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U.S. Muslims Launch Volunteerism Campaign

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

U.S. MUSLIMS LAUNCH ANNUAL VOLUNTEERISM CAMPAIGN
CAIR effort focused on health, helping the needy, youth activities

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 5/25/06) – A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today called on American Muslims to support its second annual campaign, called “Muslims Care,” designed to promote volunteerism in the Islamic community.

In its summer-long initiative, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) will offer Muslims the resources and information they need to help improve the communities in which they live. This year, CAIR will again ask Muslims across the country to focus on health awareness, helping the needy and activities for youth.

[NOTE: DC-area Muslims will participate in the Komen National Race for the Cure in Washington D.C., on June 3. SEE: http://www.nationalraceforthecure.org/ ]

Visitors to CAIR’s campaign website, www.muslims-care.org, will be able to download a toolkit containing information about how to become a volunteer and suggesting volunteer activities such as blood drives, health awareness fairs and student tutoring. CAIR is suggesting that community members visit the website to submit local volunteer opportunities and see what activities are available in their state.

The “Muslims Care” kit also offers advice to Islamic religious leaders about how they can promote volunteerism in local mosques and suggests partnering with established volunteer groups such as the American Cancer Society and Big Brother/Big Sisters.

Local Islamic leaders and imams (prayer leaders) are being encouraged to give Friday sermons on the importance of volunteerism. The “Muslims Care” toolkit has sample verses from the Quran, Islam’s revealed text, and hadith (Islamic traditions) to incorporate in the sermons. One tradition quotes Islam’s Prophet Muhammad as saying, “The upper hand (of giving) is better than the lower hand (of receiving),” as an encouragement to provide for those less fortunate.

“As Muslims, we are encouraged to work to improve the communities in which we live,” said CAIR Communication Coordinator Rabiah Ahmed.

Ahmed cited a recently-conducted CAIR opinion survey showing that a majority of Americans said they would change their views about Islam and Muslims if they perceived that Muslims were more concerned about issues such as healthcare, education and the economy.

CAIR, America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 32 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.

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CONTACT: CAIR Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: ihooper@cair-net.org; CAIR Communications Coordinator Rabiah Ahmed, 202-439-1441, E-Mail: rahmed@cair-net.org

 

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