CAIR-Chicago Presents Testimony at Racial Profiling Hearing Before the Illinois Senate
November 17, 2005
CAIR-Chicago Civil Rights Coordinator Christina Abraham presented testimony at the “Subject Matter Hearing on Racial Profiling and Other Related Issues” held by the Illinois Senate at the James R. Thompson Center.
Testimony was presented by CAIR-Chicago on behalf of members of the Muslim community who have been subjected to racial profiling by police officers. Several members of the community came to show their support, submit their testimonies, and have their stories told by CAIR-Chicago to the Illinois Senate.
Stories included that of a young Muslim man who was pulled over by a police officer and then arrested on suspicion of driving a stolen car despite presenting valid proof of ownership because, as the police officer noted to him, “a lot of Palestinian auto stores on Western steal cars and alter the license plates.” He was taken to police headquarters but later released after officers determined that his vehicle did, in fact, belong to him.
Another story presented was that of a Muslim doctor that had been arrested after a traffic stop, and taken to the police department where officers refused to remove his handcuffs to allow him to pray. Instead, officers crowded around him as he prayed, calling him bigoted names such as “Bin Laden”, “Jihadist”, and “terrorist.”
Also presented was the story of a Muslim woman who, while at O’Hare International Airport, was arrested by police officers shortly after 9/11 despite complying with airport search procedures successfully. The woman was told by the arresting officer that he was going to pay her back for the 6,000 people who died on 9/11.
The proposed legislation seeks to add a classification for Middle Eastern in race data collection, as well as add a parameter for religious headgear. In their statement, CAIR-Chicago stressed the importance for modifying and continuing the data collection laws to identify and address issues of racial profiling.
TO READ CAIR-CHICAGO'S STATEMENT ON RACIAL PROFILING SUBMITTED TO THE ILLINOIS SENATE CLICK HERE