BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The director of the Alabama chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ (CAIR) says local Muslim women are facing increased persecution.
“Muslim women are the ones seeing the brunt of this Islamophobia and anti-Muslim sentiments,” CAIR-Alabama Executive Director Khaula Hadeed told WBRC at an event hosted by her organization. “Literally, over the weekend, we saw three attacks of Muslim women.”
“We hear other people talking about us and we thought it was high time we did the talking,“ she added.
Rowan Elqishawi, an 18-year-old Muslim woman who attended the event said her decision to cover her head in public has led to “indifference and stares.”
“It’s shattered my soul,” she said, “but strengthen my resolve. Being a Muslim woman is a bit more challenging in society than it is for men… When you see people oppressed on a daily basis, I can’t just sit there. So I try to change people’s perception and misconceived notions about Muslims.”
Hadeed’s comments at this week’s event are not the first time she has claimed Muslims in Alabama are the targets of Islamophobia.
Earlier this year she demanded an apology from Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks (R-AL5), who said Muslims want to “kill every homosexual in the United States.”
“There are provisions in the Koran…that if you follow them it instructs Muslims to kill certain types of people and homosexuals are right up there at the top,” Brooks said. “It’s pretty clear that Islamic doctrine says you are to kill homosexuals where you find them.”
Brooks’ comments came in the wake of the Orlando terrorist attack in which dozens of gay nightclub goers were slaughtered by a man who pledged allegiance to the so called Islamic State.
Brooks said Democrats have found themselves being pulled in different directions now that Muslims are gaining numbers and political power in the United States. By pursuing their votes, Brooks said, Democrats are risking alienating the LGBT vote, another core constituency.
“On the one hand, they’re trying to appeal to the gay community,” he explained, “but on the other hand they’re trying to also appeal to the Muslim community, which, if it had its way, would kill every homosexual in the United States of America.”
Hadeed responded by slamming Brooks for promoting Islamophobia.
“Congressman Brooks’ would seek to create division between the LGBTQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and Asexual) and Muslim community standing shoulder-to-shoulder as we confront together hate crimes, bigotry, marginalization and discrimination” she said.
CAIR also invited Brooks to come to a mosque for a Ramadan dinner for an “open and frank dialogue.”
“American Muslims are committed to upholding equal rights and protections for all as the law of the land as enshrined in the U.S. Constitution,” Hadeed added.
Critics of CAIR have frequently claimed the group has ties to the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas.
An FBI chart obtained by a Freedom of Information Act request late last year appears to show the U.S. government believes CAIR could be part of a labyrinth of organizations that were created to support Hamas in the West. CAIR was also listed as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial, which has been called “the largest terror-financing case in American history.” CAIR denies they have terrorist ties.