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(COVINGTON, GA - 11/16/2017) The Georgia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations today delivered a lecture about civil rights and Islamophobia at Oxford College in Newton County, where controversy erupted last year over local opposition to a planned Islamic cemetery.
During the lecture to students and local community members, CAIR Georgia executive director Edward Ahmed Mitchell offered a behind-the-scenes look at what happened during the Newton County mosque stand-off. Mitchell and members of the audience also engaged in a broader discussion about civil rights, Islamophobia, and how interfaith dialogue and negotiation can be used to resolve such conflicts.
"We thank the people of Newton County for inviting us back to this diverse, welcoming and vibrant community," Mitchell said. "Last year, the controversy over the Islamic cemetery came to a swift end not simply because of activisim by civil rights groups, but because--thank God--local politicians, clergy, and citizens stood up against bigotry, and in support of religious freedom. Looking back, all Americans can learn something positive from what happened in Newton County."
(HOUSTON, TX - 11/19/2017) The Georgia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations today thanked CAIR Houston for inviting CAIR-GA to attend and speak at its 16th annual banquet, which was held on Nov. 12th.
During the banquet, CAIR-GA executive director Edward Ahmed Mitchell encouraged Texas Muslims to support their local CAIR chapter.
"Over the past year, diverse communities across the United States went through a lot: Latinos, women, immigrants, African-Americans, and, of course, American Muslims," Mitchell said. "Mosques burned down. Muslim students bullied. Muslim travelers profiled. Muslim immigrants banned. Muslim women harassed. Yet despite the difficulties, or perhaps because of them, this also has been a year in which American Muslims became more engaged and more united."
CAIR Houston's banquet also featured remarks from Mike Floyd, who at 18 became the the youngest elected official in Texas last year.
(ROSWELL, GA - 11/19/2017) The Georgia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations today encouraged the public to alert law enforcement if they see Salama Bounajra, a fifteen-year-old Roswell resident who went missing on Friday, Nov. 10th. Salma disappeared after leaving her home around 8 am.
In a statement, CAIR Georgia executive director Edward Ahmed Mitchell said:
"Thank you to everyone who has helped search for, and spread the word about, Salma, especially Roswell residents who have contacted us with tips. Those tips have been incredibly helpful so far, and may be critical to rescuing her.
Law enforcement has asked us not to share certain new information so as not to interfere with their ongoing search. However, what I can say that we're confident that Salma is still alive, and that she is not alone. Whoever took her has committed a serious crime.
"On behalf of Georgia's Muslim community, we pray that God heals those injured in today's Manhattan attack, comforts the families of those lost, and brings those responsible to justice. Murdering innocent people is evil, insane, and irreligious, whether it happens in Manhattan, Mogadishu, Charlottesville, or Charleston. Going forward, our nation's leaders should respond to this horrific attack by bringing us together in unity."