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****  PRESS RELEASE  ****

 - For Immediate Release & Distribution  -


September 18, 2004

Racial and religious profiling should not be part of new security searches

(CHICAGO, IL, 9/18/04) - The Chicago office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Chicago) today expressed concern over the potential for racial and religious profiling in a new security initiative by the Chicago Police Department and the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA). The initiative focuses on searching CTA L cars for "suspicious" passengers and objects. SEE:

"The Chicago Muslim community is supportive of all reasonable security measures necessary to ensure the safety of our city's citizens," Said Ahmed Rehab, CAIR-Chicago's Director of Communications. "All of us feel safer knowing the authorities are proactive in their attempts to root out the terrorist threat." Rehab did however caution against the use of racial and religious profiling in carrying out the new security measures.

"Previous experience has shown that racial and religious profiling is not effective, bearing only negative repercussions on the profiled," said Yaser Tabbara, Executive Director of CAIR-Chicago. "We ask that the Chicago Police Department maintain its commitment to a no-profiling policy."

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CONTACT: CAIR-Chicago Yaser Tabbara, 312-718-3725, 312-212-1520