(WASHINGTON, D.C., 1/13/05) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations
(CAIR) and several other Muslim and Arab-American groups met yesterday with
top State Department officials to discuss a number of issues related to
American foreign policy.
In that meeting, CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad presented Assistant
Secretary Patricia de Stacy Harrison, Assistant Secretary Richard A.
Boucher and Ambassador William Joseph Burns with a proposal for cooperative
efforts to challenge both Islamophobia and anti-Americanism.
The CAIR proposal includes such measures as producing a report on the
growing phenomenon of Islamophobia, conferences in this country and in the
Muslim world to discuss both Islamophobia and Anti-Americanism and domestic
and international “goodwill ambassadors” who can speak about both topics.
CAIR’s proposal stated in part: “By challenging anti-Muslim bigotry, we can
help reduce anti-American attitudes in the Islamic world. And by having
American Muslims speak out in support of their nation’s values, while at
the same time maintaining essential credibility on issues of importance to
Muslims worldwide, we undercut growing Islamophobic views in our
society”¦CAIR stands ready to offer whatever help we can in decreasing
worldwide tensions and promoting an accurate image of America in the
Awad described yesterday’s meeting as “open and forward-looking.”
CAIR, America’s largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 30 offices and
chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance understanding
of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American
Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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