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CAIR LAUNCHES ‘PRAY FOR UNDERSTANDING’ CAMPAIGN

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CAIR LAUNCHES ‘PRAY FOR UNDERSTANDING’ CAMPAIGN
People of all faiths invited to attend end of Ramadan events

(NEW YORK, NY, 11/2/05) – The New Jersey and New York offices of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ/CAIR-NY) today launched a “Pray for Understanding” educational campaign tied to the upcoming Islamic holiday of Eid ul-Fitr, or “feast of fast breaking.”

At a news conference in New York City, CAIR representatives said the campaign involves inviting people of all faiths to attend prayers and other activities associated with the Eid ul-Fitr holiday that will take place November 3rd or 4th. (The exact date depends on the sighting of the new crescent moon.) CAIR hopes visitors will take advantage of the opportunity to learn more about Islamic prayer rituals and to meet ordinary Muslims.

(Eid ul-Fitr marks the end of the month-long Islamic fast of Ramadan. Along with communal prayers, many Muslim communities hold multicultural bazaars featuring activities for children, food from different parts of the Muslim world and booths offering information about Islam.)

For more about Eid ul-Fitr, see: “Muslim Event Grows with Population”
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chicago/chi-0511020009nov02,1,755322.story

“Research has shown that anti-Muslim prejudice and misunderstanding decrease in direct proportion to knowledge of Islam and interaction with Muslims,” said CAIR-NY Executive Director Wissam Nasr. “We invite people of all faiths to seek out and visit an Eid prayer or celebration in their area to both learn more about Islam and to have some fun.”

He offered two specific Eid events people in New Jersey are invited to attend:

1) Eid prayers at 8:30 a.m. on November 3 or 4 at the Teaneck Armory on Teaneck Road between Ward Plaza and Liberty Road, Teaneck N.J. (Local and state politicians are expected to attend. Visitors are urged to arrive early due to the number of people expected to attend.) Contact: 201-692-7730, 201-641-2200 or 201-833-2162

2) Eid celebrations on Saturday, November 5, in Clifton Memorial Park at Main Street and Piaget Avenue in Clifton, N.J. Celebrations begin at noon and end at 6 p.m. There will be a fireworks display at sunset. Contact: 973-278-7070

Anyone wishing to attend an Eid event in other areas may go to www.islamicfinder.com to locate and contact a local mosque or Islamic center.

CAIR is also urging Muslim communities nationwide to take advantage of the Eid holiday to collect funds for earthquake relief in South Asia.

SEE: “CAIR Asks U.S. Muslims to Collect Quake Aid on Eid”
http://www.cair-net.org/default.asp?Page=articleView&id=1842&theType=NR

Nasr said CAIR’s “Pray for Understanding” campaign was prompted by an incident in which several Muslim football fans were allegedly profiled by law enforcement authorities for praying publicly during a game in Giants Stadium. The men report they were detained and interrogated apparently based on their prayers being perceived as “suspicious behavior” by other fans.

SEE: “Muslim Fans Say Giants Stadium Security, FBI Profiled Them for Praying”
http://www.newsday.com/news/local/wire/newjersey/ny-bc-nj–giantsstadium-mus1101nov01,0,1783428.story

A federal review recently concluded that New Jersey counterterrorism agents filed 140 intelligence reports into a database with no grounds for suspicion other than the suspects’ Muslim faith.

SEE: “Report Backs Charges that N.J. Muslims were Profiled”
http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/index.ssf?/base/news-3/112866313196640.xml&coll=1

[LATE UPDATE: The FBI now claims the men were detained because they were “congregating near the main air intake duct” for the stadium, not because they were praying, even though the area was accessible to all fans. That area has since been fenced off.]

CAIR has 31 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. 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.

To read CAIR’s Mission, Vision Statement and Core Principles, go to: http://www.cair-net.org/default.asp?Page=About

– END –

CONTACT: CAIR-NY Executive Director Wissam Nasr, 917-751-1017 or 212-870-2002, E-Mail: director@cair-ny.org

 

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