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Home Explore 2020 CAIR-LA Ramadan Newsletter

2020 CAIR-LA Ramadan Newsletter

Published by CAIR California, 2020-04-08 19:08:13

Description: 2020 Ramadan Newsletter highlighting the work of CAIR-LA


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VIRUS OFFERS challenges TO OUR COMMUNITY The coronavirus has altered life significantly as we know it. In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a “stay at home” order in an effort to greatly reduce the spread of the potentially deadly disease. CAIR-LA remains committed to assisting individuals during the pandemic. If you encounter issues with an employer regarding paid sick leave, time off during treatment of the virus or your inability to work due to the coronavirus, please contact our Civil Rights Department at 714.776.1177. 2

CAIR-LA is also assisting people our community, supporting a great cause encountering problems with landlords due and resource representing half a million to their inability to pay rent because of Americans in Southern California. the coronavirus. While we are unable to gather in person You can also visit for and present CAIR-LA’s impact in the information and news regarding the virus. community, we would invite you to support our work at As you know, the virus forced CAIR-LA to cancel our 5th Annual Valley Banquet in We are grateful for your understanding and March. We raised more than $125,000 for your support. We ask God Almighty to in funds at our banquet last year, thanks protect us all during this difficult time. to the generosity of community members like you. This decision heaped a huge financial burden on our organization and immediate operations. One of the goals of the banquet is to raise funds to cover salaries, office expenses and operational costs for our work in the Valley and throughout the Greater Los Angeles Area. Our annual banquets are a time we can witness the generosity and unification of Please accept this gift magnet with a duaa (prayer) for protection, to help you and your loved ones during this time of difficulty. 3

YOUR VOICE MATTERS Members of the CAIR-LA Policy & Advocacy team have 4 travelled to college campuses, high schools, public libraries, mosques, marches and festivals throughout Southern California to gather thousands of Census pledge cards. The pledge cards are signed promises to complete the Census. “It is imperative that the Muslim Community completes their Census surveys, so we can get the resources we need for our communities,” said CAIR-LA Policy & Advocacy Manager Fayaz Nawabi. “Programs like affordable housing, public schools, Medicare and others are funded based on our communities completing the Census survey.” A complete and accurate count of California’s population is essential, particularly now with the impact of the

deadly coronavirus. Results of the Census help our communities prepare for emergency readiness and transportation needs. The data collected is also used to distribute billions of dollars in federal funds to state and local governments. Los Angeles County officials said California loses about $2,000 annually in federal funding when individuals fail to complete the Census, according to a story in the L.A. Times. By completing the 10 simple questions, you also help your community receive more funding for building better roads, improving schools, community programs for seniors, children and families, improve housing and create more jobs. The Census also determines the number of seats each state receives in the U.S. House of Representative, which is critical to making sure our views and needs are represented. If you need help completing your Census questionnaire, please call 844.330.2020 or visit the website at 5

THE e x p a n d e d MUSLIM BAN In response to the Trump administration announcing an expansion to the Muslim Ban, CAIR-LA joined with interfaith and civil rights organizations in January to condemn the Ban and the expansion. The expansion added six more countries to the list facing travel restrictions: Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar (Burma), Nigeria, Sudan and Tanzania. Citizens of Myanmar, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan and Nigeria are barred from living or working in the United States on a permanent basis. Citizens of Sudan and Tanzania are being barred from the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program. M U S L I MMUSLIM BAND BA N The ban will continue to include Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, Venezuela and North Korea. CAIR-LA’s Immigrants’ Rights Center assists immigrants in the Greater Los Angeles area and surrounding communities. Individuals and families can seek legal help by filling out an intake form at 6

NObanACT In April 2019, CAIR-LA staff and community partners joined more than 500 delegates from 28 states on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., as part “National Muslim Advocacy Day.” CAIR-LA staff and community partners met with the offices of 24 members of Con- gress who represent the Greater Los Angeles area. In the U.S. House of Representatives, Muslim dele- gates urged their members of Congress to support Rep. Judy Chu’s bill, H.R. 2214, known as the NO BAN Act. The bill would push back against the Trump ad- ministration’s Muslim travel ban by: • Imposing limitations on the president’s au- thority to suspend or restrict immigrants from entering the country • Terminating certain presidential actions im- plementing such restrictions • Prohibiting religious discrimination in various immigration-related decisions, such as whether to issue an immigrant or non-immigrant visa, unless there is a statutory basis for such discrim- ination • In March 2020, the bill was set to be voted on by the House of Representatives but was tabled.

the story of Noor Hussain 8

In March 2019, CAIR-LA’s CAIR-LA’s lawsuit alleged that the County’s actions Civil Rights (CR) Department violated the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) and Noor’s constitutional rights. filed a lawsuit against the During her incarceration, she had her hijab removed County of Riverside and and only had it restored after her hair was seen uncovered by a male deputy. Noor was also forced Riverside County Sheriff’s to have her arms exposed during the entirety of her Department in response imprisonment. to Noor Hussain being denied proper religious Additionally, the County failed to accommodate Noor’s accommodations while in Ramadan fast and she was forced to break her fast the County’s custody. during her imprisonment. After months of post-filing discovery, CAIR-LA was able to obtain a monetary settlement on her behalf. CAIR-LA was also able to obtain a policy change from the County wherein it will provide religious arms- coverings to detainees upon request. This is one of the most progressive county religious coverings policies nationwide and a significant victory for CAIR-LA and the Muslim community. CAIR-LA has also successfully handled similar cases in Long Beach and Ventura County over the past few years. 9

LEADERSHIP &YOUTH DEVELOPMENT On July 30, 2019, more than 100 Angelinos participated in the first Muslim Youth Day at Los Angeles City Hall. The all-day event, hosted by CAIR-LA, introduced youth between the ages of 11 and 18 on how to advocate for issues that affect their daily lives at City Hall and learn about the importance of bringing diversity to the table. CAIR-LA hosted five youth empowerment workshops at Islamic centers throughout Southern California, focusing on how to organize collectively around issues and using core Islamic principles of justice and compassion to create social change. In August, CAIR-LA sent 13 high school students from the Greater Los Angeles Area to Sacramento for the 15th Annual Muslim Youth Leadership Program (MYLP) at the State Capitol. The event is an intensive retreat, introducing American Muslim high school students to the areas of media, law and government and how they shape public opinion and public policy.

MUSLIM STUDENTS ARE BULLIED twice THE NATIONAL AVERAGE OF OTHER STUDENTS Despite experiencing How often have you been bullied at school for being Muslim? discrimination at a lower rate than previous years, Muslim 4.26% | 4.67% | 7.07% | 24.04% | 59.96% students continued to be 40.04% of students report being bullied for being Muslim. victims of bullying and bias at higher rates compared to VERY OFTEN (ONCE A WEEK OR MORE) OFTEN (ONCE A MONTH) SOMETIMES RARELY NEVER other students. Have you seen another student at school being bullied for In the recently released being Muslim? 2018-2019 survey by CAIR- CA, approximately 40 3.31% | 4.62% | 8.48% | 22.61% | 60.99% percent of students reported experiencing some form of 39.01% of students report seeing another student being bullied for being Muslim. This has gone bullying for being Muslim. up significantly by 20 percentage points since 2016, where only 19% of students reported seeing This is more than double the another student be bullied for being Muslim. national average for students being bullied at school. VERY OFTEN (ONCE A WEEK OR MORE) OFTEN (ONCE A MONTH) SOMETIMES RARELY NEVER About 1,500 Muslim students Another key finding was an to their local CAIR-CA office. ages 11 to 18 were surveyed in increase in students witnessing For additional information or the study by CAIR-CA, which other students being bullied to obtain copies of the report, has compiled the results for being Muslim at a rate of contact CAIR-LA at 714.776.1177 every two years since 2012. 39 percent, an increase of 20 or email civilrights@losangeles. percentage points from 2016. Students and parents should report any incidents of bullying 11

PUTTING A SPOTLIGHT ON UNJUST IMPRISONMENT OF UIGHUR MUSLIMS IN CHINA CAIR-LA’s Policy & Advocacy Department has been at the forefront of educating our community on many issues, the plight and imprisonment of an estimated 3 million Uighur Muslims in China among them. Due to the organizing efforts of the Policy and Advo- cacy Department, CAIR-LA was able to collect more than 3,000 signatures and send thousands of letters to Congressional representatives. These efforts led to the passing of the Uighur Human Rights Act in Congress. Through CAIR-LA’s efforts, diverse communities banded together in solidarity with Uighur Muslims, not only to learn more about the Turkic ethnic group, but why they have been unjustly imprisoned and torn apart from their families. This occurred before the Coronavirus outbreak that originated in China, where it is unknown how the disease is impacting Uighurs. The Policy & Advocacy Department also created a pilot program, Community Captains Network (CCN). CCN is a place to share and learn what advocacy looks like within our neighborhoods to empower Muslim Americans of all ages and socioeconomic status. One of CCN’s organizing effort is to encourage the American Muslim community to be civically engaged and vote in the upcoming presidential election in November. 12

NURTURING THE SOUL & COMMUNITY Ramadan Mubarak During the blessed month of Ramadan, we are asking you to please remember CAIR-LA when you are making your generous donations. Also, a friendly reminder that your generous contributions to CAIR- LA are tax-deductible and Zakat-eligible. “As a dedicated organization to defend the rights of Muslims and to promote a better understanding of Islam, CAIR is indeed eligible to receive part of the Zakat funds for its programs and services,” said Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi. We wish you and your family a blessed and safe Ramadan. 13

IRC celeb rates ITS 6TH ANNIVERSARY CAIR-LA’s Immigrants’ Rights Center (IRC) celebrated its sixth anniversary last February, during a festive affair attended by many of our faithful supporters in downtown Fullerton. IRC Managing Attorney Farida Chehata and her staff were recognized for their tireless work by the office of Congressman Lou Correa (D-Calif.). Correa’s field representative, Cassandra Perez, was on hand to deliver the honor. IRC has been at the forefront of immigrants’ rights work in Southern California. Since its inception, the Center has assisted more than 3,000 individuals with various immigration inquiries, including naturalization, asylum, family petitions, removal defense, rights while traveling and Muslim Ban waivers. If you need assistance on immigration or related legal matters, please call IRC at 714.776.1177. 14

Nour Dahma retained IRC to help him prepare Nour for possible additional submit his naturalization application scrutiny from the USCIS officer. The in October 2018. He was scheduled practice interview and tips IRC staff for an interview in July 2019. After the provided Nour helped him confidently USCIS officer opened the door to let demonstrate his understanding of Nour into his office, the officer said, the English language at his second “We are not making a decision on your interview. naturalization application. You will be questioned regarding the validity of Despite the long distance and timing your green card.” of the interview, IRC staff also attended his interview to provide Nour tried to remain calm, but the Nour with support and ensure that officer questioned him rigorously and the officer properly conducted the Nour grew nervous. Needless to say, interview. the interview went poorly. Despite living in Orange County, Nour was The interview went well, scheduled for a second interview in and Yasser was San Bernardino at 6:45 a.m. because recommended for the USCIS officer determined that approval. Nour his English was not good enough to received his notice pass the English exam. IRC’s legal to appear at his team believed that Nour’s English was oath ceremony in adequate to pass the exam. IRC staff October 2019. conducted a practice interview to OVERCOMING A LANGUAGE BARRIER

2180 W. Crescent Ave., Ste. F Anaheim, CA 92801 (714) 776-1847 [email protected]

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