Muslim Advocates in the News — Winter 2021

Muslim Advocates in the News Muslim Advocates in the News 2


Anti-Muslim Chicago Police Officer

Embattled Chicago FOP president faces termination hearing, Chicago Tribune — Nov. 14, 2021

But if Catanzara were allowed to keep his badge and gun as a working cop, that would send a message that Chicago police do not care about the safety and dignity of Muslims, said Eric Naing, spokesman for Muslim Advocates, one of the chief organizations behind a 78-group letter calling for Catanzara’s firing.

Chicago police union chief says he will leave department rather than continue disciplinary hearing he called a ‘farce’, Chicago Tribune — Nov. 15, 2021

Police Union Boss John Catanzara Says He’s Resigning From CPD at Termination Hearing, WTTV/PBS Chicago — Nov. 15, 2021

Chicago FOP president announces retirement, run for mayor after 1st day of termination hearing, ABC 7 — Nov. 16, 2021

Combating International Islamophobia Act 

House votes for legislation to combat Islamophobia abroad after Republican falsely accuses Rep. Omar of being ‘affiliated with’ terrorist organizations, Washington Post — Dec. 14, 2021

In response, the civil rights group Muslim Advocates said Greene’s “ignorant and bigoted attacks” demonstrate why Omar’s legislation “is necessary and should be passed by Congress.”

“Greene’s crude stereotypes and sweeping smears of all Muslims are shocking, even for her, and will serve to encourage more hate and violence,” the group’s senior policy counsel, Sumayyah Waheed, said in a statement.

Change of Heart in New Jersey

Durr rejects ‘Islamophobia and all forms of hate’ after meeting with Muslims, Cherry Hill Courier-Post — Nov. 10, 2021

CAIR’s national organization and another civil rights group, Muslim Advocates, had called on Durr to renounce the September 2019 tweet or to give up his Senate seat.

Muhyamin Family’s Settlement 

Phoenix to pay $5M in lawsuit over man’s death during arrest, AP — Nov. 18, 2021

The civil rights group Muslim Advocates had previously released a video clip of the struggle that it said shows police mocking the religion of Muhaymin, who was Muslim. In the clip, Muhaymin is heard crying out in pain and calling for Allah, the Arabic word for God.

Phoenix approves $5 million settlement for ‘I can’t breathe’ death in police custody, Arizona Republic — Nov. 17, 2021

$5 Million Later, Police Who Killed Muhammad Muhaymin Were Not Punished, Phoenix New Times — Nov. 19, 2021

Muhaymin Court Records Unsealed 

Court records unsealed in lawsuit against Phoenix in police killing of Muhammad Muhaymin Jr., Arizona Republic — Dec. 2, 2021

Muslim Advocates, a national civil rights organization, motioned to reverse this decision Oct. 8, and on Nov. 2, a federal court ruled that starting December certain documents of the case would be unsealed except for the ones that contain names of minors or information that cannot be disclosed to the public.

How Phoenix Kept Records Secret In The Legal Battle Over Muhammad Muhaymin’s Death, Phoenix New Times — Dec. 14, 2021

Rep. Boebert’s Attacks on Ilhan Omar 

Op-ed by Muslim Advocates Senior Policy Counsel Sumayyah Waheed

Why do elected leaders keep getting a pass on anti-Muslim hate?, Religion News Service — Dec. 8, 2021

Omar received hundreds of death threats after Trump invoked the same stereotypes as Boebert by outrageously associating Omar with 9/11. Tlaib has also received death threats. Additionally, a man came to Washington, D.C., for the Jan. 6 insurrection armed with guns, bombs and a hit list that singled out Rep. Andre Carson as a Muslim.

That is why Muslim Advocates and Bend the Arc: Jewish Action just asked the Office of Congressional Ethics to investigate Boebert. Her anti-Muslim hate has already inspired threats against Omar. We need a full investigation into everything Boebert said and we need action from congressional leaders to hold her accountable. Anti-Muslim hate, and any kind of hate against minority faiths and communities, should not belong in Congress and should not go unanswered.

Muslim state lawmaker says Boebert-style rhetoric fuels hate, Colorado Newsline — Dec. 9, 2021

Rep. Boebert labels Rep. Omar a jihadist. Why don’t GOP leaders condemn the slur?, Washington Post — Dec. 6, 2021

Lauren Boebert Faces Ethics Complaint From Muslim, Jewish Groups Over Ilhan Omar Comments, Newsweek — Dec. 1, 2021

House GOP leaders face calls to confront Islamophobia among their ranks Omar responds to Boebert’s Islamophobic attacks, Washington Post — Nov. 30, 2021

Act against anti-Muslim hatred, Ilhan Omar tells Republicans as she airs latest death threat, The Muslim News — Dec. 31, 2021

Muslim Advocates’s Facebook Lawsuit 

Hate speech lawsuit against Facebook gains powerful ally: D.C.’s attorney general, Washington Post — Dec. 6, 2021

In April, advocacy group Muslim Advocates filed a lawsuit in D.C. Superior Court accusing Facebook executives — including CEO Mark Zuckerberg — of deceiving lawmakers and falsely claiming the company removes harmful content such as hate speech and anti-Muslim rhetoric.

Now, D.C. Attorney General Karl A. Racine is throwing his support behind the civil rights group’s lawsuit by arguing against Facebook’s efforts to get it tossed.

DC AG Backs Users in Facebook Hate Speech Removal Suit, Lawstreet — Dec. 9, 2021

DC Attorney General Files Brief Against Facebook Immunity Over Hate Speech, DC Post — Dec. 8, 2021

DC attorney general urges court to hear Facebook hate speech case, The Hill — Dec. 6, 2021

Facebook Hate Speech Lawsuit Should Be Heard, D.C. Tells Court, Bloomberg Law — Dec. 6, 2021

DC’s AG Sides Against Facebook In Battle Over ‘Hate Speech’, Media Post — Dec. 7, 2021

Supreme Court’s Abortion Case

Why Muslims Must Oppose the Abortion Ban, Muslim Girl — Dec. 2, 2021

This is an open letter written on behalf of a coalition of the following Muslim American organizations: Muslim Advocates, KARAMAH: Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights, HEART Women and Girls, American Muslim Bar Association, Muslim Wellness Foundation, American Muslim Health Professionals and Muslim Public Affairs Council.

An important principle of valuing religious diversity emerges from both Islamic history and U.S. constitutionalism. When a state takes sides in a religious debate, it can have devastating consequences.

Consider the Mississippi abortion ban, just argued before the U.S. Supreme Court. By defining life as beginning at conception, this law adopts the religious belief of some Christians who believe that all abortion is immoral. But not all American Christians, nor Americans of other religions, share this belief. In other words, by picking one religious belief and enshrining it into law, Mississippi is infringing on constitutional protections for American religious diversity.

Religious leaders, organizations react to Supreme Court arguments on Mississippi abortion law, Dallas Morning News — Dec. 2, 2021

Rohingya Sue Facebook

Rohingya sue Facebook for $150B, alleging role in violence, Associated Press — Dec. 8, 2021

“Across the board, the Facebook papers give civil rights advocates and others a lot of ammunition for their advocacy work,” Washington attorney Peter Romer-Friedman said. He is a lead attorney for a lawsuit filed by the civil rights organization Muslim Advocates in April against Mark Zuckerberg and other top Facebook executives, accusing them of falsely claiming that the company removes anti-Muslim rhetoric.

Muslim Students on Campus

How anti-Muslim bias on campus harms students’ education, Religious News Service — Dec. 28, 2021

Students and their advocates are dedicated to educating their teachers and peers but say it is up to administrators and their instructors to change the narrative about Muslims.

Sanaa Ansari, an attorney with the civil rights group Muslim Advocates, said the Association of Muslim Chaplaincy is actively working on awareness as a solution as a first step to mitigate these negative instances.