Civil Rights

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Legal Department Updates

CAIR-Philadelphia and its Staff Attorney Ryan Tack-Hooper now represent two Muslim women who were forced to remove their hijabs for photographs at different state agencies. We are working with both women to gain legal relief, not only for these individuals, but also to ensure that there are written policies across state agencies ensuring appropriate religious… Read more…

Legal Department: CAIR Lobbies Congress

Last week on Monday and Tuesday, following the CAIR National Council Meeting, CAIR staff and activists headed to Capitol Hill to meet with our elected representatives about two pieces of legislation of vital concern to the Muslim American community. Executive Director Jacob Bender, Staff Attorney Ryan Tack-Hooper, and CAIR-Pittsburgh Program Director Annie Durrani met with… Read more…

From the Legal Department: A Bad Decision

Last week a federal judge in New Jersey dismissed a lawsuit brought by the Center for Constitutional Rights and Muslim Advocates challenging the New York City Police Department’s spying on the Muslim community in New Jersey. Judge William J. Martini dismissed the case, Hassan v. City of New York, by finding that the alleged injuries—such as people… Read more…

Legal Department Staff Changes

As of January 31, 2014, attorney Amara Chaudhry-Kravitz, who has served as CAIR-Philadelphia’s Legal Director since September 2011, will be moving into a new “Of Counsel” role in which she will continue to serve CAIR-Philadelphia in a limited capacity while pursuing other projects.   While reducing her time commitment to CAIR, Amara has assumed a new… Read more…

Speaking Events and Publications from Amara Chaudhry-Kravitz

On Tuesday, February 25, Amara Chaudhry-Kravitz will be giving a presentation at Villanova University titled “Is Brown the New Black:  Are American Muslims Being Racially Profiled?”  This event is FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.  All are welcome, and specific event details are contained in the event flyer. Download Event Flyer (PDF) On Wednesday, February… Read more…

Update on School Bullying Cases

In our January 8 update, we told you about two school bullying cases which had recently come into the CAIR-Philadelphia office.  One case involved a school faculty member who made several anti-Muslim remarks, and the other case involved a child who was called “Osama Bin Laden” and “terrorist” while the school told his family that “kids… Read more…

Legal Updates

Within the last two weeks, our Legal Department has received two new intakes pertaining to anti-Muslim harassment, bullying, and bigotry in public schools. The first case involves “educator misconduct” in which a faculty member in a rural Pennsylvania school made several anti-Muslim remarks to students. The second case involves a child in a suburban Philadelphia… Read more…

The “Right to Counsel” and the American Muslim Community

Last week, CAIR-Philadelphia Legal Director Amara Chaudhry-Kravitz served as the course planner for a program devoted to the “right to counsel,” a legal right guaranteed by the 6th Amendment of the United States Constitution and commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark “right to counsel” case Gideon v. Wainwright. Why is the “right… Read more…

Federal Grand Juries and Non-Criminal Investigations

The Legal Intelligencer Can a federal grand jury be lawfully used solely for purposes unrelated to any criminal investigation? The Philadelphia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Philadelphia) wants to know the answer to that question. To get that answer, CAIR-Philadelphia (which I serve as legal director) has already engaged in significant litigation on this issue at the district court level, and we have filed an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. In particular, CAIR-Philadelphia wants to know whether federal grand juries, which typically operate solely within the context of criminal law, can be used to assist the FBI with general “intelligence gathering” national security investigations in which there is no suspected violation of federal criminal law.<

Litigation Success, Department of Defense

Beginning in late 2011, CAIR-Philadelphia represented a Muslim federal employee who was denied a promotion due to concerns that he was susceptible to “foreign influence” and therefore no longer worthy of the federal security clearance needed for his government job.  We became involved in this case when it became evident that the U.S. Department of… Read more…