CAIR-MI Calls for Federal Probe into Hate Crime Against Jewish College Student

(SOUTHFIELD, MI, 8/28/12) ­ The Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MI) today called for a federal probe into a recent hate crime allegedly targeting a Jewish student of Michigan State University (MSU) in East Lansing.

On Sunday, MSU sophomore Zachary Tennen was reportedly assaulted by two men after being asked if his parents are Jewish. Tennen suffered a broken jaw and was stapled in the backside of his bottom teeth after the assailants reportedly chanted “Heil Hitler!”

SEE: ‘I’ve never heard of anything so horrific’ (Detroit Free Press)

The East Lansing Police are currently investigating the assault as an act of ethnic intimidation.

“We condemn this apparent hate attack and call on federal law enforcement to intervene in the investigation of this case,” said CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid.”There is absolutely no justification for anyone to be assaulted based on ethnic or religious affiliation.”

Walid noted that Michigan contains numerous White supremacist and extremist Christian identity groups, referencing statistics from the Southern Poverty Law Center.

SEE: Southern Poverty Law Center Hate Map of Michigan (SPLC)

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.

— END –

CONTACT: CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid, 248-842-1418, E-Mail:

Nation’s largest Muslim advocacy group calls for federal investigation into alleged hate crime against Jewish Michigan State student

Published: Tuesday, August 28, 2012, 5:17 PM

By Brandon Howell | 

The Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MI) on Tuesday called for a federal probe into the assault of a Jewish Michigan State University student in an alleged hate crime early Sunday in East Lansing.
Zachary Tennen, of Franklin, said he was at a party about 1:30 a.m. Sunday in the 500 block of Spartan Avenue, about a half-mile north of MSU’scampus, when two college-aged men beat him unconscious then stapled his lips shut.
Tennen, a sophomore journalism major, said his attackers made Nazi gestures and said they were members of the Ku Klux Klan. When he regained consciousness, Tennen said he took a taxi cab to Sparrow Hospital as no one at the party helped him.
“We condemn this hate attack and call on federal law enforcement to intervene in the investigation of this case,” CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid said in a statement.
“There is absolutely no justification for anyone to be brutally assaulted especially when based upon ethnic and/or religious affiliation.”
The East Lansing Police Department’s preliminary investigation suggests the incident was not a hate crime. The department said it has identified one potential suspect by way of two witnesses. The potential suspect, a man, does not reside in the area.
East Lansing police say they are making “significant progress” in the case. No further information was immediately available.
Those with information on the incident are asked to contact East Lansing police Detective Dan Brown at             517-319-6811      .
CAIR is the  largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization in the United States.

Metro area activist groups join call for Border Patrol investigation

  • By Oralandar Brand-Williams
  • The Detroit News

Detroit — Two local activist organizations joined U.S. Rep. Hansen Clarke (D-Detroit) and 10 other members of Congress calling for an independent investigation by the Government Accountability Office of allegations of abusive practices by Border Patrol agents.

During a news conference by the Northern Border Coalition, the director of Alliance for Immigrants Rights-Michigan and the Executive Director Council of the Council on American-Islamic Relations — Michigan joined the coalition in asking for a “third party” probe into the practices of guards patrolling U.S. borders.

Ryan Bates, the director of Alliance for Immigrants Rights’ Michigan office, said the border patrol agencies are “incapable” of policing themselves and an independent third-party agency is needed to look into complaints that border guards are profiling people based on race, ethnicity and religion.

“After years of internal investigations, it’s become clear that Border Patrol can’t police itself. Even former agents have come forward to confirm the problems with abuse,” said Bates today. “It’s time for an independent watchdog to help get Border Patrol under control, which is why we’re so glad that eleven Members of Congress have called on the GAO to begin an investigation.”

Dawud Walid, the executive director of CAIR-Michigan, said his office has filed a lawsuit against the federal government after getting dozens of complaints about stops of local Muslims and others.

The men alleged that they were handcuffed, had guns brandished at them by border guards and were subjected to “invasive” questioning about their religious practices by the guards.

“When Border Patrol targets people based solely on their race or religion, rather than their behavior, they are weakening our national security and undermining our civil rights,” said Walid. “We need Border Patrol to play by the rules, and act like professionals.”

The news conference also included statements by other immigration activists and a man who said his son was killed by border patrol agents when the family called 911 on another matter.

Efforts to reach the local office of Border Patrol about the allegations were not successful.


11 Members of Congress Demand Civil Rights Audit of Border Patrol

Today from the Craig Fahle Show:

Director of Alliance for Immigrants Rights and Reform Ryan Bates, Christian Ramirez, Human Rights Director at Alliance San Diego and the Executive Director of the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Dawud Walid will join Craig to discuss the Civil Rights Audit that was requested by eleven members of Congress.

The Civil Rights Audit for FBI Customs Enforcement and ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) is relating to accusations of religious profiling and mistreatment. The investigation is the result of nearly two years of complaints.

Click here to listen.