Thank You for making CAIR-Chicago's Annual Event a Success!

CAIR-Chicago's Directors, Staff, and volunteers would like to thank everyone who helped make our Annual Event 2005 - held February 26th - a resounding success.

650 community members showed up for the dinner, directors' presentations, and keynote speeches - 150 more than the targeted 500.

Dinner was served, following a reception and Isha prayers. Immediately after dinner, a short film produced by CAIR-Chicago and entitled, "Professional Muslim Activism" - the event's theme - was screened for the audience.

The film showcased the work of CAIR-Chicago and featured testimonials by ICIRR Executive Director, Josh Hoyt; DePaul University Professor of Islamic Studies, Aminah McCloud; and Distinguished Research professor of Law at DePaul University college of law, M. Cherif Bassiouni, who was also one of the keynote speakers. The film also featured Television and Radio interviews by CAIR-Chicago's Executive Director, Yaser Tabbara, and Director of Communications, Ahmed Rehab, as well as the grassroots organizing work of Governmental Relations Director, Fadi Farhan.

Following the film, Tabbara, Rehab, and Farhan gave short motivational speeches highlighting the importance of CAIR-Chicago's work.

The program concluded by potent keynote speeches delivered by former Guantanamo U.S. Army Chaplain, Captain James Yee, and Professor M. Cherif Bassiouni who was affectionately introduced by Dr. Shakeela Hassan.

The event was MC'ed by CAIR-Chicago Chairman of the Board, Safaa Zarzour. It was held and cosponsored by the Islamic Foundation of Villa Park.

Amongst the attendees were VIP guests including the wife and son of the honorable Elijah Muhammad; Mrs. Rae Srch, the mayor of Villa Park; Islamic Scholar, Professor Scott Alexander; Islamic Foundation Chairman, Dr. Zia Hassan; & CIOGC Chairman, Abdul Malik Mujahid, as well as several of Chicago's established leaders.

Although grateful for the sizeable turnout and positive feedback, CAIR-Chicago's Chairman of the board said that a lot of outreach work has yet to be done. "It isn't about the actual dinner event, but about how an organization builds off that momentum", said Zarzour.

Speakers Photos

The following cases were amongst those reported to CAIR-Chicago for the month of February:


  • An individual wearing a headscarf was interviewed for a position, and later overheard the manager say to the employee that interviewed her “we don’t want that” and threw away her application.
  • A Muslim truck driver experienced a number of racially insulting slurs and was consequently banned from an essential pick-up point, preventing him to perform his job.
  • Several Arab cab drivers have been intentionally given shorter routes by their supervisor so as to minimize their income.


  • A Muslim male, after having successfully completed the examination for naturalization, is being required to re-take the exam without any stated reason.


  • A headscarf wearing Muslim community college student was religiously discriminated against and sexually harassed by another student, while the administration has remained inactive at issuing out some form of discipline for the offending student.


  • Three cars belonging to a Muslim family were vandalized outside of their home; no other cars in the neighborhood were vandalized.

Resolved Cases:

  • Facts: A Muslim elementary school student was served pork despite the knowledge of the cook about his dietary restrictions.
  • Resolution: The family has received an apology for the incident by the school’s administration and the cook involved.

  • Facts: A woman was excessively ticketed for minor traffic violations, arrested and forced to be fingerprinted and photographed without her headscarf.
  • Resolution: The chief of the police department apologized for the incident, will appear in court to dismiss all of the tickets issued, has burned the photographs of the woman and will have his officers complete sensitivity training sessions to prevent such incidents from happening in the future.

CAIR-Chicago to participate in The Chicago Headline Club's roundtable discussion, "Improving coverage of Arab and Muslim communities"
March 10, 2005

CAIR-Chicago's Director of Communications, Ahmed Rehab will participate in a repeat of 2004's successful roundtable dialogue about the ways local media succeed and fail in covering Chicago's Arab and Muslim communities. Last year's panelists included Genevie Abdo, Ray Hannania, Susan Sanders, Dan La Voie, and omer Muzzafar, in addition to Rehab. This year's panel will again include a selection of Chicago's top journalists. This event is made possible by a grant from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Daily Herald. The Chicago Tribune's Steve Franklin will moderate.

When: 8:00 p.m. | Where: Daily Herald Office Center, 155 E. Algonquin Road in Arlington Heights | Free and open to the public. RSVP required: (312) 409-7997 or

CAIR-Chicago Organizing Lectures On Islam
January 26, 2005 - Ongoing

CAIR-Chicago is organizing a series of introductory level lectures on Islam with Elderhostel on a program entitled Building Bridges to Islam. The goal of this series is to offer citizens of the Chicagoland area an opportunity to enhance their knowledge of Islam, as well as to interact with members of their local Muslim communities.

Next and final program is scheduled for Wednesday March 16th, 2005 at the Islamic Cultural Center of Northbrook (pending ICC board approval).


CAIR-Chicago Recruits New Civil Rights Coordinator

Christina Abraham has joined CAIR-Chicago's team as the new Civil Rights Coordinator. Christina counsels and interviews victims regarding their complaints, documents incidents, as well as maintains incident reports submitted to CAIR-Chicago. Christina recently completed a Master in the Arts of Social Sciences at the University of Chicago and intends to pursue a law degree with a focus on civil and human rights. Christina can be reached at

Greater Chicagoland American Muslim Registration Drive

On April 5, I'll be heading down to Orland Park to orchestrate a GOTV and supplementary registration drive for the local election in conjunction with our energetic CAIR-Chicago volunteers from around the Chicagoland area. We'll be visiting approximately 250 to 300 American Muslim homes that day from about 9 am until 6 pm...


Executive Director
Yaser Tabbara

Director of Communications
Ahmed Rehab

Director of Governmental Relations
Fadi Farhan

Civil Rights Coordinator
Christina Abraham

Operations Coordinator
Ahmed Zedan

Project Coordinator
Nosherwan Yasin

Board of Directors
Susan Janaan Hashim - Treasurer
Shakeela Hassan, MD
Alim Elliott Khan
Mazen Kudaimi, MD
Kamran Memon, Esq.
Ahmed Rehab
Zaher Sahloul, MD
Abdullah Salah, Esq. - Vice President
Yaser Tabbara, Esq. - Secretary
Safaa Zarzour, Esq. - President


For more information, please contact:

CAIR-Chicago (A Chapter of The Council On American-Islamic Relations)
28 E. Jackson Blvd, Suite 1009, Chicago IL 60604
Phone: 312-212-1520, Fax: 312-212-1530
Email:, Website:

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