CAIR was founded in 1994 in response to growing anti-Muslim discrimination and Islamophobia across the nation. At that time, American Muslims increasingly found themselves the innocent targets of prejudice and hate, and the need for an organization that could speak to the unique position of Muslims in America became apparent. Leadership from local Muslim communities, with support from other minority and civil rights groups, helped launch an organization founded on Islamic and American principles that demonstrate their mutually reinforcing values. CAIR San Diego was operated by a group of volunteers (who later became the local Governance Board) who wanted to see a more active presence of CAIR-CA in the San Diego region in 2004.