Donate to Address anti-Muslim Hate Now in New Jersey

Slide 1
Slide 2
Third Slide
previous arrow
next arrow

FEATURED ARTICLES

Highland Park must protect police officers from bigotry and abuse

Highland park must protect police officers from bigotry and abuse | opinion

A mosaic.nj.com article.

Published December 08, 2023 | By Ayah Moshet

In a gross display of negligence and disregard for employee wellbeing, Highland Park postponed Sgt. Mohab Hannout’s hearing for the fourth time. The latest postponement — which pushed his hearing to December 18, 2023 — came just hours before the sergeant was scheduled to take the stand on Thursday, November 30.

Hannout, who was suspended on Aug. 15, 2022, has been without a paycheck for 15 months, adding to his emotional distress and financial strife at the hands of his employer. The reason for his suspension? Hannout would go home during his lunch break, an apparent infraction that is not spelled out in department policy and is a regular occurrence among other officers of the department, according to court documents.

From patterns of over scrutinizing to a series of faith-based harassment, Hannout’s case reeks of anti-Muslim bigotry. But his story is not unique and is a lens into the environment that Highland Park police foster and perhaps even encourage, as substantiated by the police department’s pastor, Gregory T. McLendon.

Hannout’s story began long before he was suspended in August 2022.

For over a decade, members of Highland Park’s police department harassed and discriminated against Hannout, court documents show. Officers hurled racial and ethnic slurs at him, calling him a “camel jockey,” “terrorist,” and “sand ni**er,” among other derogatory and anti-Muslim and anti-Arab terms.

In one incident, an officer evoked Hannout’s ethnic background while responding to a call, according to court documents. In another, Hannout was physically assaulted by another officer on the force. Since filing a complaint against the latter incident, Hannout says that the department has operated like a fraternity against him.

The sergeant says he enlisted in the police force to show a “different side” of Muslims, but much to his dismay, his time with the Highland Park Police Department has been tainted with racial and faith-based aggressions and hostilities.

“It made me feel like I don’t belong there,” Hannout told CAIR-NJ. “It made me feel that if, God forbid, one day I am screaming on the radio for help, nobody’s going to come and get me back up because of their prejudices.”

Still, however, Hannout was keen on maintaining his job and serving his community.

“I stayed and I toughed it out and I endured all the discrimination, and eventually, I was able to get promoted,” Hannout said.

What came afterward — in the immediate aftermath of his promotion — felt like a “slap in the face,” according to Hannout.

During his promotion ceremony, he was given an old and scratched-up badge, whereas his colleague, who was also promoted alongside him, was given a new badge. The department did not exchange his badge until he wrote to the police chief, offering to pay for a new one out of pocket.

These incidents, some of which show explicit bias while others show implicit bias, are a window into Highland Park Police. Over the last three years, five officers of color resigned from Highland Park police, making Hannout and two other officers the only officers of color in Highland Park, a township that is nearly 40% people of color.

Hannout’s attorney — who also happens to be a former Boston police officer — Peter Paris of Beckett and Paris Firm, told CAIR-NJ that while Highland Park is “one of the most liberal, inclusive, diverse towns in Middlesex County, [it] has this island of white male domination in its police department. The internal culture is the issue.”

The NAACP investigated the Highland Park Police Department and found that a Black person was 11 times more likely to be a subject of the police force in Highland Park. The township’s former mayor, Gayle Brill-Mittler, held a town hall meeting in 2019 to discuss the department’s habitual racial profiling that has been prevalent in the community for years, according to The Force Report.

Highland Park police maintains a two-tiered disciplinary system, one for white officers and the other for officers of color, according to Paris.

“Multiple people were reported sleeping on the job and were not fired,” Paris said.

Another officer at the department had left Highland Park entirely during his shift and drove several miles away, according to Paris, and was not penalized in the same manner. In his advocacy for Hannout, Paris is asking for a fair modicum of discipline and for the department to abandon its over scrutiny of officers of color and, specifically, Hannout.

While the police department’s pastor, Gregory T. McLendon, substantiated Hannout’s claims of racism and bigotry within the Highland Park Police Department, Mayor Elsie Foster denied being aware of any bigoted incidents in a meeting with CAIR-NJ. The mayor also ducked her responsibility to serve as the hearing officer.

Mayor Foster’s silence in the face of claims of bigotry and abuse happening right under her nose — abuse so severe that it has inflicted emotional distress and financial strife on the only Muslim officer in Highland Park — makes her complicit in the racism and bigotry gripping her own police department.

Until the mayor takes concrete action to protect her officers of color from bigotry and abuse, her calls to diversify the Highland Park Police Department can only ring hollow.

Ayah Moshet is the editorial writing and legal research intern at CAIR-NJ.

It’s time to pass same-day voter registration laws in New Jersey

It’s time to pass same-day voter registration laws in New Jersey | Opinion

A nj.com com exclusive article.

y 26, 2023 | By Maryam Ali

The New Jersey primary is just around the corner, but many New Jerseyans may not be able to vote due to barriers such as language access, disability, registration deadlines and more.

Advocates across the state have been calling on state legislators to pass a bill that makes voting more accessible by reducing the standard voter registration deadline and allowing voter registration at polling places.

If passed, the bill could increase turnout by up to 5 percent, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

“This legislation is more reflective of who we are as a country and in what direction people would like to see this country going when more people can participate,” said Assatta Mann, the senior organizer at the League of Women Voters of New Jersey.

As voter registration laws in New Jersey now stand, voters must register for mail-in ballots and in-person early voting 21 days ahead of an election. Voters who recently moved to New Jersey must also live at their address for a prescribed period of 30 days in order to be considered a resident.

“Currently, you have to be living in a certain location for 30 days to be considered a resident of that area and eligible to vote for the candidates that are going to affect you in the immediate future,” Mann said.

This 30-day waiting period precludes new residents from being able to vote — even if they’ll live in the area for the next several years — as well as college students, which could be a likely contributor to the underrepresentation of young voters in turnout, according to Micauri Vargas, the associate counsel at the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice.

“A lot of times, students move out to different towns and different counties, and they might not be registered in that location,” Vargas said.

With current voting deadlines, students and residents “fall through the cracks,” according to Vargas. Same-day voter registration could help and encourage such groups to turn out to the polls and make their voices heard, because, in states where there is same-day voter registration, youth turnout in presidential elections increases by approximately 14 percentage points, according to Project Vote, a national nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that worked to mobilize marginalized and under-represented voters.

New Jersey residents of color — including immigrants, who make up 23 percent of the state population — register and vote at lower rates than their white counterparts, primarily due to language, deadline and application barriers

Studies show that states, where there is same-day voter registration, have seen anywhere between a 2 to 17 percentage point increase in Black and Latino voter turnout. In New Jersey, specifically, that could mean a significant jump in overall voter turnout, given that approximately 48 percent of the state’s population are people of color, according to 2022 Census data.

Lengthy voting requirements with constricted deadlines also hinder people with disabilities, who may need assistance accessing voting registration documents, ballot boxes, or filling out absentee ballots.

Overall, same-day voter registration simplifies the voting process for Americans who do not have access to reliable, digestible information by removing the added stressors of facing a tall list of voting barriers in a constrained amount of time.

“Generally, there are 22 states and the District of Columbia that have already implemented same-day voter registration,” Mann said. “I think we want to follow in the footsteps of all of those states to be able to implement it in the same way they do to have somewhat of a similar success that they’ve had in terms of increasing voter turnout.”

Same-day voter registration is a “common sense solution,” according to Vargas.

“It promotes democracy and makes it possible to register on the same day and cast the ballot, all in a single day and uses existing election infrastructure. It would be at no cost, really, because it can be done through provisional ballots.”

Over 90 organizations have been working tirelessly to push the same-day voter registration bill through to legislators. The bill has even garnered the support of New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, who said that it “protects the sacred right to vote.” But within the state legislature, the bill is being challenged by Senate President Nicholas Scutari (LD-22), who has said that it will not ease voting processes, despite research proving otherwise, and that it will instead cause people to question the validity of elections.

Without same-day voter registration, a significant number of New Jersey residents will continue to face barriers to voting, putting the state of our democracy at stake. A democracy is only as good as its participation is, and passing the same-day voter registration bill will empower New Jersey residents and communities of color to let their voices be heard.

Maryam Ali is a legal research and editorial writing intern at CAIR-NJ.

 

International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance Muzzles Critics of Israel

International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance muzzles critics of Israel | opinion

A nj.com com exclusive article.

In a country that prides itself on freedom of speech, the right to criticize Israel’s apartheid system and illegal occupation of Palestinian territories would seem to be a given. But in New Jersey, that right hangs by a thread.

Earlier this year, New Jersey Senators Andrew Zwicker and Greenstein introduced a resolution calling on the state to define antisemitism.

The resolution, which is cosponsored by Senators Beach and Codey, seeks to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA)working definition of antisemitism.

Antisemitism is generally defined as prejudice against or hatred of Jews, but the IHRA working definition of antisemitism expands antisemitism to also include condemnations or criticisms of Israel as a nation, its occupation of Palestine, the establishment of an apartheid state, and its ongoing blockade of Gaza that amounts to collective punishment and violates international law.

While the UN moves to mark the 75th anniversary of the Nakba for the first time ever, Speaker Kevin McCarthy attempted to block Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib’s educational community event at the Capitol Visitor Center last week on grounds of “antisemitism.”

The event, which was held nonetheless, sought to uplift Palestinian voices and educate members of Congress and their staff about the ongoing Nakba — the “catastrophe,” in reference to the founding of the state of Israel in 1948 and the resulting destruction and displacement of Palestinian society.

Such incidents are not uncommon, and civil rights advocates have long warned about the dangerous precedent that equating antisemitism with criticisms of Israel sets.

Conflating protests of Israeli apartheid with antisemitism will “muzzle and silence advocates for Palestine, certainly for a positive regard [of Israel],” Wassim Kanaan, the Vice Chair of American Muslims for Palestine said.

Not only does this silence debate and criticism of Israeli apartheid, but it also yields a glaring inaccuracy and injustice to Judaism as a religion and Jews as a religious group, Kanaan said.

“Judaism is a religion,” Kanaan said. “Equating state policy and the policy of a country with the teachings of a religion is inherently wrong because they are two completely different things, it’s important to allow people who share a religious identity to be able to differ on political topics, and still maintain their identity of who they are.”

David Letwin, the cofounder of Jews for Palestinian Right of Return, believes that the IHRA definition of antisemitism is a false definition and that adopting it will be harmful not just to critics of Israel, but also to Jews as a whole.

“It will just contribute to the ongoing campaign of enablers of the Israeli regime to silence people who stand up for Palestinian Liberation,” Letwin said.

Letwin also said that by defining any criticism of the Israeli government as antisemitic, it then becomes standard that all Jews, regardless of their political beliefs, are supportive of the Israeli regime and complicit in its crimes, just by virtue of identifying as Jewish.

“It follows logically, that if [criticism of Israel] has nothing to do with Judaism or Jewish identity, then opposing the racist settler colonial political ideology of [Israel] has nothing to do with anti-Jewish discrimination, or violence or stereotypes,” Letwin said.

Civil rights advocates and ordinary citizens are unable to criticize Israeli apartheid without fear of repercussion or retaliation, Letwin said.

“All it has to do is put fear into people, that they could lose their jobs, that they could be subject to public pressure,” Letwin said. “Could their homes be attacked? Could they be attacked personally? It creates an environment in which people become frightened to speak out because they don’t want to be slandered and smeared as an anti-Semite. So then they say to themselves, well, maybe I better not say that or what will be the consequences? If I speak up? Could I lose my job?”

What is necessary, then, is not an erasure of the idea to define antisemitism, but a clear distinction between antisemitism and criticisms of Israel — something which the IHRA definition does not do.

For Kanaan and Letwin, the adoption of a definition of antisemitism must protect the rights of Jewish people from white supremacy, while also not infringing on Palestinians’ or any other group’s basic civil rights.

“It’s not that we need to have a definition of antisemitism that protects Palestinians. We need a definition that doesn’t vilify Palestinians,” Kanaan said.

“We see the white supremacist movements in this country. The right constantly vilifies people of the Jewish faith,” Kanaan said, “and so we need to make sure that they’re protected, but not at the expense of vilifying Palestinians.”

Dina Sayedahmed is the communications manager and Maryam Ali is a legal intern at CAIR-NJ.

from our blog.

LATEST press releases

CAIR-NJ Welcomes Mayor Ras J. Baraka’s Call for an Immediate Ceasefire in Palestine, Calls on NJ Lawmakers to Reevaluate Relationship with Israeli Govt       

CAIR-NJ Welcomes Mayor Ras Baraka’s Call for an Immediate Ceasefire in Palestine, Calls on NJ Lawmakers to Reevaluate Relationship with Israeli Govt      

(Newark, NJ, 03/01/2024) — The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today welcomed Mayor Ras Baraka (D-NJ) statement calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

In a statement, Mayor Baraka wrote:

“The notion that all Palestinians are terrorists is not only wrong, it’s racist. To justify these deaths by saying everyone in Gaza supports Hamas is equally wrong and disturbing. We urge President Biden to work tirelessly on getting humanitarian aid, food, and water to the people in Gaza. And in my estimation, this work requires an immediate ceasefire.” 

SEE:  Mayor Ras J. Baraka’s Statement on Ceasefire 

The mayor’s statement comes just one week after CAIR-NJ, in collaboration with the Newark Coalition for Palestine, held a rally on the steps of Newark City Hall calling on council members and the mayor to pass a ceasefire in Palestine resolution.

In a statement, CAIR-NJ Advocacy and Community Relations Coordinator Mousa Naji  said: 

“New Jersey has the highest percentage of Muslims across the country, and Newark is home to a sizable Muslim population.

“With his call for a ceasefire in Palestine, Mayor Ras Baraka has shown that he listens to his constituents and understands their grief and pain. He has shown that he sees the sharp rise in anti-Muslim bigotry following Israel’s invasion of the besieged Gaza Strip and has responded accordingly.

“The mayor’s statement comes at an especially pivotal time: the openly genocidal Israeli government has made clear that it will continue to ravage through Gaza and collectively punish Palestinians in the West Bank even as Ramadan — one of the holiest Islamic months — approaches. This is unacceptable, and every mayor of every New Jersey city and township should unequivocally condemn Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza and destruction of civilian hospitals, schools, homes, and all infrastructure.

“A call for a ceasefire is the first step, but a reevaluation of New Jersey’s ties to Israel must be a top priority for all lawmakers in New Jersey.”

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

END

CONTACT: CAIR-NJ Communications Manager Dina Sayedahmed, dsayedahmed@cair.com, 908-668-5900 ext. 103, 551-221-5592

CAIR-NJ to Call on Newark City Council to Pass Gaza Ceasefire Resolution

MEDIA ADVISORY     

CAIR-NJ to Call on Newark City Council to Pass Gaza Ceasefire Resolution

(NEWARK, NJ, 2/20/2024) – Tomorrow (Feb. 21, at 5 p.m.), the Council on American Islamic Relations New Jersey chapter (CAIR-NJ) will join local groups across Newark in a protest outside the Newark City Hall calling on council members to vote in favor of a Gaza ceasefire resolution.

Council members are scheduled to vote on the resolution at 6:30 p.m.

WHERE: Newark City Hall, 920 Broad St # 304, Newark, NJ 07102

WHEN: February 21, 2024, 5 P.M.

CONTACT: CAIR-NJ Dina Sayedahmed, dsayedahmed@cair.com, 551-221-5592

LIVESTREAM: CAIR-NJ Facebook

If passed, Newark will be the largest city across New Jersey to pass a ceasefire resolution.

In a statement, CAIR-NJ Advocacy and Community Relations Coordinator Mousa Naji said:

“The impact of Israel’s war on Gaza – now in its fifth month – is felt in New Jersey. Palestinian families here in New Jersey have had over 1,000 family members killed by Israel in Gaza, and Muslims as a collective are experiencing unprecedented levels of hate and bigotry.

“We’ve seen incidents at Rutgers Law School where Muslim and Palestinian students are being bullied and threatened by their peers.

“It’s time that the Newark Council condemn Israel’s ongoing genocide in Palestine in clear and uncompromising terms. It’s time that they listen to and protect their Muslim and Palestinian students right here in Newark.”

If passed, Newark will be the largest city across New Jersey to pass a ceasefire resolution.

Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh held a press conference on Monday, Feb. 19, calling on President Biden to push for a ceasefire in Palestine.

SEE: ‘Call for a permanent cease-fire’: In Paterson, an appeal to Biden on Presidents’ Day

Coalition partners: 

Council on American Islamic Relations (New Jersey)

American Muslims for Palestine (New Jersey)

People’s Organization for Progress

Newark Water Coalition

Black Alliance for Peace

Teaching While Muslim

Northern New Jersey Democratic Socialists of America

Ceasefire Now New Jersey

American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 2298

Healthcare Workers for Palestine – New Jersey

Pax Christi New Jersey

Rutgers University Faculty for Justice in Palestine

Rutgers University for Palestine

Rutgers University-Newark National Lawyers Guild

Rutgers University-Newark Muslim Law Students Association

Rutgers University-Newark Students for Justice in Palestine

Rutgers Law Students for Justice in Palestine (Newark)

CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.                     

END              

CONTACT: CAIR-NJ Communications Manager Dina Sayedahmed, dsayedahmed@cair.com, 551-221-5592

CAIR-NJ to Join Palestinian-Americans in New Jersey with Kidnapped, Starving Relatives in Gaza

MEDIA ADVISORY 

CAIR-NJ to Join Palestinian-Americans in New Jersey with Kidnapped, Starving Relatives in Gaza

(NEWARK, NJ, 2/13/2024) — On Thursday, Feb,15, at 11 a.m., the Council on American Islamic Relations New Jersey chapter (CAIR-NJ) plans to join Palestinian-American families whose relatives in Gaza have been kidnapped by Israeli forces or are experiencing forced starvation.

Families plan to share detailed accounts, photos, and videos from their families in Gaza.

WHERE: CAIR-NJ Office, 570 Broad Street, Suite 703, Newark, NJ 07102

WHEN: February 15, 2024, 11 a.m.

CONTACT: CAIR-NJ Dina Sayedahmed, dsayedahmed@cair.com, 551-221-5592

LIVESTREAM: CAIR-NJ Facebook

The Palestinian death toll in Gaza has topped 28,000. Over the weekend, Israeli forces attacked the previously designated “safe city” of Rafah in Gaza, killing at least one hundred more Palestinians.

SEE: ‘There will be massacres’: Palestinians in Rafah speak of their fears

CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.                      

END                   

CONTACT: CAIR-NJ Communications Manager Dina Sayedahmed, dsayedahmed@cair.com, 551-221-5592

CAIR-NJ Welcomes Union City Ceasefire Resolution, Urges Newark Council to Follow Lead

CAIR-NJ Welcomes Union City Ceasefire Resolution, Urges Newark Council to Follow Lead   

(NEWARK, NJ, 02/08/2024) – The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) today welcomed Union City passing a ceasefire in Palestine resolution and urged the Newark Council to follow their lead.

At least 48 cities across the U.S. have passed symbolic resolutions calling for a ceasefire in Gaza, with six others passing resolutions advocating more broadly for peace.

SEE: US City Councils Increasingly Call for Israel-Gaza Ceasefire, Analysis Shows 

In a statement, CAIR-NJ Executive Director Selaedin Maksut said:

“Ceasefire resolutions play an important role in confirming what we’ve all known, that a growing number of the American public is vehemently opposed to Israel’s bombardment of Gaza.   

“It is important to see elected officials respond to their constituents, especially as they call for an end to the genocide of their families in Palestine and Gaza, specifically.   

“We hope to see Newark follow the lead of Union City, Paterson, and others and adopt a ceasefire resolution too, making it the biggest city across the state to do so.”

In a statement, North Hudson Islamic Education Center Outreach Director Hamadi Bengabsia said:

“Union City’s Mayor Stack has done what no mayor in Hudson County has done thus far. He felt the pain of his Muslim and Palestinian constituency, and he responded to their call. I am a lifelong area resident and today, I am even more proud of Union City and Mayor Stack. 

“As a state senator representing the 33rd district, we hope to see him push for a ceasefire resolution on the state level too.” 

Israel has killed nearly 28,000 Palestinians in Gaza since October 7 and destroyed all civilian infrastructure, including hospitals and schools.

SEE: These NJ families are mourning 1,000 relatives killed in war in Gaza 

Together, CAIR-NJ, AMP-NJ, and other coalition partners continue to stand in unwavering solidarity with Palestinians and their right to freedom.

CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

END         

CONTACT: CAIR-NJ Communications Manager Dina Sayedahmed, dsayedahmed@cair.com, 908-668-5900 ext. 103, 551-221-5592

CAIR-NJ to Join Protest and Council Meeting in Support of Gaza Ceasefire Resolution in Newark

MEDIA ADVISORY  

CAIR-NJ to Join Protest and Council Meeting in Support of Gaza Ceasefire Resolution in Newark  
 
(NEWARK, NJ, 2/6/2024) – Tomorrow (Feb. 7, at 11:15 a.m.), the New Jersey chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) will join local groups across Newark in calling on the Newark Council to adopt a Gaza ceasefire resolution.
WHERE: Rutgers University Newark Paul Robeson Campus Center, at 350 MLK Drive, Newark, NJ 07102
WHEN: February 7th, 2024, 11:15AM
CONTACT: CAIR-NJ Dina Sayedahmed, dsayedahmed@cair.com, 551-221-5592
LIVESTREAM: CAIR-NJ Facebook
CAIR-NJ, along with coalition partners, will rally and march from Rutgers University Paul Robeson Campus Center and culminate at Newark City Hall at 920 Broad Street, #304. At City Hall, they will then address the council in an open meeting emphasizing the need for a ceasefire resolution in Newark.
Coalition partners:
Council on American Islamic Relations (New Jersey)
American Muslims for Palestine (New Jersey)
People’s Organization for Progress
Newark Water Coalition
Black Alliance for Peace
Teaching While Muslim
Northern New Jersey Democratic Socialists of America
Ceasefire Now New Jersey – Isaac
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 2298 – Karl
Healthcare Workers for Palestine – New Jersey – Amani
Pax Christi New Jersey – Kathy
Rutgers University Faculty for Justice in Palestine
Rutgers University for Palestine
Rutgers University-Newark National Lawyers Guild
Rutgers University-Newark Muslim Law Students Association
Rutgers University-Newark Students for Justice in Palestine
Rutgers Law Students for Justice in Palestine (Newark)
CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
END

CONTACT: CAIR-NJ Communications Manager Dina Sayedahmed, dsayedahmed@cair.com, 551-221-5592

CAIR-NJ Condemns Congressman Gottheimer for Defamatory, Anti-Muslim Statements

CAIR-NJ Condemns Congressman Gottheimer for Defamatory, Anti-Muslim Statements 

(NEWARK, NJ, 1/29/2024) – The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) today condemned Rep. Josh Gottheimer’s (D-NJ) defamatory and anti-Muslim statements against the organization in a letter obtained by the New York Post.

SEE: NJ school district blasted for partnering with controversial CAIR group 

In the letter, the Congressman said that Teaneck Public Schools’ potential partnership with CAIR-NJ, the leading Muslim civil rights group in New Jersey, is “outrageous and unacceptable,” according to the New York Post.

The Congressman went on to say that CAIR-NJ should not be afforded a pulpit to “promote antisemitism and hatred as part of the Teaneck’s curriculum,” according to the New York Post.

In a statement, CAIR-NJ Executive Director Selaedin Maksut said:

“CAIR and CAIR-NJ have a strong track record of standing against all forms of bigotry, including antisemitism. The Congressman’s accusations are a distraction from the reality that between October 7 and December 31, 2023, we’ve received 157 reports of anti-Muslim bigotry. To contextualize that number, we’ve received 152 reports of anti-Muslim bigotry in all of 2022.

“This dramatic increase in reports is due, in part, to elected officials’ grossly imbalanced and disingenuous statements on Palestine – much like Rep. Gottheimer’s. The Congressman has shown no regard or concern for New Jersey Muslims who, since Israel began its war on Gaza on October 7, have seen a 336 percent increase in anti-Muslim bigotry. He has placed the Muslim community in New Jersey, and within his constituency especially, in direct harm’s way.”

In a statement, CAIR-NJ Civil Rights Attorney Ayah Zaki, Esq. said:

“We’ve been on high alert since October 7, representing Muslims in their workplaces as they experience retaliation and in their academic institutions as they are faced with disciplinary actions simply for supporting Palestinians’ internationally recognized right to freedom. 

“We’ve also partnered with local mosques and community centers across the state to hold Know Your Rights presentations several times a month because what we’re seeing now is very much reminiscent of what we’ve seen in the days and months immediately after 911: a rapid erosion of our civil rights.

“The Congressman’s defamatory attacks on our work and his unfounded accusations of antisemitism are a distraction at best. Our civil rights and legal advocacy work will continue.”

Since October 7, Congressman Gottheimer has made a number of statements and comments about Israel’s war on Gaza and the ensuing protests in New Jersey.

The Congressman accused students at Teaneck High School of antisemitism when they staged a walkout – with the permission and support of Superintendent Dr. Andre Spencer – against Israel’s war on Gaza. In another instance, the Congressman accused Muslim students at Rutgers University of “justifying the rape, murder, beheading, & kidnapping” of Americans, amplifying a long-ago debunked story about “beheaded babies” and playing into dangerous and defamatory anti-Muslim tropes. He also directly encouraged the university to silence these student protesters and violate their First Amendment rights.

The Congressman also used his authority and platform as an elected official to participate in the doxing and bullying of a Ramapo College professor, at a time when doxing and employment retaliation of pro-Palestine advocates is rapidly increasing.

Rep. Gottheimer allegedly made anti-Muslim remarks at a closed-door caucus meeting in mid-October 2023.

SEE: CAIR-NJ Condemns Rep. Gottheimer’s Alleged Anti-Muslim Remarks at Caucus Meeting, Calls on Him to Address Israeli Violence 

CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

END      

CONTACT: CAIR-NJ Communications Manager Dina Sayedahmed, dsayedahmed@cair.com, 908-668-5900 ext. 103

REPORT AN INCIDENT

If you or someone you know has experienced religious discrimination or has been contacted by law enforcement, please report the incident to us using the form below.
2021 Statistics

From the newsroom to the courtroom

2 5000
social media engagements
0
intakes
0
social media posts
0
press releases
How we help.

Your donations go towards funding these three critical areas

Zakat Eligible

Numerous Muslim scholars have confirmed that Zakat is payable to organizations that exist to serve the Muslim community by protecting their rights. This is because the work done by CAIR (and other such organizations) can be classified as fi-sabilillah, which is one of the eight categories of Zakat recipients detailed in the Quran (Chapter 9, Verse 60).

Zakat Eligible

Numerous Muslim scholars have confirmed that Zakat is payable to organizations that exist to serve the Muslim community by protecting their rights. This is because the work done by CAIR (and other such organizations) can be classified as fi-sabilillah, which is one of the eight categories of Zakat recipients detailed in the Quran (Chapter 9, Verse 60).

Zakat Eligible

Numerous Muslim scholars have confirmed that Zakat is payable to organizations that exist to serve the Muslim community by protecting their rights. This is because the work done by CAIR (and other such organizations) can be classified as fi-sabilillah, which is one of the eight categories of Zakat recipients detailed in the Quran (Chapter 9, Verse 60).

Who We Are.

CAIR New Jersey’s mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

Nonprofits

Throughout our lives, there are moments when we pause to reflect on what we have achieved and what we can achieve. We consider how to write each chapter of our life story in a way that embodies our values in word and deed. Leaving a planned gift in a will, trust or by beneficiary designation allows you to continue your impact in the future by funding causes you championed during your lifetime.

Donors

For over fourteen years, CAIR has fought to ensure that Muslims in America are protected in their homes, schools, mosques, and countless other private and public spaces by using the power of the law to give voice to those most impacted by civil rights issues.

Our mission

CAIR needs your long-term support to continue to preserve and advance the fragile rights and liberties of American Muslims. Donations are vital to CAIR's work, especially for abolishing current barriers that aim to restrict Muslims from enjoying even the most basic rights.

Our Impact

CAIR opposes domestic policies that limit civil rights, permit racial, ethnic or religious profiling, infringe on due process, or that prevent Muslims and others from participating fully in American civic life.

get involved.

apply for an internship or volunteer

Become an Intern

Invest in people. Invest in your neighborhood.
Invest in a stronger community.

Give Time

Share your time. Share your talents. Make a change within your community.

Recognitions

American Muslims in New Jersey have much to celebrate. For many years the American Muslim community has added to the rich cultural diversity we greatly value in New Jersey. The Council on American-Islamic Relations is an important vehicle for recognizing the accomplishments of New Jersey's Muslims.
Cory Booker
U.S. Senator New Jersey
CAIR is not for that stranger. CAIR is for you. Even as mayor I was stopped and harassed at JFK along with my wife and four children. My phone was confiscated. CAIR was there to stand up for me and retrieve my phone. Supporting CAIR means making sure that they are there for you when you need them in the future.
Mohamed T. Khairullah
Mayor Prospect Park
Since its inception, CAIR's New Jersey Chapter has been committed to advancing its parent organization's mission to provide necessary services to Muslim Americans that have contributed to their personal and professional wellbeing. CAIR-NJ has long been a champion for the interests of its community, striving to protect their civil liberties and offering them numerous educational opportunities.
Chris Christie
Former Governor of New Jersey
As Governor, I commend the leadership and volunteers of CAIR-NJ for their hard work and dedication to advance civil liberties for countless individuals and for their unwavering dedication to endure the wellness of our society.
Phil Murphy
Governor New Jersey
The work of CAIR and its partners ensures that the rights of all Americans remain protected. Now, more than ever, it is our duty to expose and dismantle Islamophobia and to push back against all types of hate.
Bonnie W. Coleman
Member of Congress
I commend your commitment to engage, embrace and value all communities and I am confident that your efforts will bring greater understanding and tryst to our communities. I look forward to continuing to work with you and the Muslim community in mu district in this endeavor.
Frank Pallone Jr.
U.S. Senator New Jersey