Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Ramadan Iftar Held on Capitol Hill

WASHINGTON, Oct. 12 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Almost 100 congressional staffers, American Muslim community leaders and diplomats from Islamic-majority nations turned out last night for the third annual Ramadan "iftar," or fast-breaking meal, on Capitol Hill.

The iftar, held in the Rayburn House Office Building, was co- sponsored by 11 House members and coordinated by the Washington- based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), America's largest Muslim civil liberties group. It featured the breaking of the fast, the Islamic sunset prayer (maghrib) and remarks by CAIR officials and representatives of House members.

Following introductory remarks by CAIR Communications Coordinator Rabiah Ahmed, the council's Government Affairs Director Corey Saylor thanked the attendees and said the annual iftar offers an excellent opportunity for Muslim leaders and congressional staffers to network on issues of mutual concern.

"This annual tradition is designed to foster greater understanding of Islam and the Muslim community on Capitol Hill," said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad, who spoke at last night's event. "It is also intended to show appreciation for congressional staffers who have been working closely with American Muslims."

CAIR has 31 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. 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. To read CAIR's Mission, Vision Statement and Core Principles, go to: http://www.cair-net.org/default.asp?Page=About

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NOTE: CAIR offers an e-mail list designed to be a journalist's window to the American Muslim community. Subscribers to the list, called ISLAM-INFONET, receive news releases and other materials dealing with American Muslim positions on issues of importance to our society. To SUBSCRIBE to ISLAM-INFONET, go to: http://cair.biglist.com/islam-infonet/

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