(WASHINGTON, D.C., 10/19/15) â€“ Almost 1,000 community members, diplomats, and civil rights and interfaith activists turned out on Saturday in Arlington, Va., for the 21st annual banquet of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nationâ€™s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization.
With the theme â€œChampions for Justiceâ€ the evening banquet featured speakers such as Omar Suleiman of the Bayyinah Institute, Nobel Peace Prize winner Tawakkol Karman and author and comedian Dean Obeidallah.
Texas teen Ahmed Mohamed, â€œThe Clockmaker,â€ was honored at the banquet prior to his attending a White House science event. CAIR also named its Dallas-Fort Worth (CAIR-DFW) office as 2015 Chapter of the Year.
CAIR received letters of support for the banquet from 68 members of Congress.
One highlight of the evening was the presentation of CAIRâ€™s Humanitarian Award to Turkish Ambassador Serdar Kilic for that nationâ€™s role in taking in and assisting more than 2.2 million Syrian refugees and 200,000 Iraqi refugees since 2011.
Other banquet highlights included recognition of the families of “Our Three Winners,” Deah Shaddy Barakat, Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, who were killed in in Chapel Hill, N.C., earlier this year and presentation of a Lifetime Achievement award to Dr. Hisham Altalib.
â€œWe appreciate the unwavering support the community has shown and continues to show for our important work promoting justice and equality in a climate of increasing Islamophobia,â€ said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. â€œWe thank the banquet speakers and everyone who turned out to stand with CAIRâ€™s civil rights mission.â€
Awad said the main message of the evening was drawing on faith in furthering the rule of law, increased civic engagement and justice for all.Â
He urged anyone who could not attend the banquet to support CAIRâ€™s important work by donating through its website, www.cair.com.
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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CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, email@example.com