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CAIR-NJ Welcomes Election of First Muslim Freeholder in Passaic County

 

 

Assad Akhter

 

(SOUTH PLAINFIELD, N.J., 12/17/16) – The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) today welcomed the election of Assad Akhter to the Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders. 

Akhter, the son of Pakistani immigrants, is currently the Deputy Chief of Staff to U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-9th).  He was sworn in as freeholder at a ceremony at the county administration building Friday, and is the first Muslim to hold that position. 

“This is a great day for Passaic County and for New Jersey,” said CAIR-NJ Executive Director James Sues. “We welcome Assad Akhter’s election as recognition of his passionate dedication to public service and of the values of religious inclusion and diversity that have made America the great county that it is.”

Akhter, 36 of Paterson, replaces Hector Lora who resigned Nov. 17 to serve as interim mayor of Passaic.

In New Jersey the county legislative body is called the Board of Chosen Freeholders.  In most states this body is referred to as County Commissioners.

SEE: Passaic County swears in its first Muslim freeholder

http://www.nj.com/passaic-county/index.ssf/2016/12/passaic_county_swears_in_first_muslim_freeholder.html#incart_river_mobile_home

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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CONTACT: CAIR-NJ Executive Director James Sues, 908-668-5900, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; CAIR-NJ

 

 

 

 

CAIR NJ Asks Feds to Probe Hate Graffiti Targeting Muslim BOE Candidate in South Brunswick, NJ

(SOUTH PLAINFIELD, N.J., 11/09/16) – The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) today called on state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate hate graffiti left on the campaign lawn signs of South Brunswick Board of Education member and successful candidate for re-election, Ms. Azra Baig.

Campaign lawn signs positioned in the vicinity of South Brunswick High School were defaced with phrases such as “Rag Head”, “ISIS”, and “ISIS sympathizer”.  Six different lawn signs were defaced between September 26 and October 21.  South Brunswick Police have been conducting an investigation, but no arrests have been made.

“This kind of hate speech serves to reinforce negative stereotypes and cast a shadow of suspicion and doubt over all Muslims”, said CAIR-NJ Executive Director James Sues. “We urge state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate this incident as a possible hate crime.”

“Unfortunately, these past months have seen a level of divisiveness and rancor that should be intolerable for anyone in a civilized society”, said United States Congresswoman, Bonnie Watson Coleman.  “There is no circumstance where we can be willing to accept the racism, sexism, xenophobia and religious intolerance that has permeated throughout this past election cycle.  Now, more than ever, we need to stand strong as one community and put aside our differences so that we may all do the hard work required to ensure an even brighter tomorrow for our country’s future generation.”

“I am extremely disappointed in what happened to Ms. Azra Baig’s campaign signs”, said South Brunswick Mayor Frank Gambatese.  “We are very proud of Ms. Baig and her service to the community.  This is not who we are in South Brunswick.”

“These criminal actions do not represent any part of the wonderful community of South Brunswick, NJ and the warmth and kindness of everyone I have had the pleasure of meeting with” said Board of Education member Ms. Azra Baig.  “I am grateful to the community for their support of my re-election and I am grateful for the efforts of the South Brunswick Police Department for their efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice.”

Anyone with information about these incidents is urged to call the South Brunswick Police Department at 732-329-4000, X7460.

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialog, 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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 CONTACT: CAIR-NJ Executive Director James Sues, 908-668-5900, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; CAIR Department to Monitor and Combat Islamophobia Director Corey Saylor, 202-384-8857.

 

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CAIR Calls on President-Elect Trump to Respect the Rights of All Americans, Pledges to Work to Strengthen the Nation

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 11/9/16) – The Council on American-Islamic-Relations, the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today issued a statement calling on President-elect Donald Trump to respect the rights of all Americans and pledging to work with the new president to strengthen the nation.

In a statement reacting to yesterday’s election, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said:

“As citizens of this great nation, we accept the result of the democratic process that has bound us together as one nation.

“Regardless of who won or lost yesterday’s election, American Muslims are here to stay. We are not going anywhere, and will not be intimidated or marginalized. God willing, the American Muslim community will continue to mobilize to challenge bigotry, to uphold justice and to protect the freedoms and rights of all Americans. American Muslims will also increase outreach to their fellow citizens of other faiths and backgrounds to build bridges of mutual understanding and cooperation.

“We will hold the new president to the highest standard in defending the rights of all those residing in our nation, as guaranteed by the Constitution.

“America is strongest and best when all its communities, institutions and leaders are working together to build a better future for its people and for the world. We look forward to continuing to work with all of our federal, state and local leaders to achieve such a future.

“CAIR will continue to be a fearless and principled defender of the Muslim community, regardless of who leads our nation.

“To those in the American Muslim community who are fearful of the future, know that America is your home and you have the same rights and responsibilities as all other Americans. Rest assured that CAIR is here for you, your family and your children.

“God is the best of planners.”

Prior to Tuesday’s election, CAIR joined a coalition of interfaith and civic groups across the country in asking Americans of all faith, racial and political backgrounds to commit to working with each other after the election to build a more united country.

SEE: CAIR Joins National Interfaith, Civic Leaders in Calling on All Americans to Pledge to Work Together #OnNovember9
http://www.cair.com/press-center/press-releases/13873-cair-joins-national-interfaith-civic-leaders-in-calling-on-all-americans-to-pledge-to-work-together-onnovember9.html
Video: CAIR Joins Campaign for National Unity #OnNovember9
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=llnNTHC2W2Y

In October, CAIR released the results of a nationwide survey of Muslim voters on the presidential election and on issues of concern to the Muslim community. The survey found that 85 percent of polled Muslim voters believed that Islamophobia and anti-Muslim sentiment in the U.S. has increased in the past year. Thirty percent of respondents say they have experienced discrimination or profiling in the past year.

SEE: American Muslim Voters and the 2016 Election
https://www.cair.com/government-affairs/13821-american-muslim-voters-and-the-2016-election.html
Muslim Voters Name Civil Rights as Key Election Issue as Electorate Turns Away From GOP
http://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/muslim-voters-name-civil-rights-key-election-issue-electorate-turns-n665716

CAIR mobilized Muslim voters through a national get-out-the-vote (GOTV) campaign, through distribution of copies of its “2016 National Voter Guide” and with the launch of MuslimsGOTV.com, an election resource website.

SEE: CAIR Launches Muslims GOTV Election Website, Releases General Election Scorecard and Presidential Guide
http://www.cair.com/press-center/press-releases/13861-cair-launches-muslims-gotv-election-website-releases-general-election-scorecard-presidential-guide.html

The Washington-based Muslim civil rights group is asking Muslim community members who believe their rights have been violated 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

As a nonpartisan tax-exempt organization, CAIR encourages American Muslims to participate in national and state elections and does not support one candidate or party over another.

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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