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Feature 360 Boko Haram Fringe Group Distorts Role of Religion and Education
Mohammad Abdeljalil | Sept.08.09

"The media's reporting on Boco Haram as an “Islamic” group is misleading. The group's animosity towards education wholly contradicts Islam’s teachings and historical legacy which emphasizes the pursuit of knowledge," says Communications Intern Mohammad Abdeljalil.

Feature 359 ACTION ALERT: Join Immigration Vigil Today and Thru Sept.
CAIR-Chicago | Sept.08.09

Support CAIR-Chicago and other individuals of conscience today, and all through September, in making comprehensive immigration reform a priority in Congress.

Feature 358 United We Serve: Chicago Muslims Answering the Call
CAIR-Chicago | Sept.02.09

CAIR-Chicago and MYLS are joining thousands across the country this summer in answering President Barack Obama’s call on all Americans to participate in our nation's recovery and renewal by serving our communities.

Feature 357 Remembering Ted Kennedy:
A Champion of Truths

Gerald Hankerson | Aug.28.09

"Kennedy offered examples of ways we could all champion for our country and its future," writes CAIR-Chicago Outreach Coordinator, Gerald Hankerson, in his tribute to the late Senator Edward Kennedy.

Feature 356 CAIR-Chicago Receives Favorable Decision in Religious Accommodation Case
CAIR-Chicago | Aug.28.09

A U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Investigation has found that Somali Muslim factory workers experienced unlawful harassment and termination after requesting that their break schedules be adjusted to allow them to perform their religiously mandated prayers.

Civil Rights Law Clerk - Summer '09

Ami Patel is a summer Law Clerk at CAIR-Chicago. She is a student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Law. She is currently the Vice President of Alumni Relations for the Corporate and Business Law Association and Vice President of Marketing for the American Constitution Society. Ami graduated cum laude from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2008 with a Bachelor’s degree in both Economics and Political Science. Currently, Ami is also doing a judicial externship with the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. During her free time, she enjoys volunteering abroad, learning about other cultures, listening to various types of music and catching up on the latest movies.

Communications Intern - Summer '09

Thibaud Smerko [pronounced tee-bo] was born in Paris, France, but has lived in Chicago most of his life. Recently, he returned from a year-long study abroad in which he spent one semester studying Arabic in Cairo and another studying at the UCA and DiTella Universities in Buenos Aires. As an International Studies major at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, with a concentration in Economics, Thibaud is interested in cross-cultural communication and International Relations. This coming December, he hopes to capitalize on his degree by finding a job in the Middle East or by continuing on to graduate school in International Relations. He also enjoys cycling, rock climbing, Brazilian Portuguese, cheese, wine, and reading. Thibaud is looking forward to contributing and learning at CAIR-Chicago this summer.

Communications Intern - Summer '09

Suada Kolovic is a communications intern at CAIR-Chicago. She is a senior at DePaul University, where she is an active member of the DePaulia, the university newspaper. Suada is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and was recently admitted into the five year MA in Journalism program at DePaul. This past spring she volunteered at the non-profit organization Heartland Alliance where she held comprehensive computer classes in hope of helping those living in poverty build skills and gain the tools essential for improving their well-being. Suada’s interest in interning at CAIR-Chicago was sparked by their tireless efforts to defend civil rights, fight bigotry, and promote tolerance

Communications Intern - Summer '09

Shilan Afshani is a graphic design intern at CAIR-Chicago. She has eight years of Art and Design education. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Illinois in Chicago where she completed the Industrial Design program. She is now studying for her Masters degree at UIC and is fortunate enough to take graphic design courses taught by some of the nation's leading Graphic Design






    The following is a partial list of complaints CAIR-Chicago's Civil Rights Department received or worked to resolve from August 22, 2009 - September 4, 2009:


    • A Muslim man who owns a hookah lounge in Worth, Illinois reported to CAIR-Chicago that the village was attempting to close his business based on manufactured complaints about his customers. The man believed that the village was treating him unfairly, seeking to rid the community of Middle Eastern owned businesses.

    • A Muslim man reported a delay in obtaining citizenship. The man applied for citizenship and passed all necessary requirements, but has been waiting for a decision since 2007.

    • A Muslim boy reported being targeted by local police after police stopped the boy’s cousin for an alleged traffic violation. The boy was not in the car with his cousin when at the time he was stopped, but noticed the police questioning his cousin from across the street. When the boy told police that the man they were questioning was his cousin, they physically attacked him, arrested him, and took him to the police station. While at the police station, officers further abused the boy but did not question him. Two hours later, police called the boy’s parents to pick him up. The boy’s cousin was not arrested.

    • A Muslim man was approached by the FBI for questioning. CAIR-Chicago is representing the man in his meeting with the FBI.


    • A Muslim man who complained of harassment during his employment and obtained an amicable settlement through the efforts of CAIR-Chicago two years ago was recently discharged after taking a medical leave of absence for one week. The man believes that the company retaliated against him for his prior complaint as well as for taking the leave of absence.

    • A Muslim doctor was discharged from his place of employment, but was not given a reason for the discharge. The doctor has never had problems with or complaints from his employer before.


    • A Muslim inmate’s wife reported to CAIR-Chicago that the Cook County Jail was failing to accommodate the inmate’s religious practices by regularly serving him meals that contained pork, despite their continual requests for a pork-free diet. The inmate has lost substantial weight during his detention of more than three months. CAIR-Chicago’s staff attorney visited the inmate, who recently began receiving alternative meals with less pork. CAIR-Chicago will continue to monitor the conditions for Muslim inmates at Cook County Jail and other correctional facilities.

    • A Muslim inmate from a county jail reported problems with the jail in accommodating Muslim inmates during the month of Ramadan. CAIR-Chicago contacted the jailor and addressed the matter with him. The jailor contacted responsible administrators and assured CAIR-Chicago that the matter had been resolved.


    • A Muslim man reported having trouble trying to check in for flights with a particular airline.

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If you are interested in applying for this position, please visit our Career Center.


Executive Director
Ahmed Rehab

Civil Rights Director
Christina Abraham

Development Coordinator
Dina Rehab

Government Affairs Coordinator
Reema Ahmad

Operations Coordinators
Azam Azeem
Hiba Hammadi

Cultural Sensitivity Speaker
Veronica Zapata

Communications Coordinators
Amina Sharif

Staff Attorney
Kevin Vodak, Esq.

Outreach Coordinator
Gerald Hankerson

Youth Coordinator
Mokaram Rauf

Board of Directors
Emaad Hamwi
Ahmed Rehab
Hina Sodha, Esq.
Yaser Tabbara, Esq. - Secretary
Mazen Kudaimi, MD - Vice President
Safaa Zarzour, Esq. - President

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