Other Group

The Chicago Monitor




Chicago, IL


Political Media Outlet




Ahmed Rehab

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The Chicago Monitor is a left-of-center online publication closely associated with the Chicago chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR-Chicago). The paper was founded in 2012 by Ahmed Rehab and Aymen Abdel Halim, both senior staff at CAIR-Chicago. 1 The Monitor publishes news, commentary, and opinions from staff and contributors, including anti-police and anti-Israel opinions. 2


Trump Administration

In 2017, President Donald Trump banned nationals of several majority-Muslim countries from entering the United States. CAIR-Chicago was one organization involved in opposing the regulations on the ground and advocating for their repeal. The Monitor criticized the decision repeatedly during the four years it was in effect. 3

The paper also published an article criticizing U.S. government efforts to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization, even though the Brotherhood was designated a terrorist institution by several Middle East government and its affiliates include the terrorist group Hamas. 4 5

The Monitor also shared a post from activist Hoda Katebi who said in 2018, “You cannot support Muslims & support Israel or the police. You cannot support Muslims & work within a framework of citizenship or patriotism.” 6

Opposition to Police

In 2020, the Monitor featured a cartoon of a pig in police uniform, with its hand dripping with blood, smiling for social media. 7 In 2021, contributor Kobi Russell wrote an article spotlighting the Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN), a Muslim activist network founded by Rami Nashashibi in 1997 and operating in Chicago and Atlanta. 8 IMAN often lobbies on criminal justice policies, including the recently-passed Empowering Communities for Public Safety (ECPS) ordinance, or “People’s Ordinance.” ECPS was approved by Chicago City Council in 2021 in an effort to give civilians more control over the police department. It gave the Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability, composed of union organizers and left-wing activists, the power to oust a police commissioner with City Council approval. 9 10


Ahmed Rehab is Founder and Publisher of Chicago Monitor, and also serves as the executive director of CAIR-Chicago and National Strategic Communications Director of the Council on American Islamic Relations. He is a frequent news commentator and guest lecturer at universities around Chicago and worldwide. In 2013, Rehab founded MyJihad Inc., a campaign to redefine the word “jihad” and encourage understanding between Muslims and non-Muslims. 11

Before joining CAIR, he was a freelance writer, activist, and consultant for the now-defunct Arthur Andersen LLP. Rehab had served on then-Illinois Governor Pat Quinn’s (D) Muslim Advisory Council, as vice chairman of Illinois resettlement program RefugeeONE, as a board member of Egyptian American Society, and as a board member of Illinois Coalition of Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR). He was a member of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs’ Muslim Task Force, an Eisenhower fellow of the American Assembly, and a graduate of the FBI Citizen’s Academy. 12

Erin P.R. Davis is editor-in-chief of the Monitor as well as the communications coordinator for CAIR-Chicago. She also works as an event planner and communications consultant for nonprofit and for-profit organizations, and past clients have included Lurie Children’s Hospital and the Chicago Bears’ Bears Care Foundation. 13 In January 2024, to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Davis wrote an editorial encouraging readers to ask themselves: “Are we genuinely working towards dismantling systematic racism, or are we content with merely acknowledging its existence?” 14

Muhammad Tauseef Akbar is editor at large 15 and was CAIR-Chicago’s Research Coordinator. 16 He served as a consultant to Georgetown University’s Bridge Initiative for the study of anti-Muslim sentiment. 17 He also works as the Coordinator of Muslim Life at the University of Chicago’s Rockefeller Memorial Chapel. 18


  1. “The Chicago Monitor Press Granted Press Pass.” CAIR Chicago. Accessed January 17, 2024. https://www.cairchicago.org/blog/blog/2016/01/the-chicago-monitor-granted-press-pass
  2. Saadia Pervaiz. “Loving the Spotlight.” Chicago Monitor. September 21, 2020. Accessed January 17, 2024. https://chicagomonitor.com/2020/09/loving-the-spotlight/
  3.  Natalie Myren. “The Effects of President Trump’s Muslim Ban.” Chicago Monitor. August 7, 2020. Accessed January 18, 2024. https://chicagomonitor.com/2020/08/the-effects-of-president-trumps-muslim-ban/
  4. [1] Mandie Czech. “Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Designed to Discredit Civil Rights Groups.” Chicago Monitor. February 3, 2017. Accessed January 20, 2024/ https://chicagomonitor.com/2017/02/muslim-brotherhood-terrorist-designation-designed-to-discredit-civil-rights-groups/
  5. “Background.” House Oversight Committee Hearing. The Muslim Brotherhood’s Global Threat. July 11, 2018. Accessed January 18, 2024. https://oversight.house.gov/hearing/the-muslim-brotherhoods-global-threat/
  6. Katebi, Hoda (@hodakatebi). Today as we demand #NoMuslimBanEver do not compromise/erase the complexities of what it means to support Muslims. Twitter, April 25, 2018. https://twitter.com/hodakatebi/status/989171556227145728
  7. Saadia Pervaiz. “Loving the Spotlight.” Chicago Monitor. September 21, 2020. Accessed January 17, 2024. https://chicagomonitor.com/2020/09/loving-the-spotlight/
  8. Kobi Russell.“Spotlight on the Inner-City Muslim Action Network.” Chicago Monitor. August 18, 2021. https://chicagomonitor.com/2021/08/muslim-action-iman/
  9. Matt Chapman. “Alders Fault Rules Committee Chair for Missed Deadlines on Civilian Oversight of Police.” Chicago Reader. January 11, 2022. Accessed January 20, 2024. https://chicagoreader.com/news-politics/alders-fault-rules-committee-chair-for-missed-deadlines-on-civilian-oversight-of-police/
  10. “Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability.” City of Chicago. Accessed January 18, 2024. https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/depts/ccpsa/auto_generated/ccpsa_leadership.html
  11.  Jonathan Helman and Athena Jones. “Muslim Activists Aim to Reclaim the word ‘jihad’ with ad campaign.” CNN.com. March 3rd, 2013. Accessed January 21, 2024. https://www.cnn.com/2013/02/03/us/myjihad-campaign/index.html
  12.  Ahmed Rehab.” CAIR Chicago. Accessed January 19, 2024. https://www.cairchicago.org/ahmed-rehab
  13.  Erin Davis”. CAIR Chicago. Accessed January 19, 2024. https://www.cairchicago.org/staff/erin-davis
  14. Erin Davis. “Reflecting on the Legacy: A Martin Luther King Jr. Day Tribute.” Chicago Monitor. January 15, 2024. Accessed January 19, 2024. https://chicagomonitor.com/2024/01/reflecting-on-the-legacy-a-martin-luther-king-jr-day-tribute/
  15. “Editorial Team.” Chicago Monitor. Accessed January 18,  2024. https://chicagomonitor.com/editorial-team/
  16. Our Staff Alumni.” CAIR Chicago. Accessed January 18, 2024. https://www.cairchicago.org/staff-alumni#:~:text=Tauseef%20Akbar%20was%20CAIR%2DChicago’s,Chemistry%20at%20North%20Park%20University.
  17. “Our Staff Alumni.” CAIR Chicago. Accessed January 18, 2024. https://www.cairchicago.org/staff-alumni#:~:text=Tauseef%20Akbar%20was%20CAIR%2DChicago’s,Chemistry%20at%20North%20Park%20University.
  18. “Our Staff”. Rockefeller Memorial Chapel. Accessed January 18, 2024. https://www.rockefeller.uchicago.edu/our-staff/
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The Chicago Monitor

Chicago, IL