CAIR-Chicago joins South Asian, Sikh groups to recognize state anti-hate resolution

Groups to gather at Sikh gurdwara in Palatine, December 16

(CHICAGO, IL, 12/15/12) – The Chicago office of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR-Chicago) commends the Illinois House of Representatives for adopting House Resolution 1193 (HR 1193), which addresses violent attacks on Muslim, South Asian, and Sikh Americans, as well as other minorities, and denounces hate crimes and hateful political rhetoric.

SEE: Full text of HR 1193

The resolution was first introduced and passed unanimously in Chicago this past September as part of an initiative by Muslim, South Asian, and Sikh groups to respond to a dramatic spike in hate crimes against their communities. According to a recent Southern Poverty Law Center and a recent FBI report, hate crimes against these groups are still near a decade high.

SEE: Anti-hate resolution approved by Chicago City Council

SEE: FBI: Dramatic spike in hate crimes targeting Muslims

Some of the more recent attacks on these communities include the shootings at a Sikh gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin and an alarming level of hate crimes against Chicago Muslims and Muslims nationwide during their holy month of Ramadan in August of this year.

SEE: Thirteen days in Ramadan (2012)

On Sunday, December 16, CAIR-Chicago, along with the South Asian American Policy and Research Institute (SAAPRI), the Sikh Religious Society (SRS), community members and elected officials will commemorate HR 1193 which helps promote tolerance while effectively countering hate crimes in Illinois.

WHAT: CAIR-Chicago, South Asian, and Sikh groups recognize statewide anti-hate resolution
WHEN: Sunday, December 16, 2012 at 11:00 a.m.
WHERE: Sikh Religious Society Gurdwara Sahib, 1280 Winnetka Street in Palatine, Illinois

The event is open to the public and will be followed by langar (a community kitchen vegetarian meal). Upon entering the gurdwara, visitors should remove their shoes and cover their heads. Visitors are requested to bring a handkerchief, bandana, or headscarf to cover their heads; extra scarves may be available for visitors to borrow. Modest and comfortable clothing is recommended, as attendees will sit on the carpeted floor. Chair seating is available for elderly or disabled visitors. Alcohol, tobacco, and smoking materials are prohibited on the gurdwara premises.

Quotes from the sponsors of HR 1193 and representatives of Muslim, South Asian, and Sikh groups:

“I was extremely saddened and disappointed to hear about the recent acts of violence against the Sikh and Muslim communities. Hateful actions like these are meant to make people of different religions and races feel isolated and marginalized. I wanted to put forth this resolution to let members of the Sikh and Muslim communities know that we stand with them, that we support them, that we are proud that they are part of our communities and that we will not tolerate this violence against them,” said Illinois Representative Daniel Biss, a chief co-sponsor of HR 1193.

“SAAPRI has appreciated the opportunity to take a lead in providing community input in the drafting of this resolution, and we look forward to working with the Illinois legislature on additional measures that promote tolerance and keep our community safe,” said Ami Gandhi, executive director of SAAPRI.

“We are excited to work with our state legislators, faith-based groups, and policy organizations to promote tolerance and counter bigotry,” said Rabya Khan, staff attorney at CAIR-Chicago.

“This legislation is an acknowledgement of the racially motivated atrocities that have been committed and a commitment by the state of Illinois to devote resources to educating the greater Illinois community on Sikh Americans and South Asian Americans,” said Ekta Arneja, Midwest regional coordinator of United Sikhs.

CAIR-Chicago is a chapter of America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

CONTACT:

CAIR-Chicago Staff Attorney, Rabya Khan, rabya.khan@cair.com, 312.212.1520
SAAPRI Executive Director, Ami Gandhi, saapri@saapri.org, (773) 373-9750
SRS Public Relations Committee Rajinder, Singh Mago, (630) 440-7730

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