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.

CAIR-NJ 2023 Annual Civil Rights Report Shows 46 Percent Increase in Cases  

CAIR-NJ 2023 Annual Civil Rights Report Shows 46 Percent Increase in Cases  

(SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ, 5/22/2023) – The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today published its annual civil rights report, Beyond the Courts, showing a 46 percent increase in the number of discrimination cases.  

The number of cases reported to CAIR jumped from 104 in 2021 to 152 in 2022. 

SEE: Beyond the Courts

The largest category of complaints is employment and workplace discrimination, which includes hostile work environments, explicit bias, and employer retaliation. School-related complaints are a top second and include curricula with anti-Muslim undertones, teacher biases, student bullying, and lack of religious accommodations for Muslim students. Unlike previous years, the report’s findings also note an increase in Hindutva-related incidents.   

FBI and law enforcement surveillance complaints sharply decreased, consistent with CAIR National’s 2023 Civil Rights Report findings. The sharp increase in school-related incidents, from just nine in 2021 to 27 in 2023, is also consistent with CAIR National’s findings. 

SEE: Progress in the Shadow of Prejudice   

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

“While we’ve seen a 46 percent increase in the number of cases we’ve fielded over the last year, it’s also important to note that we’ve drastically increased our chapter’s capacity.    

“So, while it is a possibility that anti-Muslim bigotry is on the rise, what is more likely is that we are slowly reaching the demand of the New Jersey Muslim community.”   

In a statement, CAIR-NJ Operations Coordinator and the report’s principal author Dyaa Terpstra said: 

“The face of anti-Muslim bigotry is evolving. In the years immediately after 9/11, civil rights groups saw cases of outright bigotry where Muslims were called racial slurs or explicitly told to ‘go back where they came from’ in the workplace, classroom, and in public.  

“More than 20 years later we still see such cases, but on a smaller scale. What is more common now is implicit bias, which is why we are taking on a more proactive approach to empowering American Muslims as opposed to reactive. 

“We’re spending less time in the courts and more time writing op-eds, putting on community programming, and engaging government officials at the municipal and state level.” 

In a statement, CAIR-NJ Communications Manager Dina Sayedahmed said:   

“There is an African proverb that says, ‘Until the lion tells the story, the hunter will always be the hero.’   

“Over the years, as modern narratives of American Muslims took on an inaccurate and even anti-Muslim approach, it has become increasingly important and even necessary that Muslims be the primary authors and documenters of their own stories and histories. The primary mission of our work here at CAIR-NJ is to do just that: to record and tell the Muslim story in New Jersey with the nuance that such a diverse and layered community demands.”     

Moving into 2023, CAIR-NJ continues to take on a proactive approach to civil rights advocacy, becoming a leading and credible Muslim voice in media, engaging lawmakers and elected officials at all levels of New Jersey governance, and building socially and politically conscious communities. Some of the campaigns that CAIR-NJ is focusing on are religious accommodations in public schools, Eid advocacy, and sensitivity trainings for schools and companies. 

 

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, 551-221-5592, dsayedahmed@cair.com 

CAIR-NJ, NJ Mayors to Announce Resolution in Response to Secret Service Banning Mayor Khairullah from White House

MEDIA ADVISORY 

CAIR-NJ, NJ Mayors to Announce Resolution in Response to Secret Service Banning Mayor Khairullah from White House   

(SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ, 05/18/2023) — The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) will convene with mayors and elected officials across New Jersey on Friday, May 19, in a call to action urging the White House and Secret Service to provide a detailed explanation of their sudden and baseless revocation of Mayor Mohamed T. Khairullah’s White House Eid event invitation earlier this month.     

Elected officials are expected to announce a resolution, in addition to a sign-on letter, at the call to action.   

Mayor Mohamed T. Khairullah and former Prospect Park Mayor William Kubofcik will be in attendance. Mayors Mike Pagan and Richard Rigoglioso of Teaneck and Garfield, respectively, will also attend, among others.   

WHEN: Friday, May 19, at 6:30 p.m.            

WHERE: Darul Islah Mosque, 320 Fabry Terrace, Teaneck, NJ 07666 

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

LIVESTREAM: facebook.com/CAIRNewJersey 

Moments before Mayor Khairullah was set to arrive at the White House Eid celebration, he received a call from the White House Social Secretary informing him that because he had not been cleared for entry, his invitation to the White House was effectively revoked.    

SEE: CAIR-NJ Condemns Secret Service for Baselessly Banning NJ’s Longest Serving Muslim Mayor from White House Eid Event 

SEE: CAIR Urges FBI to Stop Distributing Secret Terror Watchlists After Leaks Show ‘Almost Entirely Lists of Arabic and Muslim Names’   

It later became clear that Mayor Khairullah is on an illegal U.S. watchlist. The list was leaked to CAIR in January 2023 and includes 1.5 million others. They are almost entirely Arabic or Muslim names.   

Mayor Khairullah was previously stopped and interrogated at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York for three hours and questioned about whether he knew any terrorists. He was also forced to hand over his phone in the same incident.  

  

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 

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.

CAIR-NJ Joins USCMO for 8th Annual National Muslim Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill

CAIR-NJ Joins USCMO for 8th Annual National Muslim Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill 

MEDIA ADVISORY 

(SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ, 05/11/2023 The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) today announced that it will join the U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO) and the American Muslim community for the 8th annual National Muslim Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C.

The event will be held onMonday, June 12, and Tuesday, June 13 at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.   

WHEN:Monday, June 12-Tuesday, June 13, 2023   

WHERE: Capitol Hill, E Capitol St. & 1st St. NE Washington, DC 20004  

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

Among the issues that CAIR-NJ and USCMO delegates will advocate for is the reintroduction of Representatives Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Jan Schakowsky and Senator Corey Booker’s Combating International Islamophobia Act legislation to address the rise in incidents of Islamophobia worldwide. Delegates will also discuss the long-contested watchlist.  

In a statement, CAIR-NJ Government Affairs Manager Madina P. Ouedraogo, MPA-PNP, said:  

“National Muslim Advocacy Day is an opportunity for American Muslims nationwide to meet with their elected officials and their staff to discuss issues pertinent to the American Muslim community.  

“The goal is to establish basic rapport and encourage civic engagement among American Muslims, because democracies can only thrive when constituents are consistently engaged.   

“It is imperative that American Muslims, especially as an underrepresented demographic in the U.S., have opportunities to advocate for themselves and that they make their voices heard and presence felt in decision-making spaces. We are hopeful that this event can be an encouraging catalyst for the everyday American Muslim to be vocal and civically engaged.”  

Over 300 American Muslim delegates from 20 different states met with more than 200 elected officials and their staff last year during the 7th Annual National Muslim Advocacy Day. Interested participants are encouraged to register at least one month before the event, and no later than Sunday, June 4. Photos from previous years can be found under the hashtag, #MuslimHillDay.      

 

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 Thanks Sens. Booker and Menendez, Rep. Pascrell for Demanding Answers Over Mayor’s Ban from White House Eid Event

CAIR-NJ Thanks Sens. Booker and Menendez, Rep. Pascrell for Demanding Answers Over Mayor’s Ban from White House Eid Event

(SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ, 5/2/2023)The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) today thanked Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and U.S. Congressman Bill Pascrell’s (D-NJ-9) for their letter to the White House, and called on the Biden administration to issue a public apology to Prospect Park Mayor Mohamed T. Khairullah, in response to U.S. Secret Service abruptly disinviting him from the White House Eid celebration due to security concerns.

Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and U.S. Congressman Bill Pascrell (D-NJ-9) today wrote a letter to the U.S. Secret Service and the President’s Deputy Assistant and Social Secretary calling on them to provide “substantive reasons” explaining why Mayor Khairullah was denied entry to the White House for the annual Eid celebration.

Their letter states in part:

“We ask for you to provide our offices with information in a format and classification level that facilitates a detailed explanation of what occurred and why.”

SEE: Pascrell, Menendez, and Booker Ask Secret Service Why North Jersey Mayor Denied Entry into the White House

Separately, Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) issued a statement expressing disappointment, saying “I was so profoundly disappointed that Mayor Khairullah — whose effective leadership and passion for public service has made him beloved in New Jersey — would be rejected from entering one of our nation’s more important civic spaces: our White House.”

SEE: Booker Statement on Prospect Park Mayor Mohamed Khairullah Being Disinvited to the White House Eid al-Fitr Celebration  

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

“We thank Senators Cory Booker and Bob Menendez, as well as Congressman Bill Pascrell for pursuing answers from the Secret Service and the White House. The government must provide an explanation for the abrupt revocation of Mayor Khairullah’s invitation to the White House and ensure this never happens to him again. 

“We thank them for standing by the mayor and calling for a detailed explanation. Senator Booker has been especially swift in responding to our calls. We appreciate him and his team for their astute attention to this important matter. 

“In addition, we strongly urge the government to stop using the unconstituonal watchlist to target innocent people. While Mayor Khairullah is at the epicenter of this incident, it has been abundantly clear for several years now that expansive watchlists with no due process or transparency carry very real consequences, some of which cannot be reversed. This is long overdue.”

In a statement, Mayor Mohamed T. Khairullah said:

“I express my gratitude and appreciation to the many elected officials who stood by me, including Senators Cory Booker and Bob Menendez, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, and Congressman Bill Pascrell, but it’s important to note that this issue goes beyond an invitation to the White House, or even myself as an individual.

“There are at least 1.5 million people on that watchlist, the majority of whom have Muslim and/or Arab names. It’s a disgrace that these sorts of lists exist, especially because there is no actual recourse for people like myself who are blacklisted. I ask the Biden administration to do what’s right and dismantle these lists entirely.”

During a press conference today, CAIR-NJ again called on the Biden administration to issue a public apology to Prospect Park Mayor Mohamed T. Khairullah and re-invite him to the White House to discuss the tangible consequences of the watchlist during a press conference today, and echoed Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and U.S. Congressman Bill Pascrell’s (D-NJ-9) demand for answers.

SEE: CAIR-NJ NEWS CONFERENCE 

Several members of New Jersey Governor Murphy Intergovernmental Affairs team along with various coalition partners, including the New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice, the New Jersey Muslim Lawyers Association, the Center for Security, Race and Rights, the American Friends Service Committee, Faith in New Jersey, Justice for All, and the Palestinian American Community Center also attended CAIR-NJ’s press conference in support of CAIR-NJ’s asks and Mayor Khairullah.

SEE: CNN Interviews NJ Mayor Mohamed T. Khairullah About Being Barred from White House Eid Event

SEE: CAIR-NJ Condemns Secret Service for Baselessly Banning NJ’s Longest Serving Muslim Mayor from White House Eid Event

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 National Deputy Director Edward Ahmed Mitchell, 404-285-9530e-Mitchell@cair.com; CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw, 202-742-6448rmccaw@cair.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726ihooper@cair.com, CAIR National Communications Manager Ismail Allison, 202-770-6280iallison@cair.com

CAIR-NJ to Hold Press Conference in Response to U.S. Secret Service Barring Muslim Mayor from White House Event

Muslim civil rights group will call for apology, invitation to White House for mayor, discussion of ‘tangible harms that watchlists have caused’ 

(SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ, 05/02/2023) Later today, the New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) will hold a news conference with Muslim community leaders in South Plainfield, N.J., to respond to the Secret Service’s “sudden and baseless” revocation of Prospect Park Mayor Mohamed Khairullah’s White House Eid event invitation due to “perceived profiling.” 

Mayor Khairullah is expected to join CAIR-NJ and the community leaders at the news conference.

While Anthony Guglielmi, chief of communications for the U.S. Secret Service, reportedly said that they are unable to offer comment on their “specific protective means and methods,” CAIR-NJ is concerned that the mayor’s invitation was revoked due to his status on the illegal government watchlist leaked to CAIR.   

SEE: CAIR-NJ Condemns Secret Service for Baselessly Banning NJ’s Longest Serving Muslim Mayor from White House Eid Event 

SEE: CNN Interviews NJ Mayor Mohamed T. Khairullah About Being Barred from White House Eid Event

At the news conference, CAIR-NJ plans to call on the Biden administration to apologize to Mayor Khairullah and invite him to the White House, to meet with members of the Muslim community to discuss the tangible harms that watchlists have caused and continue to cause, and, ultimately, to disband such watchlists. 

WHEN: Tuesday, May 2, 2 p.m.            

WHERE: CAIR-NJ Office, 4475 S. Clinton Ave, South Plainfield, N.J., Suite #202 

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

LIVESTREAM LINK: https://www.facebook.com/CAIRNewJersey/ 

BACKGROUNDER:

SEE: Muslim Mayor Says Being Denied Entry to WH Event “Reeks of Islamophobia” (Axios)

SEE: Muslim Mayor Blocked from White House Eid Celebration (AP)

SEE: Muslim Mayor Abruptly Disinvited from White House Eid al-Fitr Celebration

Mayor Khairullah was previously stopped and interrogated at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York for three hours and questioned about whether he knew any terrorists. He was also forced to hand over his phone in the same incident. 

Khairullah had helped the New Jersey Democratic Party compile names of local Muslim leadership to invite to the White House’s Eid celebration. He is believed to be the longest-serving Muslim mayor in New Jersey and was sworn into his fifth consecutive mayoral term in January.     

 

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 National Deputy Director Edward Ahmed Mitchell, 404-285-9530, e-Mitchell@cair.com; CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw, 202-742-6448, rmccaw@cair.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, ihooper@cair.com, CAIR National Communications Manager Ismail Allison, 202-770-6280, iallison@cair.com

 

CAIR-NJ Condemns Secret Service for Baselessly Banning NJ’s Longest Serving Muslim Mayor from White House Eid Event

BREAKING NEWS:   

CAIR-NJ Condemns Secret Service for Baselessly Banning NJ’s Longest Serving Muslim Mayor from White House Eid Event 

(SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ, 5/1/2023) —The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) today condemned the United States Secret Service’s perceived profiling of New Jersey’s longest-serving Muslim mayor, Mohamed T. Khairullah of Prospect Park, and the revocation of his invitation to the White House Eid celebration.   

Khairullah, who was sworn into his fifth consecutive mayoral term in January, had helped the New Jersey Democratic Party compile names of local Muslim leadership to invite to the White House’s annual Eid celebration.    

Moments before he was set to arrive at the White House for the annual Eid celebration, he received a call stating that because he had not been cleared for entry, his invitation to the White House Eid celebration was effectively revoked.   

SEE: ‘Biases can be melted.’ Muslim mayor to be sworn in for unprecedented 5th term. 

SEE: CAIR-NJ to Join Community Members at Swearing-In Ceremony of New Jersey’s Longest-Serving Muslim Mayor   

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

“That a well-respected Muslim leader would effectively be disinvited from the White House Eid celebration, just hours ahead of time, is wholly unacceptable and insulting.    

“Only months ago, Khairullah was praised by elected officials across the state as one of the longest serving Muslim mayors in the country, and the longest in New Jersey. Today, in an affront to the Muslim community and the American public at large, and in what could be perceived as a continued use of the secret watchlist, the Secret Service denied Mayor Khairullah entry, on the basis that he was not cleared by security.    

“This incident lacks transparency and reeks of government overreach. We call on the White House to override the Secret Service and reinstate the mayor’s invitation, disband the secret watchlist, and issue an apology to the Mayor. If these such incidents are happening to high-profile and well-respected American-Muslim figures like Mayor Khairullah, this then begs the question: what is happening to Muslims who do not have the access and visibility that the mayor has?”   

Maksut also noted that Mayor Khairullah was previously stopped and interrogated at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York for three hours and questioned about whether he knew any terrorists. He was also forced to hand over his phone.   

This past weekend, Mayor Khairullah was among New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s distinguished guests at the governor’s mansion in Princeton, New Jersey   

SEE: ‘Did you meet with terrorists?’ NJ mayor says officers questioned him at airport, took his phone   

CAIR has previously today called on the Biden administration to suspend the FBI’s dissemination of two of their secret lists, which leaked copies show to be “almost entirely lists of Arabic and Muslim names.”     

SEE: CAIR Urges FBI to Stop Distributing Secret Terror Watchlists After Leaks Show ‘Almost Entirely Lists of Arabic and Muslim Names’ 

  

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.