- Published on Wednesday, 31 October 2012 22:52
- Written by CAIR-WA Staff
- Hits: 167
08/31/12 – General - A representative from a local Muslim community non-profit organization contacted CAIR-WA to ask for a referral to a pro-bono attorney to help with a legal matter involving an upcoming legal audit. When CAIR-WA contacted the man to provide such a referral, he informed us that he has already hired an attorney and will let us know if they need assistance in the future.
08/31/12 – Employment/Other - A Muslim woman reported to CAIR-WA that she was contacted by a former employer who had received an email from the district manager of their company about her. The email stated that a customer had contacted the company to report an employee with the woman's description having tried to sell their products to him/her outside of the store for half price. The woman vehemently denies doing this and is worried that someone is targeting her reputation to make her look bad. She has asked CAIR-WA to help her ensure that no retaliation takes place and that this person and/or incident do not jeopardize her current job. We are now in the process of requesting more information from the company regarding the complaint made against this woman.
08/3112 – Government Agency/ICE - An Albanian-born man was picked up by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers in October of 2011 and has only recently been released from detention. He has a case pending in the Court of Appeals and after dealing with the proceedings on his own up until now, called CAIR-WA for an attorney referral. We were able to refer the man to an immigration organization we have worked with in the past.
08/24/12 – Employment/Hire or Fire - A Muslim man working for a local security company was given a break during one of his shifts. He went to a secluded area and removed his shoes and over-shirt to pray. His supervisor approached him, said his conduct was unprofessional, and put him on suspension. Three days later the man was terminated. After contacting the corporate office, he was re-hired and told he was getting a "second chance." A white, non-Muslim co-worker who had been working the same shift was not reprimanded when he broke specific professional conduct rules at around the same time. The Muslim man has now been terminated again for breaking conduct after not receiving proper training at a different post, which he believes he was purposefully set up to do. He contacted CAIR-WA about his situation and we are in the process of sending a letter of complaint to the company on his behalf. In addition, given the seriousness of the case, CAIR-WA referred the man to several possible attorneys.
08/22/12 – Government Agency/Other - A Muslim man and his wife lost their child care business when the wife's ex-husband said that she and her current husband had burned their child. When Child Protective Services (CPS) conducted an investigation they did not find anything wrong with the couple's conduct. The man and wife contacted CAIR-WA to express their desire to file charges against CPS for ruining their business and almost causing them to lose their house. We provided them with a referral to an attorney with whom we have worked in the past.
08/22/12 – Public Accomodation - A Muslim woman contacted CAIR-WA for advice on how to terminate her relationship with an attorney. She has been working with the attorney since January of this year on an auto accident case she was involved in, but the attorney has been non-communicative and difficult to work with from the beginning. In addition to terminating the relationship, the woman wanted to request back her documents. CAIR-WA was able to advise the woman on how to proceed and provided her with the appropriate language to use in her request with the attorney.
08/21/12 – Criminal offense/Against Property - At 2:00AM, a Muslim man inside a Vancouver, WA mosque heard a loud noise and discovered that someone had broken a glass window of the mosque. He found the man who was responsible and asked why he had done it. The man replied "My dad is a marine, we hate Iraqis. We don't want you here, we hate Muslims." The man called the police and was able to hold him until they arrived. The perpetrator was arrested on charges of vandalism, but the report said nothing about hate speech. The Muslim man wants more serious charges brought against him. CAIR-WA has requested the police report and will be working to ensure that all possible forms of redress are pursued.
08/21/12 – Child custody - Muslim woman called on behalf of her incarcerated son who has a child custody case. Since CAIR-WA does not have attorneys on staff, we have referred her to an attorney with whom we have worked in the past.
08/18/12 – Employment/Hire or Fire - CAIR-WA received an email from a Muslim woman complaining about being unable to get a job because of her hijab. We are in the process of trying to contact the woman to gain more details on her situation and determine what we can do to help.
08/18/12 – Criminal Offense/Against Property - A Muslim man and his two daughters, both of whom wear hijab, were driving in their car on a street in West Seattle when another vehicle pulled up next to them. The driver of the other car leaned out his window, flipped off the eldest daughter, spit on the car and started yelling offensive remarks. The driver followed the family in their car for a while and continued yelling and spitting. The man was able to get a license plate number for the vehicle and brought his report to CAIR-WA. We have reported the incident to the King County Sheriff's Office and are awaiting the results of their investigation.
08/17/12 – Employment/Hire or Fire - A Muslim woman's schedule at work was changed without notice. When she showed up as originally scheduled, she was told that she had missed an entire day of work the previous day and was sent home. She was called in the next morning and fired because she "did not respect the schedule" her supervisor had made. This same employee has also experienced ongoing general harassment for being a Muslim at her workplace from both co-workers and supervisors since beginning to work there. She contacted CAIR-WA about this case, and we are in the process of working with her to find a means of suitable redress.
08/16/12 – Government Agency/FBI - A man who is an American citizen living and working in Qatar submitted a complaint to CAIR-WA through our website. The complaint gave details about a case he wishes to bring against the US Embassy in Qatar, the Department of Homeland Security, and the FBI. He wishes to charge these institutions for having him arrested on false allegations, attempting to have him barred from all the Gulf Cooperation Countries, for preventing him from returning to the United States, and for racial and religious discrimination. CAIR-WA referred the man to CAIR's National office, whose attorneys are most acquainted with processing "no fly" cases.
08/16/12 – Hate mail/Hate phone calls - CAIR-WA received an envelope in the mail that had a school district's letterhead printed on it. Inside the envelope was a white, folded piece of paper. The page was blank except for the word "Stopped." written in a small font on the top, and a smiley face drawn with what appears to be grease in the middle. CAIR-WA contacted the school district and determined that it was impossible to know whether the envelope had been sent by a school employee or not. There were no reports of similar envelopes being received by other offices and/or organizations.
08/16/12 – Public Accomodation - A woman contacted CAIR-WA via our website to report that since marrying a man with an Arab/Muslim name and beginning to wear hijab, her apartment manager has begun performing excessive, unexplained apartment inspections. After several attempts, CAIR-WA finally got ahold of the woman who explained that there was no need to go forward with her complaint since the harassment had resulted in her family deciding to move.
08/14/12 – Employment/Hire or Fire - A Muslim man contacted CAIR-WA to report that when he originally applied for a job with a local security company, the hiring manager had told him that he could not wear a beard. He did not request religious accommodations in this meeting. CAIR-WA contacted and spoke with the hiring manager on his behalf, who assured us that if the man wears his beard for religious purposes then it is allowed. CAIR-WA informed the man of his rights to request religious accommodation and we are waiting to hear the results of his interview.
08/09/12 – Public Accomodation - It was reported to CAIR-WA that a Muslim man who brought his son to see a doctor several years ago had been refused service by the doctor based on their religious affiliation. CAIR-WA has only just heard of this case and because of the time that has lapsed we were unable to take action, but we have documented the incident in case other issues should arise in the future.
08/09/12 – Prison - A Washington inmate wrote to CAIR-WA asking for assistance with a pending administrative review as well as finding a job and/or educational opportunity to help make his life more meaningful. CAIR-WA wrote a letter in response, and gave the man several legal aid referrals for assistance with his administrative review. We also provided information on scholarships and opportunities that may be available to him while he is still incarcerated, and encouraged him to pursue any that he found of interest.
08/09/12 – Public Accomodation - A Muslim woman contacted CAIR-WA to report that her wages had been garnished after she was unable to pay an emergency room bill for some time. She stated that the total amount taken had included interest, which would go against her beliefs to pay. Since CAIR-WA does not have an attorney on staff and the situation was beyond the scope of our mission and expertise, we provided the woman with a referral to several legal organizations who we have successfully worked with in the past.
08/07/12 – Prison - Several inmates from a Washington state prison sent letters to CAIR-WA to lodge complaints about the lack of religious accommodations being made by their chaplains, especially for their Eid Al-fitr celebration. In response to these and several similar complaints, CAIR-WA set an agenda for a meeting with the head of the Department of Corrections' Religious Programs. Though CAIR-WA's ability to help things run smoothly inside correctional facilities is limited, we are very eager to assist with any civil rights violations and/or cases of discrimination that occur in these facilities, and based on a number of past successes, are confident in our ability to secure these accommodations for our clients.
08/04/12 – Hate mail/Hate phone calls - A Muslim man contacted CAIR-WA to report an ongoing case of online harassment against him and several others. After reviewing the case, CAIR-WA came to the conclusion that the correspondence between individuals online is protected by the First Amendment and we were therefore unable to take action on the case. CAIR-WA encouraged the man to block contact with offending parties and advised him to contact the police and CAIR-WA if he ever receives any actual threats.
08/03/12 – Child custody - CAIR-WA was contacted by a Muslim couple whose infant son was taken from their custody. The child had been rushed to the hospital for injuries acquired by falling when he tried to walk, but the doctors believed that he was shaken and/or abused instead and turned him over to a case worker with the state. The state has now also taken the couple's second child, who was born about 3 months ago. Since this is a legal matter, CAIR-WA advised the couple to work with their state-appointed attorneys, and is monitoring the case.
08/03/12 – Government Agency/Other - CAIR-WA was contacted by a Muslim man who had suffered a severe car accident with his wife in February of this year, during which his head was severely injured and his wife's back had been broken. The couple had full insurance coverage at the time. Initially they were told that they would be given $110,000 in compensation for their injuries and medical bills, but were contacted a month later by the insurer and informed that they would no longer receive any compensation. The couple acquired an attorney, after which the insurance company offered partial compensation but have still not followed through on their word. CAIR-WA referred the couple to the King County Bar Association's Lawyer Referral Service, through which they received an attorney. CAIR-WA arranged an interpreter for the man during his attorney consultation.
08/03/12 – Employment/Hire or Fire - A Muslim woman living in Boston, Massachusetts contacted CAIR-WA to report that she had been unfairly fired from her job, where she had worked for over four years. The woman had gone to work during her normal hours but was unable to check in to log her hours on the computer. As a result, she was unexpectedly fired and deleted from the system, then told not to come in for work. A co-worker of hers said that he was told she had "called in sick". Since the woman lives closer to the Washington, D.C. branch of CAIR and they would more likely be familiar with local employment laws, CAIR-WA referred her case to the Civil Rights Department at CAIR's Washington DC office.
08/02/12 – Employment/Hire or Fire - It was reported to CAIR-WA by a Muslim man in northern Washington that he had been unfairly terminated from his workplace. During his 11 years of employment, the man was harassed for being Muslim by both supervisors and co-workers. In addition, he was written up twice in one week for returning one minute late from a break during which he had been praying. He was then put on probation, during which he did not receive full pay and was never given back-pay. On July 31st of this year he called in to work and was given permission to show up late the next day because of a doctor's appointment. When he showed up as expected, he was given a 24 hour suspension for being late. The next morning he was called and told he had been fired. CAIR-WA wrote a letter of complaint to the company on his behalf, and the company responded firmly denying all accusations and requests for redress. CAIR-WA referred the man to an employment attorney to take more aggressive legal action and will continue to monitor the case.
08/01/12 – Government Agency/FBI - A Muslim woman reported to CAIR-WA that an FBI agent visited her home and asked to speak with her brother, who was not present. The agent said that he would return the next day to question the brother. CAIR-WA gave the woman basic advice about FBI interviews and provided her with a referral to a pro bono attorney and will continue to monitor the case.
- Published on Tuesday, 02 October 2012 20:31
- Written by CAIR-WA Staff
- Hits: 229
04/26/12 - Government Agency/USCIS - A Muslim man contacted CAIR-WA regarding his application for permanent residency for his children, which was denied. CAIR-WA met with the man to review his paperwork. Since the case was complex, involves immigration and didn't appear to be a civil rights case, CAIR-WA referred the man to several immigration clinics and non-profits for assistance.
04/25/12 - School/Other - A Muslim man and University of Washington student was enrolled in a Biology class which had exams every other Friday afternoon. The student had to choose between attending Friday prayers or taking his exams. After requesting accommodations and being denied, the student contacted CAIR-WA and CAIR-WA sent a complaint letter to the school. The school responded stating that the issue had been resolved and the man reported that he was being provided with an alternative exam time so he could attend Friday prayers. The case is considered a great success and a landmark for future cases of accommodations in schools.
04/25/12 - School/Bullying- A Muslim woman and mother of a high school student contacted CAIR-WA regarding a bullying incident involving her daughter. The woman's daughter was bullied by a student who called her a terrorist. In addition, one of the daughter's teachers made fun of her on several occasions in front of the entire class. The daughter met with her counselor, the teacher, and a security guard who witnessed the events. CAIR-WA met with the mother and daughter to discuss the case and what CAIR-WA can do to help. The daughter is not interested in CAIR-WA's involvement at this time, but will keep CAIR-WA updated on her case.
04/25/12 - Employment/Hire or Fire - Three weeks after beginning a new job, a Muslim woman received a reduction in hours and her status was reduced to part-time. The woman received fewer and fewer shifts despite stating that she wanted more shifts, until she was eventually placed on call. Even still, the woman was not called for shifts and the company continued to hire new employees. CAIR-WA sent a letter of complaint to the company. After receiving the letter, the company placed the woman back on a part-time schedule. CAIR-WA is currently drafting the second letter to the company with further requests.
04/25/12 - Employment/Other - A Muslim man and employee of American Medical Response contacted CAIR-WA regarding adequate accommodations to observe modesty. The man's working conditions had recently changed, requiring him to live with other men and woman for up to 12 hours in a single room. The man reported that there was no room for prayer or privacy for him to change clothes. CAIR-WA received the man's complaint through the online discrimination report form and contacted that man several times without reaching him.
04/25/12 - Prison- After being denied accommodations for Maghrib prayer for one month, a Muslim man incarcerated at Airway Heights Corrections Center contacted CAIR-WA for help. The man has an educational program during the evenings and is not allowed to take a brief break for prayer. After receiving the man's letter, CAIR-WA wrote him asking for more details. With these details, CAIR-WA contacted the head of Religious Programs in the Department of Corrections, who addressed the issue with the facility Chaplain. The Chaplain educated the facility staff about the importance of prayer and the man is now allowed to take a break for prayer during his class.
04/19/12 - General - A Muslim man contacted CAIR-WA requesting a referral to an attorney who handles malpractice cases. The man believes he was a victim of medical malpractice. CAIR-WA referred the man to two attorneys who work in the area of malpractice.
04/17/12 - Government Agency/ICE - After being followed by an ICE agent on the freeway, and approached by another in a Starbucks, a Muslim man contacted CAIR-WA. The man believes that ICE may be following him as part of an investigation into a possible prostitution ring at the school where he works. CAIR-WA has documented the case and is waiting for a call from the man for more information.
04/17/12 - Public Accommodation - A Muslim woman and active community member was kicked out of a Republican Central Committee meeting in Oregon at the request of one of the candidates. The woman was not causing a disturbance and was kicked out before the meeting began, during the networking session. The woman reported several incidents in which she was kicked out of or excluded from events and forums with the Republican Party though she fully supports the party platform. After reporting the case to CAIR-WA, to woman met with the Oregon Republican Party chair and voiced her concerns. Currently, the woman does not want CAIR-WA to take action as her complaints have been resolved.
04/16/12 - Employment/Harrassment - A Muslim man contacted CAIR-WA after receiving a notice of right to sue from EEOC for a workplace incident. The man's supervisor told a moving company to "pack him up and send him back to Iraq." When the man complained about the incident to HR, he was bullied by his supervisor and told that he could not understand the joke. Frustrated, the man quit his job and filed a complaint with EEOC. He wants an attorney to file a lawsuit against his former company. CAIR-WA referred the man to several employment attorneys.
04/16/12 - Government Agency/Police - While working at his son's company which purchases damaged electronics, a Muslim man was arrested for buying stolen computers. The man claims he only purchased computers which were broken beyond repair. All evidence was confiscated, including $30,000 cash, from the man's home. All computers were eventually returned, but the cash was not. The man wants an attorney to assist him in his $450,000 tort claim against the Seattle Police Department and to expunge the charges from his record. CAIR-WA referred the man to an attorney who agreed to negotiate on his behalf for the tort claim.
04/13/12 - Employment/Harrassment - A Muslim woman contacted CAIR-WA because she was being harassed at work about her headscarf, such as being asked, "Do you really have to wear that?" and told that she does not look professional. When addressing these concerns with her supervisor, the woman was written up for "complaining too much." The woman is afraid to ask for prayer breaks because her workplace environment is already hostile. CAIR-WA advised the woman to address the issue with Human Resources, and a meeting was arranged. The woman called to report that her workplace situation had already improved and she was going to be allowed breaks for prayer.
04/12/12 - Criminal Offense/Against Person - Two Muslim high school girls were walking home from school when a man tried to run over them with his car. The man made religious slurs and told the girls to go back to their country. After missing the girls once, the man backed up and tried to run over them again. The girls called the police who arrived at the scene to take a report. The case was reported to CAIR-WA for documentation only.
04/12/12 - Prison - The wife of a Muslim man incarcerated at Coyote Ridge Corrections Center recently converted to Islam and began wearing a headscarf. The woman called CAIR-WA to report increased scrutiny during security clearance at the prison when she visited her husband. On every occasion, the woman was asked to remove her headscarf publicly, in the waiting room, and was closely monitored during her visit. CAIR-WA wrote a complaint letter to the Department of Corrections requesting a policy change to reflect the inappropriateness of requiring a Muslim woman to remove her headscarf publicly. The final draft is under review and will be sent soon.
04/12/12 - Employment/Hire or Fire - A Muslim woman began working at a hospital laboratory in 2007 and received very positive performance reviews. Several years later, in 2011, she decided to begin wearing a headscarf and her performance reviews and relationships with supervisors and coworkers began to rapidly decline. At one point, the woman complained to Human Resources about a comment from a coworker about her headscarf, and she was scolded by her supervisor for reporting it to HR. The woman contacted CAIR-WA after being terminated from her position. In the termination letter, the woman's supervisor lists several mistakes which the woman states were equivalent to or less severe than mistakes made by her coworkers. CAIR-WA assisted the woman in filing a complaint with Seattle Office for Civil Rights and referred to a legal clinic for advice regarding the separation agreement she was offered.
04/12/12 - Employment/Hire or Fire - After being hired with a security company, a Muslim man was assigned to work at a liquor store. The man told his supervisor that he needed to check with a religious authority to see if he was permitted to work at a liquor store. After consulting his sheikh, the man informed his supervisor that he could not work at a liquor store. The man was removed from the schedule and told that there was nothing else available. A manager told the man that if he couldn't work at a liquor store, he couldn't work from them. Though the man was not formally terminated, he has not been placed back on the schedule since. The manager's reaction was contrary to the staff that hired the man, who told him he could be accommodated if there were certain sites where he could not work for religious reasons. CAIR-WA drafted a letter of complaint to the company requesting company-wide training. Currently, the letter is under review by the complainant.
04/11/12 - Employment/Hire or Fire - During the six years that a Muslim man worked with a property management company, he was subjected to disproportionate criticism, scrutiny, and blamed for mistakes his coworkers had made. On one occasion, the man's direct supervisor chastised him for being "grumpy and tired" since he was fasting. The man was terminated after being accused of stealing property from his company. The property he was accused of stealing, however, is his personal property. CAIR-WA sent a letter of complaint to the management company and assisted the man in completing and filing his complaint with EEOC.
04/11/12 - Employment/Harrassment - A Muslim woman works as a Bilingual Instructional Assistant (BIA) with Somali students in a Seattle elementary school. The woman contacted CAIR-WA after receiving a very negative performance evaluation which was left out in the staff break room, the culmination of an increasingly hostile work environment. The poor treatment from her supervisor matches what this woman has observed at her school: BIAs, who are largely foreign-born, are treated very poorly. CAIR-WA advised the woman to contact Human Resources and her union representative, and a meeting has been scheduled.
04/10/12 - Public Accomodation - While searching for the FBI offices in downtown Seattle, a Muslim man and participant in the FBI Citizen's Academy arrived at the Jackson Federal Building, mere blocks away from his destination. The man was denied entry to the building and stood outside asking for directions to the correct building. The security guards eventually allowed the man to step inside but one officer kept his hand on his gun during their entire conversation. The man was quickly escorted out of the building after determining that he was in the wrong location and told to look up the FBI office in a phone book. The man missed his Citizen's Academy class and suspects he may have been treated suspiciously since he was wearing a kufi. CAIR-WA sent a letter of complaint to the security company regarding their treatment of the man and is awaiting the response.
04/09/12 - School- A Muslim student at the University of Washington contacted CAIR-WA to report a strange encounter with a recent convert on campus. The convert started saying violent things about Islam and was talking about killing people. The complainant reported the case to the FBI and received a case number.
04/05/12 - - Two board members from the Ethiopian Muslim Association of Seattle contacted CAIR to review a property agreement proposed by the City of Seatac for a building they recently purchased and want to use as a community center. According to the agreement, the property is specifically forbidden to be called a mosque, yet they are allowed to hold religious events and services. CAIR-WA referred the board members to a legal hotline for questions about the legality of the property agreement.
04/04/12 - Public Accommodation - A Muslim man is subletting an office space for his business, which sells new and refurbished electronics. Recently, the building suffered severe water damage due to leaks in the roof and it damaged most of the man's electronic equipment. The man approached the property manager who was unwilling to replace the damaged goods or pay for the cost of repairing the roof. The property is home to several Somali businesses and the man believes the property manager is preying on Somali immigrants with illegal rental practices. CAIR-WA requested a copy of the sublease agreement and the original lease agreement to review. The man is currently collecting these documents.
04/04/12 - Employment/Hire or Fire - While working at an organization for four years, a Muslim man experienced multiple problems with his supervisor. The man was asked to cook pork at work and, when he refused, was scolded by his supervisor. The man received very poor reviews from his supervisor and his hours were greatly reduced. When the man asked to address his concerns with his supervisor, he was told to do so at the staff meetings, which were moved to a time when he could not attend. The man was eventually suspended from his job and quit due to frustration. CAIR-WA is awaiting details and evidence from the man before drafting a complaint letter to the company.
04/04/12 - Employment/Hire or Fire - A Muslim man in Utah worked at a US Army base for several years. After taking a sick day, the man was accused of placing a suspicious package in the warehouse to harm his coworkers. Though there was no evidence, the man was terminated. The man has an attorney but contacted CAIR-WA to request assistance with the discrimination portion of his complaint. CAIR-WA referred the man to several discrimination attorneys in Utah.
04/04/12 - Employment/Hire or Fire- After taking an extended maternity leave, a Muslim woman returned to work and was placed on the graveyard shift. Though other shifts are available and the woman has seniority over other employees, she was told that the graveyard shift is the only option available to her if she wants to keep her job. The woman's husband contacted CAIR-WA five days before her schedule was due to change, and CAIR-WA drafted a complaint letter to the woman's company. The woman believes the company is limiting the options available to her to pressure her to quit because she is Somali, Muslim, and recently took a pregnancy leave. CAIR-WA is waiting for the woman to review the complaint letter before sending it.
04/04/12 - Public Accommodation - A Muslim man contacted CAIR-WA for assistance with the low-income housing complex in which he lives. The complainant reported that the housing management is trying to kick him out of the housing complex and he believes the efforts are racially and religiously motivated. CAIR-WA contacted the man several times to schedule intake and has not yet heard a response.
04/02/12 - Government Agency/FBI- After FBI agents visited his home asking to speak to his father, a Muslim man contacted CAIR-WA for assistance. The man's father does not speak English, but the FBI agent told the man he needed to speak with his father about another person's visa application. CAIR-WA referred the man to several attorneys who have offered to complete a 30-minute FBI interview pro bono. CAIR-WA has followed up with the man for an update and is awaiting his response.
03/29/12 - Employment/Hire or Fire - While washing his face in the restroom sink, a Muslim man was approached by a coworker who told him not to wash his face in the sink. As the complainant's coworker was leaving the restroom, he punched the complainant in the tailbone. The complainant followed his coworker to his desk and said: "Don't ever do that again." The following Monday, the complainant was sent home from work during an investigation of the incident. One week later, the complainant was fired for allegedly threatening the coworker. The complainant contacted CAIR-WA because he feels the investigation was biased and unfair by relying largely on written testimony (the man is not proficient in written English). CAIR-WA sent a complaint letter to the company and assisted the man in reporting his case to Seattle Office for Civil Rights (SOCR). The case is currently under investigation by SOCR.
03/29/12 - School/Other - A Muslim woman from Washington State went to the East Coast for a medical school interview. In one of these interviews, a faculty member questioned the woman almost exclusively about her ethnic background and religious and political beliefs. The questions were inappropriate, irrelevant, and vulgar. After returning to Washington, the woman sent a complaint to the university requesting a written apology and reimbursement of all her travel expenses. The university has agreed to reimburse the complainant if she signs a general release of claims. CAIR-WA drafted a complaint letter to the university and offered to mobilize the community to demand the termination of the involved faculty member. However, the woman requested that CAIR-WA take no action on her case currently as she is concerned it may impact her other medical school applications.
03/26/12 - School/Other- Following allegations of anti-Somali discrimination against the Tukwila School District Superintendent, CAIR-WA contacted a Muslim woman who had posted several statements on her facebook page about the pending investigation of the Superintendent. The complainant agreed to put Somali families in contact with CAIR-WA to document their experiences with discrimination in the Tukwila School District. CAIR-WA has followed up with the woman several times and is still waiting for a response and/or contact from these families.
03/23/12 - Prison - On behalf of her husband who is incarcerated in Washington State Penitentiary, a Muslim woman contacted CAIR-WA to request resources, study materials, donations, and mentorship support. CAIR-WA sent a letter to the woman's husband introducing CAIR and inquiring about the religious accommodations and resources he is currently provided. CAIR-WA connected the man's wife with two Muslim men who volunteer with incarcerated Muslims.
03/21/12 - General - While shopping in a Vietnamese grocery store in Seattle, a Muslim man found a product labeled halal that also had a "pork" label in Vietnamese. The man reported the product to CAIR-WA and dropped off the product at the CAIR-WA office. CAIR-WA wrote a letter of complaint to the company that certified the product as halal, but the company responded and said they did not certify that product and the label did not match their halal certificate. After further investigation, it was discovered that the product did not have any pork but had artificial pork flavor. CAIR-WA is currently researching the company that makes the product, about which very little information is available.
03/21/12 - Employment/Harrasment - A Muslim man was the victim of racist and degrading remarks from a co-worker. The complaint reported these comments to his supervisor and manager and was instructed to go to Human Resources. After Human Resources investigated the coworker, the complainant was told that he needed to get along with his coworker and was asked to either work in the same area as the coworker. The man quit his job and was not granted any unemployment benefits. CAIR-WA has drafted a complaint letter to the complainant's former company and is awaiting a response from the complainant.
03/20/12 - Employment/Prayer - A Muslim man was not consistently provided with time off on Fridays for congregational prayer. After attending CAIR-WA's Community Action Training, the man contacted his Human Resources representative and requested consistent accommodations for Fridays. The complainant was told he would be transferred to a new position that would allow him to leave early on Fridays, but he would be compensated equally. CAIR-WA followed up with the man after discussing his case at the training, and he reported that his case was resolved.
03/16/12 - General - A Muslim man contacted CAIR-WA regarding his current divorce case. The attorney of the man's ex-wife is using verses from the Qur'an out of context to argue that the Qur'an states it is okay for a man to beat his wife and thus, the man beat his wife as a devout Muslim. The complainant has a divorce attorney and cannot afford another attorney for a discrimination case. CAIR-WA contacted the man's divorce attorney and provided an expert witness to testify at the hearing.
03/14/12 - Employment/Other- A Muslim man has worked at Swedish Medical Center for four years. The complainant was laid off in 2011 and transferred to another department. Despite receiving several positive daily evaluations from his trainers and supervisors, he received a very negative performance evaluation in March of this year, after only four weeks in his new position. The complainant is concerned that the negative performance evaluation is going to be used to fire him. CAIR-WA sent a complaint letter to Swedish Medical Center requesting clarification about the discrepancy between the man's daily evaluations and performance review. After a brief response from Swedish, CAIR-WA responded requesting more information about the complainant's employment. CAIR-WA is currently awaiting the response from Swedish.
03/14/12 - Employment/Other - A college professor in Idaho contacted CAIR-WA for advice regarding an increasingly hostile work environment. The complainant has reported her case to the Idaho Human Rights Commission but she has few witnesses and little community support. CAIR-WA assisted the woman in preparing and reviewing her complaint with the EEOC. Currently the woman is preparing to file with EEOC to request an investigation. Given the lack of community support, the complainant did not want CAIR-WA to send a complaint letter to the school directly.
03/13/12 - Prison - A Muslim man incarcerated at Airway Heights Corrections Center contacted CAIR-WA regarding lack of adequate religious accommodations at Pierce County Jail, where he was previously incarcerated. CAIR-WA provided the man with information about the current lawsuit against Pierce County Jail and inquired into the accommodations afforded him at his new facility.
03/13/12 – General – A Muslim woman volunteers at the Evergreen Public Library answering questions about the religion of Islam. Recently, she was informed that there may be a video of her volunteering that was taken by library staff. The woman contacted CAIR-WA as she had not signed a media waiver and is concerned about the library's filming policies. CAIR-WA sent a letter to the library indicating that she did not consent to being filmed and would like any existing films to be destroyed. The library responded that no such films existed and the library does not have filming equipment. The video may have been taken by an individual, and the complainant was encouraged to discuss future concerns with library staff.
03/12/12 – Employment/Harassment – After three years of harassment in the workplace, a Muslim man contacted CAIR-WA to report discriminatory actions taken by his supervisor. In addition to being accused for things he did not do, such as injuring another employee and scratching a car in the parking lot, the complainant was consistently denied opportunities for overtime from which his peers benefited. The complainant's annual review is scheduled for June 2012 and he believes he supervisor may try to give him a very negative review and fire him. At the complainant's request, CAIR-WA documented the case and will follow up in June.
03/12/12 – Child Custody – A Muslim man is facing domestic violence charges and his ex-wife is trying to restrict his visitation with their son. The attorney representing the man's ex-wife is using the man's facebook page, a poem he wrote about his son, and verses from the Qur'an to argue that the man is dangerous to his son. The man believes he is the victim of a biased trial that is relying on negative and violent stereotypes about Muslim men. CAIR-WA referred the man to the Middle East Legal Association (MELAW) for legal advice.
03/02/12 – General – A Muslim man spotted an offensive anti-Islam book in the Lake Hills branch library in Bellevue, WA and emailed CAIR-WA to report it. The book was not featured or on display but the man is concerned that the library carries a disproportionately high number of anti-Muslim books when it does not carry similar content about other minority groups. The man contacted CAIR-WA to recommend balanced books to the King County Library System and learn more about how materials for library catalogs are acquired. CAIR-WA arranged a meeting with the Diversity Coordinator, Director of Public Services, and Manager of Selection and Order at King County Library System, and invited the complainant to attend, as well as past complainants who contacted CAIR-WA with library-related issues. The library staff explained the process for acquiring and cataloging books. Moving forward, King County Library System has requested CAIR-WA's assistance with reviewing various diversity materials as well as providing speakers for panels and trainings involving library staff.
- Published on Tuesday, 02 October 2012 20:39
- Written by CAIR-WA Staff
- Hits: 247
04/06/11 – General - Employment/Prayer A Muslim man has been working at his job for 18 years and recently requested an extra hour off for Friday prayer, but has been continually denied by his employer. CAIR-WA is working with the man and advising him of his options.
04/04/11 – Public Accomodation - A Muslim man has been living in an Everett public housing facility for the past 7 years. He received a termination letter last week and believes that his family is being asked to leave on discriminatory grounds. He has had past issues with the neighbors regarding noise complaints. CAIR-WA is closely monitoring the situation and will take whatever action is deemed necessary.
03/25/11 Government Agency/USCIS Other - A woman in Portland, Oregon emailed CAIR-WA office to report that a Kenyan-American family living in Portland on a medical visa was going to be deported. Family has 2 sons with a rare medical disorder and the boys are receiving free care at Portland hospital until they are 21 years old. If the family is deported, the sons will not be able to receive the medical care they need. The family received an extension on the visa.03/22/11 Government Agency/USCIS Other Naturalization - A Muslim man called on behalf of a Somali-American man who has been in immigration hearings for several months and has his final hearing on May 6, 2011. The man needs an attorney or consultation but has very low income. CAIR-WA helped refer him to the appropriate legal service.
03/21/11 Child Custody - A Muslim man contacted CAIR-WA for an attorney consultation re: family matters in North Carolina. He came to US in 2001 with his daughters, who are now living with his ex-wife. His daughters are applying for US Passports and need his signature to do so. He wants to know what his rights and responsibilities are with his daughters. CAIR-WA referred him to the appropriate legal service.
03/21/11 Child Custody - A Muslim man from Vancouver, WA contacted CAIR-WA about a child custody case between his wife (a Muslim) and her ex-husband who is not a Muslim. The ex-husband allegedly made false claims about the man and his wife, about Islam, and about the safety of their daughters under their care. The Muslim man also feels that the state-appointed guardian ad litem has been discriminating against the man and his wife. He is looking for assistance in the child custody case, since he feels he and his wife are being portrayed as radical Muslims. CAIR-WA is closely monitoring the situation and will take whatever action is deemed necessary.
03/18/11 Employment/Other - A Muslim man from Seattle was interviewed for a position as a security guard with a local company and attended an orientation where he was issued a uniform and registration card and completed all paperwork for employment. He was told to attend a CPR class but when he arrived for the class he was told he was not on the list. He reported to the main office on Monday and was told that he had not been selected for the job, and was asked to turn in his uniform. He was given no reason for not being hired and suspects it may be due to racial or religious discrimination. CAIR-WA is closely monitoring the situation and will take whatever action is deemed necessary.
03/17/11 School - A Muslim political science student at a university in British Columbia contacted CAIR-WA regarding a professor who made hateful, bigoted, Islamophobic comments about Muslims/Arabs every class period. He asked for a template letter to follow to contact the head of the political science department about the professor and requested other tips. CAIR-WA advised the student on the options available.
03/17/11 Child Custody - A Muslim man contacted CAIR-WA seeking an attorney referral for a child custody case. The man's ex-wife is not Muslim and man feels he is being painted as a Muslim extremist by ex-wife and estranged parents. He requested a Muslim lawyer who could help, as the man claims his current lawyer does not know how to handle the situation. CAIR-WA advised him of his legal options and referred him to the appropriate legal service.
03/15/11 Public Accomodation - A Muslim man from Bellevue, WA was at a mall in 2009 and on two separate occasions was followed by security officers and told that he matched the description of a shoplifting suspect. He pursued the issue with the mall management who offered no support or remedy. Management defended the actions of the security guards and stated that a store had called security regarding a suspected shoplifter. He spoke with the store manager who said there was no record of such a call. CAIR-WA will contact the businesses involved to resolve the matter.
03/13/11 Public Accomodation - A Muslim woman from Seattle was at a Subway sandwich shop and was rung up by a worker who began questioning the woman about her hijab, made many false statements about Islam, and proceeded to mock the way Muslims pray. The Muslim woman tried to explain Islam and correct the worker but eventually left. She states that other people were present but no one said anything. CAIR-WA is in communication with the business to resolve the matter.
03/13/11 Government Agency/USCIS Other - A Muslim man was living in US since 1997 on a H1B work visa and filed for permanent residency in 2002. After processing his permanent residency request for six years, he was denied. He was approved for green card, and while waiting to receive it, traveled to Canada. The man inquired into traveling without a green card and into which identification he should take. When he went to Canada, he was forbidden to return to the US and treated like a criminal in the BC airport. He has filed all paperwork with USCIS and received no response. He is currently in Cairo, Egypt. CAIR-WA is assisting the man contact the relevant authorities.
03/08/11 Employment/Other - A Muslim man had scheduling issues with his supervisor who did not communicate man's schedule clearly. Further, he felt that he was treated in a discriminatory manner due to his race and religion. When several employees were a couple minutes late after lunch, the supervisor refused to sign only the man's timecard, not anyone else's. CAIR-WA is closely monitoring the situation and will take whatever action is deemed necessary.
03/7/11 Airport Profiling/Airline - Three Muslim men from Seattle purchased airline tickets online to travel to Cleveland, Ohio for a funeral. When the men arrived at the United Airlines front desk, they were not permitted to continue to security. The men were asked if they were planning on committing terrorist activity. When the men questioned why they were being asked such questions, they were told that it was due to their Muslim names and Somali national origin. The men were questioned by officers and not permitted to travel to Cleveland. United Airlines refunded the flight to Cleveland, but not the return flight. CAIR-WA filed a complaint with the Port of Seattle and Department of Homeland Security, and is closely monitoring the situation.
03/06/11 General - A Muslim man contacted CAIR-WA seeking an attorney for legal help. CAIR-WA staff spoke with the man to gather details of the case, but the man did not want to disclose any details of the case or his identity. CAIR-WA referred the man to a legal hotline for assistance with his case.
03/02/11 Employment/Other - A Muslim man from Provo, Utah contacted CAIR-WA regarding alleged employment discrimination at the Utah State Mental Hospital. The man was employed for a temporary position and applied for a permanent position 25 times but was denied 25 times. The man claims he is more qualified than the other applicants and feels he was denied a permanent position due to his race and religion. The man also experienced a hostile work environment, in which he was regularly followed and harassed. Though the man reported the case to the Utah Labor Division, the case was dismissed. CAIR-WA filed complaint letters on his behalf.
03/02/11 Employment/Other - A Muslim man from Tukwila, WA contacted CAIR-WA for advice on an employment issue. He has been working as a janitor at a downtown Seattle apartment complex since August and feels that he has been unfairly treated. Among others, several issues he relayed was that he never received a W-9 form after requesting one in August, and the owner of the complex fired him on February 28th saying that he had too many people working in the building with him even though the only person he had come in to help was his wife, who was not getting paid to help. CAIR-WA advised him of his legal options and referred him to an appropriate legal service.
- Published on Tuesday, 02 October 2012 20:28
- Written by CAIR-WA Staff
- Hits: 257
05/31/12 – General - A man contacted CAIR-WA for legal assistance regarding an ongoing legal battle in which he is currently trying to appeal the court's decision because he believes the trial was biased. CAIR-WA referred the man out to a legal clinic for assistance.
05/29/12 – Public Accomodation - After taking out a loan for tutoring for his children, a man believes he was subjected to predatory lending practices. The man received assistance in filing a complaint against the tutoring company, and they offered to compensate him with free tutoring hours. The man says his children did not benefit from the tutoring and he feels he was subjected to predatory lending practices because he is an immigrant. Concerned about his credit, the man contacted CAIR-WA to report the case and ensure that his case with the tutoring company was closed. CAIR-WA assisted the man in applying for a free credit report and documented the incident.
05/29/12 – Criminal Offense against Person - A Somali-American man in Auburn was attacked by five white men while walking to a convenience store at night. The men attacked him verbally, allegedly using racial slurs, and physically, wounding him severely and stealing his wallet. After the attackers fled the scene, the man walked to the convenience store where the clerk called the police. The man alleges that the police report is not accurate or detailed. The man was taken to the emergency room for medical attention, but he waited for several hours before being treated. He feels that the police and the emergency room staff did not treat him with the seriousness his case deserved. CAIR-WA is working with the man to investigate the case further and possibly send complaints to the police department and the hospital.
05/29/12 – General - A man contacted CAIR-WA on behalf of a friend who was recently arrested on domestic violence charges and needs legal representation and/or advice. CAIR-WA rejected the case since it is out of the scope of our work, but referred the man to the Washington State Bar Association to find possible attorneys.
05/24/12 – Employment/Harrasment - A high school teacher received a vulgar, offensive note in his classroom - though the note was not signed, he recognized the handwriting as matching that of one of his students. The man reported it to the school principal who did not follow up or investigate. The man then contacted his union. A couple days later, the student returned to class after skipping several days and the teacher escorted him to the principal's office. The principal yelled at the teacher in front of the student from making "a big deal" out of the incident. The man then contacted CAIR-WA and we are currently working with him to arrange a time for detailed case-intake.
05/22/12 – Employment/Harrassment - A woman contacted CAIR-WA about ongoing problems of harassment at her place of work. The woman reported that several coworkers offered false testimony about a workplace incident that occurred, which resulted in her loss of work hours. A coworker also yelled at the woman several times. Several of her coworkers taunt her when they are eating pork. The woman wants to take action to improve her working environment. CAIR-WA received the complaint through online web form and is currently trying to arrange a time for complete intake with the complainant.
05/18/12 – Government Agency/USCIS - A woman contacted CAIR-WA regarding her citizenship interview. The woman has severe neurological medical problems and had a signed medical waiver from her doctor exempting her from the civics test. The USCIS Officer stated: "You don't look sick. You seem fine to me." The officer then administered the civics test and questioned the woman about why she chose her answers. The officer asked the woman for paperwork that was not required and told her that her name "did not sound Indian." CAIR-WA contacted several immigration advocacy groups for information and advice regarding the woman's case. CAIR-WA advised the woman on her rights for her next interview, and has prepared a letter of complaint to send to USCIS which is currently under review by the complainant.
05/14/12 – School - Two fathers of students in a school district near Seattle contacted CAIR-WA regarding religious accommodations. The school district once had early release days on Fridays, but now all early release days are on Wednesdays. The families want to move early release days back to Fridays to accommodate Friday prayer for their students. Currently, their students miss class to attend Friday prayers and have to make up the work later. The two fathers want to lead a campaign to move early release days to Fridays permanently. CAIR-WA developed a form for the men to give to other families to collect testimonies of people who want early release days to be changed to Fridays. CAIR-WA is also assisting the men in developing a campaign to work with parents and school board members.
05/14/12 – Government Agency/USCIS - A man contacted CAIR-WA about a delay in his application for permanent residency in the US. The man came to the US on a student visa in 2006 and married an American citizen in 2011. The man applied for permanent residency in October 2011 and had his interview in December. The man was told by USCIS that his case was "special" but wasn't told why. After waiting six months, the man looked up information on the USCIS website which stated that "all cases that were filed in October have been finalized." It has now been eight months since the man applied for his green card and the average processing time for permanent residency applications is four months. The man feels his green card application is being delayed because he is a Muslim from Morocco. CAIR-WA contacted the Department of Homeland Security's Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (OCRCL) requesting information about the reason for the delay. CAIR-WA is currently working with the man to develop a formal complaint, since the OCRCL has not responded.
05/08/12 – Public Accomodation - A man contacted CAIR-WA for assistance in a legal battle against a small town in Washington state that is trying to force him to leave his residence. The man lives in a residence without running water or electricity on his sheikh's property. Though the man claims that there are many other people in the area who live without running water or electricity, he is only person being targeted and he believes it is because he is Muslim. The man has been filing pro se with the assistance of his sheikh, who recently passed away. CAIR-WA referred him to several organizations for legal advice and encouraged him to file a complaint with the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
05/07/12 – General - CAIR-WA received a complaint forwarded from CAIR-National from a Washington man regarding a domestic dispute involving public Islamophobic statement on a blog and Youtube. The man was seeking an attorney for the individual whom the Islamophobic statements have been directed against. The two are divorced, but one party is now requesting determination of parentage and has filed a restraining order against the other, in addition to making public Islamophobic statements against him. The case is before their local Superior Court. CAIR-WA made several attempts to contact the man, whose email address was no longer working.
05/03/12 – Government Agency/Other - A woman contacted CAIR-WA on behalf of her brother who was detained in Ethiopia. The man is a US citizen who traveled to Kenya to visit a sister, then went to Yemen to visit his half sister, and then went to Ethiopia. The man was woken in the night by government agents and detained in an Ethiopian federal prison. By the time the man's sister contacted CAIR-WA, he had been detained for a month. The man was alive, but could not talk about why he is being detained. CAIR-WA sent a letter to the American Embassy in Ethiopia and, after not receiving a response, prepared a letter to the man's US congressperson requesting that they put pressure on the US Department of State to locate the man and bring him back to the US. Just before sending the letter to the congressperson, the man was released from custody and allowed to return to the US!
05/01/12 – Public Accomodation - A man reported a complaint to CAIR-WA for documentation only. The man is vocal on Twitter and calls himself a "Radical Muslim Peace Activist and Pacifist." The man was banned from Twitter and was not allowed to wire money to his daughter through Western Union. Western Union's website says that it blocks transactions based on suspicion of terrorist connections, as a part of the company's involvement with the war on terror. He believes he has been blocked from these services due to his self-description on Twitter. The man asked CAIR-WA to document his case, but says he wants to handle the problems with Twitter and Western Union on his own.
05/01/12 – Public Accomodation - A woman who wears the niqab and was denied services at a gas station. When the woman entered the convenience store to prepay for gas, the store clerk said "You cannot come in here like that" and mentioned the rulebook stating that customers are required to show their faces. The clerk told them woman she could get $10 of gas, but could "never come back looking like that again." CAIR-WA drafted a letter of complaint to the gas station, ensured that the woman had filed a report with the police department, and began discussing the possibility of a media story and litigation. The woman is currently deciding how she wants to move forward with the case.
05/01/12 – Government Agency/FBI - A man contacted CAIR-WA and stated he has been on the no-fly list for three years. The man found out he was on the no fly list three years ago when he tried to go on hajj. An FBI agent called the man's house in early April asking to meet with him for an interview. The man refused to talk to the agent because she had interviewed him three years ago and he was still on the no fly list. The agent told the man that he had to talk to her to be removed from list, and will be removed if he does. The man told the agent that he would talk to her only if he had an attorney and contacted CAIR-WA. After completing intake, CAIR-WA contacted an attorney who offers pro bono assistance to CAIR-WA clients who are contacted by the FBI and a meeting was arranged. The man also had a friend who is an attorney, and decided to cancel the meeting CAIR-WA had arranged with a different attorney. CAIR-WA is monitoring the case closely and continues to offer support and assistance.
05/01/12 – Employment - A top collector for an accounting firm was reprimanded by his supervisors for being "1-6 minutes" late to work several times in the past two months. The man was demoted to a different position, which reduced his wages by nearly 75%. Despite his own demotion, the man stated that several of his coworkers were much later, took longer breaks, and left work early and were not reprimanded. The man's supervisors make racist Iraqi jokes and he thinks his demotion may have been the result of anti-Iraqi discrimination. CAIR-WA drafted a complaint letter to the man's company, the final draft of which the complainant is currently reviewing.
05/01/12 – Government Agency/CBP - A Canadian citizen and US permanent resident contacted CAIR-WA about problems with his NEXUS pass, which is supposed to expedite border crossings between the US and Canada. Despite having a NEXUS pass, the man has been stopped for primary screening for several years. The man was told by guards at the border that he should not be stopped with a NEXUS pass, but his name shows up on a list where they have to stop him. Even after the man sent a letter to the US Department of State to clear his name from the list, he remained on it for several years. At the time of intake with CAIR-WA, the man reported that he had not been stopped on the last several trips across the US/Canada border. CAIR-WA documented the case, advised the man on his rights at the border, and asked him to follow up if he has problems with his NEXUS pass again in the future.
- Published on Tuesday, 02 October 2012 20:37
- Written by CAIR-WA Staff
- Hits: 179
10/26/11 School – A Muslim man contacted CAIR-WA in regards to his son being threatened at school. There were two incidents where his son was threatened by two different people but the school did not take any action. CAIR-WA is awaiting further information from the family including documentation before writing a letter to alert school officials.
10/26/11 Public accommodation – A Muslim woman was threatened with eviction when a public housing employee came to inspect her residence. The woman was praying at the time of the inspection and the employee threatened her with a 10-day eviction notice. CAIR-WA reviewed the woman’s letter of complaint to public housing authorities and is awaiting the response.
10/20/11 School – A Muslim woman contacted CAIR-WA about a bullying case at her daughter’s school. The daughter was given detention for retaliation towards another student and the other student was given a one-day suspension for using anti-Muslim language. CAIR-WA is following up with the family to determine next steps.
10/20/11 Employment/Other – A Muslim man was terminated from his position and denied a letter of suspension due to exploitation allegations made against him even though the investigation was inconclusive. CAIR-WA is following up with the client to determine next steps.
10/18/11 Public Accommodation – Two Muslim men were not allowed to reserve a public facility for prayers even though it has never been a problem in the past. They were told their group was “too noisy” and that their group was given lesser priority compared to large corporations who also wanted to use the facility. CAIR-WA is working with the men to propose policy changes to the City’s handbook and address a complaint against a particular city employee.
10/13/11 Government agency/FBI – A Muslim man received a call from state patrol wanting to talk to him about an incident of “reckless driving” that occurred several months prior. The man was arrested and is currently being detained pending a terrorism investigation. The reason for the investigation is due to a phone exchanged between the man and another man who has been arrested on terrorism charges. CAIR-WA took statements from the man’s family and is attempting to get in contact with the man’s public defender to discuss the case. .
10/10/11 Public Accommodation – A Muslim man and woman ate at a restaurant with the son, who became very sick from the food. The couple reported the bad food to the restaurant manager who told them to wait for paperwork from the Department of Health. As the couple was waiting for the paperwork, the police arrived in the restaurant and the manager said she wanted to police to kick the couple out of the restaurant. The couple was issued a notice of trespassing. CAIR-WA assisted the couple in filing a complaint with the restaurant chain and attended a meeting with a third party adjuster in which the couple made statements regarding the incident. The case is pending as CAIR-WA is waiting to hear from the restaurant’s insurance company as to what kind of settlement will be offered to the couple.
10/06/11 Public Accommodation – A Muslim woman along with her husband have received racial/religious insults. As a result, their development project has been stopped several times by the housing authority. CAIR-WA reviewed the documents of the case and referred the woman to a civil rights legal firm.
10/03/11 Employment/Prayer – A Muslim man was terminated from his work due to his taking breaks for prayer. CAIR-WA referred the man to an employment attorney in his area.
09/26/11 Employment/Other – A Muslim man who works for a school district contacted CAIR-WA when he was denied leave from work to perform Hajj. CAIR-WA sent a complaint letter to the employer’s legal counsel and then the leave was granted, although it was too late for the man to make travel arrangements. CAIR-WA is working with the man to request leave for next year far in advance, so he can perform Hajj in 2012.
09/26/11 Employment/Other – A Muslim man was removed from his work building by security guards and asked to go to a psychiatrist after having a dispute with a non-Muslim coworker. The man was still not allowed back to work for nearly a month after he went to the psychiatrist. The other employee involved was not punished or suspended, to the best of the victim’s knowledge. CAIR-WA sent an investigative letter to the man’s employer requesting information about the disciplinary procedure involving these two men, and the discrepancy between the treatment each received.
09/26/11 Employment/Beard – A Muslim man from Lynnwood was asked to shave his beard as his next stationed company only allowed mustaches. CAIR-WA has drafted a letter to the company explaining the religious significance of the beard for some Muslim men, and is following up with man to resolve the situation.
09/23/11 Government agency/Police – A Muslim woman from Seattle was patted down by a male police officer and given a ticket for not properly swiping her prepaid pass to ride the light rail. The woman was sent to jail, where she was then forced to remove her headscarf. No charges were brought against the woman but she had to attend court the next morning, also without her headscarf on. CAIR-WA assisted the woman in requesting a contested hearing for the ticket she received. Further, CAIR-WA is drafting policy recommendations to police and sheriff’s departments regarding religious coverings.
09/19/11 Employment/Other – A Muslim man from Tukwila was denied his badge for work after being told he looked “suspicious.” CAIR-WA is attempting to follow up with the man to investigate the incident and potentially file a complaint.
9/8/2011 Hate Mail/Hate Phone Calls – Two men from an Islamic center in Washington contacted CAIR-WA regarding two items that were found outside the center on the morning of September 8, 2011: A sticker on the door reading "Do not forget 9/11" and a Safeway plastic bag with a copy of "American Crescent" which had vulgar language on the cover, calling Muslims sexual perverts. The bag smelled bad and had ants crawling inside it. The men reported the case to the police department and to CAIR-WA for documentation.
9/7/2011 Hate Mail/Hate Phone Calls – A Muslim woman contacted CAIR-WA to report several threats that had been made against her after her husband was arrested. The woman had received hate mail, hateful notes on her car, and several threatening remarks from strangers. CAIR-WA advised the woman to report all incidents to the police and save future notes/mail as evidence.
09/06/11 Employment/Other – A Muslim man contacted CAIR-WA regarding discrimination from his supervisor which resulted in his being terminated from his job. The supervisor did not give employees time to pray and would interrupt people if they prayed during their already allocated breaks. The man also claimed that the supervisor would not give him an accident report form when he was injured on the job, resulting in his denial of worker’s compensation benefits. CAIR-WA sent a complaint letter to the employer and assisted the man in filing a complaint with EEOC. The case is pending as CAIR-WA awaits a response from the employer and a response from EEOC determining if it will open an investigation.
8/23/2011 Employment/Harassment – A Muslim woman contacted CAIR-WA regarding ongoing harassment from her immediate supervisor who denied her time off for Eid ul-Fitr, requested that she wear different clothing (a shorter skirt), and provided less training and support for the Muslim woman than for her non-Muslim coworkers. The woman was placed on probation for taking too much time off (two days for court and one for Eid ul-Fitr). CAIR-WA assisted the woman in requesting time off for Eid-ul Fitr, which was approved. Further, CAIR-WA assisted the woman in requesting a transfer to another location.
8/17/2011 Airport Profiling/Airline – A Muslim man contacted CAIR-WA to report a profiling incident on a recent flight from Chicago to St. Louis. The agent, Colin, was very rude and threatened to call the police, refusing to let him board. The agent picked up the phone saying "I have a Muslim man standing here interfering with my work." When the manager and police arrived, the Muslim man was put on the next flight home and given a $400 credit. CAIR-WA referred the man to an attorney for legal advice in pursuing legal action against the airline.
7/21/2011 Employment/Harassment – A Muslim man contacted CAIR-WA regarding discrimination in the workplace. The man works as a professor at a public university in the Northwest. The man was repeatedly excluded from events relevant to his department and area of study, harassed by several coworkers, and denied informal benefits enjoyed by other staff members in his department (such as having his study abroad program advertised on campus listservs). CAIR-WA assisted the man in compiling a timeline of events and filing a complaint with the EEOC. The case is pending as CAIR-WA awaits a response from EEOC as to whether or not they will open an investigation.
7/16/2011 School – A Muslim man enrolled in a professional diving school after passing a medical examination. Upon completing the program, he took another medical examination and failed due to medical complications which disqualified him from a career in the field. The man found out later that the FBI was involved after they received complaints from the school about him. CAIR-WA helped the man file a Privacy Act with the FBI. Further, CAIR-WA worked with the school’s insurance company and legal counsel to have the man fully refunded for all tuition and fees he had paid to the school, a sum of $34,600.
7/7/2011 Airport Profiling/Airline – A Muslim man was scheduled to fly from Portland to Italy, however when he arrived at the airport the airline clerk told him that he was being rescheduled because of technical problems with the aircraft. After much delay, the man was approached by a Port of Portland police officer who held his passport and told him he was on a "no fly" list. CAIR-WA sent a letter to the airline as well as TSA regarding the man’s treatment and filed a Privacy Act request with the FBI regarding the man’s record. CAIR-WA is in the process of appealing the FBI’s response to the Privacy Act, which yielded no documents under the man’s name.
6/22/2011 Employment/Prayer – A Muslim man was promoted at his job at a hotel near an airport. Upon promotion, the man’s schedule changed, requiring him to take three breaks for prayer per day, while he formerly only took one break for prayer per day. The man was written up by his supervisor for refusing to compromise or shorten his prayers. CAIR-WA wrote a letter of complaint to the company and filed a complaint with the EEOC. The case is under active investigation.
6/20/2011 Prison – A Muslim man contacted CAIR-WA because he was not being provided adequate accommodations for Maghrib prayer during an evening class at a state prison. CAIR-WA addressed the issue with the Department of Corrections. The man was transferred to another facility for unrelated reasons and CAIR-WA continues to correspond with him regarding religious accommodations.
6/17/2011 Government Agency/FBI – A Muslim man contacted CAIR-WA after being contacted by the FBI for an interview. FBI agents questioned the man at length about one of his friends at the interview, at which an attorney from the man’s company was present. CAIR-WA advised the man of his first amendment protected freedoms and requested that he contact CAIR-WA if he is contacted by the FBI again.
6/17/2011 Employment/Other – A Muslim man contacted CAIR-WA about ongoing harassment at his place of work. The man complained of repeated sarcastic comments by his supervisors about his faith and unsuccessfully attempted to resolve the issue through the human resources department. CAIR-WA assisted the man in filing a complaint with the EEOC and provided a translator for the EEOC interviews. EEOC found that the incidents of discrimination had occurred outside the statute of limitations, so they closed the investigation. The man was referred to several attorneys who work in employment law.
6/16/2011 School – A Seattle area Muslim woman contacted CAIR-WA regarding a bullying incident involving her son in which she felt the school did not take appropriate investigative or disciplinary actions. CAIR-WA wrote a letter of complaint to the school’s principal and board of directors of the district requesting an investigation and a meeting. CAIR-WA is in the process of scheduling a meeting with the mother, her son, and the school principal.
6/15/2011 Employment/Other – A Muslim man working for a state agency has been complaining about harassment by his supervisors, specifically about their designs to destroy his career. CAIR-WA has filed a complaint with the EEOC and is assisting the man in organizing all evidence he has compiled regarding the ongoing discrimination. .
6/14/2011 Government Agency/Other – A Muslim woman contacted CAIR-WA after being denied a travel visa to Canada three times. CAIR-WA addressed a letter of support to the Canadian consulate and connected the woman with an immigration attorney for free legal advice. The woman is currently awaiting review of her application for citizenship.
6/14/2011 Employment/Other – A Muslim woman who worked on the janitorial staff at a community college was laid off after taking a 3 week emergency vacation. The woman was told that all part time employees had been laid off. She claimed that this was false and that the other Muslim employees had been laid off as well. CAIR-WA drafted a letter to the community college which the woman is currently reviewing.
6/10/2011 School – A Muslim father contacted CAIR-WA regarding disciplinary action taken by school officials against his two sons, who were both suspended. CAIR-WA advised the man on how to appeal the decision to the school board. Still dissatisfied with the response, CAIR-WA submitted a public records request on the man’s behalf. The results of the request explained the disciplinary procedure through which his sons had been suspended.
6/9/2011 Government Agency/Other – A mosque in the Seattle area has requested to remove “no parking” restriction in front of the mosque. After extensive correspondence with the city, no rational reason has been given for the continuation of the parking restrictions. Board members of the mosque reported the case to CAIR-WA, but decided to hire an attorney to work on the case.
6/7/2011 Prison – A Muslim man from Kelso, WA was asked numerous questions about his faith and political views during a polygraph test by his probation officer. When the man said that he did not have to answer those questions, the probation officer said that if he refused he would fail the test and go back to jail. CAIR-WA sent a letter to the Department of Corrections reporting the contracted polygraph tester and requesting that DOC terminate their contract with the tester. An investigation was launched following CAIR-WA’s letter and the results are expected to be released within the next month.
6/7/2011 Hate Mail/Hate Phone Calls – CAIR-WA offices received a hateful e-mail rant about how "dishonest" and "hateful" Islam is and how Americans will eventually mount a resistance against CAIR-WA and Islam. The e-mail was reported to the FBI and the Seattle Police Department as it contained particularly violent and threatening language.
6/7/2011 Government/CBP – A Muslim man has been stopped and questioned by the CBP during his last three entries into the U.S. despite having dual U.S./Canadian citizenship. He was stopped for at least two hours and his car is searched. CAIR-WA educated the man on his rights at the border and encouraged him to file for a traveler’s redress number. The man indicated that he would contact CAIR-WA if he had trouble crossing the border in the future. CAIR-WA calls the man periodically to check up on the status of his case.
6/7/2011 General – A Muslim woman called CAIR-WA reporting various harassment incidents that occurred when she was wearing a headscarf. The incidents ranged from comments while she was shopping to jokes about the possibility of her being a terrorist during a strip search at an airport. CAIR-WA encouraged the woman to call the police if she is ever threatened, and to report any future incidents to CAIR. The woman indicated that she called for documentation purposes only.
6/2/2011 Hate Mail/Hate Phone Calls – A Muslim woman in Bellevue was driving when she heard a man say, “Osama is dead” through her open window. She asked him why he said it, and there was a heated argument between the two that ended with the man cursing at her. CAIR-WA contacted the Bellevue Police Department reporting the incident. A police officer followed up with woman who reported that he was very courteous and respectful. Though the suspect was not found, the police encouraged the woman to contact them in the future if she receives any threats. The investigating police officer also attended a potluck at the woman’s masjid, upon invitation.
6/2/2011 Government/Other – A woman contacted CAIR-WA regarding discrimination in public accommodations after she left a hospital without treatment after waiting for over 4 hours. While waiting, the woman was questioned by a nurse about her headscarf. CAIR-WA addressed a letter to the hospital and the ethics review board which the woman is in the process of reviewing and approving.
5/31/2011 Public Accommodation – A woman and her husband were the recipients of racial slurs at a carnival at the Seattle Southcenter Mall in May 2011. The carnival employee who made the racial comments also made indirect threats to the lives of Muslim carnival goers. The woman and her husband complained to the manager of Cascade Amusements Services asking to close the carnival. CAIR-WA contacted the woman to discuss options, but she indicated that she had reached out only for documentation purposes
5/26/2011 Criminal Offense/Against Person – A local Muslim woman was assaulted by her roommate which resulted in many lacerations and bruises. A motive for the crime is suspected to be religious bias. CAIR-WA was contacted for documentation purposes only, but encouraged the woman to file a police report, which she had already done.
5/25/2011 Hate Mail/Hate Phone Calls – A Muslim woman and her daughter went into a Starbucks in Redmond for about ten minutes and upon leaving they found a blue sticky note attached to their car saying in English, "We don't Muslims in America," and in Arabic, "We don't want Muslims in our country. Leave." Her daughter, who was in a wheelchair at the time, was scared that the person was going to follow them home and hurt them. CAIR-WA assisted the family with filing a report with the Redmond police, who took the situation very seriously. CAIR-WA also held a press conference regarding the case and mediated between the victim and the media regarding confidentiality. As the police investigated the case, they discovered that a Muslim man who works nearby and parks in the same parking lot had received a similar note several months prior. The author of the notes has not yet been found. See TV news coverage here.
5/25/2011 Government Agency/FBI – A man contacted CAIR-WA claiming an FBI agent had visited his son at a public high school in Seattle and interviewed him privately for an hour. The high school did not alert the parents of these visits, which occurred two days in a row. CAIR-WA collaborated with the ACLU to advise the family of their rights. In addition CAIR-WA sent a complaint letter to the school’s principal and the school district’s board of directors. After no response, CAIR-WA filed a public records request pertaining to the student, which yielded over 600 pages of records. CAIR-WA is in the process of reviewing the records with the family and determining what steps to take next.
5/4/2011 General – A man was denied an orthodontic examination for his son after waiting three weeks for an appointment. The orthodontist, who worked out of Issaquah, said he was denying service because of a heated miscommunication the client had about a paper that he refused to sign, because he did not understand it. The man cannot read or write English and was confused about the paperwork. CAIR-WA is working with the man to report the orthodontist’s office to the Department of Health due to violations of denying services on the basis of ethnicity.
5/2/2011 Prison – The wife of a Muslim inmate called CAIR-WA to report her husband's transfer from a low security to a high security prison. She has a medical hardship, and her husband's transfer means that she would rarely get to visit him. She wants to understand why he has been transferred and why others with similar or worse sentences were allowed to remain. CAIR-WA filed a public records request with the Department of Correction which yielded over 100 pages of documents. The documents revealed that due to the murder of a corrections officer at Monroe, inmates with certain offenses and sentences were sent to higher security prisons, such as this woman’s husband. The woman felt satisfied by the response, which revealed that the transfer was not due to bias but security concerns.
4/27/2011 Employment/Other – A Muslim man has worked at a car dealership in Portland for the last 19 years. He fell and hurt his back on the job and received medical treatment paid for by his worker's insurance from 2002-2009, however the treatment did not provide relief from the pain. He needs a costly surgery and shots, however the company refuses to pay for the surgery and he was terminated from his job last week. CAIR-WA referred the man to an attorney to assist him in appealing his denial of worker’s compensation benefits for injuries sustained on the job.
4/20/2011 Prison – A Muslim man incarcerated at Coyote Ridge Corrections Center contacted CAIR-WA regarding his prayer which was lost or stolen when he was transferred from another facility. Despite filing grievances and tort claims, the prayer rug was not replaced. The man was infracted for allegedly falsifying his property matrix, but was found not guilty at his infraction hearing. CAIR-WA worked with Department of Corrections officials and the Chaplains at Coyote Ridge to secure a prayer rug donation which was given to the man, free of charge.
4/20/2011 Government Agency/USCIS Naturalization – A Muslim man applied for citizenship at the end of August 2006. When immigration called him in for his second interview, they told him they wanted to ask a few simple questions, however he ended up being interviewed for three hours by the FBI. When he received no information about the status of his citizenship request, he wrote to his local senator, who replied with a letter saying that his application was pending due to background review. CAIR-WA contacted USCIS regarding the extensive delay of the man’s application. Shortly thereafter, the man received a call to schedule his appointment for fingerprinting and for his citizenship interview. CAIR-WA is still in contact with the man regarding his application, which is pending review for approval.
4/6/2011 Criminal Offense/Against Person – A Muslim man at a Jamba Juice store in Bellevue Square Mall was harassed when he gave his name with the order. The employee began cursing at him and making offensive remarks ("terrorist," "stop making bombs," etc.) in front of other store customers, as well as the man’s children. The police were called to take the victim’s statement and the manager told the police that he had already been terminated. CAIR-WA documented the incident and drafted a letter of complaint to Jamba Juice, which the man decided not to send.
- Published on Tuesday, 02 October 2012 20:24
- Written by CAIR-WA Staff
- Hits: 213
06/20/12 – Employment/Harrassment
06/18/12 – Employment/Harrassment - A Muslim woman has experienced ongoing harassment at her work, including Islamophobic jokes. After reporting her case to both the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Washington State Human Rights Commission with no results, she has now brought her case to CAIR-WA. After thoughtful consideration we have recommended that the woman seek legal counsel and referred her to both an attorney and two referral services.
06/18/12 – Hate Mail/Hate Phone Calls - A Muslim man forwarded to CAIR-WA an anti-Muslim e-mail that his landlord had sent to him. CAIR-WA has documented the case and given the man advice on his rights. The man has asked CAIR-WA to document the incident but does not want CAIR-WA to take further action on the case.
06/14/12 – Government Agency/Other - A Muslim family living in a house rented by the Everett Housing Authority (EHA) has been experiencing various forms of abuse from their next door neighbors since 2006, after the neighbors made a comment to the daughter of the Muslim family about Islam being a bad religion. The abuse has become so bad that it is affecting both the health and well-being of the entire family. The father has made several complaints to the EHA with no results. Additionally, he requested to be moved elsewhere in 2007, 2009, and 1012, again with no action taken on part of the EHA. The family has now contacted CAIR-WA with the problem. We have sent a letter to the EHA and are working to get the EHA to afford the family's case the investigative attention it deserves, as well as to safely move the family from this abusive situation.
06/11/12 – Criminal Offense/Against Person - It was reported to CAIR-WA that a Muslim woman was in the Snoqualmie Falls parking lot when an unknown Caucasian man cornered and pressed up against her, then said offensive comments into her ear. The man tried to grab the woman with his hands, but she was able to run away and report the assault to her husband who had been out of sight nearby. The husband went to the parking lot and saw the offender leaving in the passenger seat of a vehicle. The husband took pictures of the vehicle, a Suzuki SUV including its license plate #404-XRU, and as he did so the driver flipped him off. CAIR-WA has written a letter to report the incident and sent it along with the pictures of the offender's car to the Snoqualmie Police Department. We are currently awaiting a reply.
06/11/12 – Criminal Offense/Against Person - CAIR-WA received a report that a group of Muslim women were walking down a street in Seattle that they often use when a homeowner opened her door and let a dog out of her house. The dog came at the Somali-American women, two of whom ran away out of fear. The dog was hit by a car in the street, after which its owner yelled vulgar insults at the women and said "Go back to your country." A similar incident has happened once before with the same dog being released on two teenage Somali girls. In response, CAIR-WA organized and held a "Know Your Rights" presentation for 25 Somali-American women in Seattle that included a Somali translator. We are hoping in the future to help further educate the Muslim community on their rights, as well as the benefits of reporting any and all cases of discrimination - both big and those that appear to be "small".
06/07/12 – Criminal Offense/Against Person - A Muslim woman was at a bus stop in the Northgate neighborhood of Seattle with her young son who dropped two pouches of juice on the ground while his mother was turned away. A Caucasian man approached and kicked the pouches toward the woman, who then asked why the man had kicked them at her. After a brief altercation the woman asked the man to leave her alone. Once on the bus, the man threw the pouches onto the Muslim woman's lap. The woman pushed the pouches off and asked the man "Why are you harassing me?", then walked to the back of the bus. Other Caucasian men on the bus chimed in with discriminatory comments and said the woman was being a disturbance. The woman picked up the juice pouches to throw away later. She then contacted CAIR-WA with her story. We wrote and sent a letter to the Seattle Police Department, whose Crime Scene Investigations Unit has now taken the case.
- Published on Tuesday, 02 October 2012 20:35
- Written by CAIR-WA Staff
- Hits: 182
12/20/2011 - General – After reading a concerning article on Slate.com with misinformation about the Prophet Muhammad (saw), a Muslim man from Seattle contacted CAIR-WA to report the article and inquire about possible responses. CAIR-WA is writing a letter to Slate.com to advise them of the inaccurate information.
12/20/2011 - School – A man from Seattle contacted CAIR-WA, expressing concern over the celebration and education of Christmas in public schools that is not parallel with other religious holidays. CAIR-WA has tried to contact the man several times with no success.
12/19/2011 - Government Agency/ICE – After spending two years in the detention center, a Muslim man from Seattle contacted CAIR-WA regarding appealing the decision in his immigration case. Since this is not apparently a discrimination issue but one that involves immigration issues, CAIR-WA referred the man to three possible attorneys who work in immigration law.
12/16/2011 - Government Agency – While traveling abroad with his family, a Muslim man who is a Washington state resident was detained at an airport in Minneapolis for several hours with his family due to the amount of money they were taking overseas. Despite regulations stating that individuals can carry up to $10,000 when travelling, DHS agents counted the family’s money collectively, rather than individually and confiscated over $27,000. Though the man has appealed the decision with substantial evidence, his appeal has been denied. With the help of the Minnesota chapter of CAIR, CAIR-WA referred the man to an attorney in Minnesota who has worked on several cases involving American Muslims. Further, CAIR-WA assisted the man in obtaining copies of the legislation referenced in his denial letters.
12/14/2011 - Criminal Offense - A Muslim man from Seattle was arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement and taken to the detention center. His wife contacted CAIR-WA for assistance in completing paperwork and finding an attorney for her husband’s trial. Since this is not apparently a case of discrimination but one that involves immigration issues, CAIR-WA referred the woman to an organization which works exclusively with individuals in the detention. In addition, CAIR-WA is in ongoing contact with the woman to assess the progress of her case and offer additional assistance as needed.
12/14/2011 - Government Agency – A Muslim man contacted CAIR-WA regarding zoning issues impacting the expansion of a mosque in Washington State. Of particular concern was that zoning permits seemed to be dispersed more readily to several Christian churches in the same area which had expanded recently. However, the man’s mosque was not allowed to construct a roof over an existing balcony. CAIR-WA organized a meeting with the man and a member of the US Attorney’s office to discuss the case. A second meeting has been scheduled for mid-January.
12/9/2011 - Child Custody – A Muslim woman from Seattle contacted CAIR-WA regarding a custody battle with her ex-husband over their daughter. CAIR-WA contacted a family law attorney for legal advice and forwarded the attorney’s response to the woman. As a policy, CAIR-WA does not intervene in child custody cases except for those involving a Muslim and non-Muslim where an anti-Muslim bias has been evidenced. Thus, CAIR-WA was not able to further assist the woman with her case, but offered her other potential resources.
12/4/2011 - General–A Muslim man from Seattle contacted CAIR-WA to report an anti-Islamic flyer his friend had found in a library in Bellevue. The flyer had inflammatory, inaccurate information about Mohammed and the Qur’an, and called Islam another “fascist, totalitarian ideology.” The police department in Bellevue had contacted CAIR-WA in June 2011 regarding inflammatory anti-Islamic flyers and graffiti in the area and seeking any further information we could offer. CAIR-WA forwarded the witness’ contact info to the police department in her area to follow up with her for further details.
11/28/2011 - Employment - A Muslim woman from Burien who worked at a large chain restaurant was written up for inappropriate behavior because she took her meal break at the same time as another co-worker to break fast and pray during Ramadan. When the woman contacted CAIR-WA, she had already quit her job due to an increasingly hostile work environment. CAIR-WA discovered that the woman was also repeatedly denied or discouraged from opportunities for promotion and was denied access to the bathroom unless she clocked out for a break. CAIR-WA has been working with the woman to finalize the letter of complaint as well as the paperwork required by EEOC and L&I. The complaint is anticipated to be sent the week of January 16th.
11/23/2011 - Government Agency – USCIS – A man from Seattle contacted CAIR-WA because his wife was denied a travel visa. Since this does not appear to be a case of discrimination, CAIR-WA referred the man to an immigration attorney.
11/17/2011 - Employment – A Muslim man from contacted CAIR-WA regarding accommodations for prayer at a large corporation in the Seattle area. The man stated that Muslims were going to lose their prayer room at work as the space they previously used was needed for something else. CAIR-WA provided the man with language regarding Washington state law requiring religious accommodations and how to request them from his employer. On December 9, 2011, CAIR-WA followed up with the man who stated that employees had found two rooms that were often available and somewhat private, so he considers the case resolved for the time being. The man also stated that he did not want to take the case to Human Resources unless prayer accommodations became unavailable in the future. Thus, CAIR-WA considers this case favorably closed.
11/7/2011 - Employment - A Muslim man in Seattle was fired from his job due to an injury he sustained during work. He went to court and got paid for the time he missed at work. He had surgery for the injury and is seeking worker’s compensation from his former employer. Since this is not apparently a case of discrimination, CAIR-WA referred the man to an attorney that specializes in employment law and has handled previous “L&I” cases.
11/7/2011 -Government Agency/Police – A Muslim man from Tukwila called CAIR-WA to report that a large group of Muslim men were at a bowling alley celebrating Eid Al-Adha when they were interrupted by the police. The police forced several members of their party to leave the bowling alley. A man inquired with the police as to why people were being forced to leave and the police officers responded by kicking the man out as well. Two police officers shoved the man by the shoulders until he was out of the building. The man told the police that he had done nothing wrong and they couldn’t just kick him out, but the police responded by threatening to arrest him. The man left the scene for fear of arrest. CAIR-WA is trying to get in contact with the man for further details about his case so corrective actions can be taken to address possible police misconduct and facilitate a more positive relationship between the police department and Muslim community in this area.
11/4/2011 - School - Two female Muslim students in Ballard had repeated negative interactions with a staff member at their high school. The interactions escalated to the point that the students felt they could no longer approach her for resources or assistance, and began to avoid her entirely. The girls believed that the staff member was so rude to them due to their race and religion, as she treated other Caucasian students and non-Muslim students much more respectfully. When the conflict was reported to the principal, very little was done to resolve the issue and the principal addressed the situation as a “misunderstanding”. CAIR-WA sent a complaint letter to the school and is currently working with the students to arrange a meeting with the students and the principal.
- Published on Tuesday, 02 October 2012 19:56
- Written by CAIR-WA Staff
- Hits: 181
07/31/12 – Hate Mails/Hate Phone Calls - A woman emailed CAIR-WA to report an individual who has been making inappropriate comments and posts online that are offensive to religious peoples, including and especially Muslims. CAIR-WA documented the case but declined to work further on the case since these online posts didn't convey a threat.
07/27/12 – Prison - A man calling on behalf of his son, an inmate at a Washington state correctional facility, reported to CAIR-WA that the Muslims at the facility are not being given proper Ramadan accommodations. For example they do not have enough time to heat their food in the microwave in the mornings, and the chaplain has been reluctant about allowing Muslims to gather for Morning Prayer. CAIR-WA has received several other reports of this nature and is actively pursuing a suitable solution through the Department of Corrections.
07/27/12 – Government Agency/TSA - A woman called CAIR-WA to report that she and her son have been having issues when flying abroad, both to and from home. They are unable to check-in on line at all, and when they arrive at the airport to print their boarding passes they are always required to get clearance first, which causes delays. CAIR-WA assisted the woman with filling out paperwork for the Traveler Redress Inquiry Program (TRIP), which will assign a TRIP number to the names of each member of her family on travel tickets from now on. This will distinguish them from others with the same name and should prevent future delays.
07/26/12 – Government Agency/FBI - A Somali-born US citizen reported to CAIR-WA that he had been contacted by an FBI agent who told him that he wanted to ask some questions about what is going on in Somalia. The man told the FBI agent that he would speak with the FBI but only with an attorney present. He then called CAIR-WA, and we provided for the man a list of attorneys who would offer their services to him for the interview free of charge, as well as a basic training on his rights and how to handle FBI investigations.
07/26/12 – Employment/Hire or Fire - A Muslim woman had a job interview with a Seattle-based assisted living center. It was reported to CAIR-WA that the interviewer stated that before the interview began, he needed to ask a question: "Can you uncover yourself while working? Like take your headscarf off?" The woman replied that no, she could not. Even after agreeing to wear the required uniform, which included pants, the man replied that if she was not willing to take off her hijab then there was no point in continuing the interview. He then escorted her to the exit with no further explanation. On behalf of the woman, CAIR-WA has sent a letter of complaint to the living facility's CEO, the Seattle Office for Civil Rights, and several other pertinent individuals. The letter includes a request for an internal investigation; cooperation with the Seattle Office for Civil Rights' investigation of the alleged incidents; a written apology for the woman; another opportunity for the woman to interview with a different interviewer; absolutely no retaliation against the woman or any employees; clarification of the company's religious policies; and institution of CAIR-WA's Workplace Sensitivity and Diversity Training for all employees. We are awaiting a response.
07/26/12 – Criminal Offense/Against Person - An Iraqi-born US citizen contacted CAIR-WA on behalf of her husband to report that he has been accused of paying kids in his community to do "bad" things with him. He was in Iraq at the time the accusation was made and has remained there for fear of being arrested if he returns to the US. The man had been paying children to do household chores for him but denies any inappropriate relations having occurred. The man is also dealing with an altercation between himself and a woman who has been trying to steal his business for the past fourteen years, an issue which his contractor has consistently failed to address. CAIR-WA referred the woman to a list of attorneys with which we have worked in the past who can possibly provide her with the legal counsel which this case needs.
07/20/12 – Criminal Offense/Against Person - A Muslim man who was entering a SeaTac mosque just after 8 am startled another man who had been sleeping there. The man who had been sleeping jumped up and attacked the other man, punching him and then stealing his wallet and car keys. When police arrived the man tried to run an officer over using the stolen vehicle. The incident was reported to CAIR-WA, however this was not believed to be a hate crime. Therefore we have been asked to act no further on the case.
07/19/12 – Government Agency/Police - An 18 year old Muslim boy was wrongfully beat up and arrested when he stopped to view a crime scene last June. According to the victim, there was no reason for this arrest. Since then, his family reports that the boy's behavior has changed drastically and that he displays "crazy", often violent behavior - including hallucinations. Doctors have diagnosed him with an otherwise unspecified psychotic disorder, potentially brought on when the police officer who arrested him slammed his head into the concrete. The boy is currently in custody of a mental health institution. His family contacted CAIR-WA and we are currently working with them to achieve justice and reach the best possible solution for his care.
07/19/12 – Government Agency/ICE - A Moroccan-American man was picked up by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers in October of 2009, directly after his release from prison. Aware of his rights, he informed the ICE officers that it was illegal to apprehend him as his case was still pending and not final; therefore he was not eligible for deportation. The man was held for 2 ½ years until April of 2012 and believes his detainment was unlawful. He contacted CAIR-WA, and since this is an immigration case and didn't appear to be a case of discrimination, we provided a list of attorney referrals with individuals we have worked with on cases like this in the past.
07/19/12 – Government Agency/USCIS - The immigration application of a Jordanian citizen currently living in the US on a visa has been denied because of his marital status. He contacted CAIR-WA with his case. Since this didn't appear to be a case of discrimination, we were able to refer him to a local immigration hotline for assistance and support.
07/19/12 – Criminal Offense/Against Property - A woman walking past the window of a Muslim-owned print shop in Seattle saw that its front window had been broken. She called the police, who brought in the owner. It was discovered that the window had been intentionally shattered by a firework. A police report was filed but no suspects were found. Two weeks later the shop owner's employee found a sticker placed on the exterior window sill that said "You will know who I am. SMEREONE DO NOT REMOVE WITHOUT AUTHORIZATION." He reported this to the police and the owner then contacted CAIR-WA. We have requested both police reports and are monitoring the situation.
07/18/12 – Criminal Offense/Against Property - A man called to report that while he had been teaching kids in the downstairs of a Seattle-area Masjid, a man threw a large rock through an upstairs window. No one was upstairs. A non-Muslim bystander called the police after seeing the man throw the rock and hearing him make a negative statement about Muslims in Ethiopia. CAIR-WA filed a request for the police report but was asked by the Masjid to take no further action on the case.
07/18/12 – Prison - An inmate at a Washington state corrections center wrote to CAIR-WA to report that the chaplain had denied his request to sign up for the Ramadan diet. The inmate is a recent convert to Islam and had missed the deadline to sign up. CAIR-WA contacted the Department of Corrections Head of Religious Programs and was informed that the facility will make every effort to provide a Ramadan diet for the inmate if it has the means to do so.
07/16/12 – Public Accomodation - When a Muslim woman's home caught on fire, her insurance company rented her a hotel room for one month and said that it would compensate her. However, one year later it had still not done so. The company is now saying it will not give her anything, even after receiving a breakdown of everything that was lost. The woman contacted an attorney, who informed her that the statute of limitations had expired on her claim. She believes this delay of over a year was orchestrated by the insurance provider and that she was exploited on account of her national origin and lack of English proficiency. The woman contacted CAIR-WA, and we have sent a letter of complaint to the Washington State Insurance Commissioner as well as the CEO of the insurance company on her behalf.
07/16/12 – Employment/Other - CAIR-WA was contacted by a man about a pay dispute and/or possible discrimination going on in his workplace. After multiple attempts, we were unable to contact him for further investigation.
07/13/12 – Government Agency/TSA - A Muslim woman reported to CAIR-WA that when her 18 year old daughter was going through security at Sea-Tac Airport she was stopped by a TSA officer. The officer claimed a new law requires any person with a head covering to be searched. Though the only extra clothing the girl had on was a headscarf and her metal detector had not gone off, her whole body was thoroughly searched. CAIR-WA sent a letter of complaint on behalf of the woman and her daughter and is waiting for signed paperwork from the woman before sending the complaint.
07/13/12 – Public Accomodation - A Muslim couple that is trying to adopt recently received a letter in the mail from the Seattle-based adoption agency with which they had been working for the past nine months. The letter vaguely stated that the agency could no longer work with the couple and included a partial refund of their fees, with no further explanation. This came after the couple had passed all tests and screenings with flying colors, gone above and beyond with filling out extra paper work and completing additional tasks not normally asked of applicants, and their own case worker had stated that they are excellent candidates for adoptive parenthood. Knowing that there was nothing new that could have popped up in their file in recent months, the couple wrote a letter back to company to inquire about why they had been dropped; there was no reply. The couple contacted CAIR-WA and we sent a complaint letter to the adoption agency on their behalf, requesting a written explanation of the couple's denial. The director of the adoption agency responded requesting a meeting to clear up "misunderstandings." The couple denied the director's meeting request and CAIR-WA is pursuing diversity training for the adoption agency's staff.
07/12/12 – Employment/Hire or Fire - A Muslim woman believes a co-worker who had been severely harassing her for over a year was trying to have her fired. She reported her concerns to a supervisor several times, but no action was taken. On July 1st the woman called in to work sick and was told she could come in later than scheduled. She showed up 9 minutes late, which her co-worker reported to their supervisor's boss. This was a breach in protocol as such complaints are supposed to go through the supervisor, who was the aware of the ongoing harassment situation. The boss called the woman in to his office at the end of her shift and terminated her, even though other employees have not been fired for similar reasons. CAIR-WA sent a letter to the company on behalf of the woman requesting an internal investigation into the matter, cooperation with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the woman's immediate reinstatement, absolutely no retaliation, and suitable redress for the offending employees. The company responded, denying all allegations and refusing CAIR-WA's requests. CAIR-WA is drafting a response to the company requesting documented evidence supporting their claims. If the situation remains hostile, CAIR-WA will refer the woman to an attorney in order to more aggressive legal recourse.
07/11/12 – Emplyment/Hire or Fire - A local union worker contacted CAIR-WA on behalf of five union members who had been terminated for praying at work. After many attempts we have been unsuccessful in getting a hold of the union worker again, but the case has been documented.
07/06/12 – Criminal Offense/Against Property - An adult male entered the Abu Bakr Masjid in Tukwila around 3:30 am as about 20-30 people were leaving after prayer. The man said offensive things about Islam, took out a large knife, cut his hand and said "I am God; I cut myself and feel no pain." CAIR-WA requested a copy of the police report from the Tukwila Police Department, documented the incident, and made multiple attempts to contact witnesses but was unable to do so. According to leaders at the mosque, it is believed the man was mentally unstable and they do not want to take action against him.
07/05/12 – Government Agency/Police - A social worker from a community-based organization in Seattle contacted CAIR-WA to report that the bail of a 19 year old, mentally ill Muslim man has been set too high for his mother to pay. Furthermore, he has been detained without trial for an abnormally long period of time. CAIR-WA referred the man's family to Disability Rights Washington - an organization that does work around the rights of disabled inmates - for further assistance.
07/05/12 – Public Accomodation - A man called CAIR-WA to report that his two children had been refused a ticket to swim when he dropped them off at a public pool in a suburb of Seattle. The boy and girl had been standing in line when the employee handing out tickets skipped them. The employee later claimed that they had left the line and were playing somewhere else when he passed them by, but both the children and a witness claim this is false and that they were standing in line with the others. After unsuccessful attempts to locate the witness, CAIR-WA sent a letter of complaint to the mayor, city council, and recreation center on behalf of the man and his two kids. We are awaiting a formal response following the City's investigation.
07/05/12 – Government Agency/Other - A man who ordered car headlight bulbs from a company in China found out that his package had been detained for inspection by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) without notice. After one month, the man called again to inquire about the status of his package and was told that its contents had been destroyed by DHS with no explanation, even though the man knew of several others who had ordered the same contents in the past with no issue. The company made an identical shipment to him one week later which was delivered successfully. CAIR-WA informed the man of his rights and drafted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to find out why his package had been destroyed without reimbursement. CAIR-WA is currently waiting for the man to return the pertinent paperwork to file the FOIA request.
- Published on Tuesday, 02 October 2012 20:33
- Written by CAIR-WA Staff
- Hits: 323
02/07/12 – Public Accommodation – A Muslim man and woman in Burien have been having trouble with their landlord at a public housing facility. The manager/landlord at their housing facility has tried to evict the couple several times. The manager turns out to have a record of problems with discrimination, such as imposing fines on African-American and Asian-American tenants for behavior that he allows for Caucasian tenants (like feeding the birds off the deck). The man believes he has evidence to prove his case and that he just needs a lawyer that will accept payment on a contingency plan. Given this request, CAIR-WA referred the couple to several attorneys with experience in litigating civil rights cases.
02/03/12 – Employment/Harassment – A Muslim man in Kent has been harassed by the same co-worker for several years. The co-worker makes repeated snide comments about Muslims, such as wishing the man a “Happy Terrorist Day” on September 11th. The man complained to his manager on multiple occasions but his manager did not take any disciplinary actions against the co-worker and would tell the man that he was being a “crybaby”. CAIR-WA suggested the man first pursue resolution through his union which he is currently doing. CAIR-WA is closely monitoring the case and will get involved if the union does not take strong actions to reduce hostility in the workplace and require training for the man’s co-workers.
02/03/12 – Government Agency/FBI –A Muslim woman from Kent was contacted by the FBI in Oct.-Nov. 2011. They asked her questions regarding a man that was arrested in 2010, with whom they allege she had communicated at some time. The Seattle FBI office called her and after responding to their inquiry, the Chicago FBI office now wants to do a follow-up interview with her. The woman reported wanting to cooperate but she does not want the FBI to continue contacting her. CAIR-WA referred the woman to a lawyer who represented the woman pro bono (i.e. free of charge) in a 30 minute interview with the FBI.
02/02/12 – Employment/Harassment – A Muslim man in Seattle contacted CAIR-WA regarding ongoing discrimination at work. During training for his current position, the man was not given the same training as other employees and was denied one-on-one training which his co-workers received. The man believes he may be treated differently from other employees because he is Muslim. The man’s co-workers also harass him by making mean comments or throwing his book closed when he's reading it. He reported his case to his union and they said they would transfer it to another department. Options were discussed for CAIR-WA to advocate on the man’s behalf, including sending a letter to his supervisor or having a meeting to discuss the work environment. The man hasn't heard back from his union and is currently contacting his union and HR before discussing further action with CAIR-WA.
01/30/12 – Employment – A Muslim man in Portland was fired from his job unexpectedly after several years with the same company. When the man asked his employer why he was being terminated, he was told that it was regarding an incident in which two customers had been suspected of shoplifting. While the customers were exiting the store, the man asked them for their receipts and the customers offered to let him look through their bags which he briefly glanced in. The incident was caught on tape but the man’s employer accused him of “grabbing” the customers as they exited the store. The man believes that this is a fabricated reason for his termination due to a long history of harassment from his immediate supervisor. The man believes his supervisor was looking for a reason to fire him simply because the man is Muslim. CAIR-WA sent a complaint letter to the company and the company is currently compiling their response. In the meantime, CAIR-WA assisted the man in filing a complaint with the EEOC. The man has now decided to hire a private attorney.
01/26/12 – Government Agency/Police – A Muslim man from Seattle contacted CAIR-WA for assistance regarding an altercation with the police. Given the complexity of the man’s case and possible criminal charges, CAIR-WA referred the man to several attorneys for legal advice.
01/24/12 – School – A Muslim man in Tacoma contacted CAIR-WA after his six-year-old daughter was repeatedly instructed to sing Christian holiday songs at school. The man spoke to the Principal of the school after his daughter was first instructed to sing these songs and the Principal assured him that it would not happen again. However, his daughter was instructed to sing the same song the following day. For the following several weeks, the man’s daughter would go to the Principal’s office while her classmates sang Christian songs. The man also spoke to the deputy superintendent of the school district who responded with hostility. CAIR-WA sent a complaint letter to the school district addressing two primary issues: the instruction of religious materials in public schools, and the lack of balance in cultural/religious celebrations (overrepresentation of Jewish and Christian traditions and apparent absence of celebration of Islamic traditions). The school district’s attorney responded to the complaint and is currently conducting an investigation of the complaints as well as compiling public records requested in our letter. CAIR-WA continues to monitor this case closely and will continue take appropriate action as needed to bring it to resolution.
01/17/12 – Employment/Prayer – A Muslim man and his fellow Muslim co-workers in Seattle had their prayer room taken away from them after a switch in managers. The group sent a letter to Human Resources and had a meeting to discuss accommodations for prayer. CAIR-WA has contacted the man several times to follow up on his meeting with HR but he has been unresponsive to all voicemails.
01/13/12 – Employment – A Muslim woman in Seattle has been trying to find a job through a job placement and training program. The woman has gone to multiple locations for this company and often experiences unusually long wait time and staff members do not contact her when they state they will. She believes that the abnormally poor service may be due to her appearance as a hijab-wearing woman. CAIR-WA sent a letter of complaint to the company which responded by setting up a meeting to discuss the woman’s customer service complaints. Another meeting has been scheduled to discuss the discrimination portion of the woman’s complaint.
01/09/12 – Prison – A Muslim man incarcerated in Washington contacted CAIR-WA regarding religious accommodations. The man complained that Sunni and Shi’a Muslims are allowed to have separate prayer services from Nation of Islam (NOI) members, but both groups share one space and meal for Eid ul-Adha. The man is a new client of CAIR-WA but the complaint is not; many Sunni Muslims and NOI members have contacted CAIR-WA expressing their discontent with the two groups having to share a space for Eid ul-Adha. CAIR-WA is using the numerous complaints to advocate for changes within the Department of Corrections. So far, a memo has been released to all Chaplains across Washington reiterating the inappropriateness of the two groups sharing one space for Jum’ah and requiring Chaplains to provide sectarian accommodations in the same way they do for other religious groups. However, CAIR-WA is continuing to work closely with the Wash. State Dept. of Corrections (DOC) to have this requirement extended to religious celebrations as well, which is complicated by the oft-cited budget and staff shortages within the DOC.
01/05/12 – Government Agency/Other – On behalf of her sister who resides in Canada, a Muslim woman contacted CAIR-WA for assistance getting her brother-in-law back to Canada, where his wife lives. As there isn’t evidence to indicate that this may be a civil rights issue, CAIR-WA contacted several Canadian immigration groups for assistance and referred the woman to several agencies for assistance, including the CAIR chapter in Canada.
01/04/12 – Other – A US resident and employee of the State of Washington since 1998, a Muslim man contacted CAIR-WA due to his citizenship application being denied after a four-year delay. As there isn’t evidence to indicate that this may be a civil rights issue, CAIR-WA referred the man to several immigration attorneys.
01/04/12 – Other – After his friend was threatened with foreclosure, a local Muslim man contacted CAIR-WA seeking a lawyer to help his friend keep his home. As there isn’t evidence to indicate that this may be a civil rights issue, CAIR-WA referred the man to a legal clinic operated by the Middle Eastern Legal Association of Washington (MELAW) which provides 30 minutes of free legal advice and can often refer clients to attorneys for further help.
01/04/12 – General – A Muslim woman from the Seattle area contacted CAIR-WA in pursuit of an attorney to assist her in appealing a lawsuit filed against her involving the sale of her house. Given this request, CAIR-WA referred the woman to several attorneys and referral agencies for assistance.
01/04/12 – Child Custody – A local Muslim man contacted CAIR-WA for assistance in gaining partial custody of his son. The man believed that the defense lawyer was using his religion against him in court, alleging that he would take his son to live overseas if he had partial custody. The man had a lawyer but could no longer afford the fees. CAIR-WA referred the man to lawyers that practice family law with low-income clients.
- Published on Tuesday, 09 August 2011 19:28
- Written by CAIR-WA Staff
- Hits: 4009
Below you will find summaries of some of the cases that CAIR-WA has received from Muslims across the Northwest. Both Human Rights First and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights note that hate crimes are underreported in the United States. This matches CAIR’s experience as does our observation that other acts of anti-discrimination, in addition to hate crimes, are also under-reported. We understand that reporting an incident is often the last thing a person wants to do, but it is the best thing for ensuring justice and protecting others from experiencing similar incidents. Perpetrators of discrimination cannot be allowed to think their actions or crime carries no consequences for them. The public must see and share the natural revulsion that accompanies hearing and seeing the results of bigotry.
Additionally, the more cases CAIR-WA receives, the more strongly we can advocate changes in systems such as laws and policies, in order to decrease the likelihood that the same issue will be faced by another Muslim. All of our civil rights services are provided at zero cost to our clients.
Case Digest for November, 2012
Though a relatively lower number of cases were reported to CAIR-WA in the month of November, 2012 (16 cases, as opposed to 48 cases in October, 2012), our Civil Rights Department remained busy between intake and following up on the large number of cases already in our care.
The only discernible pattern in these reported cases is the continued abuse of government agencies toward members of the local American Muslim community. Five of the cases reported in November were complaints against government agencies—this constitutes nearly one third and indicates an ongoing trend of heightened difficulties with government agencies that CAIR has seen across the nation.
Of particular concern is continued targeting of members of the Muslim community by the FBI, and frequent difficulties with pending citizenship applications for relatives when individuals are contacted by FBI agents and decline to speak.
Below is a brief overview of the cases we received in November, 2012, with several stories highlighted in detail.
Overview of cases – 16 total complaints received in November, 2012
- 1 criminal offense case that resulted in a broken nose and eye socket for the Muslim victim.
- 1 case of public accommodation that highlighted the prolonged inability for one woman to get housing for discriminatory reasons.
- 3 cases of employment discrimination, including one man who was accused of sleeping on the job when he was in fact praying.
- 5 cases involving government agencies, including one IT professional who found out he was on a “no-fly” list when he tried to board a domestic flight for a business trip.
- 1 case linked with school misconduct in which a boy was wrongly accused of trying to steal from the locker of a girl at his school.
- 3 cases regarding hate mail, one of which seems to be condemning not just Islam but Christianity as well.
- 2 cases regarding prison inmates, including one letter which outlines specific complaints about staff misconduct at Coyote Ridge Corrections Center.
Select civil rights case studies from November, 2012:
Hassan (name changed for this story to maintain privacy), a high school student in the Seattle Public School District has been forced to change school districts because of the uncomfortable environment that was created when he was falsely accused of stealing from another student’s locker at his former school…Click here to read full story
Christina (name changed for this story to maintain privacy), a woman living in California, contacted CAIR-WA via our online “Report Discrimination” form on November 10, 2012. She reported having experienced many incidents of discrimination which have caused her a lot of problems. At that time in particular she was having difficulties with finding housing and was living in a motel…Click here to read full story
On November 23, 2012 a local Muslim – an information technology executive by profession – called CAIR-WA to report that an FBI agent had knocked on his door three days prior while he was away on business. His wife had answered the knock and spoken with the agent, who gave her his business card and asked her to have her husband call when he returns home. The agent did not give many details about the reason for his visit, and only said that he wanted to show pictures to her husband of an event that he was a potential witness to…Click here to read full story
As you will see by our case count below, the Civil Rights department has had a busy month of October, 2012. With a total of 48 reported cases during the month, the load for the month of October nearly doubled from that of September, 2012
16 out of the 48 cases reported in October, 2012 involved grievous complaints from prison inmates around the state who have been subjected to unfair treatment as a result of their beliefs. This includes actions such as confiscation of religious turbans when they are being worn in accordance with the Washington state Department of Corrections (DOC) policy on religious headwear, as well as refusal to allow individuals to eat unless they take their religious turbans off. CAIR-WA has brought these complaints, as well as an awareness of the general abuse and harassment inmates receive from corrections officers in response to their religious practices, to the attention of the DOC. We are now working with the DOC to resolve these issues.
In addition to working on cases, the CAIR-WA Civil Rights team attended various events in the community, including the Hate Crimes Forum sponsored by the Seattle Human Rights Commission, a training on working with refugees and immigrants in crisis, and follow up with the board members of the Puget Sound area mosque that received a bomb threat in September, 2012 (including a meeting with several officials from the Department of Justice).
Below is a brief overview of the cases we received this in October, 2012, with several stories highlighted in detail.
Overview of cases – 48 total complaints received in October, 2012
- 2 cases of hate mail including an Islamophobic response to an article CAIR-WA had published in the Seattle Times Op-Ed section.
- 5 cases of criminal offenses against people or property, including one woman who had a gun pointed at her by a fellow car driver while wearing hijab and driving on I-5.
- 2 cases of lack of public accommodation, including a man who was forced to move after getting a protection order against a roommate.
- 7 cases of employment discrimination, including one man who was fired for being under investigation after having been found innocent of an erroneous accusation.
- 8 cases involving government agencies, including one woman who has been unable to bring her husband over from Morocco for over two years.
- 4 cases of school misconduct, including one child who was forced to leave his school after suffering severe harassment and not receiving faculty support.
- 16 cases of prisoner letter complaints with regard to their treatment and lack of adherence to mandatory religious accommodations.
- 4 general complaints including a man who needed advice on how to deal with being issued a subpoena.
Select civil rights case studies from October, 2012:
On October 2nd, 2012, a Muslim employee of a Seattle-area medical center contacted CAIR-WA to report that he does not have access to an appropriate space for prayer in his workplace. His employer has provided a “quiet room” that is set aside for employee use; however that room is very small and often used by others for quiet conversation or other purposes which prevent its use for prayer. As a result, the man has often had to skip prayers after running out of time while waiting for the room to become available on his breaks… Click here to read full story
On October 29, 2012, a Muslim middle school student in northwestern Washington came home to report to her father that she had been taught inappropriate and inaccurate views about Muslims at school. While discussing an anti-bullying program in class that day, the student’s science teacher had brought up Hitler and the rise of the Third Reich. Then suddenly she changed topics and said that “just like Hitler,” Muslims train their children from birth to give their life to Allah and become martyrs. She further stated that Muslims are raised and taught to kill innocents. Knowing better than this, the straight-A student raised her hand to question her teacher’s statement and ask from where she had gathered her information. The teacher’s reply was: “From a video I watched on Muslims”… Click here to read full story
On Thursday, September 28, 2012 two FBI agents knocked on the door of a home located in the greater Seattle area.The resident is a US citizen of Afghan descent, who has lived in the U.S. for over 30 years.When she answered the door, the agents flashed their badges, then began asking very personal question without further explanation eventually bringing the woman to tears… Click here to read full story
Case Digest for September, 2012 (compiled by civil rights intern Thea Marriott)
While CAIR-WA had the typical back-to-school dip in cases, with only 18 reported during the month of September, 2012, there was a rise in serious offenses including hate mail and crimes against individuals.
Ten out of eighteen cases reported in September, or 56%, involved hate mail sent to CAIR, local mosques, or other Muslim organizations, physical and verbal attacks against Muslims, and one case of an actual attack on the car rented by a group of Muslim students. These attacks spiked during Ramadan (from around mid-July to mid-August), and have remained high since. Several factors may contribute to this including the increased visibility of Islam and Muslims during Ramadan, world events such as the attack on the US embassy in Libya, the anniversary of 9/11, and the continued, politicized language about Islam and Muslims in media and political circles.
CAIR-WA will soon launch a comprehensive “Safety Toolkit” for mosques and Muslim organizations across the Northwest, complete with presentations to educate community members on their rights, encourage them to report incidents, and have preparedness and response plans for anti-Muslim hate attacks specific to their location/building. The launch of this campaign is anticipated to begin in November, 2012. In the meantime, CAIR-WA has been providing Know Your Rights presentations to affected communities targeted by these attacks.
Below is a brief overview of the cases we received this month, with several stories highlighted in detail.
Overview of cases – 18 total in September, 2012
- 6 cases of hate mail including a bomb threat made to a mosque in the Puget Sound area
- 4 cases of criminal offenses against people or property including one Muslim man who was chased down the street by another man yelling “Death to you!” and another man who was egged on a street corner in Bellevue, WA while walking home from the masjid at night.
- 3 cases of public accommodation including possibly discriminatory zoning laws being used against a local mosque to prevent expansion
- 3 cases of employment discrimination including an employee of a Washington school district who was transferred to another school after filing a discrimination complaint against several coworkers and supervisors
- 1 case involving USCIS for a US citizen’s application for her husband’s visa
- 1 general complaint regarding an offensive logo on the bottom of a Fila shoe that looked like the name of Allah in Arabic
Select case studies:
1. On September 4, 2012, a group of eight Muslim men, who are all students at local colleges, rented two cars and drove to Lake Chelan, WA to jet ski on the lake. They parked their cars in the parking lot of the jet ski rental shop and left the car unattended while jet skiing, from 5:30 to 8:00 that evening. When they returned, they found one of their cars vandalized with racist slurs and pornographic images. In black ink the words “sand ni***r” and “doon coon” were written on the side of the car. Scratched into the paint were two images – one of male genitalia and one of female breasts.Shocked and offended, the men reported the incident to the local police department…Click here to read the entire case study
2. On September 24, 2012,a Muslim man living in rental housing was informed that on Sept. 27, there would be a canine bed bug inspection of all apartments in his building.Not wanting to contaminate his home with dog saliva, the man immediately called his resident manager and left several messages asking for another method of inspection to be used on his unit because of his family’s religious abstention to contact with dogs. On September 26, the housing manager finally replied and stated that in order to be excused from canine inspections the man would have to complete a form and provide a letter from a religious leader to confirm his religious beliefs. However, even then the manager would be unable to prevent a canine inspection of his home the next day because of the short notice. Feeling desperate, the man contacted CAIR-WA and spoke with a member of its Civil Rights Department…Click here to read the entire case study
3. On Wednesday, September 19, 2012 a