CAIR-FLORIDA FEEDS THE HOMELESS
(MIAMI, FL, 6/27/07) - Representatives of the Florida office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-FL), along with members of the local Muslim community, recently volunteered at Broward Outreach Center by serving a hot meal to the homeless.
The effort was part of CAIR's nationwide "Muslims Care" campaign to promote volunteerism in the American Muslim community. More than 15 volunteers from the local Muslim community participated in the event.
"Helping the needy in the community is encouraged in Islam and we will continue to contribute as much as possible," said CAIR FL Executive Director Altaf Ali.
Ali quoted Islam's Prophet Muhammad, who said: "He who eats his fill while his neighbor goes without food is not a believer."
CAIR, America's largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 33 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. 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.
CAIR-LA: 'A MIGHTY HEART' SCREENING A SUCCESS
(ANAHEIM, CA, 6/27/07) - Some 300 people of diverse faiths turned out last Thursday for a screening and panel discussion of "A Mighty Heart" hosted by the Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA), Progressive Christians Uniting (PCU) and Paramount Vantage.
The movie portrays the intense search for and subsequent horrific murder of Wall Street Journal writer Daniel Pearl in Pakistan, as told by his wife Mariane Pearl. Based on Mariane Pearl's memoir, the movie was made by "The Road to Guantanamo" Director Michael Winterbottom and stars Academy Award winner Angelina Jolie and Dan Futterman.
The evening was meant to celebrate Daniel Pearl's commitment to global truth and understanding. In a discussion following the exclusive screening at Paramount Studios, four panelists shared their thoughts behind Mariane Pearl's vision for peace and tolerance, and how that vision can be furthered by people of faith - Christians, Jews, Muslims, and those of other beliefs.
"It is important to reiterate that Muslims all around the world condemned the horrific murder of Daniel Pearl. . .and it pains me to see that there are criminals out there who misuse the name of Islam to justify violent acts against innocent people," said CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush, addressing the packed theater. "We need to use this film and the tragedy depicted in this film to spread the message that we need more dialogue, and end the culture of violence, the culture of bombs, the culture of occupation, the culture of torture."
Reverend Peter Laarman, executive director of Progressive Christians Uniting, agreed. "I think there is a need for people to respond in real time to canards, to slurs and to sweeping generalizations," he said.
Rabbi Haim Dov Beliak, a board member with Progressive Jewish Alliance and co-founder of www.JewsOnFirst.org, also spoke about increasing dialogue and bridge-building. "I want to commend CAIR for the courage it took to undertake this evening," Beliak said.
The Pakistani Consul General in Los Angeles, Syed Ibne Abbas, attended Thursday's program. He gave a short speech in which he expressed sorrow for Daniel Pearl's murder and stated that the Pakistani government had tried everything it could to save his life.
"Some misguided people are using the religion of Islam, a religion that believes in compassion and peace," said the consul general. "I am not a preacher but I can say with all confidence that, in the Quran, it says, "Killing one innocent person is tantamount to killing the whole humanity.""
To watch the entire panel discussion, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USDI6AgWdy8
CAIR-SFBA HOSTS PROGRAM ON WOMEN IN ISLAM
(SANTA CLARA, CA, 6/27/07) - On Saturday, June 23, the San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SFBA), in coordination with the Muslim Community Association (MCA) and Elderhostel, hosted its second "Day of Discovery: Building Bridges to Islam" program, at MCA.
Titled "Women in Islam," the event's purpose was to provide Elderhostel members an overview on the status and lives of Muslim women from across the globe.
The program began with presentations on overcoming stereotypes, in which Muslim women speakers of diverse ethnic backgrounds shared their personal experiences. This was followed by a presentation titled "Mary in Islam," as well as small group discussions, a mosque tour, and observation of the noon prayer. The event concluded with a panel discussion and question and answer session.
"There is a need to challenge prevalent stereotypes related to Muslims, especially the belief that Islam subjugates women," said Shazia Jafri, CAIR-SFBA Communications Coordinator. "In reaching out and conveying the truth, the Elderhostel program effectively catered to this need."
CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 33 chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to promote justice, enhance understanding of Islam, and empower American Muslims.
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NATIONWIDE 'ISLAMOPHOBIA' DISCUSSION TO KICK OFF IN DALLAS
(DALLAS, TX, 6/26/2007) - On Sunday, July 8, a prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group will kick off a nationwide discussion of "Islamophobia," or fear and hatred of Islam and Muslims, with a panel discussion in Dallas, Texas. It is the first in a series of similar public discussions scheduled around the nation by the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
The Dallas event, entitled "Do U.S. Policies Fuel Islamophobia?" and hosted by CAIR's Dallas/Fort Worth chapter (CAIR-DFW), will seek to explain the historical context of the issue and provide resources for gaining a better understanding of the negative impact anti-Muslim bigotry has on American society and on our nation's interests worldwide. Panelists will also discuss the government's actions in the case against officials of the closed Texas-based Holy Land Foundation Muslim charity.
WHAT: Panel Discussion - "Do U.S. Policies Fuel Islamophobia?"
WHEN: Sunday, July 8, 2007, 1:30-4 p.m.
WHERE: Crowne Plaza Park Central, 7800 Alpha Road, Dallas, Texas
"Given the lamentable state of our nation's international image, it is imperative that American Muslims analyze the situation and advocate solutions that will help remove the perception that we, as a nation, are at war with the faith of Islam," said CAIR Board Chairman Parvez Ahmed, who is one of the panelists.
Confirmed speakers include:
* Parvez Ahmed: Dr. Parvez Ahmed is national board chair of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Ahmed is an associate professor of finance at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville. He also serves as a board member for OneJax, formerly the National Conference on Community and Justice (NCCJ).
* Susan Abulhawa: Susan Abulhawa is the founder of Playgrounds for Palestine and author of the recently-released novel "The Scar of David."
* Lawrence Davidson: Lawrence Davidson is professor of Middle East history at West Chester University in West Chester, Penn. He is author of "America's Palestine: Popular and Official Perceptions from Balfour to Israeli Statehood," "Islamic Fundamentalism" and co-author with Arthur Goldschmidt of "A Concise History of the Middle East."
Other scheduled CAIR events designed to highlight the negative impact of Islamophobia include a symposium this weekend in Davie, Fla., and a July 17th panel discussion at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., entitled "Attacking Islam: Implications for Social Cohesion and U.S. Relations with the Muslim World." The July 17th panel features American Conservative Union President David Keene.
CAIR, America's largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 33 offices, chapters and affiliates nationwide and in Canada. 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.