Press Releases

Sold-Out CAIR-MN Banquet a Success

Group helps educate Muslim cab drivers about guide dogs

(ST. PAUL, MN, 6/17/2007) – The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) today announced that more than 200 people turned out on Saturday for its 1st annual banquet in Woodbury.

The sold-out event included speeches by CAIR officials and representatives of the FBI and the ACLU, state and national elected officials such as Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), and the president of the Minnesota chapter of the American Council of the Blind (ACB).

The ACB representative and his guide dog were driven to the event by the Muslim owner of a taxi company, a symbolic gesture that is part of CAIR’s effort to educate Muslim drivers about the religious obligation to accommodate passengers with guide dogs.

“We thank the Minnesota community for its tremendous support in our first months of operation and hope to work with people of all faiths on future initiatives of benefit to our state and nation,” said CAIR-MN Communications Director Valerie Shirley.

CAIR, America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 33 offices and chapters 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.

CONTACT: CAIR Minnesota Communications Director Valerie Shirley, Tel: 763-226-5866; E-Mail:; CAIR Minnesota Board Chairwoman Lori Saroya, E-Mail:;
CAIR Minnesota Executive Director Omar Merhi, E-Mail:


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