FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 12/5/16) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today said President-elect Donald Trump’s choice of Islamophobe Ben Carson to be secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) could negatively impact Muslims served and employed by that federal agency.
Carson is notorious for his assertion that a Muslim should not be elected president of the United States. CAIR called on Carson to drop out of the presidential race when he made that bigoted statement.
“Based on his past Islamophobic statements and policy positions, all Americans should be very concerned on how Dr. Carson would treat Muslim HUD employees or Muslims seeking agency services,” said CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw.
“Dr. Carson’s views on Islam, American Muslims and the world are dangerously ill-informed and could negatively impact any government agency he heads,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad.
CAIR has expressed concern about a “troubling Islamophobic trend” in President-elect Donald Trump’s recent appointments and nominations.
Backgrounder on Ben Carson’s Islamophobia:
Earlier this year, in an interview with another Trump appointee, then Breitbart host Stephen Bannon, Carson said American Muslims could only embrace both Islamic and democratic values “if they’re schizophrenic.” He said: “I don’t see how they can do it otherwise, because you have two different philosophies.”
During a speech at Iowa University, Carson said Islam is not a religion, but is instead “a life organization system” that has an “apocalyptic vision.”
In September of 2015, CAIR announced the distribution of free Qurans, Islam’s holy text, in response to then Republican presidential candidate Carson’s false claim that Islam is “inconsistent” with the Constitution and his bigoted belief that a Muslim should not be elected president. Carson used the Anti-Semitic “dual loyalty” accusation to support his unconstitutional viewpoint.
Also last year, CAIR called on the Republican National Committee (RNC) to repudiate Carson’s stated willingness to consider religion as probable cause for searches and called on Carson himself to drop a top foreign policy adviser who claims Muslims have “infiltrated” the United States.
Carson has compared Syrian refugees to “rabid dogs.” He said: “If there is a rabid dog running around your neighborhood, you’re probably not going to assume something good about that dog. And you’re probably going to put your children out of the way.”
Muslim community members who believe their rights have been violated are being asked to contact local police and CAIR’s Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or by filing a report at: http://www.cair.com/civil-rights/report-an-incident/view/form.html
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.
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As Salaamu Alaykum, Heba—
Ramadan is typically a time of peace and good news. But every once in a while we’re reminded of the stark difficulties faced by the Muslim community in this day and age.
Yesterday, the Council on American-Islamic Relations released a special report1 with breathtaking news about the organized Islamophobia industry: in just a five year span, this hateful industry—which includes groups that spread hatred via the media, push anti-Muslim legislation, and hold armed demonstrations outside of mosques—has received more than $205 million to spend on slandering the name of Islam and members of the Muslim community.
Here are some more troubling facts about the state of the anti-Muslim “movement” in the U.S. today:
- There are at least 33 documented, well-funded organizations whose primary purpose is to promote hatred of (and prejudice against) Islam and Muslims in the U.S.
- There were 78 recorded incidents of attacks against mosques in 2015—an increase of 300% over the previous year.
- “Muslim-free” businesses—the equivalent of “no coloreds allowed” businesses of the Jim Crow era—are becoming more and more common.
MPower Change’s unique role in combating Islamophobia is this: we’re the only digital-first, multi-issue advocacy group that’s specifically built to mobilize tens of thousands of Muslims and our allies at the drop of a dime to fight the most egregious instances of anti-Muslim racism.
We take on both the political and the cultural fights that protect the safety of the Muslim community and the image of Islam in the U.S. today.
If you agree that the Muslim community needs an organization like this fighting on its behalf—in partnership with other Muslim and progressive groups across the country—will you chip in a $3 donation today?
MPower Change launched just six months ago—but in that time, we’ve already taken on several big campaigns.
We stood by Dr. Larycia Hawkins—the professor at a Christian college suspended for wearing a headscarf in solidarity with Muslim women. We orchestrated a large petition drive and have been in touch with Southwest Airlines about their apparent discrimination against Muslim passengers. And most recently, we joined with local leaders in Louisville to call for the Louisville airport to be renamed after the great Muhammad Ali—perhaps the best known Muslim of the entire 20th century.
Even as we run these campaigns, we’re ramping up for a massive voter registration and get-out-the-vote effort that we’ll kick off after Ramadan, led by some veteran Muslim community and political organizers who’ve worked on major local and presidential campaigns.
Beating a $200+ million dollar industry whose sole mission is to destroy your reputation, your quality of life, and your community isn’t something that can be done in just six months. But we’re here now—and with the support of members like you, we don’t plan on going anywhere for a long time. We hope you’ll chip in $3 today to help fund this Muslim grassroots movement.
Linda and the MPower Change Team
1. “Funding Islamophobia: $206m went to promoting ‘hatred’ of American Muslims,” The Guardian, Jun 20, 2016