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May America Be True to Her Dream

By Nihad Awad

[Nihad Awad is national executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization. He may be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..]

This Fourth of July weekend, friends and families around the country will gather together to celebrate the freedoms we cherish as Americans, those for which countless generations have struggled and sacrificed so much. 

We celebrate our freedom from oppression, freedom to practice our religion, representation in our government, and self-determination. 

Yet as recent events targeting African-Americans have made abundantly clear, we still have a long way to go to achieve full equality under the flag we will fly high this weekend. 

The terror attack on an African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., the abuse of African-American teens by a police officer in McKinney, Texas, and police-involved shootings and mistreatment of men, women, and children of color across our nation point to the lingering structural racism in our society. These troubling incidents must be honestly addressed before we can truly be the nation President Abraham Lincoln described as "conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal." 

While much was accomplished through the Civil Rights Movement during the 50s and 60s, much still remains to be done.

No less corrosive to the American values on which our country was founded is the pervasive hate to which American Muslims have increasingly found themselves subjected.

Recent, and largely unreported, incidents of anti-Muslim hate include a Texas road rage shooting in which the alleged gunman reportedly shouted "Go back to Islam" before firing at and killing the victim, the "execution-style" killings of three young Muslims in Chapel Hill, N.C., hate vandalism and threats targeting mosques and Islamic schools nationwide, a planned religiously-motivated attack on a Muslim community in New York, and the murder of a Muslim teen in Kansas city who was run down by a vehicle painted with anti-Islam slurs.

In one much-publicized incident, armed anti-Islam protesters recently harassed worshipers at an Arizona mosque; several of those present at the rally displayed Nazi-themed symbols.

Racism and Islamophobia are branches of the same poisonous tree: both rely on stereotypes and misinformation for their creation and continuation; both harm not only those targeted by bigotry, but also the society that allows hate to fester and pits one group against another.

Despite these terrible incidents, there are some clear signs of hope and optimism, particularly in the outpouring of love for the victims of the deadly shooting in Charleston and in the subsequent almost-universal repudiation of the Confederate flag as a symbol of racism and oppression, one to which CAIR added its voice.

We saw a similar outpouring of support for worshipers at the Arizona mosque assaulted by hate-speech, and even witnessed a neighborhood "love-in" for an Iowa Muslim-American whose house was painted with Islamophobic and threatening graffiti.

The American Muslim community will continue to stand with our fellow Americans of all beliefs and backgrounds as we together struggle to achieve true freedom and equality.

As Dr. Martin Luther King said in his 1965 Independence Day sermon delivered at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Ga., "Never before in the history of the world have so many racial groups and so many national backgrounds assembled together in one nation. And somehow if we can't solve the problem in America the world can't solve the problem, because America is the world in miniature and the world is America writ large."

He added: "We have a great dream. It started way back in 1776, and God grant that America will be true to her dream."

Amen to that.

The Reality of Islamophobia in America

Corey-SaylorBy Corey Saylor

Word count: 745

Thirty-seven groups dedicated to spreading anti-Islam prejudice in America enjoyed access to at least $119,662,719 in total revenue between 2008 and 2011, according to a new report by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

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Muslims Mark 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington

NihadBy Nihad Awad
Word Count: 618

In one of his most famous statements, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

On the 50th anniversary of the historic March on Washington, it is time to reflect on Dr. King's words and examine where we stand as a nation on the issues of justice and mutual understanding.

Dr. King's struggle for justice must be carried on by Americans of all faiths and backgrounds, because that is what he taught and demonstrated through his life's work.

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A Word of Truth on Jihad and Islam

NihadBy Nihad Awad
Word Count: 810

There is a growing attempt by some commentators to label the recent bombings in Boston as "jihad" and to blame the deadly blasts on a non-existent concept they call "radical Islam."

I call "radical Islam" non-existent because radicalism or extremism is not permissible in Islam. Islam prohibits extremism and an essential part of the faith is moderation. A more accurate term might be "Al-Qaeda ideology."

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Muslims Hope for Positive Relations with New Pope

NihadBy Nihad Awad

Muslims have interacted with the Roman Catholic Church and its leaders -- sometimes negatively and sometimes positively -- for hundreds of years. These interactions have included negative periods of needless and counterproductive conflict, as well as positive cooperation on issues of importance to families of all faiths.

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The Prophet Muhammad Through Western Eyes

Sarwat-HusainBy Sarwat Husain

The Prophet Muhammad was born on the 12th day of Rabi-Al-Awwal, the third month in the Islamic lunar calendar, more than 1,400 years ago.

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Muslim man sentenced to life without air travel

By Gadeir Abbas and Adam Soltani

Published in The Oklahoman on February 13, 2013.     

Years ago, Saadiq Long — an American citizen born in Oklahoma — served in our Air Force with distinction. For a time, he even provided technical support to military aircraft destined for combat. Who could have guessed that such a man would be deemed too dangerous to board commercial aircraft?

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Nihad Awad: American Muslims Are Indebted to Dr. King

Nihad Awad: American Muslims Are Indebted to Dr. King

By Nihad Awad

In my position as the leader of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest American Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, I am eternally grateful for the vision, struggle and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

He did not struggle only to free his own generation, and his work will continue to bless many generations to come in America and around the world.

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Dr. King's Legacy Mandates Respect for Due Process, End to Drone Killings and Warrantless Surveillance

Dawud Walid - ISLAM-OPED: Dr. King's Legacy Mandates Respect for Due Process, End to Drone Killings and Warrantless SurveillanceISLAM-OPED: Dr. King's Legacy Mandates Respect for Due Process, End to Drone Killings and Warrantless Surveillance

By: Dawud Walid

Word count: 626

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day symbolizes many important moral and ethical principles, including the citizenry's responsibility to end the federal government's abuses of civil and human rights, both at home and abroad.

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Media Urged to Drop Term 'Islamist' in New Year

By: Ibrahim Hooper


As many people make promises to themselves to improve their lives or their societies in the coming year, here is a suggested New Year's resolution for media outlets in America and worldwide: Drop the term "Islamist."

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Jesus and Muhammad are Brothers

By Ibrahim Hooper
Word Count: 520

During the Christmas season, Christian families seek to maintain a focus on Jesus and his legacy.

Many of our Christian brothers and sisters may be surprised to know that Muslims love and revere Jesus as one of God's greatest messengers to mankind, just as we love and revere the Prophet Muhammad, may peace be upon them both.

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American Muslims May Decide Who Becomes President

American Muslims May Decide Who Becomes President
By: Nihad Awad

Word Count: 686

[Nihad Awad is national executive director of the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil liberties organization. He may be contacted at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.]

In this close election, it is a small voting bloc that will decide the outcome. On November 6, American Muslims are in a position to determine which presidential candidate will win in key swing states such as Ohio, Virginia and Florida.

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Give Thanks and Give to Those in Need

By Nihad Awad


During our nation's current economic downturn, and in the wake of natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy, many of our fellow Americans are suffering.

That is why it is so important this Thanksgiving to show thanks for all the blessings we have by reaching out to those in need.

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