(Note: For the awards and recognitions and Federal Elected Officials sections, we only include items from the last six years, January 2011 onward, in this document. See previous versions of the document for years not covered here. This document is a representative collection of the support CAIR is privileged to enjoy. Due to space limitations we do not include all the material we have.)
CAIR, its staff, and board members are honored to have received at least 90 awards and recognitions during the 2011-2017 period. Twenty-one U.S. Senators and 100 U.S. Representatives from both sides of the political aisle have praised the organization in that same period. Major news outlets, entertainers, delegations and interfaith partners have all applauded the group. Its effective civil rights and advocacy work has also resulted in death threats from the terror organization ISIS.
Awards and Recognitions
2017: CAIR-National Executive Director Nihad Awad was named one of the world’s 500 most influential Muslims by Jordan’s Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center.
2017: CAIR-Florida Northwest Regional Coordinator Hiba Rahim was honored as one of nine honored nine Women of Distinction by the Girl Scouts of the Florida Panhandle for her community impact.
2017: CAIR-San Antonio Executive Director Sarwat Husain was named one of the city’s Women of Power by Influence Magazine.
2017: CAIR-LA received the K.W. Lee Spirit Award from the K.W. Lee Center for Leadership for being an unsung hero that is dedicated to advocating for social justice for the underdog.
2017: CAIR-LA was given the Community Partner Award by the Japanese American Bar Association (JABA) at its Annual Meeting of the Members for all of their efforts in partnering with JABA to put together various events surrounding Executive Order 9066.
2017: CAIR-New York was listed as one of “10 New York-based organizations that are making the city a better place” by Time Out.
2017: CAIR-Alabama Executive Director Khaula Hadeed was listed among the Faces of Birmingham by Style Blueprint.
2017: CAIR-National Maryland Outreach Coordinator Zainab Chaudry was profiled by WMAR Baltimore (ABC 2) as “one of Baltimore’s most prominent civil rights leaders” during Women’s History Month.
2017: CAIR-New York received a Public Interest Award from the law firm of Outten & Golden LLP.
2017: CAIR-Alabama Executive Director Khaula Hadeed was profiled by Alabama Living.
2017: CAIR-San Francisco Bay Area Executive Director Zahra Billoo was profiled by the East Bay Times as part of its Women’s History Month coverage of “exceptional Bay Area women.”
2017: CAIR-Minnesota Executive Director Jaylani Hussein received a Governor’s Distinguished Service award from that state’s Governor’s Council on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday.
2017: CAIR-San Francisco Bay Area Executive Director Zahra Billoo received the M. Shanara Gilbert Human Rights Award from the Society of American Law Teachers.
2017: CAIR-San Francisco Bay Area Executive Director Zahra Billoo received a Public Interest Achievement Award from the South Asian Bar Association of North America.
2017: CAIR-San Francisco Bay Area Executive Director Zahra Billoo received a ChangeMaker Award from South Asian Americans Leading Together.
2017: CAIR-National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper was featured by the Georgetown University Center for Social Impact Communication among a list of people who “think they can-and indeed are-changing the world for the better.” (Note: This may be older, but to the best of our ability to determine it was published in 2017.)
2017: CAIR-Los Angeles Yannina Casillas was recognized as an Unsung Hero by California State Senator Dr. Richard Pan.
2017: CAIR-Florida Orlando Regional Coordinator Rasha Mubarak received the Umm Sulaym RA Award from ICNA Relief.
2016: CAIR National Board Chair Roula Allouch appointed as Special Advisor to the American Bar Association’s Commission on Women in the Profession.
2016: CAIR-National Board Member James Jones was honored as a “Champion Educator” by the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University.
2016: CAIR-National Executive Director Nihad Awad was named one of the world’s 500 most influential Muslims by Jordan’s Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center.
2016: CAIR-Florida Government Affairs Director Laila Abdelaziz was named among the 30-under-30 rising stars of Florida politics by the Florida Young Democrats.
2016: CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush recognized at the inaugural Arab American Heritage Month hosted by the City of Anaheim. The award was in recognition of his 20 years of service and contributions to the development of the City of Anaheim through CAIR-LA’s work.
2016: CAIR National Board Chair Roula Allouch was featured on the cover of and profiled in Kentucky Alumni magazine’s Summer 2016 edition.
2016: CAIR-National Maryland Outreach Manager Zainab Chaudry was named one of “Baltimore’s 25 women to watch in 2016” by the Baltimore Sun.
2016: CAIR-Minnesota Executive Director Jaylani Hussein was named one of the “2016 Ten Outstanding Young Minnesotans” by JCI Minnesota, an “all-volunteer civic organization in Minnesota, with over 1,500 members statewide.”
2016: CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush was named among the “Most Influential 2016” by the OC Register.
2016: CAIR-MA Board Member Tahirah Amatul-Wadud was named a Top Woman in Law 2016 by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.
2016: CAIR-Oklahoma Executive Director Adam Soltani received the Angie Debo Civil Libertarian of the Year Award presented to him by the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma at their annual meeting.
2016: CAIR-Minnesota received the 2016 Winds of Change diversity award from the Forum on Workplace Inclusion, in partnership with the University of St. Thomas – Opus College of Business.
2016: CAIR-National Maryland Outreach Manager Zainab Chaudry received a “Community Quarterback Award” from the Baltimore Ravens football team for “tireless leadership, dedication and commitment to bettering our local communities, and in appreciation for your outstanding impact on neighbors in need.
2016: CAIR-National Maryland Outreach Manager Zainab Chaudry received a 2016 FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Award honorable mention for Outstanding Inclusive Initiatives in Emergency Management.
2016: CAIR-Minnesota Executive Director Jaylani Hussein received the “Immigrant of Distinction Award” from Minnesota/Dakotas American Immigration Lawyers Association for outstanding contribution to social justice.
2016: CAIR-Minnesota Executive Director Jaylani Hussein was appointed Minnesota Governor’s Council on Law Enforcement and Community Relations.
2016: CAIR-Minnesota received the State Advocate of the Year from the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota.
2016: CAIR-Minnesota Board Chair Kausar Hussain was recognized as among the 50 over 50 of most inspiring and accomplished leaders from across Minnesota by POLLEN.
2015: CAIR-Florida Legislative and Government Affairs Director Laila Abdelaziz received a Silver Medallion Award from Community Tampa Bay, which works to create a community free from all forms of discrimination.
2015: CAIR-Oklahoma Executive Director Adam Soltani received the Oklahoma Conference of Churches Interfaith Leadership Award presented to him by Rabbi Vered Harris of Temple B’nai Israel at the 2015 Oklahoma Conference of Churches Annual Dinner.
2015: CAIR-National Board Member Lori Saroya received the Minnesota Governor’s Distinguished Service Award.
2015: CAIR-San Francisco Bay Area Government Relations Coordinator Sameena Usman was named among California Assembly District 25’s Community Heroes by Assembly member Kansen Chu.
2015: CAIR-San Francisco Bay Area received the Yuri Kochiyama Impact Award from the Asian Law Caucus.
2015: CAIR-Cleveland Executive Director Julia Shearson received recognition by the City of Cleveland during its “Salute to Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones.”
2015: CAIR-Washington received a 2015 Champion of Civil and Voting Rights Achievement award for an organization from the Board of Directors of the League of Women Voters of Seattle King County.
2015: CAIR-National Executive Director Nihad Awad was named an emerging voice for civil rights leadership in the 21st Century by the LA Times.
2015: CAIR-Minnesota Executive Director Jaylani Hussein received the “Visionary Leader” Award from the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits.
2015: CAIR-Cincinnati was presented the Outstanding Case of the Year Award by the Cincinnati Employment Lawyers Association with special attention given to Staff Attorney Booker Washington’s contributions.
2015: CAIR-Sacramento Valley Executive Director Basim Elkarra was given the Power of Voice award by Access Sacramento.
2015: CAIR-Washington’s contributions were praised by the Spokane City Council.
2014/15: CAIR-National Executive Director Nihad Awad was named one of the world’s 500 most influential Muslims by Jordan’s Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center.
2014: CAIR-Sacramento Valley Executive Director Basim Elkarra was featured in Comstock Magazine as one of a group of young professionals helping shape the future of the Sacramento Valley.
2014: CAIR-National received the Ummil-Kheer Humanitarian award from the Islamic Research and Humanitarian Council of America.
2014: CAIR-Oklahoma Executive Director Adam Soltani received the 2014 Human Rights Award that was presented by the Oklahoma Human Rights Alliance.
2014: CAIR-San Francisco Bay Area Executive Director Zahra Billoo received an Unsung Hero Award from the National Lawyers Guild-SF Chapter.
2014: CAIR-San Francisco Bay Area Government Relations Consultant and CAIR-Calif. Board Secretary Sameena Usman received an Asian Pacific Islander American Leadership Award from Calif. Assembly Member Bob Wieckowski.
2014: CAIR-Michigan Executive Director Dawud Walid received the 2014 Booker T. Washington Social Justice Award from the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Task Force, Inc.
2014: CAIR-Connecticut. Executive Director Mongi Dhaouadi received the National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers 2014 Award at the “It Takes a Village” Banquet.
2014: CAIR-Minnesota Board Chair Kausar Hussain received the Outstanding Contribution Award from the Council on Asian-Pacific Minnesotans (CAPM).
2014: CAIR-Minnesota Executive Director Lori Saroya was awarded a 2014 Bush Fellowship by the Minnesota-based Bush Foundation.
2014: CAIR-Los Angeles’ Communications Coordinator Yasmin Nouh received a “Women Making a Difference” award from Calif. State Senator Lou Correa.
2014: CAIR-Florida Executive Director Hassan Shibley received a humanitarian award from the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Lakeland.
2014: CAIR-Michigan Executive Director Dawud Walid was recognized “for his activism in the area of civil and human rights” by the Arab American Political Action Committee.
2014: CAIR-Michigan Staff Attorney Lena Masri was given a RARE Everyday Hero award by Winning Futures.
2014: CAIR-Florida Executive Director Hassan Shibly received received an appreciation award from Helping Hand (USA) for Relief and Development for his “ongoing commitment and dedicated service to humanity.
2014: CAIR-Los Angeles Public Affairs Coordinator Haroon Manjlai was recognized among the “Future 50” by the Interreligious Council of Southern California.
2013/14: CAIR-National Executive Director Nihad Awad was named one of the world’s 500 most influential Muslims by Jordan’s Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center.
2013: CAIR-Washington was given a Civil Libertarian Award by the ACLU of Washington state.
2013: CAIR-National Executive Director Nihad Awad received the Prophet Ibrahim Interfaith Award from the National Islamic Committee on Scouting.
2013: CAIR-National received an Excellence in Advocacy award from the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.
2013: CAIR-Michigan Staff Attorney Lena Masri was honored by the Federal Bar Association for her extensive “pro bono legal services on behalf of poor and indigent clients in the Eastern District of Michigan.”
2013: CAIR-Minnesota won the “Making a Difference through Pro Bono Work” from the American Bar Association’s Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division.
2013: CAIR-Minnesota was recognized by the Minnesota Philanthropy Partners among the ‘Nonprofits to Know.’”
2013: CAIR-National received an Appreciation Award from United Sikhs for the organization’s “hard work and dedication to the Sikh community.”
2013: CAIR-Los Angeles Deputy Executive Director Ameena Qazi received a Beacon of Light award from Rev. Sarah Halverson at Fairview Community Church in Costa Mesa, Calif.
2013: CAIR-Los Angeles Deputy Executive Director Ameena Qazi was celebrated as one of “the most interesting people in Orange County” in OC Weekly’s annual OC People issue.
2013: CAIR-San Francisco Bay Area received the “Fred Korematsu Civil Rights” award from American Muslim Voice Foundation.
2013: CAIR-San Francisco Bay Area Executive Director Zahra Billoo received an Asian Pacific Islander American Leadership Award from CA Assembly Member Bob Wieckowski.
2013: CAIR-National Executive Director Nihad Awad was listed among Arabian Business Magazine’s Power 500.
2013: CAIR-National received an Excellence in Civil Rights Golden Minaret from the Academy of Muslim Achievement.
2013: CAIR-Washington received the Ron Chisom Anti-Racism Award from the Seattle Human Services Coalition.
2012: CAIR-Minnesota staffer Nausheena Hussain was given a Minnesota Council of Nonprofits 2012 Leadership Award in the Catalytic Leader category.
2012: CAIR-Michigan Executive Director Dawud Walid received an award from the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) for his work in promoting intrafaith and interfaith understanding and cooperation.
2012: CAIR-Chicago Executive Director Ahmed Rehab was appointed by Chicago’s mayor to the city’s New Americans Advisory Committee.
2012: CAIR-Minnesota Civil Rights Director Taneeza Islam received a Facing Race honor from the St. Paul Foundation.
2012: CAIR-National Executive Director Nihad Awad was named one of the world’s 500 most influential Muslims by Jordan’s Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center.
2011: CAIR-National received an award for “Civil Rights Preservation” from the Muslim Journal, the nation’s oldest American Muslim newspaper. The Muslim Journal has over 36 years of continuous weekly publication.
2011: CAIR-Minnesota was awarded the 2011 Mission & Excellence Mission Award for Anti-Racism Initiative by the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN) and MAP for Nonprofits. The annual “Mission & Excellence” awards are given to six non-profit organizations that make “outstanding contributions to Minnesota’s high quality of life.”
2011: CAIR-Michigan Executive Director Dawud Walid accepted the Spirit of Detroit Award given by the City Council of Detroit and the MCHR 2011 Activist Organization Award for advocating for the civil rights of all Americans through encouraging dialogue and building coalitions that promote justice and understanding.
2011: CAIR-National Executive Director Nihad Awad was included on the “Power 500” list compiled yearly by Arabian Business Magazine.
2011: CAIR-National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper was named one of the world’s 500 most influential Muslims by Jordan’s Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center.
Background for U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry quote: In 2014, government officials in a number of western countries were shocked when the United Arab Emirates (UAE) released a list of about 80 entities it considers to be terrorist groups. The UAE arbitrarily included a number of highly regarded western humanitarian and advocacy organizations, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). THE UAE government is authoritarian. It is engaged in suppressing basic democratic ideals such freedoms of speech, dissent, association, and assembly.
“Let me reiterate, first, that the U.S. government clearly does not consider CAIR to be a terrorist organization. As your letter noted, the Department of State rejected this allegation immediately after the UAE designations were announced in November, and we will continue to do so.” Kerry added, “U.S. officials have raised the issue of CAIR’s inclusion on the UAE’s terror list with UAE officials on multiple occasions…”
-U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry, in a personal letter to CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad
“The Council’s work to uphold the value of justice and tolerance, both in Connecticut and across the country, is admirable and more critical than ever today as hate groups become emboldened and incidents of hate crimes increase.”
-Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) (October 2017)
CAIR is an important and influential organization throughout the country. For two decades CAIR has brought together people of all faiths, along with member of the community, to encourage compassion and understanding between all Americans.
-Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) (October 2016)
As a firm advocate for civil rights, I salute CAIR for empowering American Muslims nationwide in political and social activism thought our country.”
-Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) (October 2016)
“We must continue to work together to support a new generation of leaders who will continue our mutual goal of guaranteeing equality and respect for all people [. . .] I would like to thank CAIR for [its] leadership.”
-Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.)
“CAIR-Chicago advances a greater understanding of the Muslim culture and serves as an essential thread in the multicultural fabric of our nation. Your efforts to advocate for tolerance promote the civil liberties of all communities.”
-Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) (April 2011)
“Through their continued efforts to educate and introduce Americans to positive aspects of the Muslim community, CAIR-LA provides an important link and resource for the Los Angeles region. Their unwavering dedication to increasing awareness and acceptance is truly praiseworthy.”
-Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) (November 2011)
“I want to thank CAIR for vigorously protecting the civil liberties of many Muslim Americans while also advancing the national dialogue on issues important to the Muslim community”
-Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) (October 2017)
“I am grateful for organizations like CAIR that are dedicated to defending civil liberty for all New Yorkers… Your devotion to civil rights strengthens our commitment to democracy throughout New York State and the Muslim Community.”
-Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) (October 2015)
“The council has strived to improve understanding about Islam, and move toward a future in which we welcome people of all faiths and nationalities into our neighborhoods and our schools, as well as our hearts and our minds.”
-Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) (October 2017)
“Thank you to all who had a hand in organizing this banquet, and best wishes for a memorable celebration.”
-Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) (October 2016)
“CAIR has given the American Muslim community an authentic voice in the public square and for that I am deeply grateful.”
-Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) (October 2017)
“I am proud to serve you in the United States Senate and look forward to continuing our work together in the future”
-Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) (October 2017)
“Your efforts to enhance the understanding of Islam and build coalitions that promote justice and respect is both timely and beneficial.”
-Former Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) (September 2014)
“I commend CAIR for its efforts to support the principles of civic engagement on which our nation was founded.”
-Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) (October 2017)
“This organization’s inspiring service is a testimony to your success in creating a nurturing and supportive, responsive organization.”
-Former Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) (October 2016)
“The council’s work in Connecticut and across the nation is greatly appreciated.”
-Sen. Christopher S. Murphy (D-Conn.) (October 2017)
“I am proud to stand with an organization that has dedicated itself to upholding some of our country’s most important values, including equity, justice, and civil rights protections for the most vulnerable American citizens.
-Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) (October 2017)
“I applaud CAIR for its determination to continue to spread humanity around the world and to cultivate and encourage mutual understanding amongst Americans of all backgrounds and cultures.”
-Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) (October 2017)
“Your effort to protect and defend civil liberties are essential in ensuring preservation of the values and principles that we all, as Americans, hold dear.”
-Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) (October 2017)
“Your efforts to create dialogues and empower American Muslims enrich the lives of Virginians; I commend you for your work to put aside divisive rhetoric and work together to solve the issues facing this great nation.”
-Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) (October 2016)
“I commend the Council for their efforts promoting justice and mutual understanding.”
-Former Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) (September 2011)
“It is with great pleasure that I commend you, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, on your commitment to improving our country and communities with your message of acceptance and respect.”
-Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.) (October 2017)
By protecting and defending the constitutional rights of American Muslims, CAIR has built coalitions among a diverse collection of community leaders, scholars and activists…”
-Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) (October 2017)
“[CAIR-LA’s] work of promoting justice and mutual understanding is a testament of your values of justice and equality.”
-Former Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.) (November 2016)
“I am proud of CAIR’s nearly quarter-century of work educating and uplifting our community and protecting and defending the rights of every American.”
-Rep. Ami Bera (D-Calif.) (October 2017)
“I applaud CAIR’s efforts in defending civil liberties, empowering American Muslims, and presenting an accurate portrayal of Islam. CAIR’s work is a true representation of what the United States democracy stands for.”
-Rep. Donald S. Beyer (D-Va.) (October 2017)
“CAIR’s work continues to ensure that the principles upon which our nation was founded are upheld.”
-Former Rep. Bruce L. Braley (D-Iowa) (2013)
“For more than 20 years, CAIR has distinguished itself as an effective civil rights organization by seeking to advocate for justice for American Muslims and improve our country’s understanding of Islam.”
-Rep. Anthony G. Brown (D-Md.) (October 2017)
“CAIR is at the national forefront of fostering a positive understanding of American Muslims and works tirelessly to foster interfaith understanding though education and dialogue.”
-Former Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.) (October 2016)
“CAIR fulfills an important mission, fostering understanding of the Muslim-American [. . .] The organization works not only to empower Muslim-Americans, but support human rights, civil liberties and religious freedom.”
-Rep. Michael E. Capuano (D-Wash.) (October 2017)
“By protecting and defending the constitutional rights of American Muslims, CAIR supports the rights of all Americans.”
-Rep. Salud O. Carbajal (D-Calif.) (October 2017)
“The council’s active civic engagement, community outreach, and educational programs have been vital in empowering American Muslims nationwide. California has a rich history of diversity because our communities respect and celebrate our differences, not dwell on them.”
-Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-Calif.) (October 2017)
“CAIR has been taking important steps towards improving civil rights, and fighting for full protections for all Americans, regardless of faith. [. . .] By demonstrating the tenets of our faith, we can work together to ensure a better, more free future for every American.”
-Rep. Andre Carson (D-Ind.) (October 2017)
“I commend CAIR for their tireless work to challenges stereotypes of Muslims and ensure the representation of American-Muslim voices.”
-Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.) (October 2017)
Foley: ‘What did you think about the swipe? Because it certainly seemed that [CAIR] is the group that this hearing was designed to go after.”
Clarke: “Well I’m glad you mentioned that and that’s why in my statement I raised the fact that the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Michigan worked with Federal law enforcement officials. As a matter of fact just last year alone CAIR-Michigan met with the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security combined thirteen times to help coordinate work between law enforcement at the Federal level and the Muslim community. So CAIR in Michigan definitely had good relations with law enforcement and that has been helpful to protect our citizens from any type of likely threat.”
-Former Rep. Hansen Clarke (D-Mich.), interview with the Craig Foley Show on WDET Detroit, March 11, 2011.
“I am proud to work closely with this community to advance our shared values, and CAIR’s role in ensuring that American Muslims have a voice in the public square is invaluable to that effort.
-Rep. Katherine M. Clark (D-Mass.) (October 2017)
CAIR’s efforts to dismantle Islamophobic rhetoric, support the American Muslim community, unite with others against all types of hate, and encourage civic engagement have played an instrumental role in helping move America forward.”
-Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.) (October 2017)
“I am proud to have partnered with CAIR on issues that have profoundly affected our community, especially in the areas of religious tolerance, economic development and quality of life.”
-Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va.) (October 2017)
“I … want to thank CAIR for giving the American Muslim community an authentic voice in the public square.”
-Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) (October 2016)
“CAIR is an essential part of our community, one that is a strong advocate for the protection of civil liberties of all Americans and the empowerment of Muslim Americans.”
-Rep. Luis J. Correa (D-Calif.) (October 2017)
CAIR’s activeness has been instrumental in the past year by challenging Islamophobia rhetoric, mobilizing the American Muslim community, and standing firm against anti-Muslim hate crimes occurring nationwide.”
-Rep. Jim Costa (D-Calif.) (October 2017)
“CAIR has also devoted countless hours to standing firm against the anti-Muslim hate incidents occurring in the country. By protecting and defending the constitutional rights of American Muslims, CAIR supports the rights of all Americans.”
-Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) (October 2017)
“CAIR understands that in defending Muslim Americans against employment discrimination, prison abuse, hate crimes, and citizenship delays they are also defending our American values for every American.”
-Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-Ill.) (March 2011)
“As the country’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization [. . .] Thank you CAIR for serving as an excellent example of service and humanitarianism for others in the community.”
-Rep. Rodney Davis (D-Ill.) (October 2017)
“CAIR’s twenty years of bringing together communities and defending civil liberties is commendable, and the work you do for the state of Maryland is greatly appreciated.”
-Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.) (September 2014)
“I applaud CAIR’s mission of encouraging open dialogue among different communities, protecting civil liberties and serving American Muslims across the country.”
-Rep. Suzan K. DelBene (D-Wash.) (October 2017)
“CAIR works hard to challenge Islamophobic rhetoric, mobilize the Muslim community and combatting the unprecedented spike in anti-Muslim hate incidents occurring nationwide. [. . .] I stand by the work done by CAIR in this regard.”
-Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D-Calif.) (October 2017)
“Through town hall meetings discussing Muslim civil rights or fighting for American Muslim employees to receive the same benefits as their colleagues, CAIR has done an admirable job advocating for equality for the American Muslim population in Michigan.”
-Former Rep. John D. Dingell (D-Mich.) (August 2013)
“CAIR’s tireless work challenging Islamophobic rhetoric has been instrumental in pushing back against election season falsehoods, discriminating policies, rhetoric designed to tear the country apart with fear and hatred.”
-Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) (October 2017)
“I also want to thank CAIR for giving the American Muslim community an authentic voice in the public square. Our democracy requires the active participation of informed citizens.”
-Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) (October 2017)
“As representative for Maryland’s 4th Congressional District, I recognize the significance of CAIR and appreciate its dedication to social activism.”
-Former Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) (October 2016)
“In addition to uniting across religion, race, and gender, CAIR has created a space for the American Muslim community to speak out against injustices.”
-Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) (October 2017)
“I am proud to represent members of the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of CAIR and you have my gratitude for your decades of tireless advocacy for justice, tolerance, and a better America”
-Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-Calif.) (October 2017)
“In the face of bigotry and ugly Islamophobic rhetoric, CAIR’s work has been more important than ever in educating and unifying our nation”
-Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-Conn.) (October 2017)
“CAIR has challenged Islamophobic rhetoric in the election, mobilized the Muslim community in voter registration and stood firm against the unprecedented spike in anti-Muslim hate incidents occurring nationwide”
-Rep. Marcia L. Fudge (D-Ohio) (October 2017)
“By protecting and defending the constitutional rights of American Muslims, CAIR supports the rights of all Americans.”
-Former Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) (October 2016)
“By protecting and defending the constitutional rights of American Muslims, you support the rights of all Americans.”
-Rep. John Garamendi (D-Calif.) (September 2013)
“I want to thank CAIR for giving the American Muslim community an authentic voice in the public square.”
-Rep. Raul M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) (October 2017)
“A democracy is as strong as its citizens are informed and engaged and I applaud and truly appreciate all of the individuals I have met through CAIR who work towards this end.”
-Rep. Alcee L. Hastings (D-Fla.) (October 2017)
“Your efforts in organizing the second annual Muslim Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill are to be commended as it gave me a chance to discuss issues related to social justice and community building with you.”
-Rep. Michael Honda (D-Calif.) (October 2016)
“CAIR’s work is essential in making democracy work for everyone.”
-Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) (October 2017)
“CAIR’s work in the state of Ohio and across the nation is much appreciated.”
-Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) (October 2017)
“As our country faces new threats to civil rights, it is crucial that active participation in our democracy be protected and allowed to prosper. [. . .] thanks for all you do.”
-Rep. Joseph P. III Kennedy (D-Mass.) (October 2017)
“We must always stay true to the American values of diversity and unity when making decisions and I am proud to support your organization, which ardently promotes these values.”
-Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) (October 2017)
“I applaud the Council for continuing this tradition of bringing together community leaders and scholars to celebrate CAIR’s work defending civil liberties.”
-Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) (October 2015)
“It is my sincere wish that you know your faith and continued service in communities like my own are an example to Americans everywhere.”
-Rep. Daniel T. Kildee (D-Mich.) (October 2017)
“I was at O’Hare International Airport protesting the President’s Muslim ban along with the people of Chicago who came from all walks of life. All of us stand with CAIR in their fight against hate.”
-Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.) (October 2017)
“In my home state of Ohio, CAIR has helped make my district a more inclusive and welcoming place for American Muslims.”
-Former Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D-Ohio) (September 2011)
“I commend your work in strengthening our democracy and advancing the principles of justice and mutual understanding.”
-Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.) (October 2017)
“CAIR’s efforts to uphold unity within the community and encourage civic engagement plays a significant role in guiding America forward.”
-Rep. Al Lawson (D-Fla.) (October 2017)
“Our community owes the Council on American-Islamic Relations Greater Los Angeles Area a debt of gratitude for their tireless hard work and dedication to encouraging dialogue, involvement, and understanding in our society.”
-Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) (November 2016)
As the representative of the 14th Congressional District which includes a significant American Muslim population, I commend your work in strengthening our democracy and advancing the principles of justice and mutual understanding.”
-Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.) (October 2016)
“For more than twenty-three years, CAIR has been a tireless advocate for civil rights and religious freedom in our diverse nation.”
-Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) (October 2017)
“Our democracy requires the active participation of informed citizens and I commend CAIR for its efforts to support the principles of civic engagement on which the United States of America was founded.”
-Rep. Sheila Lee Jackson (D-Texas) (October 2017)
“I send warm wishes to the Michigan Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, as it joins its parent organization in celebration of 21 years of dedicated community service and civil rights advocacy.
-Rep. Sander Levin (D-Mich.) (October 2015)
Throughout its history, CAIR has worked admirably on behalf of Muslims in the state of Georgia and across the country.”
-Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) (October 2017)
“Thank you for your continued efforts to support the American values that make our nation stronger.”
-Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) (October 2017)
“I commend CAIR for its efforts to support the principles of civic engagement on which our nation was founded.”
-Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.) (October 2017)
“By striving to empower American Muslims to participate both locally and nationally in the political process, CAIR has upheld this fundamental principle on which our nation was founded”
-Rep. Doris O. Matsui (D-Calif.) (October 2017)
“Muslim Americans are indispensable to the fabric of our state and our nation [. . .] I applaud and share your commitment to keeping America a land of hope, opportunity, and equality for all.”
-Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) (October 2017)
“CAIR remains committed to building a stronger community through mutual understanding and respect.”
-Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) (October 2016)
“America’s diversity is a cause for celebration, as are the Council’s efforts at ensuring equal opportunities and representation for everyone.”
-Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.) (October 2017)
“I am pleased to recognize CAIR’s unwavering commitment to provide advocacy, education and outreach in order to address prejudice and improve the lives of American Muslims throughout our country.”
-Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.) (October 2017)
“I commend the Council for empowering American Muslims to take an active role in local and national politics.”
-Former Rep. Gary G. Miller (R-Calif.) (September 2014)
“As a lifelong believer in civil rights, I deeply value CAIR’s efforts to defend the rights of not only American Muslims, but of all Americans. This advocacy is crucial in the effort to protect the individual liberties that we so strongly cherish.”
-Former Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) (September 2014)
“Your work is essential in making democracy work for everyone in this country.”
-Former Rep. Gloria Negrete McLeod (D-Calif.) (August 2013)
“On behalf of the 8th District of Virginia, I wish your family, friends, and community the high recognition and appreciation you deserve throughout the community.”
-Former Rep. James P. Moran (D-Va.) (September 2014)
“CAIR’s dedication to ensuring all Americans feel heard, regardless of faith, helps us become stronger as a nation and as a community. I want to thank CAIR for this important work even in the face of adversity.”
-Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) (October 2017)
“I congratulate you on preserving this wonderful tradition of bringing different members of the community together in celebration of your dedication to the defense of civil liberties.”
-Former Rep. Patrick E. Murphy (D-Fla.) (January 2013)
“I commend your organization’s milestone anniversary. If I can ever be of any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact my office or me.”
-Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.) (October 2017)
“Lastly, I am proud to extend my sincerest recognition to the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Greater Los Angeles Area Chapter for their role as the largest American Muslim grassroots organization in the United States.”
-Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.) (November 2016)
“I applaud the council for continuing this great tradition of bringing together community leaders, scholars and activists to celebrate CAIR’s work defending civil liberties.
-Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) (October 2017)
I want to thank CAIR for giving our Muslim neighbors, friends and family an opportunity to share their voice throughout the country.”
-Rep. Frank Jr. Pallone (D-N.J.) (October 2017)
“I have seen firsthand how Muslim Americans contribute to the vibrant culture and heritage of our United States. [. . .] Best wishes for many years of continued success.”
-Rep. Bill Jr. Pascrell (D-N.J.) (October 2017)
“It is my honor to congratulate the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) on 23 years of excellence and community service.”
-Rep. Donald M. Jr. Payne (D-N.J.) (October 2017)
“The council’s work across the nation is critical to building a more equitable and democratic society.”
-Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) (October 2017)
“CAIR’s efforts enrich the American Muslim community, encourage dialogue, and unite others to combat Islamophobia and all types of hate.”
-Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) (October 2017)
“I thank you all for your hard work and commitment to a strong, diverse and just democracy”
-Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) (October 2017)
“The Council’s work is an incredible effort and unequivocally benefits the constituents of my own district, as well as the greater country.”
-Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.) (October 2017)
“The council’s work in the State of Illinois and across the nation is much needed and appreciated … I applaud CAIR’s efforts thus far, and look forward to our united work in the future.”
-Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) (October 2016)
“CAIR has been instrumental in defending religious freedom, strengthening the bonds of friendship between American Muslims and communities, and ensuring the United States remains a place of refuge for those fleeing violence and persecution.”
-Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) (October 2017)
“CAIR’s efforts to engage leaders at every level of government is essential to defending the constitutional rights of American Muslims.”
-Rep. Linda T. Sanchez (D-Calif.) (October 2017)
“Your work has been essential in making democracy work for everyone and for maintaining the sacred values our nation was built on.”
-Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.) (October 2016)
“CAIR has been steadfast in advocacy, community involvement and dedication to the Muslim-American community.”
-Rep. John P. Sarbanes (D-Md.) (October 2017)
CAIR’s vision and mission is more important now than ever before-to be a leading advocate for justice and mutual understanding, and enhance understanding of Islam.”
-Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) (October 2017)
“The Council’s work in the state of Georgia and across the nation is appreciated and respected.”
-Rep. David Scott (D-Ga.) (October 2017)
“…CAIR has maintained its presence on the front lines of the struggle to ensure that all rights and civil liberties extend to every citizen within our country.”
-Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) (October 2015)
“By embracing its vision and mission, the Council on American-Islamic Relations has helped to strengthen American society and promote our nation’s highest ideals.”
-Rep. Terri A. Sewell (D-Ala.) (October 2017)
“CAIR provides American Muslims with the support and resources needed to become engaged and informed citizens, and for your continued efforts to promote peace and unity, you have my utmost thanks and appreciation.”
-Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) (October 2017)
“In order for our democracy to function effectively, informed citizens must seek to engage civically, and CAIR’s efforts to ensure that American Muslims are able to fully participate in this process are truly remarkable.”
-Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) (October 2017)
“CAIR’s efforts, especially after the Pulse Massacre, to dismantle Islamophobic rhetoric, mobilize the American Muslim community, [. . .] played an instrumental role in uniting Orlando in such a crucial time.”
-Rep. Darren Soto (D-Fla.) (October 2017)
Awarded Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition to the CAIR-Ohio “in recognition of their 9th Annual Banquet”
-Former Rep. Betty Sutton (D-Ohio) (May 2011)
“Groups like CAIR are critical to ensure everyone in this country is able to freely participate in society and live up to their fullest potential.”
-Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) (October 2017)
“CAIR’s support of fellow Americans has benefited all who value our liberty and freedom.”
-Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.) (October 2017)
“The strong and authentic voice they (CAIR) have given to American Muslims has helped our democracy to grow and thrive.”
-Rep. Paul D. Tonko (D-N.Y.) (October 2017)
“I offer my sincere gratitude to CAIR for their work in California and throughout the nation”
-Rep. Norma J. Torres (D-Calif.) (October 2017)
“Your efforts to protect civil liberties and build effective coalitions that promote justice are critical in safeguarding the rights and values we all share.”
-Former Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) (October 2016)
“I salute CAIR for empowering American Muslims nationwide in political and social activism for more than two decades.”
-Rep. Juan Vargas (D-Calif.) (October 2017)
“The years you have spent serving our community and defending civil liberties are an incredible accomplishment. Thank you for the wonderful work you do in Minnesota and across our great nation.”
–Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minn.) (October 2017)
“I acknowledge and congratulate CAIR for 19 years of providing American Muslims a platform to bring issues of concern to the forefront and compel action.”
-Rep. Frederica S. Wilson (D-Fla.) (August 2013)
“The Council on American Islamic Relations has been a strong voice. Your leadership has provided for the protection and promotion of the interests of the Islamic American community while advocating the cause of peace, human rights and social justice.”
-Former Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) (October 2011)
“The efforts of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in improving cross cultural communications is commendable. “
-Brigadier General Mark Wheeler, Chairman Senior National Representatives Coordination Group, United States Central Command (February 2007)
Two-time Pulitzer prize winner Nicholas Kristof advised readers to “sign up on the Council on American-Islamic Relations website, volunteering to fight Islamophobia.”
(Source: New York Times, 11/17/2016)
Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich listed CAIR among other organizations he wants to benefit from a “freedom concert” he proposed to be held concurrent with the 2016 presidential inauguration ceremony.
(Source: Facebook post by Robert Reich, 12/18/2016)
The Trends Editor suggested, “Support your Muslim family and friends at the Council on American-Islamic Relations.”
(Source: Huffington Post, 11/09/2016)
A staff writer advised, “If you’re worried about Islamophobia, you can get involved with the Council On American–Islamic Relations (CAIR).”
(Source: Buzzfeed, 11/12/2016)
The features editor included CAIR on a short list of “Pro-Women, Pro-Immigrant, Pro-Earth, Anti-Bigotry Organizations That Need Your Support” after the election.
(Source: Jezebel, 11/09/2016)
“CAIR has a deep organization that would be the envy of most civil rights groups.”
Source: Buzzfeed, 12/20/2015)
CAIR staffers are “battle-hardened activists” whose “task of defending Muslims has grown exponentially.”
(Source: Toronto Star, 12/14/2015)
As CAIR “needed to respond to an increasing level of Islamophobia” the organization has “grown more innovative in their approaches to advocacy.”
(Source: International Business Times, 12/04/2015)
CAIR takes “a leading role” providing “rapid response” to Donald Trump and others.
(Source: The Forward, 12/09/2015)
“Minnesota U.S. Attorney B. Todd Jones, who watched the [hearing held by Rep. Peter King], also took exception to [Minnesota Rep.] Cravaack’s characterization [of CAIR].”I’m frustrated by the blanket condemnation of (the council),” Jones said. He said his terrorism unit of prosecutors has a working relationship with the council’s local chapter as well as other entities in sniffing out extremism or wrongdoing. “I hope that (the hearing) does not have an adverse impact on the good things happening here in Minnesota with our Somali community,” Jones said. “We are on a good path with closer collaboration.
(Source Minnesota Pioneer Press, March 11, 2011)
“CAIR is an aggressive Muslim civil liberties organization, modeled on the Anti-Defamation League that has made it a target for criticism. It was indeed named as an “unindicted co-conspirator or joint venturer” in the Holy Land Foundation case–an Islamic charity that in 2008 was convicted of funding Islamic militant groups. But CAIR was not alone in that designation; nearly 250 other organizations and individuals were also named. The federal government said the organizations were included on the list in order to produce evidence at the trial, but the district court and a federal appeals court later ruled that it had been a mistake to make the list public.”
(Source: Washington Post, March 10, 2011)
“But the FBI doesn’t call CAIR a terrorist group. Nor does it allege that CAIR was founded or financed by Hamas. In America, if somebody has committed a crime, even somebody unpopular, we bring charges. We don’t float Internet rumors at a congressional hearing.” Also, ‘CAIR supported the development of the Muslim American Homeland Security Congress,’ [Los Angeles County Sherriff Lee] Baca said. ‘Furthermore, they support the Muslim outreach program that I’m doing. . . . I have not experienced anything that suggests that CAIR supports terrorism.’”
(Source: Washington Post, March 13, 2011)
“CAIR itself has never been charged with any wrongdoing; being named an ‘unindicted coconspirator’ in the Holy Land Foundation case was later reported to have been ‘largely a tactical move by the government.’ And the difficult relationship with the FBI is due at least in part to the agency’s controversial use of paid informants at several mosques.”
(Source: Christian Science Monitor, March 10, 2011)
“Indeed, some of the statements about CAIR at the hearing were oversimplified at best. Mr. King noted, for example, that CAIR was listed as an ‘unindicted co-conspirator or joint venturer’ in a terrorism financing case against a charity, the Holy Land Foundation — but so were more than 200 other groups and individuals. CAIR was not accused of a crime.
“Mr. Wolf mentioned that a poster declaring ‘Build a wall of resistance — Don’t talk to the F.B.I.’ had appeared on the Web site of the group’s California chapter. But the poster had been created by non-Muslim activists in the 1970s, and CAIR officials took it down after a few days, saying it did not represent the group’s policy.
“CAIR has had a tense relationship with the F.B.I. and on occasion has urged Muslims not to talk to law enforcement officials without a lawyer present, a caution [CAIR Executive director Nihad] Awad said was very much in keeping with the American system of justice. ‘As a civil rights organization,’ he said, ‘we have the difficult job of encouraging constitutionally informed cooperation with law enforcement.’
“CAIR, along with other advocacy groups, has complained about the F.B.I.’s use of informers who pose as militants from Al Qaeda or similar groups, saying the government uses them in effect to draw young Muslim men into militancy.
“Last month, the F.B.I. director, Robert S. Mueller III, said that the bureau had no ‘formal relationship’ with CAIR, but that the organization’s officials and chapters regularly worked with F.B.I. officials on investigations and related matters. This included a news conference held on Thursday in Sacramento to announce an arrest in a mosque vandalism case.
“CAIR officials also note that they went immediately to the F.B.I. in 2009 when they were approached by the parents of five young Muslim men in Virginia who had disappeared. The men turned up in Pakistan, where they were reportedly trying to join the fight against American troops in Afghanistan.”
(Source: New York Times, March 11, 2011)
“Number one, it’s not fair of to you criticize CAIR, OK? Because CAIR isn’t fostering any kind of jihad, as far as I know.”
-Bill O’Reilly, host of Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor (December 2010)
“I only wish you could have gone to the CAIR dinner with me and seen—no offense—the parade of unremarkable American normality that I saw; pleasant, concerned, decent people sharing a meal, albeit with a few more veils and skullcaps than are considered usual here at the moment.”
-Neil Steinberg, columnist, Chicago Sun-Times, (March 2010)
Know Your Conspiracies: NEWSWEEK’s guide to today’s trendiest, hippest, and least likely fringe beliefs.
9. The Council on American-Islamic Relations is trying to infiltrate Capitol Hill and spread jihad.
Author Dave Gaubatz alleges that the mainstream group is both connected to Islamist terrorists and jihad and is working to infiltrate the American government by placing interns on Capitol Hill.
Proponents: Dave Gaubatz, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Rep. Sue Myrick (R-N.C.), Joseph Farah.
Kernel of Truth? CAIR has tried to place interns on Capitol Hill, but as it points out, that’s standard practice for advocacy groups of all types and allegiances. There’s no proof of sinister motives or an effort to encourage jihad.
(Source: Newsweek, 02/12/2010)
“… (T)he Council on American-Islamic Relations has emerged as a vigilant force against discrimination against Muslims.”
(Source: East Valley Tribune, 1/19/2008)
“The Council on American Islamic Relations, among the more effective lobbies for Muslim Americans’ civil liberties…”
(Source: Salon.com, 7/10/2008)
“The FBI and other agencies have repeatedly used CAIR to build bridges with the Muslim community, and the ‘apologist’ tag certainly wasn’t shared by the high-ranking Republican who met with the group at an Islamic center after 9/11: President Bush.”
(Source: New Jersey Star Ledger Editorial, 3/16/2007)
“A small band of critics have made a determined but unsuccessful effort to link it to Hamas and Hezbollah, which have been designated as terrorist organizations by the State Department, and have gone so far as calling the group an American front for the two.”
(Source: New York Times, 3/14/2007)
“Government officials in Washington said they were not aware of any criminal investigation of the group. More than one described the standards used by critics to link CAIR to terrorism as akin to McCarthyism, essentially guilt by association.”
(Source: New York Times, 3/14/2007)
One Arab-American advocate compared CAIR to ‘the tough cousin who curses at anyone who speaks badly about the family’.”
(Source: New York Times, 3/14/2007)
“Already fighting on behalf of American Muslims is the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, as it is commonly known. The organization…has developed a reputation for being something of a pit bull in protecting the civil rights of Muslims.”
(Source: The Indianapolis Star, 9/04/2005)
“Since 1994, CAIR has employed a well-rounded plan in its role as a top Muslim voice in the US.”
(Source: PR Week, 11/04/2002)
“The only major US Muslim organization that has achieved a high level of media influence is the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which is now working to rebuff the recent rise in anti-Muslim messages within the American public sphere.”
–Christopher Bail, the author of a 2012 academic study on the growing influence of anti-Muslim hate groups.
“[Law professor and critical race theory scholar Khalid Beydoun] said the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) is the best Muslim civil rights organization, praising its decentralized structure.”
(Source: Arab American News, 1/14/2016)
Foundations and Other Calls for Financial Support
“We are proud of our support for CAIR and the work they do to enhance understanding of Muslims and Islam, encourage dialogue and protect the civil liberties of American Muslims.”
(Source: Silicon Valley Community Foundation, March 1, 2017)
CAIR-California received an “Act Now” grant from the Blue Shield of California Foundation. The grants are given to “recognized leaders, spanning the areas of advocacy, community organizing, network building, strategic communications, policy, and research.”
(Source: Blue Shield of California Foundation, February 6, 2017)
The Levi Strauss Foundation included CAIR-San Francisco Bay Area among a group of 13 “remarkable modern-day pioneers” to which it was granting a total of $1 million to protect marginalized communities.
“The General Delegation of the PLO has great admiration for CAIR’s critical work. For nearly two decades your organization’s initiatives have crucially supported members of our community.”
-Ambassador Maen Rashid Areikat, Chief Representative, General Delegation of the PLO to the United States (Washington D.C.) (September 2013)
“CAIR’s outstanding work in strengthening solidarity among American Muslims and generating a harmony between different cultures is worth praising particularly at a time when the defamation of religions continue to pose serious implications for peace and security.”
-Embassy of the Republic of Turkey (2014)
“Their work in defending the civil liberty of the American Muslim community, and their political activism against religious discrimination is vital in safeguarding the climate of multiculturalism and religious diversity for which the United States is known.”
-Embassy of the State of Qatar (2014)
“Such an events emphasize the role CAIR has been playing throughout the years in promoting understanding of Islam through dialogue and through enhancing the efforts of the American Muslims in that aspect.”
-Ambassador Dr. Mohammed AlHussaini Al Sharif (Ambassador to the League of Arab States, Washington D.C.) (September 2013)
Interfaith and Other
“Since November 8 I have been to many communities throughout this country. I have seen the direct result of CAIR’s work. I have talked to the communities. I have spoken to the communities where [CAIR] offices exist. The morale of the Muslim community in those communities is much higher than where [a CAIR] office does not exist yet.”
-Khizr Khan, Gold Star father who received attention following his speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention
(Source: Speech at CAIR-National’s 2016 Annual Banquet)
“I would like to express my sincere gratitude to you, and the entire CAIR Board, for the gracious invitation to speak and attend the first CAIR MN banquet last week. I don’t mind telling you I was a little nervous about being there and worried about the negative potential impact I might have on the attendees but my worries were for nothing. I was most absolutely treated as if I were an honored guest and was treated with the highest amount of respect. I felt more like a friend than a stranger. As a matter of fact, I believe I even made a few very wonderful new friends!
-Ken Rodgers, former President of American Council of the Blind, Minnesota Chapter (June 2007)
“…We should be giving an award to CAIR, both here in Tampa and across this nation, for the work you are doing, not just on behalf of the Muslim community but on behalf of us all. For every time you challenge stereotypes or discrimination on behalf of Muslims, you challenge them on behalf of us all.”
-Rev. Dr. Bernice Powell Jackson, President of the North American region of the World Council of Churches and pastor of First United Church of Tampa (September 2011)
“CAIR is an admirable organization that has served as a positive force, working with diverse community leaders to promote mutual understanding and dialogue, protect civil liberties, and defend liberty and justice for all people in America. CAIR works to raise awareness about Islam and Muslims and has continuously and courageously condemned all forms of terrorism and extremism.”
–October 2008 letter signed by leaders of groups representing Korean Americans, Christians, Hispanic Americans, Japanese Americans and union workers.
“We could and would have freely and accurately characterized CAIR as a responsible and highly-esteemed force for reconciliation and sanity, both in affairs and in deepening interfaith understanding here in the United States.”
-January 2007 letter of support signed by 203 Christian, Muslim, Jewish and Baha’i leaders, professors and concerned citizens
CAIR is a responsible force for reconciliation and sanity, both in affairs and in deepening religious understanding here in America. We urge Congress to state clearly what we know is true: CAIR makes a valuable contribution to democracy and interfaith relations.”
-Dr. John B. Cobb, Jr., Professor Emeritus, Claremont School of Theology, Rev. Dr. Rita Nakashima Brock, Co-Director, Faith Voices for the Common Good, Rev. Peter Laarman, Director, Progressive Christians Uniting, Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker, President, Starr King School for the Ministry (March 2007)
“As a Christian pastor, I support of the work of CAIR, Council on American Islamic Relations. This is a national group with a very balanced and effective voice that speaks up for the rights of all peoples, and especially Muslims in the United States. It is akin to the NAACP. I think that because it is so effective, it has been targeted. I have worked with CAIR locally in the Tampa Bay area and nationally supporting interfaith relations. I find the leaders to be clear, moderate, and at the same time very articulate in defending Muslim-American rights. We need groups like CAIR in these fear-mongering times.”
-Pastor Warren Clark, Tampa, FL (Source: St. Petersburg Times, 3/19/2007)
“The impact of your report was to give the false impression that ‘the Jewish community’ condemns CAIR and the Congressman for speaking, because you did not bother to report other Jewish opinions. Nor did you make any effort to ascertain and report that in fact CAIR speaks out strongly against terrorist attacks by Muslims, while you reported the utterly uncorroborated assertions by two local Jews that CAIR ‘has connections to terrorists.’ This kind of reporting encourages these McCarthyist assertions. It gives credence to lies. Good reporting should tell the whole story, not a one-sided version of it.”
-Rabbi Arthur Waskow, director of the Shalom Center, in a letter to Philadelphia Enquirer reporter Tom Infield. In his letter Waskow notes that he is a Rabbi that has been “described by last week’s issue of Newsweek as one of the fifty most influential rabbis in the United States, and one described by the Forward newspaper at the end of 2005 as one of the ‘Forward Fifty’ of most effective and creative Jews (not just rabbis) from the whole country…” (April 2007)
“I was deeply touched when I received a phone call from Mr. Ahmed Bedir of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in St. Petersburg informing me of this initiative to raise funds for the Palestine Damaged Churches. He told me that it is important in our secular society to build places of worship rather than destroy them. I wholeheartedly agree.”
-Father Guido Gockel, U.S. National Secretary, CNEWA a papal agency for humanitarian and pastoral support (October 2006)
“We are grateful for our continuing friendships with members of CAIR-Ohio, for their credible, gracious and courageous witness to the Muslim experience in Ohio, the meaning and diversity of Islam, and the critical issues in our shared search for peace and justice and hope, here and around the world.”
–Revered John C Wagner, Miriam R. Wagner, Professor Emeritus, United Theological Seminary, United Methodist Church (2006)
“I applaud your efforts to provide education, justice, outreach and empowerment to the hundreds of thousands of Muslim Americans in the Chicago area. I am impressed by your numerous success stories. I also admire the work you do for civil rights and advocacy. That work is critical to ensuring the rights guaranteed to all Americans in our Constitution.”
-Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart (March 2011)
“The Washington Field Office of the FBI praises CAIR’s dedication in representing the heart of the Muslim American community.”
-Congratulatory letter from the Washington, DC Field Office of the FBI (October 2006)
“I wanted to say that we really appreciate the effort of Ahmed Bedier [Executive Director, CAIR-Tampa] here in Florida and all the good work that he does on behalf of CAIR in the community in the area of civil rights…Mr. Bedier has done a great job in reaching out to law enforcement, establishing open forums for us to exchange information in order to keep the nation safe.”
-Carl Whitehead, Special Agent in Charge, Tampa Bay, Florida Field Office of the FBI, speaking at the CAIR 2006 Tampa Banquet
”[CAIR-Chicago’s] commitment to maintaining a dialogue leading to the frank and honest exchange of ideas, concerns and recommendations on issues affecting the communities we mutually serve is laudable.”
-Weysan Dunn, former Special Agent in Charge, Springfield, Illinois Office of the FBI (February 2007)
“Thank you for the opportunity you extended to me to attend the 3rd Annual Banquet of the CAIR Midwest Chapter on February 11, 2007. I expect to attend the Banquet and will be present with other members of the Chicago Field Office.”
-Robert D. Grant, Special Agent in Charge, Chicago, Illinois Office of the FBI (February 2007)
“Of all the groups, there is probably more suspicion about CAIR, but when you ask people for cold hard facts, you get blank stares.”
-Michael Rolince, a retired F.B.I. official who directed counterterrorism in the Washington field office from 2002 to 2005 (Source: New York Times, 3/14/2007)
“CAIR-Chicago has shown itself to be a strong partner in our community.”
-Philip J. Cline, former Superintendent of Police, City of Chicago (February 2007)
“CAIR’s vision to be an advocate of civil rights and to promote peace and just is something we can all strive for.”
-Lance H. Newman, Special Agent in Charge, Tampa Bay Regional Operations Center, Florida Department of Law Enforcement (September 2006)
“We are fortunate to have someone of your expertise and credentials take time to address many of the over 800 attendees from Georgia’s criminal justice agencies.”
-Paul Heppner, Deputy Director, Georgia Crime Information Center, Georgia Bureau of Investigation (August 2006)
“Organizations such as CAIR have played a tremendous role in helping to build a statewide dialogue of diversity and partnership, working closely with the Ohio Department of Public Safety and other state partners to expand outreach efforts aimed at connecting diverse populations in our state. Through its continuing efforts, CAIR has set an outstanding example for other organizations to follow in our collective efforts to Turnaround Ohio.”
-Henry Guzmán, Director, Ohio Department of Public Safety (2006)
“[Community Alternative Policing Strategy] believes that the strength of any community lies in the propensity of its citizens to serve the common good; CAIR-Chicago has been an impressive agent of community organizing.”
-Vance T. Henry, Former Director of CAPS, City of Chicago (February 2007)
“Oh behalf of the CAPS Implementation Office, I would like to extend our support to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). As you continue to move forward with your mission to defend the civil rights of all, end bigotry and promote tolerance and acceptance of our many differences we offer you our continued support and encouragement.”
-Ronald M. Holt, Director of CAPS, City of Chicago (April 2011)
Emmy and Golden Globe winning actress America Ferrera called CAIR an “incredible organization.”
(Source: Late Night with Seth Meyers, May, 2017)
Golden Globe winning actress Lena Dunham advised people to use International Women’s Day to take positive actions including, giving “to CAIR so that those affected by Islamophobia aren’t denied their right to enter our country.”
(Source: CNBC, March 8, 2017)
Brooklyn’s Nitehawk Cinema held special screenings of ‘Mad Max: Fury Road,’ and donated a portion of the proceeds to CAIR.
(Source: Film Journal International, March 2, 2017)
Actress Lucy Lawless, of Ash vs. Evil Dead and Xena: Warrior Princess tweeted, “We’re helping by donating to @NAACP @HRC @PPact @CAIRNational and fearless news organizations.”
(Source: Twitter post by Lucy Lawless, 11/14/2016)
During the last episode of its fourth season, the Netflix Series House of Cards featured an American Muslim community spokesperson whose name and organization appear modeled on CAIR’s National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper.
(Source: House of Cards, Season 4)
Hate From Violent Extremist Groups
CAIR’s National Executive Director Nihad Awad was included with a hit list of Muslim leaders in the West published by the terror group Daesh (ISIS). In an issue of its online magazine Dabiq, Daesh lists a number of Muslim leaders and activists in the United States, Canada, the UK, and Australia to be targeted. CAIR’s Awad is pictured in the article about the hit list, but is not named specifically. Awad may have come to the attention of ISIS because of CAIR’s repeated condemnation of the terror group and because he coordinated the release of a 2014 open letter signed by more than 120 scholars of Islam and Muslim leaders refuting ISIS’s ideology.
(Source: Dabiq, 4/2016)