Excerpt from CAIR-New York Annual Banquet & Fundraiser
NYU School of Law – Greenberg Lounge
New York, NY
May 9, 2009
Fatima Ashraf, civil rights activist, education policy advisor to Mayor Michael Bloomberg:
"I would now like to invite CAIR-NY Board member and attorney, Bitta Mostofi, to present tonight's first award. Bitta is currently one of the supervising attorneys of the Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project right here at NYU's law school. Bitta."
Bitta Mostofi, CAIR-NY Board Member:
"The recipient of CAIR-NY's 'Safe While Free' Award is the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law, a non-partisan public policy and law institute that focuses on fundamental issues of democracy and justice. The Brennan Center believes the debate over America's national security interests and policies should involve the communities that are the most directly affected by these policies. For the last 2 years it has served as counsel to the Muslim American Civil Liberties Coalition, co-founded right here in New York. In this capacity, the Brennan Center has assisted the coalition in formulating a response to New York Police Department strategies and law enforcement policies. At this time, it is with great honor and pleasure that I invite Faiza Patel and Ellen Fisher from the Brennan Center of Justice to accept the 'Safe While Free' Award. On behalf of CAIR-NY's Board and staff, I would like to present to you the safe while free award in recognition of your steadfast commitment to upholding the rule of law through pubic policy analysis, government accountability and community engagement. The award (UI 3 words) dedicated to safeguarding national security interests without unduly infringing on civil liberties exemplified importance of securing democratic freedoms as we map the future vision for both our community and our country. Thank you very much for all you do."
Ellen Fisher, 'Safe While Free' awardee, Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law:
"I am really pleased to be here tonight to accept this award on behalf of the Brennan Center. The Brennan Center - which is affiliated with this law school, of which I am also a graduate – is deeply committed to ensuring that our national security policy is consistent with our fundamental rights. Like our new president, we reject as false the choice between our security and our freedom. We believe that both can go together hand in hand. We also firmly believe that the communities most affected by these policies should be at the center of the national and local dialogue about these policies. So we have been very pleased to have had the opportunity to work with Muslim organizations in New York, particularly CAIR, on law enforcement policies that affect the community in New York. As has been mentioned, we have been working with them on the NYPD report and we have been incredibly impressed by the dedication and the savvy and the articulateness of CAIR-NY's staff. Faiza Ali(CAIR-NY community affairs director) has been a pleasure to work with. And we've learned a lot from them and we really look forward to continuing our cooperation with them. Thank you very much."