(ALBANY, NY, May 1, 2013) — Members of the New York Muslim community participated yesterday in the first annual “Muslim Day at the Capitol.”
During meetings with more than 60 elected officials of the New York State Assembly and Senate, American Muslims addressed upcoming bills that directly impact the New York Muslim community, including a bill to create an independent Inspector General (IG) of the NYPD and a bill to recognize Muslim holidays in the New York City school district.
The IG bill was introduced by the office of State Senator Kevin Parker after revelations of mass warrantless surveillance of Muslim communities. The bill seeks to “restore public confidence in the NYPD” and to “ensure that tax dollars are used lawfully and to prevent waste, fraud, and abuse by state and local law enforcement engaged intelligence activities.”
The school holiday bill was introduced by Assembly Member Vanessa Gibson, and Senator Bill Perkins, and will allow for the Muslim holidays to be recognized as school holidays in the city school district of New York City–where Muslim students account for one of every ten students.
“In the recent past, American Muslims have been ignored, dismissed and even attacked by politicians seeking to court votes,” said CAIR-NY Executive Director Muneer Awad. “However, grassroots efforts such as Muslim Day at the Capitol will help reverse this trend while advocating for issues that positively affect our local communities.”
SEE: The Muslim Swing Vote (The New York Times)
CAIR chapters across the United States host an annual Muslim Day at the Capitol. In New York, CAIR hosted members of the community from across the state, and the event was co-sponsored by the Bangladeshi American Advocacy Group, the Council on Immigrants Rights, and the Muslim Consultative Network.
CAIR-NY is a chapter of 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.
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CONTACT: CAIR-NY Executive Director Muneer Awad, 347-296-7966, firstname.lastname@example.org