Entries in CAIR (2)


Muslim Leaders in DC Condemn Libya Attacks and Anti-Muslim Film

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Council on American-Islami Relations (CAIR) and Muslim leaders in Washington Wednesday condemned the violence in Libya, which resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.
“We are shocked and outraged by the killing of the US Ambassador in Benghazi.” Said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. “It is a crime against humanity.”
Awad addressed the possibility that the attack could have been spurned by the anti-Muslim movie demeaning the Prophet Muhammad circulating on the Internet.  “It is a trashy film … it doesn’t even deserve our attention.” Awad said. “The prophet never returned an insult with an insult.”
“We should not play into the hands of the extremists here in this country or there.” Awad said. “We should rise above.”
Also speaking at the event was a friend of Ambassador Stevens, Esam Omeish, director of the Libyan Emergency Task Force. Omeish discussed recently meeting with Amb. Stevens at the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli and the pride Stevens had showing him the new visa section so that the embassy could help Libyans find more opportunities in the United States.
“This is a sad day for Libyan-American friendship, but these colossal events will not detract us nor deter us from pursuing a brighter future of freedom,” Omeish said.
Omeish said Stevens was a “man of honor, dedication and commitment to the progress of Libya and freedom of the Libyan people. … He was there. … I will surely miss him.”
CAIR communications director, Ibrahim Hooper, said that the Muslim community was not worried about reprisal attacks or an increase in hate crimes, but they were mindful of that possibility.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Oklahoma’s Ban on Sharia Law Struck Down by Federal Appeals Court

Comstock/Thinkstock(OKLAHOMA CITY) -- A federal appeals court Wednesday blocked a measure that would’ve made Oklahoma the first state in the nation to ban the Sharia law in its court system.

The court ruled in favor of Muneer Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Oklahoma, who filed a lawsuit against the Oklahoma election board on the grounds that the voter-approved constitutional amendment violated the Establishment Clause of the Constitution forbidding the government from favoring one religion over another.

The amendment specifically stated that “it forbids courts from considering or using Sharia Law.”

Sharia law is broadly defined as a body of law based on Islam and its central religious text, the Quran.

“This is an important reminder that the Constitution is the last line of defense against a rising tide of anti-Muslim bigotry in our society, and we are pleased that the appeals court recognized that fact,” Awad said in a statement. “We are also hopeful that this decision serves as a reminder to politicians wishing to score political points through fear-mongering and bigotry.”

Wednesday’s ruling upheld a decision by the lower court striking down the Save Our State amendment, which would have also forbidden judges from using international laws as a basis for decisions.

The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals found that the federal district court did not abuse discretion by barring the amendment. “Because Mr. Awad has at least one justiciable claim and because the district court did not abuse its discretion in granting the preliminary injunction, we affirm,” Wednesday’s findings by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals stated.

Its proponents Wednesday vowed to fight the injunction. The ballot measure passed by a 70-percent margin in November, 2010, even though sponsors of the measure produced no evidence that Sharia law is actually being used in the courts. Its proponents said that even though it was not a problem in Oklahoma, they were attempting to prevent it from becoming one.

But opponents of the ban said it is an unconstitutional scare tactic aimed at discriminating against Muslims. They said it will have a broad impact in the areas of family law that come before the courts and could prove to have national implications. CAIR immediately challenged the measure.

Sharia law has become a hot-button issue in the United States, particularly among conservatives who want similar laws to be imposed across the country.

Republican presidential contender Newt Gingrich once advocated imposing such a law at the federal level, saying in a September 2010 speech, “We should have a federal law that says under no circumstance, in any jurisdiction in the United States, will Sharia be used in any court to apply to any judgment.”

Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, who dropped out of the race last week after a poor showing in the Iowa caucuses, signed a conservative pledge that vowed to fight the Sharia law, among other things, such as porn.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio