San Antonio activist Sarwat Husain has joined the national board of the country's largest Islamic civil rights group.
Husain, 52, founder and president of the San Antonio chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, was elected earlier this week to the Washington-based group's board of directors for a three-year term.
A native of Pakistan, Husain has been a local community organizer who has worked extensively with leaders of different faiths and civil rights groups in the San Antonio area, which is home to about 20,000 Muslims.
"This is a very humbling experience," Husain said Friday. "Being on the national board means much responsibility, since the council represents the largest (Islamic) civil rights group in the nation."
As part of a new state mandate by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards-Education, police departments now require classes on Middle Eastern culture as part of their cultural diversity training sessions. Husain has conducted a number of those courses with uniformed officers and detectives of the San Antonio Police Department.
"I look forward to working with Ms. Husain and believe her skills and experience will help us improve in carrying out our mission of promoting justice and mutual understanding," CAIR Chairman Parvez Ahmed.
Husain, who holds a master's degree in clinical nutrition from the University of the Incarnate Word, also serves on the board of the Texas Muslim Political Taskforce and is president of the Texas Muslim Democratic Caucus.
A San Antonio resident for the last 19 years, Husain is the founder and publisher of "Al-Ittihaad News," a Texas-based Muslim newspaper, and a guest columnist for the San Antonio Express-News. (MORE)