COUNCIL ON AMERICAN ISLAMIC RELATIONS - Aya Batrawy

03/08/04

SATURDAY THE COUNCIL ON AMERICAN ISLAMIC RELATIONS, A GRASSROOTS MUSLIM ORGANIZATION, OPENED ITS OFFICE IN TAMPA. WITH MORE ON THIS IS WMNF’S AYA BATRAWY.

The Council on American Islamic Relations, also known as CAIR, established a presence in the Bay Area with its new office.

Ahmad Bedier is the Communications Director for CAIR Florida and head of the Tampa office. He says CAIR is established to help bridge understanding about Muslims. QUOTE

Bedier says that Florida ranked number two nation wide in anti-Muslim sentiments and that a CAIR presence in Tampa was needed. QUOTE

Parvez Ahmed, from Miami, is CAIR’s Florida Board Chairman. He says that because of election season, Muslims and other minority groups have a bigger role to play in shaping the future of America. QUOTE

Also at the opening of the Council on American Islamic Relation’s office was founder and National Executive Director of CAIR from D.C., Nihad Awad. Ten years ago CAIR was first established and now it has 35 chapters nation-wide. I asked Awad where he sees CAIR ten years from now.

QUESTION TO AWAD

Bedier says that CAIR wants to shift from being a defensive organization to being more pro-active for Muslims and he hopes sterotypes will lessen with more understanding. QUOTE To learn more about CAIR, Florida you can visit their website at www.cair-florida.org or visit the office on Puritan Avenue and 56th Street in Tampa. Reporting for WMNF this is Aya Batrawy.

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