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The Challenge of Islamophobia in Oklahoma
November 15, 2014 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Join CAIR Oklahoma for a day of workshops and informational sessions on the Challenge of Islamophobia in Oklahoma. These unique workshops will provide you with the knowledge, resources, and tools necessary to challenge Islamophobia in our state. Additionally, we will discuss opportunities that come as a result of Islamophobia and how to be engaged in civic and community work, and be an active part of the growing interfaith dialogue movement.
Registration 10:00 am, Workshops 11:00 am to 4:00 pm
Lunch will be provided at cost of $10 per person for adults, and $8 for youth. * Youth workshops for ages 12 – 18, babysitting will be provided for children 12 and under.
Final Workshop Schedule:
11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Brother/Sisters/Youth Opening workshop – “Islamophobia: Our Challenges and Opportunities” with Adam Soltani
Did you know that the Islamophobia industry in America is a mult-million dollar industry? Are you aware of the verbal attacks from elected officials in Oklahoma over the past year against Islam, Muslims, and diversity in our state? CAIR-OK Executive Director Adam Soltani presents the challenges and opportunities surrounding Islamophobia in Oklahoma today.
12:15 pm – 1:00 pm
Brothers workshop: “How to face the challenges of discussing religious extremism in society” with Hussam Ayloush
Religious Extremism is a challenge for all faith communities, and in recent times questions are frequently asked about extremist groups that are prominent in the media such as ISIS, Boko Haram, etc. What impact has religious extremism had on the American Muslim community? How do we combat extremism as a community? How do we discuss the issue of religious extremism within our faith community and in a broader context with our colleagues, neighbors, and friends.
Sister workshop: “The challenges for American Muslim women in the 21st century” with Zahra Billoo
American Muslims face many challenges in today’s world, and there is the harsh reality that American Muslim women face even more difficult challenges at times. Negative portrayals of Muslim women in the media, the notion that Muslim women are oppressed, and general ignorance about hijab can lead to difficult circumstances in addition to civil rights/liberties violations. What are some of the major challenges American Muslim women are facing in today’s world? What is CAIR doing to make a difference?
Youth workshop: “Responding to hate speech and organized hate in Oklahoma as American Muslim youth” with Adam Soltani
As an American Muslim youth, you are in a unique position to respond to and challenge hate speech and organized hate with the many resources at your disposal. As an ambassador of your faith in your school, amongst your friends, and at times with your family, you will face challenging questions and circumstances. In this workshop we will discuss how you, as a Muslim youth in Tulsa, can challenge hate speech and organized hate in society.
1:00 – 2:00 pm
Prayer/Lunch break – Lunch will be delivered to Islamic Society of Tulsa for those that pre-order online or during registration prior to the event.
2:00 – 3:00 pm
Brothers workshop: “Challenging Islamophobia Through Civic Engagement and Interfaith Dialogue” with Hussam Ayloush
The Islamophobia industry has created a strong challenge for dialogue and building bridges of mutual understanding between American Muslims and those of other faiths. How do we individually and collectively challenge Islamophobia through civic engagement and interfaith dialogue?
Sisters workshop: “Raising Our Individual and Collective Voices: Using our resources for positive social change” with Zahra Billoo
The voices calling for dialogue, understanding, and justice are many, however at many times are drowned out by messages of hate, bigotry, and Islamophobia. How can we use the resources at our disposal to raise our individual and collective voices and be heard? This workshop will cover the powerful messaging that can be used in social media, voicing our concerns to elected officials, writing op-eds and letters to the editor, and more.
Youth workshop: “Having the Courage to Lead as American Muslim Youth” with Adam Soltani
Many times we hear the phrase that our youth are the leaders of tomorrow. CAIR Oklahoma firmly believes that as American Muslim youth, you can be the leaders of TODAY and TOMORROW. This team-building workshop will provide you with the opportunity to examine your leadership skills through fun team-building exercises.
3:00 – 4:00 pm
Brothers/Sisters/Youth Closing session panel: “Religious Discrimination is not an American Value: Confronting anti-Muslim Sentiment in our Communities” with Rev. Nathan Allen, Pastor, Joy Lutheran Church; President of the Board, Oklahoma Conference of Churches; Hussam Ayloush, Director CAIR Los Angeles; Zahra Billoo, Director CAIR San Francisco; Catherine Orsborn, Campaign Director, Shoulder to Shoulder Campaign
This panel discussion will explore the ways in which the current bigotry against Muslim-Americans is part of a longer legacy of religious discrimination against particular groups in the US, which those committed to a robust democracy must work against. We’ll be discussing this history, the current manifestations of religious discrimination, and how community members and people of faith can work together to confront bigotry and hate.
Hussam Ayloush has been the Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations Greater Los Angeles Area Chapter since 1998. He has been a lifelong human rights activist who is passionate about promoting democratic societies, in the US and worldwide, in which all people, including immigrants, workers, minorities, and the needy enjoy freedom, justice, economic justice, respect, and equality.
Hussam holds a B.S. degree in Aerospace Engineering from University of Texas, Austin in 1994 and an M.B.A. degree from California State University, Fullerton in 1999. He frequently lectures on Islam, media relations, civil rights, hate crimes and international affairs pertaining to American Muslims. He has consistently appeared in local, national, and international media advocating and articulating the mainstream Muslim position on various issues.
Zahra Billoo is the Executive Director for the CAIR San Francisco Bay Area (CAIR-SFBA) chapter. She strives to promote justice and understanding at local and national levels. In 2009, Zahra joined CAIR-SFBA and immediately embraced her roles as community organizer and civil rights advocate. She frequently provides trainings at local mosques and universities as part of CAIR’s efforts to empower the community, while building bridges with allies on key civil rights issues. Zahra also represents victims of discrimination and advocates for positive policy changes that uphold civil rights for all. In March 2011, at her direction, CAIR-SFBA filed a lawsuit against the Department of Justice challenging their warrantless use of GPS tracking devices to target American Muslims.
Zahra graduated Cum Laude from California State University, Long Beach with degrees in Human Resources Management and Political Science. She earned her J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of Law, and was admitted to the California Bar in 2009.