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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

from our blog.

LATEST NEWS

CAIR-NJ Welcomes Sen. Edward Durr’s Resolution Condemning China’s Oppression of Uyghur Muslims, Calls on State House to Support   

CAIR-NJ Welcomes Sen. Edward Durr’s Resolution Condemning China’s Oppression of Uyghur Muslims, Calls on State House to Support   

(SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ, 1/20/2022) – The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) today welcomed state Senator Edward Durr’s proposed resolution in support of Uyghur Muslims. CAIR-NJ said lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle nationwide must come together to oppose China’s genocide.

State Senator Durr is introducing a legislative resolution condemning China’s oppressive treatment of Uyghur Muslims in that nation’s Xinjiang region, an autonomous area in western China.

 

SEE: Durr Resolution Supports Oppressed Ethnic Minority Group in China  

 https://www.senatenj.com/index.php/durr/durr-resolution-supports-oppressed-ethnic-minority-group-in-china/55921

 

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

We welcome Senator Durr’s proposed resolution condemning China’s oppression of Uyghur Muslims. Lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle nationwide must come together to oppose this genocide.  

As Senator Durr has stated, we too hope passing this resolution in New Jersey will help bring about increased pressure against Chinese oppression.  

“Other New Jersey statehouse representatives must also make it clear they stand against religious persecution and push this resolution forward as quickly as possible.”  

 

Maksut also noted in January 2020 CAIR-NJ applauded Governor Phil Murphy for his statement on oppressive policies toward Muslims in China, Myanmar, and India.

On January 3, 2020, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy issued a statement expressing concern for the oppressive policies toward Muslims in China, Myanmar, and India.

In his statement Governor Murphy calls the Uyghur crisis an “egregious violation of their human rights;” the Myanmar crisis “one of the world’s most abhorrent state-sanctioned policies of repression and annihilation;” and called for India to abandon its “restrictive and intolerant” citizenship law that “threatens its long and proud history as a secular and diverse democratic nation.”

Governor Murphy ended by saying, “It is time for all nations, including ours, to take firm and unequivocal stances against the narrow thinking that is fueling these divisions and embrace the world as it should be — tolerant, pluralistic, and interconnected.”

SEE: CAIR-NJ Applauds Governor Murphy’s Statement on Oppressive Policies Toward Muslims in China, Myanmar, and India 

https://cair-nj.org/cair-nj-applauds-governor-murphys-statement-on-oppressive-policies-toward-muslims-in-china-myanmar-and-india/

 

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

END 

CAIR-NJ Decries Teaneck’s Denial of Islamic Center’s Building Permit Application  

CAIR-NJ Decries Teaneck’s Denial of Islamic Center’s Building Permit Application  

(SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ, 12/17/2021) – The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) today expressed concern over the Teaneck Zoning board’s denial of Al Ummah Community Center’s building permit application. The Zoning Board sent the application to the Board of Adjustments, who also denied it.

AUCC’s owners say they have spent over $400,000 on township fees and professionals since their launch in June of 2018 due in large part to the obstacles and barriers presented by Teaneck’s Zoning Board.

The Proposed Islamic center has filed a discrimination lawsuit in federal court against Teaneck and its zoning board, claiming the township blocked its application by imposing oppressive requirements and draining the not-for-profit’s pockets, all the while granting approvals to substantial developments through Teaneck.

AUCC bought the former Longfellow School on Oakdene Avenue for $4.3 million in 2018. The Township had sold the 110-year-old brick building in 2003 to a church, which also used the site as a daycare center.

But after years of fraught proceedings, including being illegally denied a permit by Teaneck, the Zoning Board denied the AUCC’s application on Oct. 1.

In the suit, the AUCC claims the Township and its Board were against the proposal from the start, discriminating against its use as an Islamic center and House of Worship.

The AUCC claims the township requested that AUCC change its name to downplay its Muslim purpose, and then insisted the application go before the zoning board, despite the site’s location in a “Public Zone,” which the suit claims lack restrictions on use, size, and density.

At the core of the AUCC complaint is the argument that none of the requirements placed on the application was asked of the church that operated on the same site and in the same building for over 14 years.

The application did not include any additions to the building the church and school had used, according to AUCC attorney Aymen Aboushi.

In 2019, then-Mayor Mohammed Hameeduddin, who was the first Muslim mayor in Bergen County, said the center would offer welcome services for the community. “The fact that an organization wants to come in and provide services for the community, that’s a net benefit for the town,” he said.

 

SEE: Proposed Islamic center sues Teaneck for discrimination in denying application 

https://www.northjersey.com/story/news/bergen/teaneck/2020/10/09/islamic-center-sues-teaneck-discrimination-denying-application/5939624002/

SEE: AUCC Lawsuit  

https://img1.wsimg.com/blobby/go/45a137df-cb6c-4c6b-8627-6a50f45f28c1/AUCC%20Lawsuit.pdf

 

In a statement, AUCC’s Ray Hassan said:

“We started this project to fulfill a promise to our mother and make our world a better place. Almost immediately we were met by resistance from Teaneck town officials. They started by asking us to change our organization name. It continued with denials for child safety issues like an updated playground, a safety fence, an elevator, and a ramp to accommodate handicapped children. It evolved into fees in excess of $400,000 and unrealistic plan demands from the Board of Adjustments.

“We have constantly been compared to the State Street project that crushed existing Teaneck ordinances. We are not talking about an empty plot of land. We are talking about an existing property that was once a Teaneck public school. A building that later served as a church for almost 40 years. A property that never faced the issues or scrutiny a Muslim organization has constantly faced. In this great country of ours, we are blessed that religious affiliation is not considered a variance. It is our God-given right!”

 

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

“The account offered by AUCC’s founders outlining the difficulty they experienced in establishing their community center is deeply troubling. We take cases of discrimination and prejudices very seriously.

“All Americans have the freedom to establish houses of worship and community centers without unfair impediment. Anything unjustly hindering the development of a community center should be of great concern to the local community and anyone who values our constitutional rights.

“We echo the concerns and requests being made by AUCC’s legal counsel. Our office is advocating for fair and just treatment of AUCC’s pursuit to establish a center that would serve as an asset to Teaneck. The Teaneck Zoning board must work to reach an agreement with AUCC for the sake of bringing something of inherent benefit to the town.”

 

AUCC:  

Al Ummah Community Center, or AUCC, is a Muslim-owned and operated Islamic-based community center dedicated to being a positive influence in the community by developing healthy youth programs; athletics, academics, arts and sciences, and religion. AUCC is also developing programs for seniors and special needs members. They also strive to provide assistance to local families in need with the help of our young volunteers thereby improving the general quality of life for all residents in the Teaneck area.

 

Background on State Street: 

SEE: Apartments approved for Teaneck’s State Street 

https://www.northjersey.com/story/news/bergen/teaneck/2019/12/06/teaneck-nj-state-street-apartments-approved/3843816002/

“The 68 apartments are more than seven times what is permitted on the 0.8 acre lot. The building will be set back 10 feet from the front of the property line, instead of the required 30 feet and its 73-foot height to the roofline is more than double the maximum permitted height of 35 feet.”

SEE: Another apartment building proposed for Teaneck’s State Street, this one for 147 units 

https://www.northjersey.com/story/news/bergen/teaneck/2019/08/15/developer-looks-build-147-unit-apartment-building-teaneck-nj/2007050001/

“The proposed building’s height is 173 feet, nearly five times the 35 feet allowed. The percentage of the lot covered by the building would be 97 percent instead of the 25 percent allowed. The development plans call for construction at the front property line instead of the required setback of 2 feet on State Street and 8 feet at The Plaza and Ayers Court. The rear setback in the plans is 5 feet instead of the minimum 20 feet.”

 

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

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.

END 

CAIR-NJ Thanks State Lawmakers for Joint Resolution Recognizing CAIR-NJ’s Achievements, Contributions, 15th Anniversary   

CAIR-NJ Thanks State Lawmakers for Joint Resolution Recognizing CAIR-NJ’s Achievements, Contributions, 15th Anniversary   

 

(SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ, 11/9/2021) – The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) today thanked the New Jersey Senate and General Assembly for honoring CAIR-NJ on its 15th anniversary with a joint legislative resolution.

That resolution praised CAIR-NJ’s work, paid tribute to its meritorious record of service and commitment and extended sincere best wishes for its continued success and vigor in the years to come.

The resolution was proposed by Senator Beach, Assemblyman Greenwald, and Assemblywoman Lampitt and was signed by both President of the Senate, Stephen M. Sweeny, and Speaker of the General Assembly, Craig J. Coughlin.

A duly authenticated copy of the resolution was transmitted to CAIR-NJ.

 

The resolution states in part:  

WHEREAS, This auspicious occasion, with the theme, Inspired by Faith, Leading by Service, will recognize the outstanding achievements of the Council of American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR-NJ, over the past year that ensured justice for the embattled while fostering compassion and empathy throughout our State; and,

WHEREAS, The leaders and members of CAIR-NJ have demonstrated their unwavering devotion to the praiseworthy mission of fostering understanding of Islam, encouraging dialogue, and empowering American-Muslims through coalitions that unite people and celebrate diversity in ideas, voices, and experiences; and,

WHEREAS, Within all spheres, CAIR-NJ has established a model to emulate and set a standard of excellence toward which others might strive…

 

READ THE RESOLUTION:  

https://www.cair.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/CAIRNJResolution-scaled.jpg

 

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

“We’re honored by this surprise resolution. Our team and I thank Senator Sweeny, Assemblyman Coughlin, Senator Beach, Assemblyman Greenwald, Assemblywoman Lampitt, and the entire New Jersey Senate and General Assembly for recognizing our organization and its achievements.   

“For the past fifteen years, CAIR-New Jersey has worked to be a voice for the Muslim community and defend the civil rights of all New Jerseyans. We look forward to continuing our advocacy works for many more years to come, God-willing.”   

 

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

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.

END

CAIR-New Jersey Invites Edward Durr to Meet with Muslim Community Leaders

CAIR-New Jersey Invites Edward Durr to Meet with Muslim Community Leaders

 

(SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ, 11/5/2021) – The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) today called on newly-elected New Jersey state senator Edward Durr to meet with Muslim community leaders to discuss his Islamophobic tweet and repudiate hate.

A 2019 post from Durr’s Twitter account stated in part: “Islam is a false religion! Only fools follow muslim [sic] teachings! It is a cult of hate!” Posts from Durr’s Facebook account downplayed the Jan. 6 coup attempt, calling it “not an insurrection … (but) an unauthorized entry by undocumented federal employees!”

SEE: Newly elected GOP state senator’s social media accounts contain xenophobic, anti-Muslim posts

https://www.nj.com/politics/2021/11/newly-elected-gop-state-senators-social-media-accounts-contain-homophobic-anti-muslim-posts.html

SEE: NJ’s newly elected Ed Durr apologizes for social media posts

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

“This wildly incendiary language is especially disturbing coming from someone who will hold high public office.

“Mr. Durr will soon be a state senator in New Jersey, and so, I believe it is in everyone’s best interest to engage him in conversation and not let the matter go unchecked. I am asking Mr. Durr to sit with me and other Muslim community leaders from his district and lend us his ear. Our aim is to explain why his tweet is so troubling, how it perpetuates falsities about Islam, and hatred and violence against Muslims.

“I hope after sincere dialogue Mr. Durr will repudiate this blatant bigotry, disavow the tweet, and sincerely apologize–because it is absolutely necessary that he do so. The judgment of policy-makers clouded by racism and ignorance negatively impacts the lives of all Americans, especially American Muslims who know all too well what that impact can feel like.”

Maksut noted that New Jersey is home to three times as many Muslim adults per capita as the national average, and that New Jersey also has more Muslim elected officials than any other state in the nation.

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

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.

END

CAIR-NJ Congratulates First Muslim to Win NJ State Legislature Seat, Other Historic Muslim Electoral Victories  

CAIR-NJ Congratulates First Muslim to Win NJ State Legislature Seat, Other Historic Muslim Electoral Victories  

 

(SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ, 11/3/2021) – The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) today congratulated Shama Haider for becoming the first Muslim to win her election for the state legislature. CAIR-NJ also congratulates other Muslims for breaking barriers in other local races.

Shama Haider ran for election to the New Jersey State legislature in District 37, which covers municipalities like Teaneck and Tenafly.

She is the first Muslim to serve as a New Jersey state legislator.

 

SEE:  Johnson, Haider, Park win in the 37th district 

https://newjerseyglobe.com/legislature/johnson-haider-park-win-in-the-37th-district/

Bergen’s Shama Haider makes history as first Muslim elected to NJ legislature 

https://www.northjersey.com/story/news/2021/11/03/37th-district-assembly-election-results-shama-haider-first-muslim/6240118001/

 

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

“We congratulate Shama Haider for becoming New Jersey’s first Muslim to be elected as a state legislator. It is inspiring to see this historic electoral victory, one that we hope paves the way for future success for the Muslim community here in New Jersey.”   

“The New Jersey state legislature is nearly 60 percent white men, leaving much more work to be done in terms of representation. We look forward to the year the state legislature more accurately reflects the demographics of New Jersey. 

“This election cycle has seen a few other exciting firsts for the New Jersey Muslim community at the local level. Each win is a testament to the Muslim community’s passion for public service and civic engagement. Our state is moving toward religious inclusion of Muslims, pushing back against the rampant Islamophobia we’ve seen since 9/11, and embracing the richness, and diversity of its population.  

“We hope that the American Muslims elected officials champion policies that reflect the justice-oriented values and principles of our faith and community and continue making history across our state.” 

 

Maksut noted that over 30 Muslims ran for office this election. He said it is too soon to enumerate the total number of re-elected, and newly elected but he did mention the following names:

  • Umar Muhammad, first Muslim to serve as Galloway Councilman 
  • Sami Shaban, first Muslim to serve on Franklin Board of Education 

In March, CAIR, Jetpac and MPower Change released a comprehensive report of all Muslim-identifying candidates who ran for public office in 2020 that found 181 Muslim candidates were on 2020 ballots across 28 states and Washington D.C., with 80 being elected to office.

 

CAIR and Jetpac plan to issue a follow-up directory of elected Muslim officials later this year.

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

 

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

 

END 

CAIR-NJ Urges Muslims to Participate in Early Voting

CAIR-NJ Urges Muslims to Participate in Early Voting

 

(SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ, 10/29/2021) –The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) today urged members of the New Jersey Muslim community to vote early by mail or in person.

Find the most convenient early voting site in your county and pick a day that works for you between now and October 31st. Earlier this year, historic legislation established in-person early voting in New Jersey. This law makes New Jersey even more voter-friendly and strengthens our democracy by expanding opportunities to exercise your right to vote. This new option allows registered voters to cast their ballot in person, using a voting machine, during a nine-day period prior to Election Day.

 

SEE: In-Person Early Voting in New Jersey is here!

https://www.nj.gov/state/elections/vote-early-voting.shtml

 

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

“The Islamic imperative is to do good, and build a better world. Voting is one effective means through which New Jersey Muslims can do just that. To bring about the positive change we wish to see in the world the Muslim community must unite and work together to ensure we are civically engaged, vote in high numbers, and have our voices heard.

“Thanks to early in-person voting it has never been easier to vote. It’s important we all exercise our right and make sure you, your family and neighbors vote!”

 

Maksut also noted that for the first time ever the Islamic Center of Passaic County is an early voting location and encouraged Passaic County residents to vote at the ICPC.

“We’re excited to have the ICPC masjid be a location for early voting. It brings our Muslim community great pride knowing we can help build a strong and more equitable New Jersey,” said Maksut.

 

See: ICPC Statement

https://www.facebook.com/icpc.nj/photos/pcb.10159715817036948/10159715813541948/

 

 

If you believe your voting rights have been violated, please contact CAIR-NJ at(908) 668-5900or info@nj.cair.com.

NOTE:As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, CAIR-NJ does not endorse or oppose any candidate running for office.

 

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

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.

END

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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

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