The 2017 Legislative Advocacy Guide was created with the Oklahoma Muslim in mind.
Its goal is to help you get started on the journey of becoming confident in your civic engagement. Inside you will find CAIROK’s 2017 Legislative Agenda, the basics of the 2017 state
legislature, a step-by-step guide to citizen advocacy, and much, much more.
The Muslim community in Oklahoma is no stranger to bigotry and hatred. Our community has been the subject of heated debates from elected officials locally and nationally. Even after the 2016 election cycle came to a close, we continue to see the same tired, hateful rhetoric that attempts to demonize Muslims.
As an organization, CAIR-OK has spent over 10 years advocating for the Oklahoma Muslim community. We have challenged unconstitutional laws, we have pushed back against antagonistic and hateful elected officials, and we have helped our community grow its knowledge of civil rights. Now, it is time to take the next step.
Social change only comes when protest and outrage is combined with effective civic engagement. Having face-to-face conversations with those elected to lead our state and our country is the first step in working to resolve some of the many challenges we face.
Often, conversations around engagement for minority communities center on getting minority representation in office. While we absolutely need more Muslims in office, we must also become more informed about the needs of both the Muslim and non-Muslim communities we live in. Indeed, informed participants in local government are responsible for the most significant progressive changes in the last 75 years.
When Linda Sarsour spoke at CAIR-OK’s 10th Anniversary Banquet, she reminded us of the importance of not apologizing for who we are. We must not only be unapologetically Muslim but we must also be unapologetically engaged. Without our commitment to learning the legislative process and engaging with it on every level, very little will change.