This past month, your legal team at CAIR-SFBA continued dealing with the aftermath of the Muslim Ban decision while assisting individuals by providing direct legal services through immigration clinics and Know Your Rights workshops at mosques and community centers.
The month of August also marked the release of CAIR-California’s annual Civil Rights report, which focused on the state of civil rights for California’s sizeable Muslim community in the past year and analyzed the troublesome uptick in anti-Muslim incidents from the previous year. Most worryingly, the increase in bias incidents attributable to government authorized and sanctioned policies highlights the pressing need for targeted communities to be aware of their rights and use their enfranchisement powers (right to vote) to effect much needed-change.
The annual report revealed that as compared to 2016, CAIR-California offices statewide (in the San Francisco Bay Area, the Sacramento Valley area, the Greater Los Angeles area and in San Diego) revealed an 82 percent increase in reported incidents of religious-based discrimination, anti-Muslim bias incidents and immigration-related matters.
Amongst the 2,259 total incidents reported to our offices, there was a 503 percent increase in reported discriminatory treatment during travel from 2016 to 2017, driven primarily by the intentional discrimination encapsulated by the Muslim Ban. The number of immigration matters handled also increased significantly by 113 percent from 2016.
In 2017, CAIR-CA received the most incident reports in the following categories: immigration (44.9%), travel matters (17.1%), hate incidents or hate crime (8.7%), law enforcement interactions (8.3%), and employment discrimination (6.2%).
In order to proactively address these issues before they arise, CAIR-California also announced the release of its individualized guides to Islamic practices tailored specifically for healthcare providers, educators and employers to account for the interest garnered by individuals and institutions in better accommodating the needs of practicing Muslim Americans:
- The Healthcare Provider’s Guide to Islamic Religious Practices
- An Educator’s Guide to Islamic Religious Practices
- An Employer’s Guide to Islamic Religious Practices
The guides are made available in an accessible format for community members to share widely and freely with their respective healthcare service providers, educators and employers. If you find yourself or a loved one a target of discrimination and harassment at your workplace, at healthcare facilities and on school premises, please reach out to us through our incident report form. More generally, we recommend contacting our legal department at 408. 986.9874 for personalized legal consultations or reading through our Know Your Rights materials found on our website.
Ammad Rafiqi, Esq.
Civil Rights & Legal Services Coordinator