Cyrus McGoldrick: 'Facts, not fear-mongering' will help protect Americans
NEW YORK, April 8, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A representative of the New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) today testified at a New York State Senate hearing on homeland security.
CAIR-NY Civil Rights Manager Cyrus McGoldrick testified at a day-long hearing by the Senate's Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs, titled "Reviewing Our Preparedness: An Examination of New York's Public Protection Ten Years After September 11."
(McGoldrick appeared on a panel with Linda Sarsour, advocacy and civic engagement coordinator for the National Network for Arab American Communities. SEE: http://www.nnaac.org/)
In his prepared remarks, McGoldrick stated:
"CAIR believes that political correctness has no place in discussions of security. We also believe that facts, not fear-mongering or false allegations, are the foundation of a sober and objective review of public protection. Finally, we believe that founding principles such as liberty and pluralism need not be escorted to the back of our national bus as we achieve our goal of defeating violent extremism."
McGoldrick's testimony also examined the role of American Muslim individuals and institutions in preventing violent extremism, outlined CAIR's work in helping to undermine violent extremist narratives, detailed the major issues impacting the civil liberties of American Muslims, and offered recommendations such as funding Muslim community organizations' programs that protect youth from violent extremist influences.
He said issues negatively impacting American Muslim civil liberties include bigoted opposition to the building and expansion of American mosques, the use of Muslim-bashers as law enforcement trainers, violent extremist groups such as Al-Qaeda, and the introduction of anti-Islam legislation in state legislatures nationwide.
SEE: Full CAIR-NY Testimony
Yesterday, CAIR-NY and a coalition of civil rights and interfaith groups challenged the anti-Islam bias of Nonie Darwish and Frank Gaffney, two of the nation's leading Islamophobes, who were invited to speak at today's hearing.
NY: Witnesses at State Homeland Security Hearing Called Anti-Muslim
NY State Senate Should Not be a Platform for Bigotry
Darwish, a self-styled "former Moslem" has written that "Islam is cruel, anti-women, anti-religious freedom and anti-personal freedom in general." A review of her book, "Cruel and Usual Punishment: The Terrifying Global Implications of Islamic Law," states: "For Darwish, Islam is a sinister force that must be resisted and contained."
SEE: Review of Darwish's Book
She told the New York Times: "A mosque is not just a place for worship. It's a place where war is started, where commandments to do jihad start, where incitements against non-Muslims occur. It's a place where ammunition was stored." Darwish's group, Former Muslims United, once put up a billboard stating "Stop the Murfreesboro Mosque" in an attempt to block the construction of a mosque in Tennessee.
Video: Nonie Darwish Says Mosques are 'Where War is Started'
Across Nation, Mosque Projects Meet Opposition (NY Times)
Frank Gaffney was a witness for the plaintiffs in a controversial lawsuit against the construction of the Tennessee mosque. Gaffney has promoted the false belief that President Obama is a Muslim.
Gaffney: Mosques Want 'To Destroy Western Civilization From Within' (Video)
Frank Gaffney Claims Obama 'May Actually Still be' a Muslim
Gaffney, president of the Washington-based Center for Security Policy, is the employer of David Yerushalmi, author of the template used to promote anti-Islam bills in a growing number of state legislatures. Yerushalmi is also head of the anti-Islam hate group Society of Americans for National Existence (SANE).
On its now password-protected website, SANE offered a policy proposal that would make "adherence to Islam" punishable by 20 years in prison, called for the immediate deportation of all non-citizen Muslims and urged Congress to declare war on the "Muslim Nation," which SANE defined as "all Muslims."
SEE: A SANE Act to Deal with the Islamic Threat to America's National Existence (SADITANE)
Meet the White Supremacist Leading the GOP's Anti-Sharia Crusade
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) recently noted that Yerushalmi has "a record of anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant and anti-black bigotry."
David Yerushalmi: A Driving Force Behind Anti-Sharia Efforts in the U.S.
CAIR is 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.
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CONTACT: CAIR-NY Civil Rights Manager Cyrus McGoldrick, 203-206-6883, E-Mail: [email protected]; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, or 202-488-8787, E-Mail: [email protected]; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, E-Mail: [email protected]
SOURCE Council on American-Islamic Relations