(WASHINGTON, D.C., 1/19/2009) – American Muslim leaders today marked both the inauguration of President Barack Obama and the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by releasing “peace doves” at a mosque in the nation’s capital.
The release of 44 white doves, one for each president, symbolized the American Muslim community’s desire for a more peaceful world and the key role played by presidents in achieving peace based on justice and freedom.
Speakers at the event included Imam Yusuf Saleem of Masjid Muhammad, the site of the dove release; Rahim Jenkins, Masjid Muhammad’s board chair; Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR); Mahdi Bray, executive director of the Muslim American Society’s Freedom Foundation, Laila Mohammed, daughter of the late Imam W. Deen Mohammed; Hodari Abdul-Ali, chair of the Social Justice Task Force of the Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA); and Muhammad Salim Akhtar, national director of the American Muslim Taskforce on Civil Rights and Elections (AMT).
On Tuesday, January 20, CAIR will hold an open house at its Capitol Hill headquarters (8 a.m.-5 p.m., 453 New Jersey Avenue, S.E., Washington, D.C.) to celebrate President Obama’s inauguration. Visitors will be offered information about CAIR, Islam and the American Muslim community, and will have an opportunity to watch the inauguration ceremony on a wide-screen television. Because the temperature is expected to be in the 30s, hot drinks will be provided.
CAIR, America’s largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 35 offices, chapters and affiliates 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.
– END –
CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, E-Mail: email@example.com