ACB REP: CAIR-MN GUIDE DOG INITIATIVE CAN HAVE ‘POSITIVE IMPACT’
The following letter was sent to the chairwoman of the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) by Ken Rodgers, immediate past President of the Minnesota office of the American Council of the Blind, after he attended CAIR-MN’s first annual banquet on June 16, 2007.
CAIR-MN has launched an initiative to educate Muslim taxi drivers about the religious obligation to accommodate those who use guide dogs.
SEE: Sold-Out CAIR-MN Banquet a Success
The letter stated, in part:
“I would like to express my sincere gratitude to you, and the entire CAIR Board, for the gracious invitation to speak and attend the first CAIR MN banquet last week. I don’t mind telling you I was a little nervous about being there and worried about the negative potential impact I might have on the attendees but my worries were for nothing. I was most absolutely treated as if I were an honored guest and was treated with the highest amount of respect. I felt more like a friend than a stranger. As a matter of fact, I believe I even made a few very wonderful new friends!
“I very much realize that my being there was a little bit of a gamble but I am forever grateful for the privilege. There were a number of individuals that came up to me who remembered me from the cab classes and a number of individuals stopped me as I made my way out of the building to tell me how much they appreciated hearing from me.
“I was so impressed with the entire evening, from the number of people there to the food and the great facility. I know that putting together a program with the caliber of individuals as you gathered took an immense amount of very hard work. You all should feel very proud of your huge accomplishment and I believe your organization will have such a positive impact on the entire Minnesota community! I also congratulate you on your successful fundraising efforts and hope I am included in many of your future endeavors as one of your newest and strongest supporters
“. . .I used to believe in the concept that we can best make change by reaching and connecting with one person at a time. . .After my experience at the CAIR MN banquet I am convinced that long lasting change was made by being able to connect with entire groups of individuals all at once!
“I am excited at the prospect of your future positive impact within your own community, but even more importantly, I am thrilled at the positive impact you will have on the greater Minnesota community, and especially among my own blind community!
“Please know you can depend on me whenever you feel I can be of service.
“With gratitude and warmest regards, Ken Rodgers”