CAIR-Chicago is a local office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). CAIR is the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights organization and was established to promote an accurate image of Islam and Muslims in America. CAIR-Chicago’s mission is to defend civil rights, fight bigotry, and promote tolerance. The Civil Rights Department counsels, mediates, and advocates on behalf of Muslims and others who have experienced religious discrimination, defamation, or hate crimes. The department works to protect and defend the constitutional rights of Muslims to freely practice their religion and be treated in a non-discriminatory manner.
In addition to pursuing individual complaints of religious discrimination reported to CAIR-Chicago, the Civil Rights Department has implemented several ongoing special projects that target important issues in the diverse Muslim communities. The Citizenship Delay Project works to end the lengthy delays in the citizenship process for Muslims applying for U.S. citizenship. The Asylum Project seeks to protect refugees from Middle Eastern countries who are unwilling or unable to return to their home country due to past persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution based on race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. The Employment Discrimination Project assists Muslims facing religious discrimination in the workplace. The Travel Free Project deals with complaints of Muslims encountering problems while traveling. The Police Misconduct Project advocates and represents clients in cases of discriminatory treatment by law enforcement. The FBI Project assists individuals contacted by FBI agents, fully protecting their constitutional rights when being questioned. The Prison Project secures the rights of Muslim inmates to practice their religion freely as well as seeks to ensure that inmates are treated humanely.
Fellows will work closely with CAIR-Chicago’s Litigation Director and Staff Attorney in representing complainants who have experienced various forms of religious discrimination. Fellows should be organized and committed to working on a case through its completion. The ideal Fellow will possess excellent oral and written communication skills and an interest in protecting civil liberties in the United States.
This agency is approved to host Graduate Fellows.