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CAIR’s Victory Against Islamophobia

Earlier this week, a federal judge ruled that the FBI’s watchlist of “known and suspected terrorists” violates the constitutional rights of US citizens placed in the database. Judge Anthony Trenga, a United States District Judge of the Eastern District of Virginia, ruled the federal government has failed to honor constitutional rights and liberties for individuals placed on a “watchlist” without notice and opportunity for the individuals to challenge that status in his decision for the case Elhady v. Kable.

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From Civil Conflict to Civil Rights: My Year on the Legal Battlefront

As we have remarked before, the United States continues to witness a spike in Islamophobia, which has become exacerbated by the brazen bigotry and xenophobia of the present presidential administration. While various outlets like Newsweek and The Washington Post each have reported on this heinous rise in hate targeting Muslims, I can personally attest to this increase firsthand based on the numerous complaints I routinely field as the Muslim community suffers from the anguish and anxiety caused by the implications of increased harassment and discrimination.

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Judge, Jury, and Executioner

We believe the shooting death of Jeffery Dennis was an inexcusable homicide. It is our belief that the investigation presently conducted by the Attorney General’s office will arrive at a similar conclusion. Notwithstanding, some have attempted to justify the killing of Mr. Dennis by signaling he was the potential target of a police investigation at the time of his death. This is the wrong perspective. To quote Lee Merritt, Esq., the attorney representing the family of Mr. Dennis: “We have to stop distinguishing between good and bad victims of police brutality — as if there are people worthy and others unworthy of constitutional protections. The station in life of the victim is an irrelevant consideration in determining whether a shooting is justified or unjustified.”

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Voting: A Right and a Responsibility

The United States of America is the oldest constitutional republic in the world, launching its “improbable experiment in democracy” nearly two and a half centuries ago; however, the nation has only granted its most sacred right — the right to vote — to all of its eligible citizenry for several decades. The Nineteenth mendment, which granted women the right to vote, is less than a 100 years old. African Americans did not receive the unencumbered right to vote until the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

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What You Need to Know About “Muslim Ban 3.0”

On June 26, 2018 the Supreme Court issued a 5-4 decision in support of Trump’s bigoted Muslim Ban. This is bad but we will keep fighting. It’s more important than ever to know your rights despite this decision. Since December 4, 2017, the Muslim Ban has been in full effect for certain individuals from: Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen. All are facing difficulty in their applications for visas to be united with family, study in the U.S., get medical treatment, or visit for tourism.

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Victory! CAIR-Philadelphia Helps Secure the Right to Wear the Hijab for Student Athletes

In what is widely heralded as a victory for religious freedom, the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (“PIAA”) recently voted to amend its policy requiring a waiver for student athletes to wear religious head coverings during athletic competitions. CAIR-Philadelphia and other civil rights groups and elected officials, pushed for this change in support of Nasihah Thompson-King, who could not play in a playoff game for her school’s basketball team earlier this year because she refused to remove her hijab.

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This is America: Coffee, Waffles, Handcuffs, and the Fight Against Police Brutality

CAIR-PA has joined in the fight to combat police brutality in its endeavors to pursue justice. Our office presently represents a man wrongfully detained by local law enforcement for a period of ten days. The day before officers detained him, he conversed with a coworker about being a proud Muslim, among other things. That coworker reported him to local law enforcement as a potential terror threat. The gentleman was subsequently detained for a period of ten days, nine of which in solitary confinement, though never formally charged with any crime.

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20 Bullets: On the Death of Stephon Alonzo Clark

Clark, who converted to Islam several years ago, died in a hail of bullets on Sunday March 18th when two officers fired a total of 20 shots at him. As Dallas-based Imam Omar Suleiman, said last week, “Stephon Clark was massacred. His body was in such bad shape that we couldn’t do the ritual washing (ghusl). The brothers did a substitute ritual (tayammum) and are horrified by the sight. We cannot allow this to keep happening.” At Clark’s funeral, Imam Suleiman further observed that Clark, whom Sacramento police shot at 20 times, “had almost as many bullets put into him as the years he’s been on this earth.” This is a grave injustice.

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A Less than Perfect Union: Trump’s State of the Union address does not negate the Islamophobia he inspires

Yesterday evening, President Trump addressed the 115th Congress on the State of the Union. Some, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and others, have described the address as a departure from President Trump’s polarizing, tumultuous, and chaotic first year in office. Notwithstanding, as Greg Sargent writing for The Washington Post noted, “The real core of the speech was his effort to rhetorically recast the key elements of that approach as unifying and conciliatory, without moving past them at all.” Thus, while President Trump’s State of the Union address did not feature the sort of flagrant Islamophobic remarks he has made in the past, his rhetoric, past and present, has emboldened many who share his distorted worldview.

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What Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Means to CAIR

I was born in Memphis, and reared in the Atlanta area. Thus, I was born in the city where Rev. Dr. Martin Luther, King, Jr. was assassinated, and came of age in the city that made Dr. King the man he was. For most of my life, I found myself fascinated by the man who would become an icon for justice. As a child, I often watched his speeches in awe, as a teenager, I dutifully read biographies of him, as a college student, I walked the same halls he once did as I pursued my undergraduate education at Dr. King’s beloved alma mater—Morehouse College. His legacy is part of the reason I became a Civil Rights Attorney. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is one of my foremost influences, particularly as it relates to my desire to pursue the cause of justice.

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