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CAIR-Houston Takes Part in DOJ Cultural Training

(HOUSTON, TX, 6/10/05) – The Houston office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Houston) took part this week in a cultural training seminar designed to help law enforcement officials understand and better interact with Arab-Americans, American Muslims and Sikhs. Wednesday’s seminar, titled “Building Cultural Competency,” was hosted by the Community Relations Service (CRS) of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), in partnership with Connecting Cultures and the Sikh Media Watch and Resource Task Force (SMART). During the four-hour workshop, former CAIR-Houston Communications Director Najat Elsayed offered a presentation on Arab-Americans and American Muslims, while Manmohan S. Chima of Dallas provided training on Sikh beliefs and practices. “Representatives of over 25 state, local and federal agencies were present in today’s training,” said Assistant Special Agent in Charge Steve Gentry of FBI’s Houston office. “Attendees stated the training was eye-opening, very informative and much needed.”

Gentry added that the seminar offered an opportunity to help break down cultural and religious barriers. “This event was the culmination of a positive dialogue between the FBI’s Houston office, the local Muslim community and CRS,” said CAIR-Houston Executive Director Iesa Galloway, who attended the workshop. “CAIR-Houston applauds the leadership of the FBI in Houston for responding to our requests for this program.” CAIR-Houston supplied seminar attendees with a booklet, called “A Law Enforcement Official’s Guide to the Muslim Community,” designed to familiarize the law enforcement community with Islamic beliefs and practices. The booklet cover issues such religiously-sensitive techniques for body searches, proper etiquette for entering Muslim homes and advice on outreach to the Islamic community. Copies of the booklet may be ordered at:

CAIR, America’s largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 31 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding. To read CAIR’s Mission, Vision Statement and Core Principles, go to:

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CONTACT: Iesa Galloway, 713-838-2247, 832-656-0449, E-Mail:


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