Who Are We?
The History The Mission Services Statistics Management & Staff
The History :
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is a nonprofit, grassroots membership organization. CAIR was established in 1994 to promote a positive image of Islam and Muslims. Its headquarters are located in Washington, D.C. where it plays an active role in influencing policies that affect Muslims. With its successful work, professional staff and attitude, CAIR expanded quickly, forming chapters in most major cities across the United States and Canada.
The Los Angeles chapter of CAIR was formed in 1996, initially consisting of a group of dedicated volunteers. The need for a full-time staff person to handle the vast amount of work was quickly apparent, and a permanent office was established. As CAIR-Southern California continued to expand its work, two more full-time staff members were added in 2000.
The Mission :
CAIR is dedicated to presenting an Islamic perspective on issues of importance to the American public. In offering that perspective, we seek to empower the Muslim community in America through political and social activism. We believe that the many misrepresentations of Islam prevalent today are most often the result of ignorance on the part of non-Muslims and reluctance on the part of Muslims to articulate their cause
From CAIR’s inception, it aspired to create a comprehensive structure for education and training on Islamic issues for Muslims and non-Muslims alike. This structure consists of the following services:
1-Media Relations: We work with media professionals both locally and on a national level to help shape a positive image of Islam. CAIR activists also monitor the local, national and international media to challenge negative stereotypes of Islam and Muslims and present Muslim viewpoints on issues of concern to our community. CAIR works with the media to ensure a wide and positive coverage of Ramadan and Hajj.
2-Conferences and Seminars: We organize conferences and seminars for media professionals, government officials and the academic community. These events are designed to present otherwise unavailable information about Islam and Muslims.
Last year, over 800 people attended the CAIR Conference.
3-Publications: A variety of publications addressing the status and needs of Muslims in America are offered to opinion leaders and the public at large. In addition to publishing a quarterly newsletter, “Faith in Action,” CAIR produces practical handbooks, such as “Hajj and Ramadan Publicity Resource Kits,” for use by Muslim leaders and activists. (See Appendix 2 for sample publications.
4-Action Alerts: CAIR issues Action Alerts to local communities as a rapid means of promoting local activism and generating a grassroots response on important issues. We believe local response is a key factor in making our voices heard on both the local and national levels.
5-Research: CAIR undertakes research on subjects relevant to the American Muslim community, including gathering data for an annual report on the status of Muslim civil rights. This report details incidents of anti-Muslim bias and violence. Position papers on a variety of issues relating to Muslims in America are produced as required.
6-Anti-Discrimination Work: CAIR works through its legal advisors and local activists to fight discrimination of any type directed against Muslims in America. This discrimination often relates to misuse of Islamic symbols or the violation of civil rights in the workplace. With Allah’s help, CAIR succeeded in assisting hundreds of Muslims win back their jobs. Hundreds of companies, schools, and hospitals are now educated about Islamic religious practices.
7-Lobbying: CAIR activists lobby American political leaders on issues related to Islam and Muslims in America. Issues of particular interest include freedom of expression and religious practice for Muslims in America. Over the last few years, CAIR-LA has met and communicated with most Congressmen from the Southern California area. This has lead to a better understanding between our Muslim community and the political leaders in cooperation toward our issues
8-Training/Outreach: CAIR trains American Muslim community activists and leaders in techniques of effective media and public relations, lobbying and public speaking. Experts are available to offer seminars in local communities.
CAIR volunteers working on a community project
9-Internships: CAIR offers internships to students and other interested individuals who wish to gain experience in media relations, political activism and anti-discrimination work. CAIR-LA has recently announced internship opportunities for four positions at its office.
10-Interfaith Relations: Islam places much stress on promoting mutual respect and good relations between Muslims and the People of the Book. CAIR works toward this goal through public education and interfaith cooperation. CAIR-LA is an active member of several interfaith councils in Southern California.
Ra’id Faraj, Public Relations Director of CAIR-LA, presenting a workshop on Islamic religious practices to hospital employees at CHOC
CAIR-DC receives over 300 daily phone calls from the Muslim community, media officials, and various government agencies. An additional 40 calls a day are received by CAIR-LA.
CAIR-DC receives over 6000 e-mail messages every month. An additional 1000 messages are received by CAIR-LA.
CAIR chapters receive over 100 complaints of discrimination from Muslims every month.
CAIR e-mail messages are received by tens of thousands of activists and media workers across the United States and Canada.
CAIR has participated in hundreds of interfaith events throughout the country.
CAIR regularly sends press releases about American Muslim issues to over 20,000 media outlets.
CAIR has 13 chapters in major U.S. cities, including Washington D.C., San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Columbus, Detroit, and Miami.
CAIR has over 23 full-time employees, of whom 15 are in the Washington D.C. office and 3 are in the Los Angeles office.
CAIR has initiated over 250 media campaigns in the defense of Islam and Muslims. Most of these have been quite successful, Al-Hamdulillah.
Since CAIR started its special Ramadan media campaign, the number of positive articles on Ramadan in U.S. newspapers has increased from 300 to over 2000 articles.
CAIR has published 35 special reports and studies on Islamic topics.
CAIR has published and distributed 100,000 free copies of the “Know Your Rights” pocket guide on civil rights to the American Muslim community.
CAIR-LA is providing Southern California public libraries with much-needed basic and authentic books on Islam.
CAIR articles and information on Islam have been featured in almost every major media outlet in the U.S. and around the world.
Management & Staff :
CAIR – National:
Board of Directors Omar Ahmad, Founder and Chairman Dr. Sulayman Nyang Dr. Ihsan Bagby Dr. Mujeeb Cheema Nabeel Sadoon Dr. Sheema Khan Nihad Awad, Co-Founder
Board of Advisors Dr. Jamal Badawi Dr. Ali Mazrui Fmr. Rep. Paul Findley Imam W.D. Mohammed Imam Siraj Wahhaj Dr. Sayyid M. Syeed Dr. Mohammad Cheema Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi Manzoor Ghori Dr. Abdullah Idris
CAIR – California:
Board of Directors Omar Ahmad Chad Carson Malika Khan Fouad Khatib (President) Mahmud Musbah Haseeb Rizvi Athar Siddiquee
Executive Committee Asem Abusir Dyan Hansford Mohammad A. Auwal Ashraf Ibrahim Hussam Ayloush Sherrel Johnson Fathi Dweik Sohail Merchant Riad Abdelkarim Saed Moujtahed Mohammad Aftab Masoud Nasimi Mohiddine Akkad-Salam Hanif Paracha Maher Ghorani Fawad Yacoob
Hussam Ayloush, Executive Director. Holds an MBA degree from California State University in Fullerton. Mr. Ayloush has been involved with CAIR-LA since its beginning. He currently oversees media and political activities at the office, as well as managing the general affairs of the office.
Ra’id Faraj, Public Relations Director. Holds an MA in Organizational Leadership from Chapman University. Mr. Faraj handles cases of discrimination and coordinates training activities for the community. He also manages CAIR’s interfaith programs.
Sakeena Mirza, Research and Education Director. Holds a BA in Arabic from UCLA. Ms. Mirza oversees CAIR’s activities with local schools and libraries concerning Islamic awareness. She also handles membership relations.
©2001 The Council on American-Islamic Relations 2115 W. Crescent Ave. Ste 260 Anaheim, CA 92801 USA
Tel: 714-776-1847 , Fax: 714-776-8340 firstname.lastname@example.org