Come celebrate, “A New Era of Hope; Our Role, Our Future,” with CAIR-OK (Council on American-Islamic Relations Oklahoma) as the group enters its fourth annual banquet observing the organization’s progress. The event will feature a documentary of CAIR-Oklahoma’s work in 2009, award presentations for Distinguished Achievements in Community Service, Media and Journalism, and Social Justice. Community leaders and activists from across the state of Oklahoma will join public officials, elected representatives and other distinguished guests at the banquet.

“I think that the progress we have made is only a result of community support,” said Razi Hashmi, Executive Director of the Oklahoma CAIR office. “There have been a number of parties supportive of our community and our faith tradition and we are very pleased with that progress.

Every year CAIR-OK draws a diverse cross-section of the community to its banquet, including Muslims and those belonging to other beliefs. In the past, national and local activists in politics, law enforcement, education and the Muslim community have spoken at the event. This year’s keynote speaker is international human rights activist Anna Baltzer, and Master of Ceremonies will be Preacher Moss, comedian from the “Allah Made Me Funny tour.”

“I think we have been able to reach people in a way that they just see us as people. The way to approach people that do not understand us and our faith is to treat them just like we want to be treated,” Hashmi said, adding, “Jesus taught to ‘love thy neighbor,’ the teaching of the Prophet Muhammad is quite the same, ‘None of you truly believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.’”

The event will be held at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City at 7 pm on Saturday March 20. Seating is limited, registration begins at 6pm. Tickets will be $35 per person or $60 per couple, $20 for students (with valid ID) and $15 for babysitting (6 months – 12 years). Tickets will increase in price after March 12th to $50 per person. Visit, email info@ok.cair.comor call (405) 415-6851 to reserve seats.