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Can CAIR’s Comedy Crush Islamophobia?

Dean Obiedallah

For years the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has been challenging the anti-Muslim hate spewed by the likes of Donald Trump, Pam Geller, and Frank Gaffney by taking an earnest, serious approach to the issue grounded on facts. (Not that the bigots care about facts.) But now CAIR is trying a new weapon: comedy.

That’s why on Wednesday, CAIR’s national office unveiled a humorous approach to counter anti-Muslim bigotry centered on the product they created named “ISLAMOPHOBIN.” Think an anti-anxiety drug designed for people freaked out at the slightest sight or mention of Muslims. (That’s basically about 70 percent of GOP primary voters.)

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Hundreds of Muslim Delegates Lobbied Congress on ‘Record Breaking’ National Advocacy Day

Some 330 delegates from more than 28 states met this week with 225 elected officials and congressional staffers during the "record breaking" second National Muslim Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

The lobbying effort, the largest congressional Muslim advocacy event in the country, was sponsored by the US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), a coalition of leading national and local American Muslim organizations.

Last year, 280 Muslim delegates from 20 states met with 200 congressional offices.
Muslim delegates participating in this year’s Muslim hill day event were scheduled to meet with a third of the House of Representatives and almost half of the Senate.

The New Jersey delegation consisted of 17 members and were able to visit 10 of the 12 members of the Congressional delegation representing New Jersey.

On Monday, USCMO hosted a civic engagement and congressional advocacy training seminar for Muslim delegates in the Cannon House Office Building Caucus Room. Later that day, members of Congress and staff joined hill day participations for an evening reception.

National Muslim Advocacy Day delegates are promoting a legislative agenda in support of equality and social justice, and will outline the domestic priorities of the American Muslim community, including:

 . Support for House and Senate resolutions recognizing and condemning Islamophobia.

· Support legislation that enables individuals to build a credit history without taking on credit debt.

·  Support legislation that promotes greater access to fresh fruit, vegetables and other healthful whole foods in impoverished areas.

· Address American Muslim community concerns regarding the oversight, management and approach of federal Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) programs.

 While some key figures and groups within the inner-core of the American Islamophobia network attempted to derail the event by asking congressional offices to cancel already-scheduled meetings – the Muslim hill day continued without any meeting cancelations.

 Founding members of USCMO: American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA), Muslim American Society (MAS), Muslim Legal Fund of America (MLFA), Muslim Ummah of North America (MUNA), The Mosque Cares (Ministry of Imam W. Deen Mohammed). 

Muslim group fears more Islamophobia after San Bernardino shooting

nadia in group shot The country’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization on Thursday condemned the mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, while at the same time urging Americans to not jump to conclusions that the attack was the result of radical Islamic terrorism.

Nadia Kahf, the chairwoman of CAIR-NJ, skewered what she called unfair coverage of the suspected shooters’ religion, including the New York Post’s cover with the headline “MUSLIM KILLERS.” Only when suspected mass shooters are Muslim, she suggested, is religion such a core part of the story. “You cannot paint all Muslims with the same brush,” said Kahf. 

Separately, CAIR and local leaders zeroed in on Trump, arguing he should be held at least partially responsible for an increase in Islamophobia (which Awad said included incidents of vandalism and bomb threats across the country) following last month’s terror attack in Paris, which the terrorist group known as

ISIS has claimed responsibility for.

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