Posted on May 14, 2019
CAIR Calls for Meeting with ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’ Producers Over Islamophobic Episode
— CAIR National (@CAIRNational) May 13, 2019
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today joined its New York chapter (CAIR-NY) in calling on producers of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (SVU) to meet with Muslim community leaders following an episode of that long-running program viewed as Islamophobic and racist. CAIR said the episode, which included a character clearly based on real-life Muslim Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN), falsely conflated support for Palestinian rights with anti-Semitism, portrayed Muslim men in a negative light and suggested that growing Islamophobia in America is a hoax.
In a letter to SVU creator and Executive Producer Dick Wolf, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad wrote in part: “We urge you and your staff to meet with leaders of the Muslim community to learn why this episode makes the rising tide of bigotry even worse, and what you can to do mitigate the damage that has already been done.” CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher said: “It is incumbent on producers to be responsible and avoid enflaming Islamophobia.”
CAIR recently released a groundbreaking report, called “Hijacked by Hate: American Philanthropy and the Islamophobia Network,” listing the philanthropic foundations, many of them mainstream, that were used by anonymous special interest donors to funnel almost $125 million to anti-Muslim hate groups between 2014 and 2016. The report’s authors noted that one outcome of the funding and promotion of anti-Muslim hate and conspiracy theories has been the measurable nationwide increase in often-fatal anti-Muslim hate violence, bullying of children and discrimination. The period covered by the report showed a marked increase in anti-Muslim hate violence and discrimination.