(ATLANTA, GA - 4/6/17) The Georgia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations today visited Masjid Omar for a panel discussion about "Faith & Civil Engagement." During the last day of Masjid Omar's week-long "Muslim Legacy: Youth Seminar," Imam Abdullah Jaber hosted Imam Arshad Anwar of Roswell Community Masjid, Aisha Yaqoob, policy director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice, and Edward Ahmed Mitchell, executive director of CAIR Georgia.
The speakers encouraged youth in the audience to pursue various methods of civic engagement, including political activisim, extracurricular activities, keeping track of the news, voting, community activism, and pursuing related careers, all while upholding the values of their Islamic faith.
"We thank Masjid Omar for hosting this important week of events, which also covered the topics Islam and Leadership Training, Spirituality & Mental Health, Education & Career Building," Mitchell said. "The importance of building a proud, devout and civically engaged generation of young American Muslims cannot be overstated."
(ATLANTA, GA - 4/6/17) The Georgia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations today joined the Southern Poverty Law Center to discuss issues related to hate crimes with law students at Georgia State University. CAIR Georgia executive director Edward Ahmed Mitchell and Stephen Piggott, a senior research analyst with the Southern Poverty Law Center, discussed a recent spike in hate crimes targeting minority communities as well as potential solutions to the trend.
"A wave of poitical hate speech has escalated into an avalanche of violent hate crimes that threaten various communities, including American Muslims," Mitchell said. "Whether a Muslim woman has her hijab ripped off or a mosque burns down, such hate crimes must be punished to the full extent of the law."
Georgia is one of the few states that does not have a so-called hate crimes law, which would impose heightened punishments for physical violence motivated by bias against a victim's identity.
(ATLANTA, GA - 4/7/17) The Georgia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations today announced that it has hired former legal clerk David Rodriguez to serve as its new paralegal and office manager. Rodriguez has years of experience working in the legal field.
"We can think of no one better for this position than David Rodriguez, an experienced paralegal who has worked in high-pressure legal environments," said Edward Ahmed Mitchell, executive director of CAIR Georgia. "We thank God for the opportunity to bring him aboard as we investigate cases of anti-Muslim discrimination."
Rodriguez, a Hispanic-American Muslim, spent seven years working as a legal assistant and case manager for The Secret Firm in Decatur. He then served as a Deputy Clerk in the Rockdale County Magistrate Court.