An outbreak in the Middle East brings an educational forum to central Ohio.

The Columbus Office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, hosted the event at the Sunrise Academy.

The event is an educational forum on the life of the Islamic prophet, Muhammad.

Council members are hoping the event will lead to better understanding of the Islam.

The forum is part of a nationwide campaign in response to a Danish cartoon controversy.

Karen Dabdoub of CAIR in Cincinnati said she was disappointed to see the controversial cartoons published in a Danish newspaper.

“These were not respectful images; they were meant to demean Muhammad, demean his status in our community,” she said. “He was depicted as a terrorist.”

She was even more disappointed by the violent protests.

“That made me even more sad,” Dabdoub said. “We’re supposed to model our lives after Muhammad and he reacted to those who attacked him with forgiveness, not violence.”

In an effort to promote dialogue and understanding among people of all faiths, the 30 CAIR offices across the country have launched a year-long educational effort. They’re offering a free book and DVD that answers the question, ‘who was Muhammad?’


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