The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-OK) denounces violence of all types, according to CAIR-OK Executive Director Razi Hashmi.
The organization set up what turned out to be a controversial town hall meeting to discuss issues of concern to the community such as profiling of air travelers, youth empowerment, civic engagement and peace.
“We wanted to have this open town hall meeting to allow Muslim and non Muslim friends to learn that CAIR is about equality,” said Hashmi as he spoke to the nearly 100 guests. ”It is imperative that all Americans are treated with dignity and respect.”
CAIR-OK, Amnesty International and other organizations joined other Americans in shock and horror at the attempted Christmas Day airline attack.
However, Hashmi said present and future security concerns do not justify ethnic, racial or religious profiling as a primary prevention tool, a practice he called un-American and a violation of the fourth and 14th amendments.
“Assessing behavior is far more effective than racial profiling,” adds Hashmi. “First look at behavior, not at faith or skin color. Then spend what it takes to obtain more bomb-sniffing dogs, to install more sophisticated bomb-detection equipment and to train security personnel in identifying the behavior of real terror suspects,” in information Hashmi released prior to the event as information distributed by CAIR.
“We have infinitely more in common with each other than not,” said Representative Shane Jett (R-Tecumseh) who also attended the meeting. “You have a right under the constitution to assemble and express yourselves.”
“First they came for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Communist, Jett quoted from a source. “Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up, because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak up for me.”
CAIR-OK will also present “Inside Islam: What a billion Muslims really think,” a documentary film based on the Gallup Poll of Worldwide Muslim opinion. The film will be shown at Meacham Auditorium, Oklahoma Memorial Union on the OU campus at 900 Asp #428 in Norman. For more information on CAIR-OK or if you wish learn and understand your Muslim neighbors, visit the new CAIR-OK website at www.ok.cair.com.