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CAIR-NJ Recognizes Historic Night of NJ Muslim Election Victories Statewide

UPDATE: Additional electoral victories not listed below:

Alturrick Kenney, Essex County Surrogate

Siaka Sherif, Orange Board of Education


Several NJ Muslims elected statewide to offices at local and county levels.

(SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ, 11/7/18) – The New Jersey Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ), today recognized the historic string of victories by New Jersey Muslim candidates in Tuesday’s midterm general elections.

CAIR New Jersey congratulates community members on the following electoral victories:

Assad Akhtar, Passaic County Freeholder

Mohamed T. Khairullah, Mayor Prospect Park

Alaa Abdelaziz, Councilman, Paterson

Hazim Yassin, Councilman , Red Bank

Salim Patel, Councilman, City of Passaic

Mussab Ali, Jersey City Board of Education

Mariam F. Khan, Dennis Township Board of Education

Mohammad M. Ramadan, Passaic County Board of Education

Alaa Matari, Councilman, Prospect Park

Adam Chaabane, Woodland Park Board of Education

On election night, CAIR-NJ live tweeted reactions to  general election results. Follow CAIR-NJ’s Twitter feed at @CAIRNJ and Facebook feed at and follow hashtags #MuslimsVote and #MyMuslimVote.  Many CAIR chapters have also posted reactions to local and national election results using their social media channels.

“We offer congratulations to the Muslim candidates of New Jersey, many of whom have run for public office for the first time,” said CAIR New Jersey Executive Director James Sues. “Their victories reflect the diversity and spirit of inclusiveness that characterize the state of New Jersey and the growing positive role of American Muslims in our society.” 

Next week, CAIR and Jetpac will release a joint report surveying successful campaigns and organizing strategies employed by American Muslim candidates. Its findings include a trend that American Muslim candidates and campaigns prioritized broad social justice-oriented policies such as equitable housing, healthcare, and employment and did so by working across traditional political boundaries and through various levels of office. 

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. 

La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua. 

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CONTACT: CAIR-NJ Government Affairs Director Jay Rehman, 908-668-5900, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;

CAIR-NY, CAIR-NJ Settle Challenge to Trump Administration’s ‘Digital Muslim Ban’ Cellphone Seizure, Customs to Delete Data


(SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ, 10/31/18) -- The New York and New Jersey chapters of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY and CAIR-NJ), state chapters of the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights group, today announced the settlement of a federal court case challenging U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) warrantless and unconstitutional seizure of an American Muslim U.S. citizen’s cell phone.

Rejhane Lazoja, a 39-year-old woman residing in Staten Island, N.Y., had her phone taken when she landed at Newark Liberty International Airport earlier this year.  CBP held Lazoja’s iPhone 6S Plus and SIM card for 130 days, never explaining why they were taken. Under this groundbreaking settlement, CBP agrees to delete all data copied from Lazoja’s iPhone.

SEE: Feds took woman’s iPhone at border, she sued, now they agree to delete data

Numerous lawsuits have challenged CBP’s deletion of data at the border, but this settlement is the first in the country to secure the deletion of illegally-seized data. Under the agreement, CBP did not admit any wrongdoing.  The case was also novel for proceeding under rule 41(g) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, a provision for recovering property unlawfully seized by federal authorities. The case appears to be the first in the country to use rule 41(g) secure the deletion of electronic information that was unlawfully seized at the border. It also appears to be the first such settlement since the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in U.S. v. Carpenter, striking down warrantless seizure of cellphone location data.

Read more ...

CAIR-NJ Calls on NJ GOP to Repudiate Candidates’ Anti-Muslim, Racist Posts

UPDATE: See below

(SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ, 10/15/18) -- The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) today called on Republican State Committee Chairman Doug Steinhardt to repudiate anti-Muslim and racist comments made on Facebook and on the anti-Muslim hate site BarenakedIslam by Republican candidate for Chatham Borough Council, Peter Hoffman.

In a Facebook post Peter Hoffman stated that “a hyphenated American is not an American at all” and “assimilation is what made this country great, NOT emphasizing differences.” 

In a post to anti-Muslim hate site BarenakedIslam Hoffman stated, “Islam is a sick, backward faith practiced by low life scum. . .until the “moderate” Muslims rein in their sick brethren and stop this type of behavior, Islam will always be the religion of beasts in my mind.”


SEE: Hoffman’s anti-immigrant and anti-Islam social media posts contradict the candidate’s claims supporting diversity

"The statements Mr. Hoffman made reveal a level of prejudice that would impact how he might serve his constituents of different faiths and races, and should disqualify him as a candidate," said CAIR-NJ Executive Director James Sues. "The bigoted views expressed by Mr. Hoffman do a disservice to the welcoming community in New Jersey. This is just a painful reminder of the extreme divisiveness that characterizes the current political climate at the state and national level.”

He said CAIR has witnessed an unprecedented spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims, immigrants and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump as president.

SEE: CAIR Condemns Maryland GOP Candidate’s Islamophobic Campaign Mailer Citing Opposition to Mosque Expansion

CAIR’s 2018 Civil Rights Report, “Targeted,” the organization recorded a 17 percent increase in bias-motivated incidents against Muslim Americans from 2016-17, and a 15 percent increase in the number of anti-Muslim hate crimes in the same time period.

SEE: Targeted

CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.


CONTACT: CAIR-NJ Executive Director James Sues, 908-668-5900, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Update: On 1/15/18 CAIR-NJ receive the following response from Mr Hoffman via Facebook

CAIR staff: I have issued a sincere public apology to the Muslim Community for my bigoted, insensitive, & unacceptable comments made 10 years ago in reaction to an extremist video I viewed on a virulent anti-Islamic hate site. My comments, while emotional, are completely indefensible and I'm am sorry beyond words. I painted all Muslims with a bigoted brush and I while I cannot take the words back, I have committed to demonstrating my sincerity to make things right with the Muslim community, and would be happy to meet with representatives of CAIR to express my profound regret in person. My formal apology can be found here.


CAIR-NJ welcomes Mr. Hoffman’s public apology and commitment to dialogue. We look forward to engaging with him, and working together toward a more accepting and tolerant New Jersey.


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