An initiative aimed at stopping discrimination and educating lawmakers about Islamophobia or an attempt to get politicians to "pander to Islamists?" You decide.
An upcoming event that is said to be honoring the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is set to unfold this upcoming Monday. It is on this day that more than 400 Muslims are scheduled to meet with elected representatives as part of the Council on American-Islamic Relations' "Washington State Muslims Day."
While CAIR leaders dub the annual event a day of honor for King, others find it offensive and see it as a co-opting of the holiday that celebrates the life of the civil rights leader. The fifth annual event will take place at the Washington state capitol in just one week. There will be a march, legislative appointments and other related activities.
According to organizers, "Muslims Day" event is aimed at educating lawmakers about Islamophobia as well as anti-Muslim incidents. The end goal is to encourage these state lawmakers to speak out against hate crimes and anti-Muslim commentary. Additionally, the meetings that are to be held with politicians will purportedly focus upon the state's budget and the need for public programs.
"This event will provide an opportunity for Muslims from the majority of our state's legislative districts to learn more about the political process and to meet their elected representatives," explained Arsalan Bukhari, the executive director of CAIR's Washington affiliate. "Muslim constituents will work to make lawmakers aware of the growing problem of Islamophobia and of the veiled and camouflaged manner in which it is being promoted," he continued.
Despite these benign claims, though, some bloggers have come out against the effort. Creeping Sharia, for instance, wrote a piece entitled, "Terror-linked CAIR hijacks MLK Jr Day, converts to ‘Muslims Day." The article concludes:
If you live in Washington, Contact Your Elected Officials en masse and tell them not to pander to Islamists like terror-linked CAIR and consider forming a counter procession next Monday.
Blogger Pamela Gellar used some extremely strong words to describe last year's event:
It is not lost on me that the Hamas group CAIR would hijack the annual day of remembrance from the passionate zionist and anti-supremacist, Dr. Martin Luther King. They have no shame and no respect for anyone or anything except advancing Islam and the sharia in the West. [...]
CAIR is vulger, debased and utterly morally bankrupt, but they know that the corrupt black leadership like Sharpton and Jackson will go along, because they are demagogues as well. Dr. King would despise them. The treatment of black people in Islamic societies is abhorrent -- they are abid, slaves.
These descriptions and proclamations rail against CAIR's claims -- that this event is simply a family-oriented opportunity to engage with lawmakers, while ensuring that a minority's voice is heard. According to CAIR's web site, these are some of the things that Muslim families can expect to gain from partaking in the day:
- You will learn how legislation is enacted and how it impacts your life on an every day basis
- You will see first-hand how state politics works through tours, panel discussions and lectures.
- You will have the unique opportunity speak to your elected officials face to face, express your concerns and listen to their positions on issues important to you and your family.
Participants will also provide lawmakers and their staff with English translations of the Quran, the Islamic holy book.
For more information about this event, visit the CAIR Washington web site.