Muslim group calls for discrimination probe

A prominent national Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization today called on the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to investigate allegations that a Texas apartment complex had a policy of refusing to rent to Muslims or segregating them in buildings away from other tenants.The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) called on HUD's Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity to determine whether StoneBridge at Bear Creek apartment complex in Euless, Tex., violated federal fair housing laws. According to an investigative media report, former leasing agents for the complex say Muslims, whom managers referred to as "curry people," were routinely refused apartments even when there were vacancies. The leasing agents said they were told by their supervisors that they could only rent to Muslims if they were all kept in two buildings of the 21-building complex. "All Americans, regardless of faith or ethnic background, have the legal right to equal access to housing," said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. "The struggle for civil rights will not move forward unless discrimination against one minority group is repudiated by all Americans." He thanked those former employees of the apartment complex who came forward to expose the alleged discrimination. Hooper said a recent survey by the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies showed that more than 4 in 10 Americans admit to anti-Muslim prejudice. 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.

********** Published: March 5, 2010 - Volume 8 - Issue 46