Geography Reference
In-Depth Information
human rights violations against women” (CAIR 2007). Other CAIR press releases de-
scribe panels attended by CAIR representatives where gender and Islam are discussed,
and a few CAIR publications meant to provide cultural competency training providing
some introductory cultural information on gender in Islam.
Most mentions of advocacy on issues relating to gender seen in newsletters, pamph-
lets, conference programs, and other publications produced by CAIR since 2001 have
with public spaces, or in one-off incidents that had no campaign built around them.
These projects did not have a sustained focus on gender specifically. For example, the
story from Portsmouth, Virginia described at the beginning of this chapter shows ADC
and CAIR taking action on that single case, but there is no dedicated coalition between
these two organizations to create a sustained campaign against gender discrimination
and sexual harassment by law enforcement. The activism around the Portsmouth incid-
ent and others like happen sporadically and reactively rather than proactively. CAIR's
Interview data gathered in this study show that one of CAIR's most active projects is
cultural awareness training. For this sustained campaign, educators, employers, public
servants, and people involved in discrimination cases learn about Islamic culture at a
seminar (or series of seminars) moderated by CAIR advocates. As part of that effort,
CAIRpublished An Employer's Guide to Islamic Religious Practices ,whichwasdistrib-
uted at cultural awareness trainings (CAIR [1997] 2005a). This guide includes inform-
ation on gender and Islam, stating that “Islam prescribes that both men and women be-
by their intelligence, skills and contributions to the community, not by their physical
attributes” (13). The guide suggests amending company policies against hats to allow
Muslims to wear kufis and hijabs. Once again, the focus on public spaces is apparent
here,withthe Employer's Guide avoidingmentionofgenderedissuesthatgetarticulated
in private spaces.
Another area of concerted advocacy around gender at CAIR is the issue of gender
roles within Islamic worship. A series of documents describe CAIR's commissioned
studiesonAmericanIslamicculture.Forexample,in2001CAIRpublished The Mosque
in America: A National Portrait , with extensive survey data on the ways women en-
gaged in worship, and women's roles on mosque governing boards was given specific
attention (Bagby, Perl, and Froehle 2001). Later, in 2005, CAIR distributed a pamphlet,
Women Friendly Mosques and Community Centers (CAIR 2005b), aimed at religious
ship. This provides an example of the documents describing CAIR's work to promote
Search WWH ::

Custom Search