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Hoodies and Hijabs: ICNA Calls for Response to Hate

03 29 12



Media contact: Jillian Nannery, The TASC Group

Recent Crimes Against Shaima Alawadi and Trayvon Martin Illustrate Wanton Violence Against Minorities

New York, NY – March 29, 2012: Islamic Circle of North America is asking Americans to respond to the rhetoric of hate in American culture.

A study published in early March indicates that hate groups in the U.S. are on the rise and the fight against intolerance is far from over, as the crimes against Trayvon Martin and Shaima Alawadi reveal. Around the nation, citizens are forming “hoodies and hijabs” rallies, highlighting the pervasive stereotypes that seem to have motivated both crimes. ICNA believes no American should live in fear from his or her fellow American and the crimes against Trayvon and Shaima should not be tolerated in this country.

Citizens are demanding justice for Trayvon Martin, who was murdered while wearing a hoodie, an article of clothing that made him seem suspicious to his attacker. The murder of Shaima Alawadi, a Muslim American mother of five, has not yet generated such widespread outrage. Shaima Alawadi was beaten to death in her home with a note left on her body reading, “Go back to your country, you terrorist.” Ms. Alawadi may have been targeted because she regularly observed Hijab, the wearing of traditional headscarves.
“The brutal murders of Trayvon Martin and Shaima Alawadi are a wake-up call for all of us,” said Naeem Baig, Vice President of ICNA Public Affairs. “No American should live in fear from his or her fellow American.”

According to a report released on March 8th by the Southern Poverty Law Center, hate groups are on the rise. The report states anti-Muslim hate groups tripled in 2011. This provides a broader context to these two events and illustrates that the culture of hate needs to be addressed.

Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) seeks to change the common rhetoric about Muslim Americans and is in the middle of a national education campaign to promote religious freedom. ICNA’s campaign, Defending Religious Freedom, Understanding Shariah, includes a 25 city education tour to introduce the Islamic faith to the American public. ICNA is also promoting awareness through a public service announcement campaign, billboards across the country, college campus seminars, radio ads and a national hotline dedicated to addressing questions about Shariah and the Islamic faith.

To interview ICNA representatives, contact Jillian Nannery at The TASC Group. Phone: 646-723-4344; Email:


The Islamic Circle of North America is a leading American Muslim organization dedicated to the betterment of society through the application of Islamic values. Since 1968, ICNA has worked to build relations between communities by devoting itself to education, outreach, social services and relief efforts.


Islamic Circle of North America
E-mail: ICNA PR Email
Office: (718) 658-1199

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