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MEDIA ADVISORY CAIR-WA: 70+ Expected at Event to Recruit Muslim Political Campaign Volunteers

CAIR logoEvent designed to have local Muslims immediately start volunteering in political campaign of choice

(SEATTLE, WA, 9/15/2016) – On Saturday, September 17, the Washington state chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-WA) will hold an event designed to gather a large number of Muslim community members who are ready to sign up to volunteer with a political campaign of their choice.

Campaigns that will attend the event to recruit volunteers include the Democratic and Republican parties and campaigns for president, state governor, lt. governor, secretary of state, U.S. Congress, U.S. Senate and the state Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, among other races.

WHEN:  On Saturday, September 17, 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.  (Detailed agenda available to members of press immediately upon request) WHERE: Plymouth Congregational Church, 1217 Sixth Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101 CONTACT: CAIR-WA Executive Director Arsalan Bukhari, 206-367-4081 or 206-931-3655, E-mail: abukhari@cair.comPHOTO/VIDEO OPPORTUNITIES:  More than 70 local Muslims, from high school to college aged students to retirees, will have a buffet breakfast, attend a workshop and then meet with campaign representatives. INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES: Attendees and organizers will be available for interviews to speak about their experiences and their ambitions. Applications are still being accepted and more information is available on the event web site: www.cairseattle.org/OurTimeToShine Admission is free, however a successful application is required to be able to attend.

 Organizers aim for this event and the resulting two months of campaign volunteerism to serve as a ‘springboard’ into a career in media and politics, fields where American Muslims are heavily underrepresented. These are also fields where professionals have opportunities to shape public opinion and public policy. Studies show that American Muslims are heavily represented in IT, medicine, and the sciences, and heavily underrepresented – or in some states, not represented at all – in media and politics.

“Imagine the presidential elections in 2020: there would be at least 100 local Muslims, who'll have worked their way up to decision-making positions as professional staff and volunteer leadership in the 2020 campaigns, after starting volunteering in September 2016. How differently would candidates and officials of both major parties talk about Islam/Muslims when our communities' voices are represented prominently at those campaigns' decision-making tables? We are working  to make this future a reality by starting now by having a large number of local Muslims, mostly students, enter careers in media politics, which are fields where they will have opportunities and the skills to shape public opinion and public policy in the course of their work,” said CAIR-WA Executive Director Arsalan Bukhari.

“We know that the public’s opinion of Islam has worsened significantly since 2005 and FBI statistics show that anti-Muslim hate crimes still remain at high levels, as loaded coverage and commentary and hate speech from leaders has resulted in record-high anti-Muslim hate crimes nationwide, so the need for Muslims to be present at decision-making tables is becoming clearer than ever. â€

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.

La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.

CONTACT: CAIR-WA Executive Director Arsalan Bukhari, 206-367-4081 or 206-931-3655, E-Mail: abukhari@cair.com

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