Open House Dar Al Islam Flyer Front(ST. LOUIS, MO, 6/7/17) -- On Wednesday, June 7, the Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis (IFGSTL), the Missouri chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MO) and the Islamic Information Center of St. Louis (IICSTL) will host the 4th annual “Sharing Ramadan” open house and “iftar,” or Ramadan fast-breaking meal, to help challenge the rising level of Islamophobia nationwide in recent months. 
 
WHAT: 4th Annual Sharing Ramadan Open House
WHEN: Wednesday, June 7, 6 P.M.
WHERE: Daar-Al-Islam Masjid, 517 Wiedman Rd, Ballwin MO, 63011
CONTACT: CAIR-MO Executive Director Faizan Syed, 314-330-2946, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;
 
Ramadan is the month on the Islamic lunar calendar during which Muslims abstain from food, drink and other sensual pleasures from break of dawn to sunset. The fast is performed to learn discipline, self-restraint, generosity, and building a closer personal relationship with God.
 
At each sunset during Ramadan, Muslims have "iftar," a meal that breaks the fast. It is a time for food, community, prayer and fellowship. This year, the St. Louis Muslim community is working to build bridges of peace and mutual understanding by encouraging peoples of all faiths - and the general public - to join together in the breaking of the fast with their Muslim neighbors.
 
Fasting (along with the declaration of faith, daily prayers, charity, and pilgrimage to Mecca) is one of the "five pillars" of Islam.
 
"With all the anti-Muslim hate incidents occurring across the U.S., this will be our most important Sharing Ramadan event," said Nauman Wadalawala, board member of IFGSTL and a member of the organizing committee. "During a time of so many misconceptions of Islam and American Muslims I believe the best way to build peace, tolerance and understanding is for people to interact with one another. What better way of doing that then having people participate in the breaking of the fast?"
 
The evening will include a guided tour of the Islamic Center, presentations about Ramadan, breaking of the fast meal, sunset Muslim prayers followed by dinner. There will be various activity tables such as an Islamic Information tables, writing names in Arabic, hand art known as Henna, try on Muslim clothing from around the world, and many more.
 
"Ramadan is a month of sharing, a month of reconnecting with God and one’s family and society,” said Chris Caras, Director of IICSTL. “This annual event gives the Muslim community an opportunity to invite their friends, neighbors and the general public to visit our Islamic Center and build meaningful bridges.”
 
"The last twelve months, with the presidential election and the ‘Muslim bans’ have been particularly troubling to American Muslims,” said Faizan Syed, executive director of CAIR-MO. "Now more than ever, people of conscience must come together to overcome the troubling rise in hate and division going on in our country. Sharing Ramadan is a concrete positive step towards creating a more compassionate and loving society."
 
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
 
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CONTACT: CAIR-Missouri Executive Director Faizan Syed, 636-207-8882, 314-330-2946, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

St. Louis Board of Aldermen Recoganize Ramadan John Muhammad CAIR Missouri(SAINT LOUIS, MO, 5/25/17) – The Missouri chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MO), a chapter of the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today welcomed Resolution 32 by the Board of Aldermen that “recognizes Ramadan as a holy month and commits to creating a culture of respect in the City of St. Louis.”
  
CAIR-Missouri: Full Video of Ramadan Resolution 28 Passage by St. Louis Board of Alderman https://youtu.be/mCM6cD0ugbE
In a statement, CAIR-Missouri Executive Director Faizan Syed said:
“We are proud of the Board of Aldermen and especially John Collins-Muhammad for unanimously passing this resolution. Recognizing the holy month of Ramadan, which thousands of St. Louis Muslims celebrate, is another positive step in building a culture of respect for all of St. Louis’ diverse communities.”
 
The resolution was passed by a unanimous decision by all members of the board. A Muslim delegation with representatives from CAIR-Missouri, the Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis, the Bosnian community, Muslim students, and Muslim-owned businesses was present to witness the historic resolution.
“Today, I’m extremely proud of my colleagues for unanimously passing my resolution to recognize Ramadan as a holy month and commit to creating a culture of respect in the City of St. Louis,” said Aldermen John Collins-Muhammad of the 21stWard. “St. Louis has proven to the rest of the nation that we want an environment that welcomes peoples of all faiths and backgrounds into our community”.
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.
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CONTACT: CAIR-Missouri Executive Director Faizan Syed, 636-207-8882, 314-330-2946, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

CAIR MISSOURI(ST. LOUIS, MO, 5/18/17) – The Missouri chapter of the Council on American-Islamic (CAIR-Missouri) is calling on Governor Eric Greitens to veto Senate Bill 43, which would significantly increase the burden for proving discrimination in the workplace.
WashU Expert: Missouri SB 43 Would Weaken Discrimination Protections
   
In a joint letter to the governor, CAIR-Missouri Executive Director Faizan Syed and the group’s Civil Rights Staff Attorney Robert West wrote in part:
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.”
  
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.
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CONTACT: CAIR-Missouri Executive Director Faizan Syed, 314-403-3626,This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

MEDIA ADVISORY
 
CAIR MISSOURI(ST. LOUIS, MO, 4/11/2017) – The Missouri chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Missouri) today said its executive director will speak at an event at Truman State University just before an appearance by the notorious Islamophobe Robert Spencer.
 
CAIR said the Truman State College Republicans have invited Spencer to speak at an event on Thursday paid for with $3,000 from the university's student-led Funds Allotment Council, which is funded by student fees.
Spencer is scheduled to speak in a campus auditorium at 8 p.m. At 6:30 p.m. that same evening, CAIR-Missouri Executive Director Faizan Syed will offer a presentation, titled "Reclaiming Islam and Overcoming Hate," organized by the Muslim Student Association.
SEE: Truman State Grapples with Controversial Anti-Muslim Speaker
A third-party petition has been launched to oppose Spencer’s appearance at Truman State.
“While Spencer has the right to spew anti-Muslim propaganda, his extremist and conspiratorial views should not go unchallenged,” said Syed.
Spencer is a key leader in the anti-Islam hate movement in the United States. He is the director of the blog “Jihad Watch” and of the American Freedom Defense Initiative and Stop Islamization of America, both of which are viewed as anti-Muslim groups.
In 2013, Spencer was banned from entering the United Kingdom because his views “foster hatred which might lead to inter-community violence.” His recommended reading list has included racist books such as Jean Raspail’s 1973 “Camp of the Saints,” which depicts France being overrun by non-white immigrants from India. The respected Southern Poverty Law Center labeled Spencer an “anti-Muslim extremist.”
A Journalist's Manual: Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Extremists
SPLC: About Robert Spencer
CAIR Islamophobia Monitor: Robert Spencer (Jihad Watch)
CAIR recently decried what it termed the Trump administration’s “deafening silence” on a growing number of anti-Muslim incidents in recent days, part of trend that began during the recent presidential campaign and accelerated following the November 8 election.
SEE: CAIR Decries Trump Administration’s ‘Deafening Silence’ on Series of Anti-Muslim Incidents Nationwide
Since the beginning of the year, CAIR has called for investigations of possible bias motives for 35 incidents targeting mosques in Colorado, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Kentucky, Georgia, Arizona, Virginia, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Texas, and a number of other states. By comparison, in the January-March period in 2016, CAIR recorded 19 such incidents.
CAIR: This Map Shows How Many Mosques Have Been Targeted Just This Year (CNN)
http://edition.cnn.com/2017/03/20/us/mosques-targeted-2017-trnd/index.html 
In a soon-to-be-published report, CAIR will detail a more than 50 percent increase in anti-Muslim bias incidents in 2016 over 2015. That figure is accompanied by a more than 40 percent increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes in the same period.
CAIR is asking American Muslims and Islamic institutions to take extra security precautions and is offering Muslim community leaders free copies of its booklet, "Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety." The booklet may be requested through CAIR's website: http://www.cair.com/mosque-safety-guide.html
The Washington-based civil rights and advocacy organization urges community members to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR's Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or by filing a report at: http://www.cair.com/civil-rights/report-an-incident/view/form.html      
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.
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CONTACT: CAIR-Missouri Executive Director Faizan Syed, 636-207-8882, 314-330-2946, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

(ST. LOUIS, MO, 4/5/2017) – On Friday, April 7, the Missouri chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Missouri) will host “Creativity & Identity, An American Muslim Art Exhibition,” the first St. Louis art exhibition featuring local Muslim artists and performers.
 
WHAT: Creativity & Identity, An American Muslim Art Exhibition
WHEN: Friday, April 7, 6-9 p.m.
WHERE: 3rd Degree Glass Factory, 5200 Delmar Blvd, St. Louis, MO, 63108
CONTACT: CAIR-Missouri Executive Director Faizan Syed, 314-403-3626, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Events Intern Yusra Ali, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 314-629-1224
 
“Our goal is to let American Muslims tell their own stories and build their own identity through art,” said Faizan Syed, executive director of CAIR-Missouri. “Typically, Islam and Muslims are only discussed through the lens of politics or conflict. We want to flip the script and show Islam and Muslims through the diversity of art and performance.”
 
The exhibition will feature several local Muslim artists who will display their art and discuss how art impacts their faith and identity as American Muslims. Various Muslim performers and artists will offer poems, spoken word, Nasheed (religious songs), and comedy performances. International food will be served at the event. Guests will be able to purchase art from the local artists. The exhibition is open to the public and family friendly.
 
“Throughout history, art has been used as a tool to express faith,” said Yusra Ali, CAIR-Missouri’s event coordinator for the art exhibition. “Our exhibition is unique because it allows local Muslims to express themselves and their identity rather than letting the society define it.”
 
Some of the artists include:
 
Abbas Labbas Islamic Clothing
Sharif Ead Photographer and performer at Fighhouse Productions,
Amaly Youssef, photographer and founder of “I am Muslim And…”
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
 
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CONTACT: CAIR-Missouri Executive Director Faizan Syed, 636-207-8882, 314-330-2946, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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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.

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