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.