The Chicago Activist | | CAIR-Chicago

September 6, 2006


A delegation of 7 mosque leaders and youth leaders from Kyrgyzstan visited with CAIR-Chicago personnel on September 6th at CAIR-Chicago’s downtown office.

The delegation spoke of the issues facing the Muslim community in Kyrgyzstan and asked questions about the Chicago Muslim community’s dealings with their own issues. Members of the delegation inquired about the sentiments of the Muslim community towards terms such as "Islamofascim" and how members of the Muslim community reacted to the term.

"This is the fourth international delegation CAIR-Chicago has hosted in the past couple of months" said Dina Rehab, Outreach Coordinator, "these unique exchange opportunities are crucial first steps in gaining a unique understanding of the challenges facing the Muslim community worldwide. Interestingly, the issues are strikingly similar."

With a population of over 5 million, Kyrgyzstan has a Muslim population that stands at approximately 83%. Despite the large Muslim presence, Muslim women in Kyrgyzstan are still facing the challenge of maintaining their freedom to wear the hijab (Islamic head covering).

"The image of Muslim women having difficulty getting a cab in the Philippines because of their headscarf comes to mind. The image of French Muslim school girl, Cennet Dogannay, who chose to shave her head after the French government adopted a bill that banned the wearing of the hijab in public schools, comes to mind. The image of frustrated women in Turkey who have to choose between wearing the hijab and pursuing a higher education comes to mind," said Dina Rehab. "One cannot but stop and wonder why Muslim women worldwide have to fight for their personal right to practice their religion? Why must women in Kyrgyzstan forfeit their religious freedom in order to gain a passport or an identification card?"

CAIR-Chicago met with a delegation from the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) in Southern Philippines on June 8th, a delegation from Denmark on June 27th and a delegation from Burma on August 4th.

Present in the meeting were all members of the CAIR-Chicago staff, CAIR-Chicago interns, as well as the following guests from Kyrgyzstan:
Mr. Rakhat Diushembiev
Mr. Iskenderbek Kariev
Mr. Mumutjan Adyljanuluu
Mr. Edik Lau
Mr. Nurbek Zhumaev
Mr. Tashtan Moldogaziev
Mr. Kantemir Seidakov
Mr. Rafis Abazov
Mrs. Zamirbek Tashov
The delegation came to Chicago through the US State Department’s International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP). The program is administered by the Meridian International Center in DC and seeks to introduce participants to American community organizations that effectively address local social and educational issues. The program also seeks to establish long-term ties between Danish and American community activists to facilitate an on-going dialogue on grassroots activism, cultural pluralism, and political engagement.

copyright © 2006,

September 1-4, 2006


CAIR-Chicago participated in both the ISNA convention and the Mosque Cares convention this past Labor Day weekend.

CAIR set up a full-time booth at the ISNA convention, shared by CAIR-Chicago, where the new CAIR logo was launched. The new brand was launched to better represent CAIR’s mission statement and work. In addition to new CAIR paraphernalia, passers-by were provided with ample information on the services CAIR provides to Muslims in the United States. Information on CAIR-Chicago was also available to local constituents. CAIR and CAIR-Chicago officials spoke and moderated several sessions.

The ISNA convention is the largest Islamic Convention in the United States, which includes a bazaar of 500 booths, a series of lectures and workshops, an entertainment program and a 'meet the author program'. The convention took place at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, 5555 N. River Road, Rosemont, Illinois.

CAIR-Chicago also set up a full-time booth at the Mosque Cares convention, now officially known as the ‘American Muslim Convention’. CAIR-Chicago staff was readily available to Imam W. D. Mohammad ministries’ constituents to answer any questions they might have, as well as to inform them of the services available to them via CAIR-Chicago.

CAIR-Chicago’s Executive Director Ahmed Rehab, and Communications Coordinator, Sultan Muhammad, met with Imam W.D. Muhammad as his guests during the convention's main event which showcased the community’s new and exciting businesses ranging from clothing to real estate.

The American Muslim Convention takes place annually under the auspices of the Mosque Cares. The Mosque Cares is an Islamic community in association with the leadership of Imam W.D. Muhammad (For more information visit The convention took place at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, 151 E. Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL.

copyright © 2006,

Chicago Public Radio

September 6, 2006

Ahmed Rehab, CAIR-Chicago Executive Director, talks to Worldview's Jerome McDonnell on Chicago Public Radio about “Islamofascism” and other reductive terminologies. He argues that the public discourse on Islam in this country is problematic in its use of such terms.

“Islamofascism” from a Muslim Perspective
Ahmed Rehab—Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)—Chicago Chapter

Strategy behind the Word “Islamofascism”
Doug Cassel—Director, Center for Civil and Human Rights, University of Notre Dame Law School; Worldview Human Rights Commentator

What is “Islamofascism”?
Reflections by the Public

Bush Administration’s Use of the Word “Islamofascism”
John Collins—Associate Professor of Global Studies, Saint Lawrence University; Co-editor, Collateral Language: A User's Guide to America's New War

What is “Islamofascism”?
Phone Calls from Listeners

copyright © 2006, WBEZ Alliance, Inc. All rights reserved.

By Erin Hartnett

August 31, 2006

With the November 7th elections rapidly approaching, a number of Illinois campaigns have moved into focus, making headlines and garnering national attention. A particularly compelling race is in the 6th Congressional district, where Republican State Senator Peter J. Roskam and Democrat Major Ladda "Tammy" Duckworth are vying for retiring Representative Henry Hyde's seat.

Historically, the 6th has been tagged a Republican district, with 53% voting for President Bush in the 2004 Presidential election (versus 47% voting for Democrat John Kerry). However, with a rising Hispanic population and increased discontent due to the Iraq war, there is a potential for change.

Candidate Profiles

Prevailing frustration over the Iraq war has thus far played in Duckworth's favor, as her campaign strategy has focused on foreign policy and Homeland security. Duckworth is an Iraq war veteran who lost both of her legs in a grenade attack while piloting a Black Hawk helicopter north of Baghdad. Her experiences have given her national exposure, gaining endorsements from political heavyweights such as Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, appearing in national publications such as Time, U.S. News and World Report, and The Washington Post, and announcing her candidacy on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos." Duckworth has also been criticized along with her primary supporter, Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Representative Rahm Emanuel, for using extensive funding to compensate for her lack of experience.

Opposing Duckworth is State Senator Roskam, who has over thirteen years of legislative experience serving in both the Illinois State House of Representatives, and as an Illinois State Senator. Currently, he is the Illinois State Senate Minority Caucus Whip. His tenure has created a substantial voting record which allows voters to identify his stance on many domestic issues pertaining to Illinois and to the 6th district. His campaign focuses on taxes, the environment, and immigration, with the National Republican Campaign Committee mailing fliers to voters in the 6th district accusing Duckworth of considering the "repeal of federal tax cuts" and "amnesty for all illegal aliens." He has been attacked for advocating a decrease in frivolous law suits while specializing in personal injury law.

Path to the Election

Roskam (who has been endorsed by Hyde) ran unopposed in the Republican Primary, which saved his campaign money but cost him name recognition. Duckworth won a scant victory over Christine Cegelis (who had a strong base and ran a grassroots campaign) in the heated Democratic Primary, causing many to wonder if her support is solid enough to take the district. The race's notoriety has encouraged the involvement of National Republican Campaign Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and as of August both candidates have raised similar levels of funding--$1,883,983.00 for Duckworth and $1,867,756.00 for Roskam.

Currently, the voters in the 6th Congressional District must decide whether they are willing to elect a candidate with military experience who has never held public office, or a candidate with legislative knowledge who lacks a substantial background in foreign policy. If Duckworth is able to make a comprehensive statement on local issues, she may have a chance at an unprecedented Democratic victory in the district. However, Roskam has the advantage of experience and a strong base of party support. In either case, although the campaigns will continue to draw debate on a national level, it is the voters who will decide on November 7th.

copyright © 2006,


In the News
  • Chicago Public Radio: Rehab on NPR's Worldview: What is "Islamofascism"?
  • September 6, 2006

  • Chicago Tribune Magazine: The Case Of The Globe Trotting Grocer
  • September 3, 2006

  • Chicago Sun-Times: Ex-Iran leader to speak at 2 gatherings here
  • August 31, 2006

Media Response System [visit center]
  • Pathological Islamophobe Targets American Faith Leader
  • Septemer 6, 2006

  • Alternative Reality Reporting – A New Trend in Journalism?
  • September 1, 2006

  • The Flaws Of Racial Profiling (Letter to the Chicago Tribune)
  • August 21, 2006

Press Center
  • Media Advisory: Upcoming Chicago Muslim Events Marking 9/11
  • September 8, 2006

  • CAIR-Chicago Meets with Delegation from Kyrgyzstan
  • September 6, 2006

  • Photos: CAIR-Chicago Meets with Delegation from Kyrgyzstan
  • September 6, 2006

  • CAIR-Chicago Facilitates Naturalization for Muslim Man; Citizenship Delay Complainant Takes Oath
  • September 5, 2006

  • CAIR-Chicago Participates at both the ISNA and the Mosque Cares Conventions 2006
  • September 1-4, 2006

  • Photos: CAIR-Chicago Participates at both the ISNA and the Mosque Cares Conventions 2006
  • September 1-4, 2006

Recent Events

  • Executive Director to Moderate ISNA Panel: Countering Islamophobia in the Media

    September 3, 2006

  • Executive Director and Communications Coordinator to Speak on the Importance of Media Activism

    September 2, 2006

  • CAIR-Chicago at ISNA & The Mosque Cares Conventions 2006

    September 1, 2006

  • Executive Director to Administer Training at ISNA Chaplains Conference

    August 31, 2006


Civil Rights Update – 09/08/06

The Civil Rights Department at CAIR-Chicago currently has 562 cases documented in which 256 cases are active and are being pursued by department personnel. Below are the cases that were reported to CAIR-Chicago within the last two weeks.


  • A Muslim man was attacked by three men in what community members feel was a hate crime. Community members reported the three men harassing other Muslims in the neighborhood. CAIR-Chicago has contacted the FBI hate crimes unit and is urging follow up to the investigation being conducted by Chicago Police.
  • A Muslim family reported that their 2 year old son was being treated differently at a day care center. The family reported that their son fell and fractured his leg, but were not told by the day care center. When they informed the day care center of the fracture, they then admitted to having seen the child fall. CAIR-Chicago is investigating a possible discrimination claim, but will refer the family to an attorney who will pursue addressing the injury suffered by the child.
  • Four more Muslims have reported delays in their citizenship process, having applied for their citizenship and passing all necessary USCIS requirements, but have been waiting for citizenship status due to pending background checks. CAIR-Chicago is incorporating these four cases into the Citizenship Delay Project. For more information on the Citizenship Delay Project, please see the action alert below.
Public Accommodation:
  • A Muslim man was denied a credit account because his name allegedly matched the name of an individual whose assets have been frozen. CAIR-Chicago advised the man to go through the identity verification procedure and to make note of any future problems.

View reports of ongoing progress for cases with the Civil Rights Department in the "Progress Report" section.


Citizenship Delay Project - Religious Discrimination Delays Citizenship Process:

As a joint effort with the Arab American Action Network (AAAN), CAIR-Chicago is asking individuals who passed a citizenship examination and have been waiting for over 90 days, or have been waiting for a Green Card for permanent residence for over 90 days to contact us at either or

Travel Free Project - Muslim Americans Detained and Questioned When Traveling Outside of the U.S.:

As part of a potential class action law suit, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and CAIR-Chicago is asking anyone who has been detained and questioned on return to the US at any border crossing (land or airport) to please contact immediately. It is important for Muslims who have faced this type of treatment to join the lawsuit so as to show that it is not an isolated case. The more people that join the case the more strength it will have to force positive changes in how Muslim Americans are treated in the future at our borders.

Also, if you are being consistently delayed, detained, or have otherwise had your rights violated while traveling, contact .

Religious Discrimination at Standardized Testing Centers:

As part of a potential class action law suit, CAIR-Chicago is asking for anyone who has experienced any form of religious discrimination at a testing center to please contact us at . An example of a possible form of religious discrimination includes requiring or requesting the removal of a headscarf for searches, or discriminatory remarks made by employees about Muslims or Islam.

The facts of the above case are as follows:

A Muslim student was asked to remove her headscarf on two separate occasions at a testing center before she began a standardized test required for graduate school. The supervisor and employees of the testing center refused to show her a written copy of the policy requiring Muslim women wearing a headscarf to be searched. A witness at the testing center also observed the employees making discriminatory remarks about Muslims while the victim was taking the test.

Please let us know if you or someone you know have experienced a similar incident and would like to take action to prevent such forms of religious discrimination at standardized testing centers in the future.

  • CAIR-Chicago in 9/11 TV/Radio Specials

    September 8, 2006

  • Executive Director to Speak Before the Third Unitarian Church Forum

    September 10, 2006

  • CAIR-Chicago to join 9/11 Commemoration at St. James Cathedral

    September 11, 2006

  • Executive Director to Speak at University of Maryland Journalism Conference in Las Vegas

    October 12, 2006

  • Ahmed Rehab, Fall Speaker at Minnesota State University Moorehead

    October 24, 2006

This weekend Chicago Muslims commemorate the tragic anniversary of 9/11


... ABC 7 special reports will be followed by a panel discussion examining post-9/11 changes. Panelists scheduled to appear include: Cortez Trotter, city of Chicago chief emergency officer; Colonel Jill Morgenthaler, governor’s deputy chief of staff for public safety and homeland security; Ahmed Rehab, executive director, council on American-Islamic relations, Chicago; John Allen Williams, Ph.D., Loyola professor and national security policy and strategy expert; Matthew Lippman, Ph.D., criminal justice professor and expert on homeland security.



CAIR-Chicago is seeking a qualified volunteer to assist as the Event Planner for our 2007 Annual Event. The Event Planner will head CAIR-Chicago’s Annual Fundraiser Committee as the Chairperson, and will work closely with CAIR-Chicago’s Operations Coordinator, Board, and staff. This position is compensated.

The Muslim community, sponsors, and guests will be invited to review CAIR-Chicago’s past year accomplishments and will be asked to support our future efforts to benefit the Muslim American community in Chicago. If you are interested in serving the Muslim community as CAIR-Chicago’s 2007 Event Chairperson, please contact Sabah Ahmed at .

Position Details

CAIR-Chicago Welcomes A New Activist to the Team

Maria Banjo is in her first year of law school at John Marshall Law School and joins CAIR-Chicago as a Civil Rights Intern. She has a strong interest in International Law, Human Rights Law, and Civil Rights Law. As an undergrad at Agnes Scott College, she majored in Political Science and minored in Africana Studies. Maria hobbies and interests include dance choreography and track and field.

CAIR-Chicago's Muslim Activist Website

Are you an Undergraduate or Graduate Student Looking to Earn College Credit While Interning at CAIR-Chicago?
CAIR-Chicago, the local chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), is currently offering 17 new internship opportunities. CAIR is the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights organization. The organization’s 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.

All internships are unpaid. Internships last one semester and include a 12-hour/week commitment. Applicants should email a resume and cover letter to Dina Rehab, Outreach Coordinator, at: .

clearly indicate which internship opportunity you are applying for in your cover letter. If you are applying for more than one position, please list in order of preference. All fall applications are due by August 28th (please note: fall internships run from August/September through December/January). Applications that do not list the above information will not be processed. If you have any questions, please email all inquiries to . Students interested in receiving class credit, should indicate so in their cover letters. Credit will be arranged during the first week of the academic semester.

Listing of all internships by department:

Civil Rights:
LAW CLERK (Law Students Only)


Governmental Relations:



Dina Rehab is CAIR-Chicago's Outreach Coordinator, she can be reached via email at

Executive Director
Ahmed Rehab

Civil Rights Coordinator
Christina Abraham

Outreach Coordinator
Dina Rehab

Governmental Relations Coordinator
Sadiya Ahmed

Operations Coordinator
Sabah Ahmed

Communications Coordinator
Sultan Muhammad

Staff Attorney
Heena Musabji, Esq.

Legal Advisor
Maaria Mozaffar

Community Organizer
Haady Taslim

Board of Directors
Alif Muhammad
Ahmed Rehab
Hina Sodha, Esq.
Yaser Tabbara, Esq. - Secretary
Mazen Kudaimi, MD - Vice President
Safaa Zarzour, Esq. - President

Click Here

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For more information, please contact:

CAIR-Chicago (A Chapter of The Council On American-Islamic Relations)
28 E. Jackson Blvd, Suite 1410, Chicago IL 60604
Phone: 312-212-1520, Fax: 312-212-1530
Email: , Website:

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The Chicago Activist is a publication of CAIR-Chicago
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