CAIR-WA receives ACLU-WA's 2013 'Civil Libertarian Award'

Read the full article, along with a list of other 2013 award recipients, on the ACLU-WA's site here:

At the dinner to receive the award were: Four-time Washington State Muslim Lobby Day organizer Mustafa Mohamedali, long-time event staffing volunteer Yusuf Hamid, Office Manager Jaidaa Abou-Ali, and Executive Director Arsalan Bukhari. The award was presented by ACLU-WA board member and attorney David Whedbee.

In the acceptance speech on behalf of CAIR-WA, Bukhari thanked the ACLU-WA for the honor, and noted that the award belongs to the numerous hard-working CAIR-WA volunteers statewide.  He also used the opportunity to remind the audience that much work remains to be done to oppose hate promotion and to decrease the record high anti-Muslim hate crimes nationwide.  

He noted that the FBI/State Dept. bus ads episode was not an isolated incident of bias promotion, and that events and rhetoric that promote bias results in hate attacks including beatings, killings and arsons targeting everyday people.  He cited the recent spikes in hate attacks against Muslims and those perceived to be Muslim, including the upcoming federal sentencing on Dec. 10, 2013 in the case of a Sikh cab driver who was viciously beaten in Auburn, WA by a man who called him a ‘terrorist’, and left the cab driver almost unconscious from the beating.

He mentioned that mainstream venues continue to provide platforms to anti-Muslim conspiracy theorists. Just recently, in October, 2013, the Washington State Holocaust Education Resource Center (WSHERC) invited the Government Affairs Director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a group with a 12-year track record of producing and promoting anti-Muslim propaganda as the key note speaker at its annual luncheon and refused to dis-invite the speaker even after being informed of the speaker’s organization’s work.

Bukhari informed the audience that the work of groups like the Wiesenthal Center and the mainstream acceptance of these groups, as evidenced by the WSHERC luncheon, lend mainstream credibility to their conspiracy theories and result in record high anti-Muslim hate crimes against fellow Americans.  He asked ACLU-WA members to “know Islamophobia when you see it. And when you know it and see it, call it out, and be true allies.”