The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) called on Islamic Religious Leaders and Imams to use daily and Friday prayers in the nation’s mosques and Islamic centers as a platform for providing information about preventing the spread of swine flu, or the H1N1 virus. CAIR said that imams are in a unique position to offer public health information, and suggests that religious and spiritual leaders stay up-to-date on the spread of the virus in their areas. “In times of crisis, public health and safety takes precedence over normal actions and activities that could lead to the spread of infection,” said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad. “Imams, because of their access to those attending mosques every day, are well-placed to offer advice to community members based on input from public health authorities.” Awad added that the prophet Muhammad encouraged actions designed to prevent the spread of contagious diseases, and that there is a religious obligation to take part in striving to protect human health.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) called on Muslims and other people of conscience to thank the creator of “The Simpsons” and the Fox television network for a recent episode that used comedy to challenge Islamophobia. The recently aired episode, titled “Mypods and Boomsticks” features a Muslim character named Bashir and his family, who face prejudice after moving to Springfield. While the character of Homer Simpson wrongly suspects Bashir’s family in a terror plot, the character of Bart befriends Bashir and defends him from bullies. “Because of its acceptance in popular culture, comedy is often one of the best vehicles for challenging stereotypes and intolerance. Fox and Matt Groening are to be congratulated for tackling the disturbing phenomenon of Islamophobia,” said CAIR Executive director Nihad Awad.
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The US-based Muslim organizations Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) and the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) have both condemned the recent terror attacks in the Indian city of Mumbai. “Those responsible for these brutal and immoral attacks should be swiftly brought to justice. Islam considers the use of terrorism to be unacceptable for any purpose,” said a statement released by MPAC.
CAIR called the attacks “cowardly” and were “senseless and inexcusable acts of violence against innocent civilians.” American Muslims stand with our fellow citizens of all faith in repudiating acts of terror wherever they take place and whomever they target,” said CAIR executive director Nihad Awad.
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A representative of the Council on America-Islamic Relations (CAIR) took part in a roundtable discussion on _Islam in American Politics’ in Washington DC. CAIR’s Nihad Awad joined former Ambassador Akbar Ahmed, Georgetown President John J. DeGioia, and Muslim Congressman Keith Ellison, John Esposito, and others to deepen the dialogue on critical religious and political issues. Georgetown University and the World Economic Forum sponsored the discussion. It marked the official US launch of the first Islam and the West: Annual Report on the State of the Dialogue.
When it comes to popular prejudice and state repression, the Muslim experience in the US does not seem to have differed much from the rest of the western world since September 11, 2001. Klein was pushing at an open door. A Gallup poll this summer showed that 39% of Americans supported a requirement for Muslims in the US, including American citizens, to carry special identification. In 2005 the Council on American Islamic Relations (Cair) recorded a 30% increase in the number of complaints received about Islamophobic treatment. But while many Muslims in the US looked to Europe in the hope that it might provide a counterbalance to America’s disastrous foreign policy, they also look across the Atlantic in horror at the experiences of their co-religionists. There lies the paradox: the country that has done more than any other to foment Islamic fundamentalism abroad has so far witnessed relatively little of it at home. “Europe is not coping well with the emergence of Islam,” says the executive director of Cair, Nihad Awad. “It has taken a long time for them to accept that Islam is part of its future and also part of its past.” The different experiences have emerged partly, it seems, because the Muslim communities on either side of the Atlantic are so different. The patterns of migration have differed. A large proportion of Muslims who came to America arrived with qualifications and were looking for professional work. As a result, they are generally well educated and well off.