(OKLAHOMA CITY, OK, 5/16/07) – The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) recently launched an Oklahoma chapter (CAIR-OK) with a sold-out fundraising dinner in Norman, Okla. CAIR-OK joins 32 other CAIR chapters and offices throughout the United States and Canada.

Attendees at CAIR-OK’s May 12th banquet, themed “American Muslims: Connecting & Sharing,” included representatives from the FBI, local and state government officials and interfaith leaders.

In his keynote address to the gathering, CAIR National Board Chair Dr. Parvez Ahmed said: “I urge that you stand for the cause of justice, for Islam stands for justice. . .for the cause of peace, for Islam is peace, and. . .for the cause of mutual understanding, for Islam advocates cooperation and harmony between people of all faiths.”

Imam Dr. Imad Enchassi, president of the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City welcomed CAIR to the state and urged community members to support the council’s civil rights and advocacy work. Enchassi said: “CAIR stood up for the rights of those who could not stand up for themselves. I ask that each and every one of you support CAIR in its mission to promote civil rights and civil liberties for everyone.”

“We will work hand-in-hand with people of other faiths to build a more solid foundation of interfaith relations in our state,” said CAIR-OK Chairperson Lobna Hewedi. She said CAIR-OK will also work with local law enforcement agencies, educational institutions and houses of worship to foster mutual understanding and tolerance.

CAIR, America’s largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 33 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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CONTACT: CAIR-OK Chairperson Lobna Hewedi, 405-248-5853, E-Mail: lobnahewedi@yahoo.com; CAIR-OK Board Member Saad Mohammed, 405-210-4775, E-Mail: islam68@att.net; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: ihooper@cair.com; CAIR Communications Coordinator Rabiah Ahmed, 202-488-8787 or 202-439-1441, E-Mail:rahmed@cair.com; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, E-Mail: arubin@cair.com