(OKLAHOMA CITY, OK, 9/14/09) – On Labor Day weekend, the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-OK) co-hosted a community disaster response training in partnership with the American Red Cross of Central Oklahoma, NAACP, Latino Community Development Agency (LCDA), and Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum.
The efforts were in response to the “United We Serve” initiative created by President Barack Obama. The summer-long United We Serve program concludes today, September 11, 2009, which the president has designated as “National Day of Service and Remembrance.”
The Red Cross trained nearly 100 leaders and activists from communities across Oklahoma in an effort to prevent, prepare for and respond to natural disasters and other emergencies. Attendees received certification for the all-day training in disaster assessment, shelter operations and fulfilling the mission of the Red Cross.
“In the spirit of Ramadan, Muslims across the state of Oklahoma came to learn how to better serve their communities with the membership of our partner organizations,” stated CAIR-OK Executive Director Razi Hashmi. “When disaster strikes, it does not discriminate and it is our civic duty to serve God and country with our brothers and sisters of all faiths,” said Hashmi.
This event was held during Interfaith Service Week as designated by the White House and Corporation for National and Community Service. Muslims across the state of Oklahoma engaged in service this Ramadan by serving dinner at the Jesus House and City Rescue Mission, holding canned food drives in Tulsa and Oklahoma City and Fast-A-Thon events to raise money for the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma at the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma City University.
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.