ABOUT US

CAIR-Columbus is a Chapter of CAIR – The Council on American-Islamic Relations.  CAIR is a non-profit, grassroots civil rights organization that was established in 1994 in Washington, D.C. CAIR has grown to be the largest Muslim civil liberties organization with over 35 Chapters nationwide.

CAIR-Ohio is a 501c(3) non-profit corporation that opened in 1998 in Columbus and was the third CAIR Chapter nationwide. In 2003 CAIR-Ohio added a Cleveland office, and in 2004 an office was added in Cincinnati. Today the Ohio Affiliate consists of the three separate Chapters – CAIR-Columbus, CAIR-Cleveland, CAIR-Cincinnati.

 OUR VISION & MISSION

Our vision is to be a leading advocate for justice and mutual understanding.

Our mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

  WHAT WE DO

Civil Rights – We work tirelessly to protect and defend the constitutional rights of American Muslims, thereby supporting the rights of all Americans.  Our experienced attorneys provide free or low-cost legal representation for Muslims, and those perceived to be Muslim, who have experienced religious discrimination.  We frequently take cases involving employment discrimination, public accommodation, racial or ethnic profiling, hate crimes, and interaction with FBI and/or law enforcement agencies.

Immigrants’ Rights – We also specialize in immigrants’ rights issues and seek to empower non-citizens by helping them achieve independence, security and the opportunity to fully participate in American society.  Our attorneys provide representation for refugees and other immigrants who are seeking asylum, legal permanent residency and citizenship.  We also litigate immigration delays in federal court and challenge discriminatory immigration policies.

For more information on the types of cases we take, see About Our Legal Services page.

Education – Our Know Your Rights Workshops empower the Muslim community by educating them about legal issues and their legal rights and responsibilities as American Muslims.

We work to educate the public and public officials on issues that impact the Muslim community. We organize conferences and training seminars for businesses, government and law enforcement agencies, media professionals and the academic community to highlight relevant Islamic practices and to discuss community issues. We also provide sensitivity and diversity training workshops to employers, educators and organizations.

Outreach & Volunteerism – We develop outreach activities with interfaith groups and organizations and work on joint community service projects that build a sense of community and friendship

Media Relations – We work with the local and national media to ensure an accurate portrayal of Islam and Muslims in the media. We work hard to give a consistent positive voice to Ohio Muslims, to challenge negative stereotypes in the media, and to provide positive feedback to reporters who provide sensitive, accurate representations of Islam and Muslims.

Activism & Government Affairs – We consistently monitor legislation and government activities and work with public officials to find common ground on public policy issues. Because of these positive relationships, policymakers turn to CAIR-Columbus when they need insight on issues affecting the Muslim community.  We also work to keep Muslims civically engaged through our action alerts, voter registration drives, and advocacy workshops.

Jennifer Nimer, Esq. – Executive Director

Jennifer has worked for CAIR-Ohio since 2004.  She is a practicing attorney and the Executive Director of the CAIR-Columbus office.  She received her bachelor’s degree from Capital University in 2000, where she majored in Criminology and Psychology.  She earned her Juris Doctorate degree from Capital University Law School in 2003 with a concentration in Family Law.   Her main practice areas at CAIR are employment discrimination and federal immigration delay litigation.

She is currently a board member at Sunrise Academy, and serves on the City of Columbus’ New American Advisory Council (“NAAC”). She previously served on the Board of Directors for the ACLU of Ohio for six years.

She is admitted to the Ohio bar and the Federal bars for the Southern and Northern Districts of Ohio, Eastern District of Michigan, and the District of Columbia.  She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), the Ohio Bar Association, and the Columbus Bar Association.

Jennifer can be reached at jnimer@cair.com.

Romin Iqbal, Esq. – Legal Director

Romin has worked for CAIR-Ohio since 2006.  He is a practicing attorney and has litigated cases of civil rights and employment discrimination throughout Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and Michigan.

He is a member of the State Bar of Ohio, and Federal Bars of Southern and Northern District of Ohio, Eastern District of Kentucky,  Eastern and Western District of Michigan, and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. He is a graduate of Moritz College of Law, The Ohio State University.

Romin can be reached at riqbal@cair.com.

Usjid Hameed – Legislative & Outreach Coordinator

Usjid Hameed has worked for CAIR-Ohio since June of 2017. He is the Legislative and Outreach Coordinator for the CAIR-Columbus office. Usjid graduated from Towson University in 2017 where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Political Science.

While at Towson, Usjid served as a Vote Everywhere Ambassador for the Andrew Goodman Foundation and as an editor for the Towson University Journal of International Affairs. During his time on the Journal, Usjid also penned blog articles about Yemen and Pakistan. In addition, he was awarded the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship for his Summer 2016 study abroad experience in Jordan.

Usjid can be reached at uhameed@cair.com.

Monuza Ashraf – Operations Coordinator

Monuza has been working as the Operations Coordinator for CAIR-Columbus since March 2017. She is originally from the UK where she earned her degree from Keele University in English Literature and Classics.

She has worked with various organizations as a website editor including Virgin.net, The London Business School in the UK and currently Noor Islamic Cultural Center.

Her job duties at CAIR include daily office operations, event planning, and managing communications.

Monuza can be reached at mAshraf@cair.com.

 

Zainab Ezzeddine – Legal Intern

Zainab is currently a student at the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law.  She will graduate with her Juris Doctor degree in May 2018.  She began her legal internship with CAIR-Columbus in May of 2017.  Prior to her internship with CAIR, she was an intern for the Legal Aid Society of Columbus.  She is currently participating in the prestigious Oxford Study Abroad program at Oxford University in the United Kingdom.  She will resume her internship with CAIR-Columbus when she returns in the fall.  Zainab is fluent in Arabic as well as English.  She can be reached at zezzeddine@cair.com.

 

Dalia Aboraya – Legal Intern

Dalia currently attends the Claude W. Pettit College of Law at Ohio Northern University.  She is gaining valuable legal experience while interning with CAIR-Columbus for the summer of 2017.  Dalia is fluent in Arabic, which has been helpful in communicating with CAIR-Columbus clients.  Dalia will graduate with her Juris Doctor degree in May of 2019.

Leila Filali – Accounting Clerk

Leila has worked for CAIR-Columbus since January 2013.  Her responsibilities include handling recurring donations, donor correspondence, maintaining Quickbooks, generating financial reports, and handling accounts payable and receivable.  She can be reached at lfilali@cair.com.

 

 

Jennifer Nimer, Esq.

Executive Director
jnimer@cair.com

Romin Iqbal, Esq.

Legal Director
riqbal@cair.com

Monuza Ashraf

Operations Coordinator
mashraf@cair.com

Usjid Hameed

Legislative & Outreach Coordinator
uhameed@cair.com

Dalia Aboraya

Legal Intern

Zainab Ezzeddine

Legal Intern
zezzeddine@cair.com

Leila Filali

Accounting Clerk
lfilali@cair.com


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