Umm Muhammed Umar
Radio Islam spoke to Brother Ibrahim Hooper of the of the Council on American Islamic Relations, or CAIR, for the latest news regarding events concerning Muslims in the US.
Muslim rights groups are calling on the Auburn University basketball team to cancel their trip to Israel. Brother Ibrahim said that Auburn University has excellent sports teams and that basketball was big at the university. He said, “It’s called call sports washing, and these things happen all the time, but it’s a shame when a prominent team like this, from a prominent university, goes on a propaganda trip to basically normalize Israeli apartheid and human rights abuses.” He added, “it’s ironic – I believe the majority of the team is African American, and they’re going into an area that they would not be allowed to live in – in the settlements, in these racially segregated areas.”
Meanwhile, in Chicago, civil rights groups are disappointed in the police department’s response to the beating of a teen. Brother Ibrahim said that while police have the right to detain suspects, they don’t have them have the right to beat them once they’re detained and restrained. He said, “This was basically a fairly small 17-year-old Muslim kid, and when they got him on the ground, they just started beating him.” The incident, during which the teen reportedly sustained fractures in his face and pelvis, as well as internal bleeding in his brain, was caught on camera.
Separately, CAIR has welcomed the halal meal options for students at Brentwood public schools in New York. There are a few public schools in the US which have significant Muslim populations, and have thus introduced halaal foods. Brother Ibrahim said that one of the school officials was Muslim, and that he had requested it. He said, “we’re increasingly seeing this, Alhamdulillah, around the country, whether it’s allowing time, or days excused for Eid, or Halal options.” He added, “I think there’s an increasing recognition of rights of Muslim students, and students of all faiths, in schools.”
In Washington State, the of diversity of the contributions of Muslim communities, and even Muslim individuals, is being recognized and celebrated. Brother Ibrahim said that for several years CAIR had been asking Muslim communities and states around the country to ask for resolutions on Ramadan, for Muslim heritage month, “So, we’re seeing that pop up around the country. We’re just dealing with another one that’s been introduced, by Senator Booker, in New Jersey.” He added, “these things are good, it demonstrates the civic participation of American Muslims and we encourage other states to do them as well.”