(OKLAHOMA CITY, OK, 3/28/2017) – On Saturday, April, 1, the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-OK) will hold its 11th Annual Awards Banquet (6 p.m.) at the Embassy Suites in Downtown Oklahoma City.

SEE: CAIR-OK 11th Annual Awards Banquet Event Page

The banquet will feature a keynote address Arsalan Iftikhar, an international human rights lawyer, media commentator and author of the book “SCAPEGOATS: How Islamophobia Helps Our Enemies & Threatens Our Freedoms.” Entertainment will be provided by nationally-recognized comedian Amer Zahr.

CAIR-OK’s event will also honor two individuals who have made outstanding contributions to their community with the presentation of a Lifetime Achievement Award and an Oklahoma Muslim of the Year Award, a new honor given to a person nominated by his or her peers.

The recipient of the 2017 Oklahoma Muslim of the Year Award is DeBorah Boneta, executive director of the Surayaa Anne Foundation OKC and founder of “The Bridge,” a prison ministry for federally-incarcerated individuals.

“This awards banquet is a time for us to come together as a community and honor the work of our past, while at the same time looking forward to the future of our organization,” said CAIR-OK Executive Director Adam Soltani. “In a time of unprecedented Islamophobia, it is increasingly important for the Muslim community to have pride in its accomplishments and to share in celebrations together.”

Community Outreach Fellow Shehla Fazili says CAIR-OK anticipates some 500 guests at the banquet. “Given the current political climate, the community has responded with great enthusiasm and support. We are expecting a large crowd, and we have worked hard to create an exceptional program for the evening,” said Fazili.

CAIR-Oklahoma is a chapter of 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.

The banquet will be held at Embassy Suites in Downtown Oklahoma City (741 N Phillips Ave), from 6-9:30pm, April 1.

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CONTACT: CAIR Oklahoma Community Outreach Fellow Shehla Fazili, 405-474-8109, sfazili@cair.com; CAIR Oklahoma Government Affairs Director Anna Facci, 918-269-7924, afacci@cair.com; CAIR Oklahoma Civil Rights Director Veronica Laizure, 405-430-9877, vlaizure@cair.com; CAIR Oklahoma Executive Director Adam Soltani, 405-248-5853, asoltani@cair.com