The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) is a Muslim civil liberties and advocacy group. CAIR’s vision is to promote justice and mutual understanding. CAIR’s mission is based on 3 core goals – enhancing understanding of Islam, promoting justice and empowering American Muslims.
CAIR’s National office is located three blocks south of the US Capitol building in Washington DC.
CAIR has affiliates in 19 states. Many affiliates manage multiple offices. CAIR has more than thirty active chapters in America and Canada.
CAIR and its affiliates are managed by board members who are well-known professionals from 50 different cities across America. CAIR board members are doctors, professors, engineers, homemakers, scientists, students, computer professionals, business people, public officials, accountants, etc. CAIR and its affiliates combine to employ more than 70 full-time staff serving millions of American Muslims.
CAIR financial statements are audited by professional accountants and are certified as having passed with distinction. CAIR Annual Reports are made available to all our members and donors. Beginning in 2006 CAIR Annual Reports will be made available online.
CAIR works in close cooperation with other civic and civil liberties groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union, Amnesty International, NAACP, Hispanic Unity, Organization of Chinese Americans, Japanese American Citizens League, Sikh Mediawatch and Resource Task Force, among many others.
CAIR has successfully partnered with the National Council of Churches and held dialogue with representatives of the National Association of Evangelicals
OUR WORK WITH LAW ENFORCEMENT AND POLICY MAKERS
CAIR officials have met or regularly meet with US Presidents, members of the administration, members of congress, governors, mayors, members of state legislatures, county commissioners and others. Several CAIR affiliates have received proclamations and citations from mayors and county commissioners.
CAIR regularly meets with law enforcement officials at the national, state and local levels. After the August 2006 arrest of men accused of planning bomb attacks on US bound airliners the FBI invited CAIR along with other Muslim organizations to participate in a joint press conference. In 2003 CAIR officials spoke at a joint press conference with the FBI in Miami urging the community to assist law enforcement in their search for a man on the most wanted list.
CAIR has conducted diversity/sensitivity training on Islam and Muslims for the FBI, US Armed Forces, several local and state law enforcement agencies, and many US corporations.
OUR ANTI-TERRORISM MESSAGES
CAIR along with several American Muslim groups condemned the terrorist attacks on 9-11 within hours of the first plane crashing into the World Trade Center.
CAIR has consistently condemned terrorism. CAIR took out a paid advertisement in the Washington Post condemning 9-11 and terrorism in all its forms. CAIR produced TV/Radio Public Service Announcements in English, Arabic, and Urdu that stated in part that we reject anyone who commits acts of violence against innocent people in the name of Islam. CAIR’s “Not in the Name of Islam” online petition has been signed by almost 700,000 people.
CAIR coordinated the release of a fatwa (religious pronouncement) that stated in part, “Islam strictly condemns religious extremism and the use of violence against innocent lives. There is no justification in Islam for extremism or terrorism. Targeting civilians’ life and property through suicide bombings or any other method of attack is haram or forbidden – and those who commit these barbaric acts are criminals, not martyrs.”
OUR ADVOCACY IS PART OF MAINSTREAM AMERICA
CAIR, along with several Muslim and other faith-based organizations, opposed the Iraq invasion in 2003. Today a majority of Americans affirm our moral opposition to the Iraq war.
CAIR, along with Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, was among the first to condemn torture as a tool for interrogation. Today a majority of Americans affirm our moral opposition to torture.
CAIR along with Muslim and Arab-American groups called for an immediate cease fire in the Middle East during the recent Israel-Lebanon conflict. Today a majority of Americans affirm our moral position on calling for a cease fire.
CAIR joined with the ACLU to file a lawsuit opposing the government’s NSA wiretapping scheme. A district judge affirmed our position and struck down this illegal activity. Our advocacy is part of mainstream America.
CAIR, along with ACLU, was among the first organizations to oppose parts of the USA Patriot Act. Several hundred cities and a few states passed resolutions against the un-constitutional provisions of the Patriot Act. Once again our views are part of mainstream America.
CAIR produces a one of a kind report chronicling the status of civil rights for American Muslims. CAIR has recorded over 6,000 cases in the past decade and successfully intervened in many of these reported cases of discrimination, profiling or harassment of American Muslims.
OUR WORK IN ENHANCING UNDERSTANDING OF ISLAM
CAIR responded to the worldwide outrage over the reported desecration of the Quran at Guantanamo Bay by launching an educational program aimed at providing free copies of the Quran to any person who requests it. Nearly 34,000 of our fellow Americans have requested a copy.
92% agreed that educational programs like CAIR’s “Explore the Quran” project are beneficial in preventing misunderstanding and conflict.
56% said that they found the contents of the Quran to have many similarities with their own beliefs.
77% agreed that their knowledge about Islam increased after reading all or part of the Quran.
69% tell us that they shared the information they learned from reading the Quran with family, friends, or co-workers.
CAIR responded to the worldwide outrage over the publication of derogatory cartoons about Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) by launching an educational program aimed at providing free copies of a DVD or book about the life of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) to any person who requests it. Almost 16,000 of our fellow Americans have requested copies.
OUR PRESENCE IN THE MEDIA AS A VOICE FOR AMERICAN MUSLIMS
CAIR officials are regularly interviewed by national, local and international media. In the past five years CAIR officials have been cited over 11,000 times in major national and local media (Source: Factiva). CAIR’s work is now the subject of several positive documentaries around the world.
Editorials written by CAIR officials are syndicated and published nationwide. Over 100 such articles with a combined readership of over 25 million people have been published in major newspapers in the last 5 years.
CAIR’s public service announcements (PSA) on “I am American, I am Muslim” and “Not in the Name of Islam” have been viewed by over 10 million people.
CAIR developed and ran an ad campaign in the New York Times titled “I am American, I am Muslim.” The NY Times has a circulation of over 1 million people.