(WASHINGTON, D.C., 3/5/15) – On Saturday, March 7, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, will join in the launch of the anti-racism “Bilal Initiative” during an annual training event for Muslim chaplains, community leaders and service providers at Yale University in Connecticut.
The purpose of the Bilal Initiative -- named for Bilal ibn Rabah, a former slave and one of the Prophet Muhammad’s first companions -- is to “reclaim the multi-generational, multicultural and women-friendly ethos that seemed to be manifested in the early Muslim community as a result of the leadership of Prophet Muhammad.”
It is designed to begin conversations about race and prejudice within the American Muslim community and will include formal discussion between community leaders from a variety of backgrounds, town hall meetings in areas with large Muslim populations and the publication of a discussion guide on issues of race.
A Saturday morning panel discussion, titled “The Bilal Initiative: Understanding and Dealing with Prejudice in the Muslim American Community,” will feature CAIR National Board Chair Roula Allouch, Islamic Society of North American (ISNA) Vice President Dr. Altaf Husain and Imam Dr. Salahuddin Muhammad from the community of Imam W.D. Mohamed. CAIR Maryland Outreach Manager Zainab Chaudry and CAIR Board Member Professor Jimmy Jones will facilitate the discussion.
WHAT: Launch of the Bilal Initiative to Begin Conversations About Racism and Prejudice
WHEN: Saturday, March 7, 11:15 a.m.
WHERE: 5th Annual National Shura and In-service Training for Chaplains and Imams and Other Service Providers to the Muslim Community, Yale University, Linsly-Chittenden Hall (LC-105), 63 High Street, New Haven, CT 06511-8963
CAIR is 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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