A banquet Saturday night supports the local Muslim community, but it also supports civil rights. That's a cause bigger than any one faith, organizers say. And so a Jewish lawyer, who hails from one of Cleveland's most prominent families, will deliver the keynote address at the annual banquet of the Cleveland chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR. Michael Ratner, who represents many of the Muslim men imprisoned at the U.S. naval station at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, will talk about the rule of law in times of national crisis.
Ratner grew up in Shaker Heights, the nephew of the founder of Forest City Enterprises. As president of the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York City, he has been challenging the U.S. government's right to jail people without charges. "These are not Muslim community issues. These are issues that concern all of us as Americans," Julia Shearson, CAIR Cleveland's executive director, said. The banquet, a fund-raiser for CAIR, begins at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Independence. For reservations, call 216-830-2247.