GET TO KNOW CAIR

CAIRSan Antonio

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) was created as an "organization that challenges stereotypes of Islam and Muslims" (CAIR letter to Vice President Gore, 10/06/1995), a "Washington-based Islamic advocacy group" (Press release, 8/28/1995) and an "organization dedicated to providing an Islamic perspective on issues of importance to the American public" (Press release, 12/13/1995). Prior to establishing CAIR, its founders observed that "the core challenge [in America], that of stereotyping and defamation, was having a devastating effect on our children and paralyzing adults from taking their due roles in civic affairs" ("The Link," a newsletter published by Americans for Middle East Understanding, February-March 2000). Within that understanding, they formed CAIR to challenge anti-Muslim discrimination nationwide.

Since being established in 1994, CAIR has a successful track record in its defense of civil liberties and tolerance. It is frequently seen as the "go-to" organization when bias is directed against Muslim individuals or institutions. Its status as the most frequently quoted American Muslim organization in our nation's media also suggests success in "providing an Islamic perspective on issues of importance to the American public."

Vision & Mission

CAIR's vision is to be a leading advocate for justice and mutual understanding.

CAIR's mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

CORE PRINCIPLES

  • CAIR supports free enterprise, freedom of religion and freedom of expression.
  • CAIR is committed to protecting the civil rights of all Americans, regardless of faith.
  • CAIR supports domestic policies that promote civil rights, diversity and freedom of religion.
  • CAIR opposes domestic policies that limit civil rights, permit racial, ethnic or religious profiling, infringe on due process, or that prevent Muslims and others from participating fully in American civic life.
  • CAIR is a natural ally of groups, religious or secular, that advocate justice and human rights in America and around the world.
  • CAIR supports foreign policies that help create free and equitable trade, encourage human rights and promote representative government based on socio-economic justice.
  • CAIR believes the active practice of Islam strengthens the social and religious fabric of our nation.
  • CAIR condemns all acts of violence against civilians by any individual, group or state.
  • CAIR advocates dialogue between faith communities both in America and worldwide.
  • CAIR supports equal and complementary rights and responsibilities for men and women.

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