The last couple of months have challenged Americansâ€™ sense of security and peace as tragic incidents have occurred throughout the country. Violent attacks have threatened to divide us when we should be united. The faith community serves a crucial role in leading us away from divisiveness and hate and towards the shared compassion we need to survive unfathomable violence.
In the wake of the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, on July 12, CAIR-Houston joined with our friends from the interfaith and community activism communities in sharing our sorrow, denouncing violence and expressing our solidarity with the LGBT community. Targeted violence against any group is in direct opposition to CAIRâ€™s mission, which includes protection of civil liberties and building coalitions that promote justice. We are proud to be among those calling for unity.
City Council Member Terminates Islamophobic Staffer
On June 16, Houston City Council Member Mike Knox terminated Trebor Gordon, a member of his staff who tried to block a Muslim from a Republican Party post because of Gordonâ€™s hostility to Islam. At a meeting of the Harris County Republican Party in June, Gordon stated that “Islam and Christianity do not mix.”
In July, CAIR-Houston, along with other Muslim and interfaith activists and leaders, met with Council Member Knox and called for a full apology from Gordon, sensitivity training for Knoxâ€™s staff and for a City Council resolution denouncing Islamophobia and religious intolerance. Knox agreed to those requests and called for a subsequent meeting to inform the group of his decision. It was during that meeting that Knox informed the group of his decision to terminate Gordon.
This is a victory against bigotry and we applaud the community members who, with CAIR-Houston, led the fight to remove religious bigotry from city hall.
Keith Ellison and Nihad Awad Urge Muslims to Engage in Political Process
Leaders with the Muslim American Host Committee for the 2016 Democratic National Convention met at the start of the convention to encourage American Muslims to participate in the election process. Muslim Congressman Keith Ellison addressed fellow Muslims, saying, “Engage, get involved, be a blessing to the community you live in, take responsibility for a stronger, better community.” Nihad Awad, CAIRâ€™s Executive Director, also spoke, stressing the importance of the Muslim communityâ€™s involvement.
CAIR-Houston Joins Masjid At-Tawhid in Speaking Against Violent Video Games and Toy Weapons
On July 18, CAIR-Houston Executive Director Mustafaa Carroll joined leadership of At-Tawhid mosque in calling for a boycott of violent video games and toy weapons.
September 7, 2016: Media luncheon. CAIR-Houston staff will meet with representatives from area media outlets to share CAIRâ€™s work and develop positive relationships.
November 6, 2016: CAIR-Houston annual banquet. Save the date!
November 8, 2016: Election Day! It is crucial that Muslims vote this year. CAIR-Houston will be providing activities to enhance the communityâ€™s understanding of the civic process and why voting is so important.
January 2017: Martin Luther King Jr. parade. As we do every year, CAIR-Houston will participate in the annual parade. Stay tuned for more information.
February 2017: Black History Month: We will soon announce activities and events celebrating black history.
March 2017: Womenâ€™s History Month. Make a note and keep your eye out for details on our activities.
Texas Muslim Capitol Day will be held in 2017. The date will be announced when finalized.
CAIR-Houston is please that Ruth Nasrullah is returning to her position as Communications Coordinator, on a part-time basis. If you have any questions or suggestions regarding CAIR-Houstonâ€™s communications or media relations program, please contact her at [email protected]