Date: Week of May 31, 2010
CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad attended an OIC conference entitled “The 17th Session of the Committee for the Coordination of Joint Islamic Action in the field of Dawa (Islamic missionizing)” held in Sao Paulo, Brazil during the week of May 31, 2010. Awad spoke as part of a panel discussion on “Islamophobia” and “empowerment of Muslim communities in the West.” Awad discussed ways to reverse what he termed “the rising level of Islamophobia in Western societies.” He outlined the sources of “Islamophobic rhetoric” and “described how Islamophobes seek to marginalize Muslims and demonize Islam.”
OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu took the opportunity to herald the “major achievements” witnessed by the OIC over the past five years in direct reference to the “Ten Year Programme of Action” adopted in Mecca in 2005 which “aims at promoting the Islamic Ummah (global Islamic nation).”
The “10 Year Plan” – as it is also known – calls upon all states to enact laws “including deterrent punishments” to counter “Islamophobia.” CAIR has received funding from the Jeddah, Saudi Arabia-based Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and the two organizations have met and coordinated on several other documented occasions. CAIR’s continuing campaign of censorship and intimidation against any speech or policy deemed “Islamophobic” is in concordance with the realization of the OIC’s “10 Year Plan” in the United States.
CAIR DIRECTOR OFFERS WAYS TO CHALLENGE ISLAMOPHOBIA
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(WASHINGTON, D.C., 6/7/10) –- Nihad Awad, national executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) recently took part in a conference hosted by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) in Brazil at which he discussed ways in which to reverse the rising level of Islamophobia in Western societies.
The 17th Session of the Committee for the Coordination of Joint Islamic Action, held last week in Sao Paulo, was convened by OIC Secretary General Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu and attended by representatives from some 40 nations. Brazilian government officials also took part in the conference.
In a panel discussion on Islamophobia and empowerment of Muslim communities in the West, Awad outlined the primary sources of Islamophobic rhetoric, described how Islamophobes seek to marginalize Muslims and demonize Islam, and focused on education and civic engagement as the most productive ways to challenge growing anti-Islam sentiment.
“Our research indicates that knowledge about Islam and Muslims is at a low level in the West, and that lower levels of knowledge correlate with increased anti-Islam prejudice,” said Awad. “Education and engagement are key to challenging the growing phenomenon of Islamophobia.”
The OIC is the second largest world inter-governmental organization after the United Nations and serves as the collective voice of the Muslim world. Its membership currently includes 57 Muslim-majority nations.
CAIR is 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.
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CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, E-Mail: email@example.com
Ihsanoglu: Convening the 17th Session of the Committee for the Coordination of Joint Islamic Action in Brazil Underscores Islamic World’s Solidarity with Latin America
Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) emphasized the importance of the 17th Session of the Committee for the Coordination of Joint Islamic Action in the field of Dawa being convened in the city of Sao Paulo, Brazil.
In his statement, at the opening session of the meeting which started on Monday 31st May, 2010, the Secretary General noted that the convening of this session in Brazil is a reflection of the Islamic states’ solidarity with this country and with the other Latin American states in general, and indicated that the meeting was to give further exposure to the achievements of the Islamic faith and its contributions to the growth and prosperity of the peoples of these countries. Also, Prof. Ihsanoglu stressed the importance of the meeting which comes at a time when the Islamic world is facing a wide range of political challenges, He renewed, on the occasion, his condemnation of the despicable crime perpetrated by the Israeli occupation forces against the innocent civilians on board the Freedom Flotilla in international waters.
The Secretary General drew the attention of the participants to the onslaught faced by Islam in the West for so many years, and called for the need to coordinate efforts among Islamic associations in the West. He further urged the participants in the Sao Paulo meeting to strive to project the authentic image of Islam.
The Secretary General expressed his deep gratitude for the noble initiative launched by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, which promotes interfaith dialogue at the international level, and which has met with broad international support, as he pointed out.
On the other hand, Ihsanoglu drew attention to the major achievements witnessed by the OIC over the past five years and made reference to the Ten Year Programme of Action adopted by the Extraordinary Islamic Summit in Makkah and which aims at promoting the Islamic Ummah such as to enable it to face up to the challenges confronting it, at all levels.
The Secretary General also recalled the adoption of the OIC new Charter at the Dakar Summit in 2008 with its fresh vision and values, and similarly pointed to the Independent Human Rights Commission which has now entered in its final stages of establishment.
Prof. Ihsanoglu further referred to the projects which the Committee for the Coordination Islamic Joint Action intends to undertake in the course of its current session, including the establishment of radio stations to broadcast in FM frequencies for Africa and to offer health related, social, environmental, educational and religious sensitization. The Secretary General also noted that these radio stations will be broadcasting in different African languages, and added that the Committee also intends to launch an Arabic language teaching centre aimed at spreading the spirit of dialogue, in addition to other various information activities.
The Secretary General expressed his profound thanks to the Brazilian government to the Islamic Dawa Centre in Latin America and to the Committee for the Coordination of Joint Islamic Action for the efforts they have all contributed towards ensuring the success of the Committee’s present session, and wished them every success in their deliberations and future programmes.