CAIR - Chicago

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CAIR - Chicago is the Chicago chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.


As of December 27, 2017;[1]


As of December 27, 2017;[2]

Auxillary staff members



2018 Banquet


Speakers at CAIR - Chicago's February 10 2018 Banquet "Resistance 3.0" included Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, Dr. Altaf Husain (VP ISNA), Dena Takruri (AlJazeera, MC) , and Rep. Michael Quigley.

2018 Women's March

CAIR - Chicago’s communications coordinators Saadia Pervaiz and Asha Binbek were marching alongside over 300,000 allies at Women’s March Chicago 2018 this past Saturday. Asha, a Chicago-native, gave a morale-boosting speech at the beginning of the event, throwing the crowd into uproarious cheer.

“If you want change, make it,” Binbek called out to the crowd on the chilly Saturday morning, “show the world how powerful women really are.”[3]

DREAM Act meeting

On Friday, February 14 2014 CAIR - Chicago Executive Director Ahmed Rehab joined U.S. Senator Dick Durbin and U.S. Representative Luis Gutierrez for an update on the effort to enact comprehensive immigration reform legislation in Congress at Casa Michoacan in Pilsen. Senator Durbin is the author of the DREAM Act and a member of the bipartisan group which negotiated and passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill in the Senate last year. Representative Gutierrez is a lead negotiator in the House of Representative’s ongoing discussions surrounding immigration reform. Rep Gutierrez was also a speaker at CAIR - Chicago’s 8th annual banquet in 2012.

Community leaders in attendance at the meeting included Joshua Hoyt of National Partnership for New Americans, ICIRR CEO Lawrence Benito, Sylvia Puente of Latino Policy Forum and Chicago restaurateur Billy Lawless, Sr. and many more.

CAIR - Chicago has long identified immigration reform as one of its key advocacy issues for which we seek to bring a Muslim voice to the table as an integral part of our social justice agenda.[4]

“Hate Crimes and the Threat of Domestic Extremism”

September 19, 2012, CAIR - Chicago hosted a public viewing of a Senate hearing entitled “Hate Crimes and the Threat of Domestic Extremism” – chaired by Illinois Senator Dick Durbin. The event was co-sponsored by the Asian American Institute, the Indian American Bar Association and the Muslim Bar Association.

A packed room of approximately 40 people attended the event, including:

Clarisol Duque – Chicago Director of Senator Durbin’s office Alderman Ameya Pawar of the 47th ward Ami Gandhi – Executive Director of the South Asian American Policy Research Institute (SAAPRI) Andy Kang – Senior Staff Attorney with the Asian American Institute Arnold J. Romeo – Director of the Advisory Council on EQUITY at the Chicago Commission on Human Relations Betsy Shuman-Moore – Project Director of the Fair Housing Project and Project to Combat Bias Violence at Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Inc. (CLCCUL) Reema Ahmad from the Asian American Institute Charna Epstein – Deputy Alderman and Chief-of-Staff for Ald. Pawar of the 47th ward Rishi Agrawal – President of the Indian American Bar Association of Chicago

The Senate hearing was held to examine the upswing in hate crimes and the growing number of hate groups in the United States. The Sikh Coalition led the effort in proposing the hearing at the request of over 150 civil rights and advocacy organizations. The hearing included witness testimony from the Justice Department, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), among others.

Many of the statements made referenced recent attacks on the Muslim, Sikh, Latino, and African-American communities, including the shootings of Sikh men and women at a Gurdwara in Wisconsin, and the string of attacks on the Chicago Muslim community during the last week of Ramadan this past year.

One of the more revealing statements made during the hearing was that the majority of terrorist attacks in the U.S. came from right-wing extremists, according to expert testimonials.

CAIR - Chicago Executive Director, Ahmed Rehab, and fellow staff live-tweeted during the event – noting these findings and expressing their hopes for a future without bigotry and racism.[5]

OBS connection


Reema Ahmad of CAIR - Chicago with Organization for Black Struggle, August 2018.