St. Louis Palestine March CAIR MissouriThe Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) organized the march to protest new Israeli security measures at prayer sites in Jerusalem. Metal detectors and security cameras were installed after the mosque was temporarily closed on July 14, when three Palestinian civilians and two Israeli officers were killed in clashes nearby.

At the St. Louis area march, protesters demanded freedom for Muslims to worship without harassment and extra security measures when entering the Jerusalem compound that houses Al-Aqsa Mosque. The compound is an area also referred to by Jews as the Temple Mount.

However, for many St. Louisans the gathering was about more than the installation of new metal detectors at the holy site in Jerusalem.

CAIR intern and member of the Palestine Solidarity Committee Neveen Ayesh, a Muslim, is Palestinian-American and spoke to the St. Louis-area crowd about the ongoing conflict.

“It’s what’s going to come after the metal detectors and what’s going to come with the metal detectors,” she said. “It’s just another way to put [Palestinians] on a leash and try to control them.”

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Self-Defense –> Wayne Pratt reports for NPR’s All Things Considered that “with members of the area Muslim community feeling like they are under a continuing threat of violence, the Missouri chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations is coordinating efforts for members to protect themselves.” The effort includes “a self-defense course for women run by a former Jackson, Missouri, police officer who converted to Islam a couple of years ago” and was attacked on the street for wearing a hijab only three months later.

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c8d822ef9unspecified 6 jpg mobileAllison Miller said her initial experience with Islamophobia occurred only three months later.

"A physical assault. Somebody that did not like the way that I was dressed, wearing the headscarf," she told St. Louis Public Radio. "I was thankful that I had skills learned by law enforcement to property protect myself."

Shortly after the attack, Miller contacted CAIR-Missouri and was asked to design the self-defense program. The first classes took place in May in West St. Louis County and the next sessions are set for July 23 and 30 in Hazelwood. People of all faiths are welcome, but the classes are tailored to Muslim women who usually can't go to regular instruction that could involve being touched by involved men.

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Muslim Women Self Defense Class

Join CAIR-Missouri's Muslim Women Self-Defense Program

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Citing an increase in the number of attacks against young Muslim women wearing the hijab, the local Islamic community is providing self-defense classes for women.

Local Council on Islamic/American Relations Executive Director Faizan Syed says they’re not trying to turn them into Jackie Chan, but teaching them how to de-escalate situations or, if necessary, protect themselves.

“We’re hoping that these classes will at least give Muslim women particularly, even all women, but particularly Muslim women, the ability to know that if something like this ever does happen, how you respond to it in a way that you get out with the least amount of harm as humanly possibly,” he says.

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