Thursday, September 20, 2012

CAIR Asks Feds to Consider Charges in Harassment of Conn. Muslim
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 9/17/12) -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is today calling on the FBI to consider federal charges against a Connecticut man who allegedly threatened to assault a Muslim woman in that state because of her religious heritage.
Learn Crisis Management Skills at CAIR's Leadership Conference
Massive turnout of interfaith support for vandalized Virginia mosque
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 9/17/12) -- Yesterday, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad spoke at an interfaith rally in support of a mosque in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley targeted by hate vandalism. Hundreds of people turned out at the event in Harrisonburg, Va. Following a CAIR request, the FBI is now investigating the hate incident.
WHAT CAIR HAS DONE: Since the crisis over the anti-Islam film began, CAIR's staff nationwide has conducted hundreds of media interviews in which they condemned the violent protests and called for calm. CAIR's statements were heard by millions of people in the United States and the Muslim world on media outlets such as Al Jazeera, Associated Press, the BBC, CNN, NBC, and many others. CAIR was the first organization to issue a statement urging that the anti-Islam film be ignored. We also held a news conference with national Muslim leaders in Washington, D.C., to condemn the killing of our ambassador in Libya issued a video appeal in Arabic clarifying that the American government should not be blamed for the film.
Other speakers at the rally in support of the Islamic Center of the Shenandoah Valley included public officials and a representative of a local Christian school also targeted by vandals.
In the last two months, a number of local Muslim communities were forced to respond quickly to similar incidents.
CAIR has seen an increase in hate incidents targeting American Muslims in the aftermath of the deadly attack on a Sikh temple in Wisconsin. Recent incidents included shots fired at a mosque in Morton Grove, Ill., an acid bomb thrown at an Islamic school in Lombard, Ill., a mosque burned to the ground in Joplin, Mo., vandals spraying an Oklahoma mosque with paintballs, pig legs thrown at a mosque site in California, and a firebomb thrown at a Muslim family's home in Panama City, Fla.
With each of these incidents came the urgent need for a coordinated and pro-active community response. While CAIR can and does help communities during times of crisis, it is also important that community leaders have the necessary crisis communications skills to deal with such incidents when they occur.
On September 29, CAIR will host a day-long Leadership Skills Training Conference at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Va., which includes workshops such as "Community Emergency Preparedness," in which leaders and activists will learn what practical steps they can take to protect mosques and other Islamic institutions from the growing number of hate crimes targeting Muslims and how to respond in a crisis.
Other workshops include "Answering Tough Questions About Sharia," "Strategies for Challenging Anti-Islam Legislation and Campaigns," and "Maximizing the Muslim Vote in the 2012 Elections."
In the evening after the leadership conference, Rev. Al Sharpton, one of the nation's most respected civil rights leaders, will offer the keynote address at CAIR's annual banquet.
With the theme "Upholding Our Constitution, Defending Our Faith," the evening banquet will also feature Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) and Imam Siraj Wahhaj. Comedian Azhar Usman will provide entertainment.
[IMPORTANT NOTE: In past years, CAIR's leadership conference and banquet were both sold out. No tickets will be sold at the door, so reserve your place right away.]
Register online today for CAIR's leadership training conference and annual banquet on September 29 in Arlington, Va.

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