Distinction in travel journalism
Is independent travel journalism important to you?
Click here to keep it independent

2 Sep, 2015

82 Groups Ask U.S. Justice Dept to Address Illegality of ‘Muslim-Free Zone’ Businesses

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 9/1/2015) — The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, announced today that a coalition of 82 civil liberties, human rights, immigrant rights, faith, and cultural organizations (see list of signatories below) sent a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch asking her to investigate the growing phenomena of so-called “Muslim-free zone” businesses nationwide.

SEE: Group Letter Requesting DOJ to Investigate “Muslim-Free Zone” Bans by Public Accommodations

Video: 82 Groups Ask DOJ to Address Illegality of ‘Muslim-Free Zone’ Businesses

Robert S. McCaw, CAIR Government Affairs Manager

The coalition, which includes prominent national organizations such as the ACLU, NAACP and the YWCA USA, requested that the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division’s Housing and Civil Enforcement Section conduct a full federal investigation into all businesses that have declared themselves as “Muslim-Free Zones” and “bring civil enforcement proceedings against business owners who have violated the law.”

“The broad range of groups calling for government action on the ‘Muslim-free zone’ issue clearly indicates that the U.S. Department of Justice should speak out and take concrete action to protect the constitutional rights of American Muslims,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad.

Businesses in Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, New York, Oklahoma, and New Hampshire have publicly declared themselves “Muslim-Free.” Despite these reports, the DOJ has remained silent, with the exception of a pledge to “monitor” the Arkansas “Muslim-free zone” business.

The coalition requested a meeting with the DOJ to further discuss “the civil rights impact of these bans and how we can best engage with the DOJ to address current and future discriminatory exclusions by public accommodations.”

CAIR recently questioned why, despite repeated requests for action, the DOJ has remained silent on the “clearly illegal” religious ban, which the Washington-based group compared to “whites only” businesses excluding African-Americans prior to the Civil Rights Movement.

SEE: CAIR Questions Feds’ Silence After Oklahoma Business Joins ‘Muslim-Free’ Movement

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

For further info: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, ihooper@cair.com; CAIR Communications Coordinator Nabeelah Naeem, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, nnaeem@cair.com

* Signatories

National Organizations

* 9to5, National Association of Working Women
* American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
* American Civil Liberties Union
* Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus
* Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund
* Center for Community Change
* Center for Popular Democracy
* Council on American-Islamic Relations
* Defending Dissent and Bill of Rights Defense Committee
* Fair Immigration Reform Movement, FIRM
* Islamic Circle of North America
* ICNA Council for Social Justice
* Islamic Society of North America
* Japanese American Citizens League
* League of United Latin American Citizens
* Muslim Advocates
* Muslim American Society
* Muslim Legal Fund of America
* Muslim Public Affairs Council
* Muslim Ummah of North America
* NAFSA: Association of International Educators
* National Association of Social Workers
* National Center for Lesbian Rights
* National Council of La Raza, NCLR
* National Employment Law Project
* National Fair Housing Alliance
* National Immigration Law Center
* National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild
* National Korean American Service & Education Consortium
* National Network for Arab American Communities
* National Partnership for New Americans
* National People’s Action
* National Center for Transgender Equality
* Northern Borders Coalition
* OneAmerica
* Rights Working Group
* Services, Immigrant Rights, and Education Network
* Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund, SALDEF
* Sikh Coalition
* South Asian Americans Leading Together
* US Council of Muslim Organizations
* Voices For Freedom

State Organizations

* Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice
* Arkansas United Community Coalition
* Causa Oregon
* Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles
* Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition
* Comunidades Unidas/Communities United
* Consejo de Federaciones Mexicanas
* El Centro de Igualdad y Derechos
* Florida Immigrant Coalition
* Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights
* Idaho Community Action Network
* Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights
* Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement
* Junta for Progressive Action
* Latin American Coalition
* Maine People’s Alliance
* Make the Road NY
* Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition
* Michigan United
* Montana Organizing Project
* Nebraska Appleseed
* New Hampshire Alliance for Immigrant Rights-MIRA
* Oklahoma Center for Community and Justice
* Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition
* Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste
* Progressive Leadership Alliance for Nevada
* Promise Arizona
* Rights for All People
* Somos Un Pueblo Unido
* Sunflower Community Action
* The New York Immigration Coalition
* Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition
* Texas Organizing Project
* WashingtonCAN!
* Workers Defense Project
* Voces de la Frontera, VOCES