(TEMPE, AZ, 5/12/14) -- The Arizona chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR-AZ) in conjunction with Islamic Community Center of Tempe held the first ever "Day of Justice" event this past weekend.
The purpose of the event was to enhance the understanding of Islam by highlighting the central concept of justice in the faith. The event incorporated panel discussions, training sessions, youth programs and a first of its kind "creative portion" for the local community.
Speakers for the event included nationally renown leaders including Hussam Ayloush, executive director of CAIR-Los Angeles and Linda Sarsour, advocacy director of the Arab-American Association of New York, as well as local leaders such as ICC Tempe's Imam Ahmad Shqeirat, ICNEV's Imam Anas Hlayhel, and Islamic Social Services Association's Dr. Aneesah Nadir, and Zarinah Nadir.
Panel discussions included "Becoming Champions of Justice," where Sarsour and Ayloush highlighted their paths toward building strong, cohesive communities centered around justice and civil rights.
In "From the Streets to the Web -- Social Media Activism," Sarsour engaged the crowd as to the great importance of using social networks to amplify your message. The CAIR-AZ team rolled out its first ever anti-bullying training to a group of youth, highlighting ways to report these issues, while providing a safe space for the audience to discuss their experiences. This training will be deployed with local schools and youth groups this summer.
The final panel of the day discussed the impact of domestic violence, inlcudig how it affects our community, identifying warning signs, and highlighting organizations that are helping victims locally and nationally.
The event also honored (posthumously) Zarinah Awad of the Cultural Cup Food Bank with CAIR-AZ's first ever "Champion of Justice" award. The Cultural Cup's current director accepted the award on Awad's behalf as the organization continues to carry on her legacy of service.
The creative portion of the event called on artists, activists, spoken word artists and poets to express how the concept of justice impacts their faith.
The crowd was treated to a presentation on Chinese Islamic calligraphy from Dr. Fawzia Tung, a spoken word session by Habeebullah Saleem, poetry by CAIR-AZ intern Aminah Shakoor, and a superb Quranic recitation by Hafiz Momin Shakoor.
"This was a great event from beginning to end," said CAIR-AZ Chairman Imraan Siddiqi. "Our goal is to continue to hold innovative events like this that highlight the talents from within our community, as well as exposing our community members to the stories and experiences of leaders nationwide."
CAIR-AZ is a chapter of America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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