Stop the Criminalization of Boycott Against Israel Defend the ConstitutionI write today in opposition to H.R. 1697 & S. 720, also known as the Israel Anti-Boycott Act. I understand that proponents of the bill are seeking additional cosponsors. I urge you to not co-sponsor this legislation because it would punish individuals for no reason other than their political beliefs. I also urge you to oppose the bill, whether in committee or on the floor.

The bill would bar U.S. persons from supporting boycotts against Israel, including its settlements in the Palestinian Occupied Territories, conducted by international governmental organizations, such as the United Nations and the European Union. It would also broaden the law to include penalties for simply requesting information about such boycotts. Violations would be subject to a minimum civil penalty of $250,000 and a maximum criminal penalty of $1 million and 20 years in prison. The government cannot, consistent with the First Amendment, punish U.S. persons based solely on their expressed political beliefs.

Sign the Petition Click Below.

Dear (Representative or Senator) ___________________________,

I write today in opposition to H.R. 1697 & S. 720, also known as the Israel Anti-Boycott Act. I understand that proponents of the bill are seeking additional cosponsors. I urge you to not co-sponsor this legislation because it would punish individuals for no reason other than their political beliefs. I also urge you to oppose the bill, whether in committee or on the floor.

The bill seeks to expand the Export Administration Act of 1979 and the ExportImport Bank Act of 1945 which, among other things, prohibit U.S. persons from complying with a foreign government’s request to boycott a country friendly to the U.S. The bill would amend those laws to bar U.S. persons from supporting boycotts against Israel, including its settlements in the Palestinian Occupied Territories, conducted by international governmental organizations, such as the United Nations and the European Union. It would also broaden the law to include penalties for simply requesting information about such boycotts. Violations would be subject to a minimum civil penalty of $250,000 and a maximum criminal penalty of $1 million and 20 years in prison. The government cannot, consistent with the First Amendment, punish U.S. persons based solely on their expressed political beliefs.

This bill would impose civil and criminal punishment on individuals solely because of their political beliefs about Israel and its policies. There are millions of businesses and individuals who do no business with Israel, or with companies doing business there, for a number of reasons. Some, like those who would face serious financial penalties and jail time under the bill, actively avoid purchasing goods or services from companies that do business in Israel and the Palestinian Occupied Territories because of a political viewpoint opposed to Israeli policy. Others may refrain from Israeli-related business based on political beliefs, but choose not to publicly announce their reasoning. Still others do no business with companies in Israel for purely pragmatic reasons. Under the bill, however, only a person whose lack of business ties to Israel is politically motivated would be subject to fines and imprisonment – even though there are many others who engage in the very same behavior. In short, the bill would punish businesses and individuals based solely on their point of view. Such a penalty is in direct violation of the First Amendment.

This bill aims to punish people who support international boycotts that are meant to protest Israeli government policies, while leaving those who agree with Israeli government policies free from the threat of sanctions for engaging in the exact same behavior. Whatever their merits, such boycotts rightly enjoy First Amendment protection.1 By penalizing those who support international boycotts of Israel, S.720 seeks only to punish the exercise of constitutional rights.

Sincerely,
______________________
(name)

CAIR MO Brochure FrontThis Ramadan invests in your local CAIR-Missouri chapter to overcome bigotry and hate. CAIR-Missouri is a non-profit 501(c)3 civil rights and advocacy organization that is both Sadaqah and Zakat eligible. Our Ramadan goal is $50,000 and 50 new sustaining members. You can help us reach our goal by donating online today.

Donate Online Today: www.CAIR-MO.org/GIVE

Download: The Reawakening the Spirit of Justice Brochure

A Letter from the Executive Director Faizan Syed:

Assalamu Aliakum wa Rhamatullahi wa Barakathu,

Greetings to all of you as we welcome the blessed month of Ramadan. May Allah increase our piety, sincerity, and steadfastness during this holy month and bring us all closer to Him. We pray to Allah to enhance our spirituality and to enable us to do more good deeds.

The last 10 months have been difficult. The anti-Muslim rhetoric from the Presidential campaign followed by the election of a President who has openly said, “Islam hates us”, called for a total shutdown of Muslims entering the U.S., implemented the Muslim Ban, and so much more. I remember walking through the halls of Al-Salam Day school after the election and listening to conversations by 6 and 7-year-old children who were frightened by the results and genuinely concerned that their family had no future in the United States.

My sisters and brothers, this Ramadan and the last 12 months have been a wake-up call for all of us. It’s a reminder that the work we do at CAIR-Missouri is the most important cause of our time. Whether it’s defending the civil rights of American Muslims in court, filing a lawsuit against the Trump administration’s unconstitutional Muslim ban, building genuine relationships with our elected officials, giving a voice to American Muslims in the media, investing in leadership skills for our youth, building deep relationships with interfaith and other civil rights organizations, and empowering our community. Everyday CAIR is on the frontlines of combating Islamophobia and empowering American Muslims but we can’t do it alone.

Now more than ever we realize that the work we do is truly historical. We are walking in the footsteps of other inspiring civil rights movements who fought for the rights of all Americans. We realize today that we need to work with everyone to overcome hate. After the vandalism at the Chesed Shel Emeth Jewish cemetery right here in our backyard in University City, we worked to promote the Muslim fundraising to help repair and rebuild the cemetery and organized the Muslim community to help in the cleanup efforts. On that day of tragedy and unity, we showed the world that we will not be divided and we will overcome hatred together.

This Ramadan, make your tax-deductible donation to CAIR-MO. We are non-profit 501(c)3 organization that is both Sadaqah and Zakat eligible. Our office has grown by over 300% in the last year but that is not good enough. We need to hire a full-time Government Affairs and Chapter Development Directors who can develop statewide campaigns to build meaningful relationships with elected officials and who can help us apply for grants and other funding sources so we do not continue to be as dependent on your donations.

3-Full Time staff members: Our team now consists of Executive Director Faizan Syed, Civil Rights Attorney Robert West, and Islamic Education Director Chris Caras

* Government: 103 Meetings with Elected Officials. Registered over 250 first time, Muslim voters. Held 32 voter registration drives. Lobbied to Congress in Washington D.C. for National Muslim Advocacy Day

* New Office: We’ve moved into our professional West County office space late last year.

* Civil Rights: CAIR has documented a 55% spike in anti-Muslim hate crimes. Our office has received a dramatic spike in anti-Muslim hate crimes impacting American Muslims of all backgrounds.

* In the Media: Since January 2017 we’ve been in over 211 unique stories, reached 139,308,245 people, and have our earned media is valued at $1,288,601

* Youth Empowerment: Graduated over 50 Young Muslims

 

18556266 10100514253219561 3001371597117927473 nDear Governor Greitens,

February 20, 2017 was a day when a heinous act of vandalism was committed at the Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery, where over one hundred headstones were cowardly defaced. Despite the vandals’ intent to create fear and divide us, they brought together all Americans in a show of solidarity and unity.

American Muslims came together and launched the "Muslims Unite to Repair Jewish Cemetery" campaign on LaunchGood, which raised $162,468 to help repair the damage. Locally, the Missouri Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (“CAIR-MO”) helped organize Imams, Muslim community leaders, and the greater Muslim community to come out to your day to help clean up the Jewish cemetery. We believe that hatred, discrimination, and the targeting of any community is a targeting of all communities, and we would not stand by silently. We, along with many members of the Muslim community, had the pleasure of meeting you and Vice President Mike Pence during the cleanup.

In the past five years, CAIR-MO has witnessed the best and worst of our nation. We've witnessed the Islamic Center in Joplin survive the F5 tornado that leveled one third of the city, only to be burned to the ground nearly a year later in a hate crime. We've witnessed Muslim families have guns pulled on them and be threatened with death, even with their children present, no older than your own. And we have assisted hard-working men and women fired from their jobs simply because they choose to enjoy the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and proudly practice their religion.

Missouri is one of the greatest states to live in and raise a family. The protections against discrimination that our state provides to hard-working families are a shining beacon of what is right in America. Now those freedoms are being challenged with Senate Bill 43 (“SB 43”), a law that would take away necessary protections that are just as vital today as any time in our history.

The Missouri Human Rights Act includes some of the most important protections that workers in the state of Missouri enjoy. The premise of these protections is simple: we shall not tolerate any discrimination in the workplace. If discrimination plays any role in an employer’s adverse decisions against an employee or potential employee, or any role in creating a hostile work environment for an employee, then that employee has recourse to make them whole again. Signing SB 43 into law would send a clear message that in the State of Missouri, a certain level of discrimination in Missouri is perfectly acceptable, and there is nothing victims of discrimination can do about it. Passing this law will tell employers that they should feel free to discriminate against employees based on their race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, disability, age, and/or familial status, provided that discrimination remains within acceptable parameters as outlined by SB 43. As a civil rights organization, and furthermore as Missourians, we find this unacceptable.

We believe that you have a tremendous responsibility to stand for the values that you so eloquently stated at Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery. As the first Jewish Governor of Missouri, you are in a unique position to understand the adverse effect of discrimination in the workplace, a struggle that the Jewish community fights to overcome to this day. At a time when hate crimes are spiking and open bigotry is surging, we should be looking to expand protection from discrimination for Missouri workers, such as to the LGBTQIA community, which currently enjoys no specific protections under Missouri law. We implore you to veto SB 43, and any law that would take away more protections for Missouri workers.

Very truly yours,

Faizan Syed, Executive Director                                                        Robert A. West, Civil Rights Director

Page 1 of 2

About Us

CAIR-MO vision is to be a leading advocate for justice and mutual understanding. Our mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

Contact us

Addresse: 13408 Clayton Rd, St. Louis MO, 63131
Tel: 636-207-8882
Email: info@cair-mo.org

Social

facebooktwitteryoutube circle color 128   

© 2015 The official website of CAIR-MO office of the Council on American Islamic Relations.All Rights Reserved.