Opening Message

The words of Daisy Bates, one of America’s greatest civil rights leaders, usher in a new meaning for civil rights in both the Muslim American community and our brothers and sisters outside of the community who also protect the rights of Americans. At the core of CAIR California’s purpose is the mission to protect civil liberties and civil rights.

At the time of publishing this report, the unknown outcome of 2016 became known, and the fears expressed both inside and outside of the Muslim American community became rational anxiety about the community’s future. As in prior years, increased reporting to the civil rights departments of our four California offices occurred during the calendar year of 2016. But, there has been no other time in American Muslim history like the present. The common struggles of prior years—combating employment discrimination, hate crime and hate incidents, travel bans, immigration delay, and school bullying, were still present in 2016, and will likely increase historically.

However, what was uniquely different was the intervention and solidarity of underserved and marginalized groups in America and their leadership, who have stood with us to defend against what can only be described as systemic and open bigotry towards the Muslim American community. The partnerships, allies, and friendships from our past years will be our greatest strength as we move deeper into 2017.

CAIR California’s Civil Rights Departments employ legal staff across its four offices located in the San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento, Los Angeles and San Diego. The civil rights team provides free legal services to many who report religious discrimination matters and provides immigration representation for nominal fees in the Los Angeles and San Diego offices.

This report is a dedication to the people who make our civil rights work possible—the clients and community advocates for change. As Clarence Darrow stated:

“As long as the world shall last there will be wrongs, and if no man objected and no man rebelled, those wrongs would last forever.”

Without CAIR California’s supporters, our core mission of equality and protecting the civil rights of Americans would not be possible.

Thank you.

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