Muslim Advocates Accomplishments – 2009
Since its founding in 2005, Muslim Advocates has quickly established a strong local and national reputation and networks with key stakeholders, including lawyers, community and mosque leaders, government officials, the media, and allies in the national security human rights field. In 2009, we continued to grow, hiring key staff and formally launching key programmatic activities. The following are some highlights from 2009:
- Muslim Advocates filed its first lawsuit seeking a copy of the controversial guidelines used by the FBI to gather data on innocent Americans and to infiltrate mosques and Muslim community organizations. As a result of our lawsuit, the FBI has now shared some of these guidelines, but we are still pushing for full disclosure.
- This Ramadan, Farhana Khera was the only representative of an American Muslim community advocacy group invited to the White House iftar. Ms. Khera personally thanked President Obama for his commitment to ease hurdles to charitable giving and to protect zakat and urged the President and Attorney General Holder to work to end racial and religious profiling.
- Muslim Advocates accredited the first Muslim American nonprofit organizations a special initiative with the Better Business Bureau-Wise Giving Alliance. More than 30 other nonprofits are currently being reviewed by Muslim Advocates.
- Muslim Advocates published a groundbreaking report on the experiences of American Muslims returning home from international travel. This collection of incidents and policy recommendations was cited by U.S. Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) during Senate hearing with Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano, who then promised a review of border practices and policies.
- Our technical advice, educational videos, and seminars in Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston have now reached close to 300 mosques and community groups with practical advice from experts at the IRS and leading law and accounting firms.