top donate

CAIR-NJ Calls on NJ GOP to Repudiate Candidates’ Anti-Muslim, Racist Posts

UPDATE: See below

(SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ, 10/15/18) -- The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) today called on Republican State Committee Chairman Doug Steinhardt to repudiate anti-Muslim and racist comments made on Facebook and on the anti-Muslim hate site BarenakedIslam by Republican candidate for Chatham Borough Council, Peter Hoffman.

In a Facebook post Peter Hoffman stated that “a hyphenated American is not an American at all” and “assimilation is what made this country great, NOT emphasizing differences.” 

In a post to anti-Muslim hate site BarenakedIslam Hoffman stated, “Islam is a sick, backward faith practiced by low life scum. . .until the “moderate” Muslims rein in their sick brethren and stop this type of behavior, Islam will always be the religion of beasts in my mind.”

 

SEE: Hoffman’s anti-immigrant and anti-Islam social media posts contradict the candidate’s claims supporting diversity

https://www.tapinto.net/towns/chatham/articles/hoffman-s-anti-immigrant-and-anti-islam-social-media-posts-contradict-the-candidate-s-claims-supporting-diversity

"The statements Mr. Hoffman made reveal a level of prejudice that would impact how he might serve his constituents of different faiths and races, and should disqualify him as a candidate," said CAIR-NJ Executive Director James Sues. "The bigoted views expressed by Mr. Hoffman do a disservice to the welcoming community in New Jersey. This is just a painful reminder of the extreme divisiveness that characterizes the current political climate at the state and national level.”

He said CAIR has witnessed an unprecedented spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims, immigrants and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump as president.

SEE: CAIR Condemns Maryland GOP Candidate’s Islamophobic Campaign Mailer Citing Opposition to Mosque Expansion

https://www.cair.com/cair_condemns_maryland_gop_candidate_s_islamophobic_campaign_mailer_citing_opposition_to_mosque_expansion

CAIR’s 2018 Civil Rights Report, “Targeted,” the organization recorded a 17 percent increase in bias-motivated incidents against Muslim Americans from 2016-17, and a 15 percent increase in the number of anti-Muslim hate crimes in the same time period.

SEE: Targeted

http://www.islamophobia.org/reports/224-2018-civil-rights-report-targeted.html

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

CONTACT: CAIR-NJ Executive Director James Sues, 908-668-5900, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

...

Update: On 1/15/18 CAIR-NJ receive the following response from Mr Hoffman via Facebook

CAIR staff: I have issued a sincere public apology to the Muslim Community for my bigoted, insensitive, & unacceptable comments made 10 years ago in reaction to an extremist video I viewed on a virulent anti-Islamic hate site. My comments, while emotional, are completely indefensible and I'm am sorry beyond words. I painted all Muslims with a bigoted brush and I while I cannot take the words back, I have committed to demonstrating my sincerity to make things right with the Muslim community, and would be happy to meet with representatives of CAIR to express my profound regret in person. My formal apology can be found here. https://www.tapinto.net/towns/chatham/categories/letters-to-the-editor/articles/commitment-to-civil-discourse

...

CAIR-NJ welcomes Mr. Hoffman’s public apology and commitment to dialogue. We look forward to engaging with him, and working together toward a more accepting and tolerant New Jersey.

 

CAIR to Offer NJ Muslim Convention Attendees Sneak Preview of Film Exploring American Muslims’ Reflections on Past and Present Racial Injustice

MEDIA ADVISORY

CAIR to Offer NJ Muslim Convention Attendees Sneak Preview of Film Exploring American Muslims’ Reflections on Past and Present Racial Injustice

(SOUTH PLAINFIELD, N.J., 8/28/18) - On Friday, August 31, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and its New Jersey chapter (CAIR-NJ) will offer a sneak preview of CAIR’s new film “In Their Footsteps: An American Muslim Civil Rights Journey” for attendees of the 2018 The Mosque Cares national convention in Newark, N.J.

Video: Trailer for CAIR's 'In Their Footsteps: An American Muslim Civil Rights Journey'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npxKhoAnp9g

SEE: The Mosque Cares Convention

WHAT: Sneak Preview of CAIR’s Film “In Their Footsteps: An American Muslim Civil Rights Journey”

WHEN: Friday, August 31, 5:45 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

WHERE: The Mosque Cares Convention. Robert Treat Hotel, 50 Park Place, Newark, NJ 07102. 

CONTACT: CAIR National Strategic Communications Manager Arsalan Bukhari,  206-931-3655, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The 21-minute film features some 30 American Muslim civil rights leaders who journeyed though Alabama earlier this year to learn about the history of slavery, lynching, segregation, and about present-day racial injustice.

During the journey, the Muslim leaders attended the inauguration of the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery and learned from experts at the historic 16th Street Baptist church, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the Civil Rights Memorial.

SEE: 30 CAIR Leaders to Attend Inauguration of Lynching Memorial in Alabama

Sneak preview attendees will hear deeply personal and emotional reflections from American Muslims -- including African-American Muslims -- who lived through segregation and Jim Crow laws, and for whom the journey brought back memories from their own lives.

The film was produced by True Intent Productions and CAIR.

Earlier this year, on June 19, CAIR launched the "Alabama Civil Rights Tour Photo Journal Project." CAIR's month-long campaign shared images, along with personal reflections, from the Alabama tour. The CAIR photos and reflections can be tracked on social media using the hashtags #AlabamaPilgrimage and #Juneteenth2018.

SEE: CAIR to Mark Juneteenth with Month-Long Photo Journal of Muslim Activists on Alabama Civil Rights Tour

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, 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-NY, CAIR-NJ Challenge Trump Administration’s ‘Digital Muslim Ban’ Cellphone Seizure

CAIR-NY, CAIR-NJ Challenge Trump Administration’s ‘Digital Muslim Ban’ Cellphone Seizure

Muslim civil rights group says customs officials kept cellphone for 130 days without any warrant or explanation  

(South Plainfield, NJ, 8/23/18) – The New York and New Jersey chapters of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY and CAIR-NJ), state chapters of the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights group, today filed a case in federal court challenging U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) warrantless and unconstitutional seizure of an American Muslim U.S. citizen’s cell phone. 

Rejhane Lazoja, a 39-year-old woman residing in Staten Island, N.Y., had her phone taken when she landed at Newark Liberty International Airport earlier this year.  CBP held Lazoja’s iPhone 6S Plus and SIM card for 130 days, never explaining why they were taken. When CBP finally returned the phone, they refused to destroy copies of the data.

SEE: Woman: My iPhone Was Seized at Border, Then Imaged—Feds Must Now Delete Data https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2018/08/woman-my-iphone-was-seized-at-border-then-imaged-feds-now-must-delete-data/  

“The Trump administration needs to understand that our border is not a Constitution-free zone,” said CAIR-NY Legal Director Albert Fox Cahn. “As the U.S. Supreme Court has recognized, there is nothing more invasive than searching and copying the data on our smartphones. These phones track our location, our conversations and even our passing thoughts. Muslim travelers must not be subjected to this warrantless electronic dragnet simply for practicing their faith. Americans don’t forfeit their Fourth Amendment rights against searches simply for going to the airport. If CBP wants to search our phones, or if they want to access our social media accounts and text messages, I have a simple answer: get a warrant.”

The CBP has been profiling Muslims for years as they cross the border,” said CAIR-NJ Legal Director Jay Rehman. “Their latest tactic of confiscating phones and attempting to retrieve data is a blatant violation of the Fourth Amendment privacy guaranteed under the Constitution.”

“It is astonishing that our government believes it is lawful to take phones for months from people who have done nothing wrong,” said CAIR-NY Attorney Carey Shenkman. “What happened to Ms. Lazoja, and so often does to Muslims who travel, is reprehensible.”

  “When I came back to the U.S., I expected to be welcomed home,” said plaintiff Rejhane Lazoja. “Instead, I was questioned, degraded, and had my phone taken away. I expected better from my country and from customs officials.”

pic of girl affected by trump digital muslim ban

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CAIR-NY and CAIR-NJ filed the case this morning in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey alleging that CBP violated the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution both by taking Lazoja’s iPhone, and by keeping it for months after she returned home to the United States on February 26, 2018. The case is styled as a motion for return of property under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 41(g), and the Defendants include U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kristjen Nielsen, CBP Commissioner Kevin K. Mcaleenan, and CBP Newark Port Director Adele Fasano.

  The motion argues that CBP violated Lazoja’s Fourth Amendment rights not only by seizing the phone, but by the length of time the phone was retained and by any copying of her personal data. In June the U.S. Supreme Court held in Carpenter v. United States that police need to obtain a warrant in order to seize cell tower location data.

According to the filing: “Seizing and searching a cell phone is unlike seizing or searching any other property. Cell phones are a uniquely intimate and expansive repository of our lives. They do far more than just make calls and send e-mails; they monitor and log much of our movement, activity, and even our thinking in real time. They enable us to stay connected with coworkers and loved ones -- losing a phone essentially cuts one off from modern society. In June, the Supreme Court recognized the indispensability of cell phones and the heightened privacy interests at stake when they are utilized in warrantless investigations.”

SEE: August 23, 2018 Brief Supporting Motion for Return of Property. http://www.cair-ny.org/s/Lazoja-v-Nielsen-et-al-DNJ-FRCrP-Rule-41g-motion-8d5y.pdf

CBP has steadily increased electronic device searches at airports in recent years.  In fiscal year 2017, they searched 30,200 devices, up from 19,051 in the prior fiscal year.

  SEE: The Cybersecurity 202: Warrantless device searches at the border are rising. Privacy advocates are suing. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/the-cybersecurity-202/2018/08/07/the-cybersecurity-202-warrantless-device-searches-at-the-border-are-rising-privacy-advocates-are-suing/5b6883771b326b0207955f46/?

Meanwhile, Muslim travelers report that they are stopped for highly-invasive secondary inspection searches nearly three times as often as other Americans when traveling. According to a recent survey of Muslim travelers, 30 percent reported being subjected to secondary screening, which often includes cellphone searches, compared with 12 percent of overall travelers.

SEE: ISPU American Muslim Poll 2017 https://www.ispu.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/American-Muslim-Poll-2017-Report.pdf

 
The case comes as federal courts increasingly recognize that cellphones contain uniquely intimate data, and that searches of the data, apps, and other records they contain should require a warrant. 

The invasion was even more severe for Lazoja, whose phone contained confidential attorney-client communications and photos of her without her hijab (Islamic head scarf). Lazoja wears the hijab as an expression of her Islamic faith, covering her hair in front of men who are not relatives. CBP’s retention of such photos only compounds the trauma of this warrantless invasion of her privacy. Additionally, CBP may share this same data with local and other federal law enforcement agencies.

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 –

CONTACT: CAIR-NY Legal Director Albert Fox Cahn, 571-766-6273, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; CAIR-NJ Legal Director Jay Rehman, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 908-267-8898.

 

icon fbicon twittericon youtubeicon linkedinicon pinteresticon instagram

right report an incident

Email Newsletter Signup

right rights responsibilities american muslim

Who's Online Now...

We have 303 guests and no members online