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(Washington, DC - June 20, 2024) Rahat Husain, Executive Director of the Shia Muslim Foundation, attended the "TSA Disability and Multicultural Coalition Engagement" meeting today. The meeting brought together key stakeholders to discuss advancements and challenges in TSA’s technology and procedures, focusing on accessibility, privacy, and security.

Future Technology Development

An speaker from the Innovation Task Force outlined cutting-edge technologies, many of which have been in development for over five years, now ready for pilot testing.

TSA Facial Recognition Technology

Mark Lerro addressed the deployment of facial recognition technology at airport checkpoints, explaining its optional use and the procedures ensuring privacy and accuracy. He emphasized that the technology assists officers but does not replace their judgment, with traveler photos deleted post-verification.

TSA Self-Service Screening Initiatives

Michelle Tomerlin highlighted TSA's self-service screening pilot in Las Vegas and the development of the MicroEgg system. She also mentioned upcoming projects for translation apps to aid in communication for officers and travelers.

DHS S&T Evaluation of Biometric Technologies

Arun Vemuri from DHS S&T discussed the evaluation of biometric technologies, addressing performance concerns across diverse demographics and the development of standardized test methods in collaboration with international bodies.

Ensuring Technologies Work for All

The goal is to develop technologies that are fast, user-friendly, and non-intrusive. Efforts are being made to ensure these technologies accommodate all travelers, including those with disabilities or medical devices.

TSA Cares Program

The TSA Cares program was discussed as a vital resource for travelers with disabilities or medical conditions. Personal stories highlighted the positive impact of the program, emphasizing the need for continued support and enhancements.

Partnerships and Future Improvements

The meeting acknowledged the importance of ongoing partnerships between TSA and advocacy organizations to drive improvements in security screening. Input from represented communities is crucial for the success of these initiatives.

Upcoming TSA Coalition Conference

An announcement was made for the annual TSA coalition conference, scheduled for the week of September 23rd. Stakeholders are invited to test new screening technologies and provide feedback before deployment.


Mr. Husain expressed his appreciation for the collaborative efforts and the comprehensive discussions aimed at improving TSA technologies and procedures. The Shia Muslim Foundation remains committed to advocating for the rights and welfare of all communities, ensuring equitable and efficient security screening processes.

About Shia Muslim Foundation

The Shia Muslim Foundation, founded in 2020, is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the civic rights of American Shia Muslims and advocating on social and political issues. The foundation promotes the rights and welfare of Shia Muslims globally, addressing challenges faced by the community and fostering understanding between Shia and Sunni Muslims.

(Washington, DC – June 14, 2024) – The Shia Muslim Foundation recently attended a pivotal meeting with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) today, to address critical issues impacting elder Muslim Americans. The meeting, part of the CFPB's faith-based initiative, focused on protecting older adults from financial fraud and exploitation.

Meeting Highlights

The Office for Older Americans, a division within the CFPB, spearheads efforts to safeguard older adults from financial harm. Recognizing that faith leaders are trusted figures within their communities, the Office seeks to collaborate with faith-based organizations to effectively reach and protect vulnerable populations.

Coalition Efforts

The Office for Older Americans has established a "networks initiative," bringing together various stakeholders, including non-profits, attorneys, prosecutors, and law enforcement, to combat elder financial exploitation. The CFPB is now inviting faith leaders to join this coalition, acknowledging their crucial role in supporting older adults.

Resource Availability

During the meeting, the CFPB highlighted the availability of numerous free materials and resources, including webinars and publications tailored to community needs. The Shia Muslim Foundation shared insights on the specific financial challenges faced by older adults in the Muslim community, including issues related to financial caregiving, fraud, scams, and housing.

Guides and Resources

The CFPB presented several valuable guides, such as the housing guides that offer comprehensive information for older adults aging in their homes and the "Managing Someone Else's Money" guides, which cover various financial management options. These resources are especially relevant for the Muslim community, addressing concerns about wills and estate planning compliant with both US and Islamic laws.

Upcoming Initiatives

The CFPB announced plans for a faith-based roundtable discussion in July to address major issues affecting older adults in different faith communities. This event will provide an overview of CFPB resources and explore the best ways to reach and support these communities, considering cultural sensitivities.

Feedback and Collaboration

The CFPB is open to feedback and suggestions from the Muslim community on tailoring resources to their specific needs. They have collaborated with the Library of Congress to translate some materials and are willing to explore further translations into languages such as Urdu if needed.

Consumer Alerts and Education

The CFPB recommends that the Muslim community sign up for the Federal Trade Commission's consumer alerts to stay informed about the latest scams targeting older adults. Additionally, the CFPB's "Money Smart for Older Adults" materials can be valuable for financial education within the community.

Inclusive Engagement

The meeting underscored the importance of inclusivity and direct engagement with the Muslim community. The CFPB is committed to reaching out to larger Muslim communities in areas such as Dearborn, Chicago, New York, Houston, and Los Angeles, ensuring that resources and opportunities are accessible to all.

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About Shia Muslim Foundation

The Shia Muslim Foundation, founded in 2020, is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the civic rights of American Shia Muslims and advocating on social and political issues. The foundation promotes the rights and welfare of Shia Muslims globally, addressing challenges faced by the community and fostering understanding between Shia and Sunni Muslims.

Washington, DC, June 6, 2024 – The Shia Muslim Foundation (SMF) participated in an important meeting with the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, focusing on addressing recent hate crimes, discrimination, and civil rights violations impacting the Muslim community and other marginalized groups. The meeting brought together representatives from various federal agencies and community organizations to discuss ongoing efforts and strategies to combat these pressing issues.

Commitment to Combat Hate Crimes

During the meeting, the Department of Justice (DOJ) highlighted its recent actions in partnership with the FBI to address hate crimes targeting the Muslim community. These actions include charging individuals for breaking into a center for Islamic life, threatening a Palestinian rights organization, and assaulting a Muslim woman. The DOJ reaffirmed its strong commitment to standing up against any form of violence or threats aimed at the Muslim community.

Public Accommodation and Discrimination

The DOJ also addressed the issue of discrimination in public accommodations, emphasizing the protections afforded by Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. New public resources have been disseminated to educate communities about these protections. The DOJ welcomes complaints from those who have experienced discrimination, including having conferences, events, or convenings canceled by hotels.

Police Response to College Protests

The meeting also covered the Department’s statutory authority to review law enforcement agencies' practices that may involve systemic civil rights violations. The DOJ has investigated and continues to investigate numerous agencies for conduct that includes harassment, racial slurs, discriminatory threats, and violations of First Amendment protected activity.

Concerns from Community Representatives

Representatives from Muslim Advocates and the Muslim Legal Fund of America raised concerns about the targeting and criminalization of student protesters, the violence and trauma experienced by these students, and retaliation against students advocating for human rights. The DOJ and the Department of Education acknowledged these concerns and committed to addressing such cases.

Support for Students and Educators

The Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships discussed resources developed to support students, educators, and education leaders in navigating these challenging times. The Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights reiterated efforts to ensure schools understand their obligations under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, including addressing harassment without solely relying on police intervention.

Discrimination and Profiling Policies

The Department of Homeland Security's Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties discussed policies prohibiting discrimination and profiling based on First Amendment activity. Collaborative efforts with the Department of Education aim to track investigations related to shared ancestry and ethnic characteristics at colleges and universities receiving DHS grants.

Ongoing Efforts and Future Collaboration

The meeting concluded with a strong emphasis on the complementary nature of the work being done by various federal agencies and the importance of continued partnership and communication. The DOJ and other federal representatives expressed their gratitude for the leadership and advocacy of the participating organizations, assuring them of ongoing support and commitment to addressing these critical issues.

The Shia Muslim Foundation remains dedicated to advocating for the rights and welfare of the Shia Muslim community and all marginalized groups. We look forward to continued collaboration with federal agencies and community partners to ensure justice, equality, and protection for all.

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