Nihad Awad: CAIR to Launch PSAs Featuring Muslim 9/11 First Responders
Public service announcements designed to challenge bigotry, Florida Quran burning
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 8/31/2010) -- On Wednesday, September 1, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) will hold a news conference in Washington, D.C., to launch a national public service announcement (PSA) campaign featuring Muslim 9/11 first responders and designed to challenge the growing anti-Muslim bigotry sparked by opposition to the planned Park51 project in Manhattan.
CAIR's campaign will also include a PSA that features interfaith leaders offering an implicit challenge to the Florida church that plans to burn copies of the Quran, Islam's revealed text, on September 11.
WHAT: CAIR to Launch Muslim 9/11 First Responder PSA Campaign
WHEN: Wednesday, September 1, 2010, 10:30 a.m.
WHERE: National Press Club, Zenger Room, 13th Floor, National Press Club Building, 529 14th Street N.W., Washington, D.C.
CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
"The stepped-up rhetorical and physical attacks on the American Muslim community and Islam require a positive, proactive response that will help counter the almost hysterical campaign of misinformation by a vocal minority of bigots," said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. "These public service announcements have the potential to reach millions of Americans with a message of religious inclusion and mutual understanding."
SEE: Fire at Tennessee Mosque Site: Part of a 'Perfect Storm'?
Two of the three PSAs, which will be distributed to television stations nationwide and online through social media sites, feature Muslim first responders to the 9/11 terror attacks, with the theme "9/11 happened to us all."
The third PSA features Muslim, Jewish and Christian leaders describing the "golden rule" as expressed by their respective faiths –- and ends with the phrase, "We have more in common than we think." That PSA is designed to show the commonalities between faiths and to challenge those who –- like the members of a Florida church who plan to burn Qurans on September 11 –- would divide American along religious lines.
Other national American Muslim organizations will take part in the news conference to outline each group's individual and joint initiatives designed to promote religious freedom, challenge growing anti-Muslim bigotry in American society and to mark the anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks.
SEE: Muslim Leaders Seek to Unify Community in Wake of Hostility, Mosque Controversy (Washington Post)
The other American Muslim organizations taking part in the news conference include: (in alphabetical order)
• Coordinating Council of Muslim Organizations in the Washington Area (CCMO)
• Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA)
• MAS Freedom
Earlier this month, CAIR released an online toolkit designed to help Muslim communities organize proactive local educational and outreach initiatives tied to events such as a "National Day of Unity and Healing" on the upcoming anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks.
The toolkit, called a "Teachable Moment Community Response Guide," offers guidance, tools and resources to help Muslim communities respond to specific current events such as the end of Ramadan Eid al-Fitr holiday occurring near September 11, the upcoming "Burn a Koran Day" by a church in Florida, the anti-Muslim bigotry generated by the smear campaign against a planned Islamic community center in Manhattan, and the ongoing tension and misunderstanding surrounding the building or expansion of mosques nationwide.
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. 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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