the work you have done and will continue to do.” -Rep. Paul D. Tonko (D-N.Y.) (October 2015)
“I commend you on all you do to advocate for the protection of civil liberties for all American Muslims and to support essential principles of civic engagement.” -Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) (October 2015)
“The Council’s work in San Diego County and across the nation is much appreciated. Please accept my very best as you celebrate your accomplishments and the community honors the “Champions for Justice” -Rep. Juan Vargas (D-Calif.) (October 2015)
“The council’s work in the state of Minnesota and across the nation’s is much appreciated…. I salute CAIR for empowering American Muslim nationwide in political and social activism for the last two decades.” -Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minn.) (October 2015)
“I acknowledge and congratulate CAIR for 19 years of providing American Muslims a platform to bring issues of concern to the forefront and compel action.” -Rep. Frederica S. Wilson (D-Fla.) (August 2013)
“The Council on American Islamic Relations has been a strong voice. Your leadership has provided for the protection and promotion of the interests of the Islamic American community while advocating the cause of peace, human rights and social justice.” -former Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) (October 2011)
“CAIR has a deep organization that would be the envy of most civil rights groups.” (Source: Buzzfeed, 12/20/2015)
CAIR staffers are “battle-hardened activists” whose “task of defending Muslims has grown exponentially.” (Source: Toronto Star, 12/14/2015)
As CAIR “needed to respond to an increasing level of Islamophobia” the organization has “grown more innovative in their approaches to advocacy.” (Source: International Business Times, 12/04/2015)
CAIR takes “a leading role” providing “rapid response” to Donald Trump and others. (Source: The Forward, 12/09/2015)
“Minnesota U.S. Attorney B. Todd Jones, who watched the [hearing held by Rep. Peter King], also took exception to [Minnesota Rep.] Cravaack’s characterization [of CAIR].”I’m frustrated by the blanket condemnation of (the council),” Jones said. He said his terrorism unit of prosecutors has a working relationship with the council’s local chapter as well as other entities in sniffing out extremism or wrongdoing. “I hope that (the hearing) does not have an adverse impact on the good things happening here in Minnesota with our Somali community,” Jones said. “We are on a good path with closer collaboration.” (Source Minnesota Pioneer Press, March 11, 2011)
“CAIR is an aggressive Muslim civil liberties organization, modeled on the Anti-Defamation League that has made it a target for criticism. It was indeed named as an “unindicted co-conspirator or joint venturer” in the Holy Land Foundation case–an Islamic charity that in 2008 was convicted of funding Islamic militant groups. But CAIR was not alone in that designation; nearly 250 other organizations and individuals were also named. The federal government said the organizations were included on the list in order to produce evidence at the trial, but the district court and a federal appeals court later ruled that it had been a mistake to make the list public.” (Source: Washington Post, March 10, 2011)
“But the FBI doesn’t call CAIR a terrorist group. Nor does it allege that CAIR was founded or financed by Hamas. In America, if somebody has committed a crime, even somebody unpopular, we bring charges. We don’t float Internet rumors at a congressional hearing.” Also, ‘CAIR supported the development of the Muslim American Homeland Security Congress,’ [Los Angeles County Sherriff Lee] Baca said. ‘Furthermore, they support the Muslim outreach program that I’m doing. . . . I have not experienced anything that suggests that CAIR supports terrorism.’” (Source: Washington Post, March 13, 2011)
“CAIR itself has never been charged with any wrongdoing; being named an ‘unindicted coconspirator’ in the Holy Land Foundation case was later reported to have been ‘largely a tactical move by the government.’ And the difficult relationship with the FBI is due at least in part to the agency’s controversial use of paid informants at several mosques.” (Source: Christian Science Monitor, March 10, 2011)
“Indeed, some of the statements about CAIR at the hearing were oversimplified at best. Mr. King noted, for example, that CAIR was listed as an ‘unindicted co-conspirator or joint venturer’ in a terrorism financing case against a charity, the Holy Land Foundation — but so were more than 200 other groups and individuals. CAIR was not accused of a crime.
“Mr. Wolf mentioned that a poster declaring ‘Build a wall of resistance — Don’t talk to the F.B.I.’ had appeared on the Web site of the group’s California chapter. But the poster had been created by non-Muslim activists in the 1970s, and CAIR officials took it down after a few days, saying it did not represent the group’s policy.
“CAIR has had a tense relationship with the F.B.I. and on occasion has urged Muslims not to talk to law enforcement officials without a lawyer present, a caution [CAIR Executive director Nihad] Awad said was very much in keeping with the American system of justice. ‘As a civil rights organization,’ he said, ‘we have the difficult job of encouraging constitutionally informed cooperation with law enforcement.’
“CAIR, along with other advocacy groups, has complained about the F.B.I.’s use of informers who pose as militants from Al Qaeda or similar groups, saying the government uses them in effect to draw young Muslim men into militancy.
“Last month, the F.B.I. director, Robert S. Mueller III, said that the bureau had no ‘formal relationship’ with CAIR, but that the organization’s officials and chapters regularly worked with F.B.I. officials on investigations and related matters. This included a news conference held on Thursday in Sacramento to announce an arrest in a mosque vandalism case.
“CAIR officials also note that they went immediately to the F.B.I. in 2009 when they were approached by the parents of five young Muslim men in Virginia who had disappeared. The men turned up in Pakistan, where they were reportedly trying to join the fight against American troops in Afghanistan.” (Source: New York Times, March 11, 2011)
“Number one, it’s not fair of to you criticize CAIR, OK? Because CAIR isn’t fostering any kind of jihad, as far as I know.” -Bill O’Reilly, host of Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor (December 2010)
“I only wish you could have gone to the CAIR dinner with me and seen—no offense—the parade of unremarkable American normality that I saw; pleasant, concerned, decent people sharing a meal, albeit with a few more veils and skullcaps than are considered usual here at the moment.” -Neil Steinberg, columnist, Chicago Sun-Times, (March 2010)
Know Your Conspiracies: NEWSWEEK’s guide to today’s trendiest, hippest, and least likely fringe beliefs.
9. The Council on American-Islamic Relations is trying to infiltrate Capitol Hill and spread jihad.
Author Dave Gaubatz alleges that the mainstream group is both connected to Islamist terrorists and international jihad and is working to infiltrate the American government by placing interns on Capitol Hill.
Proponents: Dave Gaubatz, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Rep. Sue Myrick (R-N.C.), Joseph Farah.
Kernel of Truth? CAIR has tried to place interns on Capitol Hill, but as it points out, that’s standard practice for advocacy groups of all types and allegiances. There’s no proof of sinister motives or an effort to encourage international jihad. (Source: Newsweek, 02/12/2010)
“… (T)he Council on American-Islamic Relations has emerged as a vigilant force against discrimination against Muslims.” (Source: East Valley Tribune, 1/19/2008)
“The Council on American Islamic Relations, among the more effective lobbies for Muslim Americans’ civil liberties…” (Source: Salon.com, 7/10/2008)
“The FBI and other agencies have repeatedly used CAIR to build bridges with the Muslim community, and the ‘apologist’ tag certainly wasn’t shared by the high-ranking Republican who met with the group at an Islamic center after 9/11: President Bush.” (Source: New Jersey Star Ledger Editorial, 3/16/2007)
“A small band of critics have made a determined but unsuccessful effort to link it to Hamas and Hezbollah, which have been designated as terrorist organizations by the State Department, and have gone so far as calling the group an American front for the two.” (Source: New York Times, 3/14/2007)
“Government officials in Washington said they were not aware of any criminal investigation of the group. More than one described the standards used by critics to link CAIR to terrorism as akin to McCarthyism, essentially guilt by association.” (Source: New York Times, 3/14/2007)
One Arab-American advocate compared CAIR to ‘the tough cousin who curses at anyone who speaks badly about the family’.” (Source: New York Times, 3/14/2007)
“Already fighting on behalf of American Muslims is the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, as it is commonly known. The organization…has developed a reputation for being something of a pit bull in protecting the civil rights of Muslims.” (Source: The Indianapolis Star, 9/04/2005)
“Since 1994, CAIR has employed a well-rounded plan in its role as a top Muslim voice in the US.” (Source: PR Week, 11/04/2002)
“The only major US Muslim organization that has achieved a high level of media influence is the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which is now working to rebuff the recent rise in anti-Muslim messages within the American public sphere.” –Christopher Bail, the author of a 2012 academic study on the growing influence of anti-Muslim hate groups.
“[Law professor and critical race theory scholar Khalid Beydoun] said the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) is the best Muslim civil rights organization, praising its decentralized structure.” (Source: Arab American News, 1/14/2016)
“CAIR’s outstanding work in strengthening solidarity among American Muslims and generating a harmony between different cultures is worth praising particularly at a time when the defamation of religions continue to pose serious implications for international peace and security.” -Embassy of the Republic of Turkey (2014)
“Their work in defending the civil liberty of the American Muslim community, and their political activism against religious discrimination is vital in safeguarding the climate of multiculturalism and religious diversity for which the United States is known.” -Embassy of the State of Qatar (2014)
“The General Delegation of the PLO has great admiration for CAIR’s critical work. For nearly two decades your organization’s initiatives have crucially supported members of our community.” -Ambassador Maen Rashid Areikat, Chief Representative, General Delegation of the PLO to the United States (Washington D.C.) (September 2013)
“Such an events emphasize the role CAIR has been playing throughout the years in promoting understanding of Islam through dialogue and through enhancing the efforts of the American Muslims in that aspect.” -Ambassador Dr. Mohammed AlHussaini Al Sharif (Ambassador to the League of Arab States, Washington D.C.) (September 2013)
“The efforts of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in improving cross cultural communications is commendable.” -Brigadier General Mark Wheeler, Chairman Senior National Representatives Coordination Group, United States Central Command (February 2007)
“I would like to express my sincere gratitude to you, and the entire CAIR Board, for the gracious invitation to speak and attend the first CAIR MN banquet last week. I don’t mind telling you I was a little nervous about being there and worried about the negative potential impact I might have on the attendees but my worries were for nothing. I was most absolutely treated as if I were an honored guest and was treated with the highest amount of respect. I felt more like a friend than a stranger. As a matter of fact, I believe I even made a few very wonderful new friends!” -Ken Rodgers, former President of American Council of the Blind, Minnesota Chapter (June 2007)
“…We should be giving an award to CAIR, both here in Tampa and across this nation, for the work you are doing, not just on behalf of the Muslim community but on behalf of us all. For every time you challenge stereotypes or discrimination on behalf of Muslims, you challenge them on behalf of us all.” -Rev. Dr. Bernice Powell Jackson, President of the North American region of the World Council of Churches and pastor of First United Church of Tampa (September 2011)
“CAIR is an admirable organization that has served as a positive force, working with diverse community leaders to promote mutual understanding and dialogue, protect civil liberties, and defend liberty and justice for all people in America. CAIR works to raise awareness about Islam and Muslims and has continuously and courageously condemned all forms of terrorism and extremism.” – October 2008 letter signed by leaders of groups representing Korean Americans, Christians, Hispanic Americans, Japanese Americans and union workers.
“We could and would have freely and accurately characterized CAIR as a responsible and highly-esteemed force for reconciliation and sanity, both in international affairs and in deepening interfaith understanding here in the United States.” -January 2007 letter of support signed by 203 Christian, Muslim, Jewish and Baha’i leaders, professors and concerned citizens
CAIR is a responsible force for reconciliation and sanity, both in international affairs and in deepening religious understanding here in America. We urge Congress to state clearly what we know is true: CAIR makes a valuable contribution to democracy and interfaith relations.” -Dr. John B. Cobb, Jr., Professor Emeritus, Claremont School of Theology, Rev. Dr. Rita Nakashima Brock, Co-Director, Faith Voices for the Common Good, Rev. Peter Laarman, Director, Progressive Christians Uniting, Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker, President, Starr King School for the Ministry (March 2007)
“As a Christian pastor, I support of the work of CAIR, Council on American Islamic Relations. This is a national group with a very balanced and effective voice that speaks up for the rights of all peoples, and especially Muslims in the United States. It is akin to the NAACP. I think that because it is so effective, it has been targeted. I have worked with CAIR locally in the Tampa Bay area and nationally supporting interfaith relations. I find the leaders to be clear, moderate, and at the same time very articulate in defending Muslim-American rights. We need groups like CAIR in these fear-mongering times.” -Pastor Warren Clark, Tampa, FL (Source: St. Petersburg Times, 3/19/2007)
“The impact of your report was to give the false impression that‘the Jewish community’ condemns CAIR and the Congressman for speaking, because you did not bother to report other Jewish opinions. Nor did you make any effort to ascertain and report that in fact CAIR speaks out strongly against terrorist attacks by Muslims, while you reported the utterly uncorroborated assertions by two local Jewsthat CAIR ‘has connections to terrorists.’ This kind of reporting encourages these McCarthyist assertions. It gives credence to lies. Good reporting should tell the whole story, not a one-sided version of it.” -Rabbi Arthur Waskow, director of the Shalom Center, in a letter to Philadelphia Enquirer reporter Tom Infield. In his letter Waskow notes that he is a Rabbi that has been “described by last week’s issue of Newsweek as one of the fifty most influential rabbis in the United States, and one described by the Forward newspaper at the end of 2005 as one of the ‘Forward Fifty’ of most effective and creative Jews (not just rabbis) from the whole country…” (April 2007)
“I was deeply touched when I received a phone call from Mr. Ahmed Bedir of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in St. Petersburg informing me of this initiative to raise funds for the Palestine Damaged Churches. He told me that it is important in our secular society to build places of worship rather than destroy them. I wholeheartedly agree.” -Father Guido Gockel, U.S. National Secretary, CNEWA a papal agency for humanitarian and pastoral support (October 2006)
“We are grateful for our continuing friendships with members of CAIR-Ohio, for their credible, gracious and courageous witness to the Muslim experience in Ohio, the meaning and diversity of Islam, and the critical issues in our shared search for peace and justice and hope, here and around the world.” – Revered John C Wagner, Miriam R. Wagner, Professor Emeritus, United Theological Seminary, United Methodist Church (2006)
“I applaud your efforts to provide education, justice, outreach and empowerment to the hundreds of thousands of Muslim Americans in the Chicago area. I am impressed by your numerous success stories. I also admire the work you do for civil rights and advocacy. That work is critical to ensuring the rights guaranteed to all Americans in our Constitution.” -Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart (March 2011)
“The Washington Field Office of the FBI praises CAIR’s dedication in representing the heart of the Muslim American community.” -Congratulatory letter from the Washington, DC Field Office of the FBI (October 2006)
“I wanted to say that we really appreciate the effort of Ahmed Bedier [Executive Director, CAIR-Tampa] here in Florida and all the good work that he does on behalf of CAIR in the community in the area of civil rights…Mr. Bedier has done a great job in reaching out to law enforcement, establishing open forums for us to exchange information in order to keep the nation safe.” -Carl Whitehead, Special Agent in Charge, Tampa Bay, Florida Field Office of the FBI, speaking at the CAIR 2006 Tampa Banquet
”[CAIR-Chicago’s] commitment to maintaining a dialogue leading to the frank and honest exchange of ideas, concerns and recommendations on issues affecting the communities we mutually serve is laudable.” -Weysan Dunn, former Special Agent in Charge, Springfield, Illinois Office of the FBI (February 2007)
“Thank you for the opportunity you extended to me to attend the 3rd Annual Banquet of the CAIR Midwest Chapter on February 11, 2007. I expect to attend the Banquet and will be present with other members of the Chicago Field Office.” -Robert D. Grant, Special Agent in Charge, Chicago, Illinois Office of the FBI (February 2007)
“Of all the groups, there is probably more suspicion about CAIR, but when you ask people for cold hard facts, you get blank stares.” -Michael Rolince, a retired F.B.I. official who directed counterterrorism in the Washington field office from 2002 to 2005 (Source: New York Times, 3/14/2007)
“CAIR-Chicago has shown itself to be a strong partner in our community.” -Philip J. Cline, former Superintendent of Police, City of Chicago (February 2007)
“CAIR’s vision to be an advocate of civil rights and to promote peace and just is something we can all strive for.” -Lance H. Newman, Special Agent in Charge, Tampa Bay Regional Operations Center, Florida Department of Law Enforcement (September 2006)
“We are fortunate to have someone of your expertise and credentials take time to address many of the over 800 attendees from Georgia’s criminal justice agencies.” -Paul Heppner, Deputy Director, Georgia Crime Information Center, Georgia Bureau of Investigation (August 2006)
“Organizations such as CAIR have played a tremendous role in helping to build a statewide dialogue of diversity and partnership, working closely with the Ohio Department of Public Safety and other state partners to expand outreach efforts aimed at connecting diverse populations in our state. Through its continuing efforts, CAIR has set an outstanding example for other organizations to follow in our collective efforts to Turnaround Ohio.” -Henry Guzmán, Director, Ohio Department of Public Safety (2006)
“[Community Alternative Policing Strategy] believes that the strength of any community lies in the propensity of its citizens to serve the common good; CAIR-Chicago has been an impressive agent of community organizing.” -Vance T. Henry, Former Director of CAPS, City of Chicago (February 2007)
“Oh behalf of the CAPS Implementation Office, I would like to extend our support to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). As you continue to move forward with your mission to defend the civil rights of all, end bigotry and promote tolerance and acceptance of our many differences we offer you our continued support and encouragement.” -Ronald M. Holt, Director of CAPS, City of Chicago (April 2011)
CAIR’s National Executive Director Nihad Awad was included with a hit list of Muslim leaders in the West published by the terror group Daesh (ISIS). In an issue of its online magazine Dabiq, Daesh lists a number of Muslim leaders and activists in the United States, Canada, the UK, and Australia to be targeted. CAIR’s Awad is pictured in the article about the hit list, but is not named specifically. Awad may have come to the attention of ISIS because of CAIR’s repeated condemnation of the terror group and because he coordinated the release of a 2014 open letter signed by more than 120 international scholars of Islam and Muslim leaders refuting ISIS’s ideology. (Source: Dabiq, 4/2016)