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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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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).

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LATEST NEWS

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

CAIR New Jersey 15th Annual Banquet a Success, with Lt. Sheila Oliver, and Others 

CAIR New Jersey 15th Annual Banquet a Success, with Lt. Sheila Oliver, and Others 

 

(SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ, 10/27/2021) –The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) today said almost 350 people turned out last Saturday for its 15th Annual Banquet in Newark, with the theme “Inspired by Faith. Leading by Service.”

Banquet speakers included Sheila Oliver, Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey; CAIR National Board Chair Roula Allouch; Shaykh Yasir Fahmy, research adviser at Yaqeen Institute; Abrar Omeish, at-large member of the Fairfax County (Va.) School Board; and Amer Zahr, Palestinian Arab American comedian, lawyer, and professor at University of Detroit Mercy School of Law.

Banquet honorees included Laila Khan, who successfully petitioned for the Eid holiday to be recognized in Montclair; Palestinian American Community Center (PACC); Zellie Imani of BLM Paterson; and Ahmed Shehab, CAIR national board treasurer, and CAIR-NJ board member.

 

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

“It was an inspirational night! We thank all those who helped make our 15th annual banquet another successful event. Some 350 community members turned out for the banquet, which raised nearly $180,000 to support our ongoing civil rights and advocacy efforts.

“For the past 15 years, our staff, board members, and volunteers have dedicated themselves to fighting racism and bigotry by offering free legal services to victims of harassment and discrimination. CAIR-NJ has advocated for inclusive policies at the local, state, and federal levels to ensure marginalized peoples are respected and welcomed in New Jersey.

“Our banquet is also a celebration of the New Jersey Muslim community, its leadership in civic engagement, social justice work, and many achievements and contributions.

“This year we were honored to have Lt. Sheila Oliver address our audience about her engagement with the Muslim community and the importance of valuing the diversity of our state.”

 

Maksut noted that the CAIR-NJ office has doubled the size of its staff since its last banquet in February of 2020 and is on track to continue growing.
He also 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 Calls ‘Appropriate Corrective Measures’ After Teacher Tells Arab Muslim Student ‘We Don’t Negotiate with Terrorists’ 

CAIR-NJ Calls ‘Appropriate Corrective Measures’ After Teacher Tells Arab Muslim Student ‘We Don’t Negotiate with Terrorists’ 

(SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ, 10/22/2021) – The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) today welcomed the Ridgefield, N.J., police investigation and called for the Ridgefield Memorial High School to take “appropriate corrective measures” after a teacher at Ridgefield High School allegedly told an Arab Muslim student, “We don’t negotiate with terrorists,” when he asked for more time on his homework. The teacher reportedly later approached the student and allegedly said “I didn’t mean it like that.”

The incident reportedly occurred on Wednesday morning during first period at Ridgefield Memorial High School where the student is a senior. The student alleges the entire class including another teacher was witness to the incident.

 

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

“We are very concerned about these allegations and urge the school district to take appropriate corrective measures following a swift and transparent investigation. This type of insensitive language by an authority figure is unacceptable because it perpetuates stereotypes of Arabs and Muslims.”  

Maksut said CAIR-NJ is offering the Ridgefield school district diversity training for its teachers and staff to help combat Islamophobia and bullying.

 

He noted that CAIR-NJ is also dealing with another case involving alleged Islamophobia targeting a Muslim student in that state. 

 

SEE: New claims made against NJ teacher accused of removing Muslim student’s hijab 

https://pix11.com/news/local-news/new-jersey/new-claims-made-against-nj-teacher-accused-of-removing-muslim-students-hijab/

 

CAIR released the document as institutions across the country mark today’s beginning of National Bullying Prevention Month.  

The document provides informative resources that school districts can use to ensure teachers and administrators are equipped with the necessary tools to address Islamophobia in the classroom. The document includes toolkits, reports, articles, and informational videos. CAIR released the document  

 

READ CAIR’S RESOURCE DOCUMENT: 

https://www.cair.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/antibullyingresources.pdf

 

Research has demonstrated that Muslims face bullying at twice the rate of the national average. Students of color and other backgrounds are also targets of identity-based bullying.

Many Muslim children report that they do not feel safe approaching their teachers or school leaders about bullying, which is a problem in many school districts across the nation. 

CAIR also offers a booklet, called “An Educator’s Guide to Islamic Religious Practices,” designed to help school officials provide a positive learning environment for Muslim students.

 

SEE: An Educator’s Guide to Islamic Religious Practices 

https://www.cair.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/An-Educators-Guide-to-Islamic-Religious-Practices.pdf

 

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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