CAIR Chapters to Spot-Check
Treatment of Returning Hajj Pilgrims
Anaheim, CA: The Council on
American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said Jan 4 that several
of its chapters around the nation, including CAIR Southern
California, will interview Muslims returning from the annual
Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca , to spot-check their treatment
by airport security personnel and border protection authorities.
WHAT: CAIR Southern California (CAIR-LA) to Spot Check Treatment
of Returning Hajj Pilgrims
WHEN: When a group of hajjis is returning, please let CAIR-LA
CONTACT: CAIR-LA Communications Coordinator Munira Syeda,
714-776-1847, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
In December, CAIR's national headquarters reminded the 10-15,000
American Muslims going on Hajj to be aware of their civil
and legal rights as airline passengers. CAIR also established
a toll-free hotline (1-800-784-7526) for anyone who believes
his/her rights were violated.
Also in December, CAIR welcomed an announcement by the US
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) that the agency
had provided special training about Islamic traditions related
to the Hajj to some 45,000 airport security officers.
SEE: CAIR Welcomes TSA Hajj Sensitivity Training
SEE: CAIR Establishes Hajj Profiling Hotline
The Washington-based Islamic civil rights and advocacy groups
said it is concerned about an increase in reports of alleged
profiling of Muslims at the nation's airports.
Just last week, a German Muslim was barred from entering
the United States, interrogated for some 12 hours, detained
in a local jail for four days, and then sent out of the
country, all without an explanation of the government's
SEE: German Muslim with American Family Detained, Denied
U.S. Entry (AP) http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/state/20070102-1702-ca-fatherdetained.html
"We hope that the recent training about the Hajj offered
to airport security officers will result in a hassle-free
process for returning pilgrims," said CAIR Executive
Director Nihad Awad. "American Muslims believe in protecting
both our nation's security and the freedoms guaranteed by
our Constitution, including the freedom to carry out the
obligations of one's faith without fear of discrimination."
Awad said CAIR offers a free "Your Rights and Responsibilities
as an American Muslim" pocket guide that deals with
issues such as passenger rights, workplace discrimination,
reacting to anti-Muslim hate crimes, and how to communicate
with elected officials.
Representatives of CAIR chapters nationwide have met with
TSA, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Customs and
Border Protection (CBP) officials on issues related to cultural
sensitivity and national security.
CAIR, America 's largest Islamic civil liberties group,
has 32 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada . Its
mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage
dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims,
and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.