CAIR-NJ Condemns Jackson Township Mayor’s Hostile Treatment of Planned Pro-Palestinian Peaceful Protest

The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization today condemned Mayor of Jackson Township Michael Reina’s hostile reaction to a planned pro-Palestinian peaceful protest.

Mayor Reina’s statement on the protest is as follows:

“We have several agencies looking into the origin of this online message. I can assure everyone that we did not authorize any parade or gathering, nor was a permit issued. At this time, we are not aware who the creator(s) are, but that will not stop us from being vigilant.”

Furthermore, a Jackson Township counter terrorism officer visited a resident’s home on May 14 to tell them that they will need a permit for the rally scheduled for Sunday, May 19.

CAIR-NJ condemns Jackson Township and its mayor’s hostile treatment towards individuals wanting to exercise their first amendment rights. Their treatment of protestors as threatening and dangerous is harmful and puts them at risk. By telling the community to remain vigilant in the face of peaceful assembly creates the harmful rhetoric that pro-Palestinian protestors are dangerous, violent and even implicitly criminal. The mayor calling upon agencies and sending a police officer, specifically one designated for counter-terrorism to the home of a presumed organizer is superfluous.

CAIR-NJ urges Jackson Township to aid in providing a safe space for individuals wanting to exercise their right to peacefully protest for any reason.

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

“We condemn Jackson Township’s hostile stance toward free speech and assembly. The mayor’s hostile reaction to a peaceful pro-Palestine rally by alerting “several agencies” and dispatching the Counter-Terrorism officer demonstrates a potential anti-Muslim or anti-Palestinian bias.”

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

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

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