The lawsuit filed by the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ Chicago chapter alleges discrimination based on race, religion and national origin. The suit also says Mustapha was denied his First Amendment right to freedom of association, which bars the government from imposing guilt by association. It calls for Mustapha’s immediate reinstatement.
“Imam Kifah [Mustapha] is an upstanding citizen who has served this country and his community time and again,” Christina Abraham, civil rights director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations-Chicago, said in a release.
“It is time to put an end to the fear-mongering and anti-Muslim rhetoric that has senselessly engulfed our nation,” she said.
CAIR-Chicago filed a discrimination complaint in federal court today against the Illinois State Police (ISP) on behalf of Kifah Mustapha, a leading Muslim religious leader (Imam) based in Chicago. The ISP had previously hired Imam Kifah as the first and only Muslim chaplain for its workforce after the completion of a thorough background check. Shortly after news of Imam Kifah’s hiring, the ISP revoked its decision citing a dubious Internet report attacking Imam Kifah. The report was written and distributed by Steven Emerson, an anti-Muslim blogger notorious for fighting against American Muslim civic participation.
“It’s disappointing that things should come to this, that the Illinois State Police has succumbed to the defamatory rantings of bigoted individuals who, while in the name of protecting American values, do nothing more than undermine and degrade the very principles this country was founded upon,” said Abraham.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations filed a discrimination claim with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Wednesday, the precursor to a lawsuit against Illinois State Police, after it rescinded its first appointment of a Muslim cleric as chaplain.
Kifah Mustapha, a well-known Chicago-area imam, was appointed chaplain in December. The Council on American-Islamic Relations is representing him and said Mustapha was told by a state police official his appointment was put on hold after criticism by the Investigative Project on Terrorism, a think-tank.
The Illinois State Police has revoked the appointment of the agency’s first Muslim chaplain, citing only information revealed during a background check. A national Muslim advocacy group Wednesday blamed the move on Islamophobia.
The Illinois State Police has revoked the appointment of a prominent cleric to become the department’s first Muslim chaplain.
Ahmed Rehab, CAIR’s executive director in Chicago, called it discrimination against Muslims, especially since Imam Kifah Mustapha hasn’t been formally accused of wrongdoing.
Ahmed Rehab, CAIR’s executive director in Chicago, called it discrimination against Muslims, especially since Mustapha hasn’t been formally accused of wrongdoing.
“The ISP is kowtowing to the run-of-the-mill fear-mongering that Islamophobes have devoted their careers in order to avoid a public relations controversy,” he said.
A Bridgeview imam will file a discrimination complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against the Illinois State Police, his lawyer said Wednesday, alleging that police force fired him based on misleading and anti-Islamic media reports.