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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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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 Expresses Concern Over Teaneck Zoning Board Member’s Bigoted Comment About Islamic Center

CAIR-NJ Expresses Concern Over Teaneck Zoning Board Member’s Bigoted Comment About Islamic Center   

(SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ, 9/22/2022) – The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) today expressed concerned over a Teaneck zoning board member’s bigoted comment directed at a proposed Islamic center in Teaneck.     

CAIR-NJ is further concerned by the zoning board’s alleged prolonging of the application process.     

After purchasing the former Longfellow School on Oakdene Avenue in Teaneck in 2018, which most recently was used as a church with day care, the Al Ummah Community Center made plans to establish an Islamic community center with facilities for recreation, childcare, education, and prayer. After facing push back from residents and zoning board members alike, the group is now suing Teaneck, alleging discrimination in the form of burdensome and costly requirements not asked of other applicants.   

During court testimonies, it came to light that Edward Mulligan, a Teaneck zoning board member, muttered a bigoted comment about pickup by camel a stereotypical reference to Arabs when members were discussing car and bus pickup procedures for the proposed Islamic center.     

SEE: Tensions simmer over Islamic Center plans in Teaneck     

The same board member also commented, “Would you trust these people with your children?” when talking about the Islamic center’s school, according to court documents.      

SEE: Deposition   

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

“While disappointing and wholly unacceptable, this isn’t entirely surprising. We’ve seen this same scenario play out in several other New Jersey towns.     

“We call on Teaneck Mayor James Dunleavy to condemn Edward Mulligan’s anti-Muslim remarks and to support his Muslim community in its quest for a community center. Every religious group has the right to establish houses of worship and community centers, and Muslims are no exception to this.     

“At the end of the day, Islamic centers, like the one that Al Ummah is proposing, uplift the community they serve. It is of no benefit to delay and deny Muslim groups this right because, as we’ve seen in Bayonne, Bridgewater, Basking Ridge, Washington Township, and Vineland, eventually, civil rights and procedure will win.”   

  

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

END     

CONTACT: CAIR-NJ Executive Director Selaedin Maksut, 908-267-3119, smaksut@cair.com 

 

CAIR-NJ, TWM Introduce Educators’ Guide for Classroom Discussions of 9/11  

CAIR-NJ, TWM Introduce Educators’ Guide for Classroom Discussions of 9/11  

(SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ, 09/08/2022) – The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) and Teaching While Muslim today introduced an educator’s guide to classroom discussions surrounding 9/11.   

The advocacy group shared these resources and has contacted nearly 30 NJ school districts comprising of over 55 public schools. 

The guide includes lesson plans and curriculum guides that will help teachers develop a more nuanced approach to the subject of 9/11 and its impact on Muslim students. It includes essential questions, such as the significance of 9/11, the rise in anti-Muslim bullying in schools, and resources on how to combat Islamophobia in the classroom. Organizers are requesting school administrators to circulate the guides among their educators and staff. 

SEE: Muslim Studies Curriculum  

SEE: An Educator’s Guide to Islamic Religious Practices 

SEE: CAIR-NJ, TWM Curriculum Guide Letter to Educators 

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

“Muslim students have long reported incidents of bullying related to their religion and ethnic background to our office, sometimes triggered by inappropriate comments made in classrooms on anniversaries of September 11, 2001. We are hopeful that this guide will help educators and students adopt a proactive approach to Islamophobia in the classroom.   

“It is also imperative that students have a comprehensive and accurate understanding of the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, including the hate crimes, illegal discrimination, government abuses and wars overseas that continue to impact not only American Muslims, but the American people and people around the world.” 

 In a statement, Teaching While Muslim Founding Executive Director Nagla Bedir and Assistant Director Maheen Ahmad said:  “Although it has been more than 20 years since 2001, there is still an extensive amount of misinformation about 9/11 that contributes to an inaccurate understanding of the world. 

“However, as educators ourselves, we believe it is a teacher’s responsibility to not perpetuate misinformation of any kind in the classroom.   

“Misinformation around 9/11, Muslims, and Islam are the primary causes of anti-Muslim racism and Islamophobia in schools. It is a teacher’s duty to educate themselves before touching upon topics they aren’t familiar with in their classrooms. This teacher’s guide is intended to alleviate the job of educators by providing them with comprehensive resources and lesson plans to better understand what happened on that tragic day and the lasting national and global repercussions.”  

CAIR-NJ documented at least 22 incidents of anti-Muslim incidents in New Jersey public schools during the 2021-2022 calendar years.  

In one incident, a Ridgefield teacher said, “we don’t negotiate with terrorists” when a Muslim student asked for an extension on his homework. In another incident, a New Jersey middle school teacher called people from Afghanistan and Pakistan terrorists.  

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

 

END 

CONTACT: CAIR-NJ Executive Director Selaedin Maksut, 908-267-3119smaksut@cair.com.  

 

 

CAIR-NJ Welcomes South Plainfield Mayor’s Statement Denouncing White Supremacist Group at Labor Day Parade  

CAIR-NJ Welcomes South Plainfield Mayor’s Statement Denouncing White Supremacist Group at Labor Day Parade 

(SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ, 09/07/2022) – The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) today welcomed South Plainfield Mayor Matthew Anesh’s statement denouncing the European Heritage Association (EHA), a white supremacist organization, after members of that group took part in the South Plainfield Labor Day parade carrying an anti-immigration banner. 

South Plainfield City Council held an emergency meeting on Tuesday night to address the group’s presence at the parade, which caught town officials by surprise, according to the mayor. During the parade, EHA members held a banner that read, “Defend American labor. Close the border.”     

“None of us condoned this group, believe in what they believe in, or welcome them to this parade or the community,” Anesh said during the meeting.   

SEE: South Plainfield mayor addresses residents’ concerns after white supremacist group shows up at Labor Day parade 

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

“We thank the mayor for responding to his constituents in a timely manner and strongly condemning the white supremacist group.   

“We encourage local communities to be proactive in the face of white supremacy. Being ‘not racist’ is not enough — we must be anti-racist ourselves and invest in anti-racist education.” 

In a statement, Perth Amboy Area Branch NAACP member Jimmy Dabrowski said: 

“The Perth Amboy Area Branch NAACP unequivocally denounces the New Jersey European Heritage Association.    

“We call on all South Plainfield elected and appointed officials to join us in condemning this defined white supremacist hate group.”   

SEE: White supremacists crashed N.J. town’s Labor Day parade, mayor says   

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

END 

CONTACT: CAIR-NJ Executive Director Selaedin Maksut, 908-267-3119smaksut@cair.com

CAIR-NJ Acknowledges IBA Apology for Bulldozer at India Day Parade

CAIR-NJ Acknowledges IBA Apology for Bulldozer at India Day Parade 

(SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ, 8/31/2022) – The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) today acknowledged the apology issued by the Indian Business Association (IBA), organizers of the parade, for using divisive symbols at their annual India Independence Day parade.

Earlier this month, the IBA organized an India Independence Day parade in Edison and Woodbridge. The parade featured a bulldozer, which has become a symbol of anti-Muslim animus in the context of India. Today, the group issued an apology.

The apology states, in part:

“We are writing to offer our sincere apologies for certain aspects of our 2022 Indian Independence Day parade that reflected poorly on our organization and offended the Indian American minority groups, especially Muslims, from the local area and across the State and Country.”

“Unfortunately there was a bulldozer among the floats in the parade which is a divisive image that did not reflect our mission…Our parade should never be about politics and should never include these blatant divisive symbols.

“We hereby make the commitment that we will not allow these symbols in the future and that we will work with all different groups of South Asian heritage to make sure that our parade remains the best in the State of New Jersey.” 

Video: CAIR-NJ Rep Says Edison India Parade Bulldozer was ‘Clear Message of Intimidation’

SEE: IBA Apology

 

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

“We recognize IBA’S apology acknowledges its own wrongdoing, which is a necessary step toward making future parades representative of the Indian diaspora, including Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Dalits, and Tribals.   

“We agree that future parades cannot include blatantly divisive symbols and guest speakers and should never be about politics. Such hatred cannot be tolerated. Instead, the parade should celebrate India’s independence and rich culture and diversity.   

“We applaud Mayor McCormac for taking our community’s concerns seriously and for calling on the IBA to issue this public apology. The bulldozer is a symbol of intimidation and support for the oppression of minorities in India. Such hateful symbols have no place on our streets.   

“Mayor McCormac expressed desire to establish an advisory committee with the objective to ensure that the IBA’s stated commitment is maintained. This effort meets the need for accountability, going beyond acknowledgment.” 

 

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

END   

CONTACT: CAIR-NJ Executive Director Selaedin Maksut, 908-267-3119smaksut@cair.com

 

 

CAIR-NJ, IAMC Welcome Legislators’ Condemnation of Bulldozer at India Day Parade 

CAIR-NJ, IAMC Welcome Legislators’ Condemnation of Bulldozer at India Day Parade  

(SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ) – The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations and Indian American Muslim Council today welcomed Assemblyman Raj Mukherji, Senator Vin Gopal, Assemblywoman Shama Haider, Assemblywoman Sadaf Jaffer, and Assemblywoman Ellen Park’s joint statement condemning the use of a bulldozer at the India Independence Day parade in Edison, NJ.  

“The bulldozer – which has unfortunately become a symbol of division and hate based on reports of celebrations of Muslim homes being demolished – has cast a shadow over the parade and distressed New Jersey’s vibrant Indian Muslim community and others,” their statement read.  

 In a statement, IAMC President Mohammed Jawad said:  

“The unequivocal rejection of the bulldozer parade from these Assembly people comes as a relief.   

“The tone-deaf decision of the Indian Business Association and the Overseas Friends of the BJP to bring a bulldozer to what was meant to be a celebration of pride has unfortunately injected India’s partisan and supremacist politics into our peace-loving communities in Edison.   

“The presence of an Indian hate-mongering politician Sambit Patra at the parade means the use of the bulldozer was not accidental or an oversight but was wholly intentional. As a hate event, it has traumatized the Indian Muslim community in Edison.” 

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

“We appreciate the elected officials’ joint condemnation of this deliberately hateful incident.  

“In the future, we are hopeful that such condemnations will come without hesitancy and in the immediate aftermath of such incidents.   

“This goes beyond a parade. Indian Muslims in Edison and Woodbridge have reported tensions and expressed fear of harassment and discrimination, and many are concerned about future implications. We must stand up to Hindu nationalism and hatred of all sorts without delay.”  

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

END  

CONTACT: CAIR-NJ Executive Director Selaedin Maksut, 908-267-3119smaksut@cair.com. 

CAIR-NJ Welcomes Edison Council Member’s, Woodbridge NAACP, BLM Denunciations of Islamophobic India Parade Bulldozer

CAIR-NJ Welcomes Edison Council Member’s, Woodbridge NAACP, BLM Denunciations of Islamophobic India Parade Bulldozer

(SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ) – The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) yesterday joined the Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC) and other partner organizations in a press conference at the Edison Municipal Building calling for New Jersey elected officials to rebuke the offensive use of a bulldozer at the India Independence Day parade in Edison and Woodbridge, N.J.

CAIR-NJ also called on local leadership to rebuke the primary organizer of the parade, the Indian Business Association (IBA) seek apologies from them.

SEE PRESS CONFEENCE: CAIR-NJ Press Conference

SEE ALSO: Bulldozer used in Edison’s India Independence Day Parade seen as Islamophobic 

In a statement, Perth Amboy Area Branch NAACP President Rev. Donna Stewart said:

“The Perth Amboy Area Branch NAACP firmly stands with CAIR-NJ, the Indian American Muslim Council, Hindus for Human Rights, and all other organizations that have denounced this act of hatred against our Muslim community members. We call on Woodbridge Mayor John McCormac to join us in condemning Islamophobia, and to commit to begin working with the NAACP towards antiracism policy in Woodbridge Township.”

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

“We welcome the strong condemnations offered by Councilmembers Harris, Ship-Freeman, and many others yesterday evening during the town council meeting. Ajay Patil’s dismissal of the issue is of great concern. It should not be difficult to condemn the parading of symbols of violence and hatred in your own town.   

“We are further disappointed in mayor Joshi, mayor McCormac, and local officials who have yet to unequivocal condemn the use of the bulldozer–a symbol of violence and anti-Muslim animus. We continue our call on the IBA for an apology.”  

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

END

CONTACT: CAIR-NJ Executive Director Selaedin Maksut, 908-267-3119smaksut@cair.com

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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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