CAIR Launches Campaign
to 'Explore the Life of Muhammad'
L to R: Imam Mohammad
Faqih, Shakeel Syed, Hussam Ayloush and Sabiha Khan
Anaheim, CA: The Council on
American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) February 14 at its press
conference in Southern California and at CAIR offices around
the country the launching of a major educational campaign
called "Explore the life of Muhammad" as a positive
response to the worldwide controversy over caricatures of
Islam's Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
The year long initiative will begin by offering people of
all faiths a free book or DVD about the life and legacy
of the Prophet Muhammad. CAIR's campaign will also feature
grass-roots educational activities in Muslim communities
throughout North America.
Representatives from the Southern California Islamic Shura
Council and the Islamic Institute of Orange County (IIOC)
joined the press conference, which was held at the CAIR
office in Anaheim, CA at noon, to support the proactive
steps that will be taken by CAIR and southern California
Masajids to educate people about Islam and the Prophet (PBUH).
Shakeel Syed, executive director of the Islamic Shura Council,
spoke at the news conference regarding the infamous Danish
cartoons saying, "We believe anti-Semitism is reborn
as Islamophobia. We call for laws that prohibit defamation
of all prophets of all faiths".
Imam Muhammad Faqih from IIOC explained the significance
of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) to the hearts of Muslims
saying, "Muslims dearly love the Prophet and all the
prophets before him. Any attack or insult on the prophet
is a very sensitive issue that many Muslims take to heart."
The Imam also added that the Islamic Institute of Orange
County is planning an open house to educate people about
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and explain to them the legacy that
the Prophet (SAWS) left behind.
"It is our prayer and hope that through this initiative
and others, misunderstandings, hatred, and violence, can
be curtailed and avoided for the sake of the future of the
world. Challenging hatred and division begins by challenging
ignorance, and we can challenge ignorance only through education,"
said CAIR Executive Director Hussam Ayloush.
Visitors to CAIR's campaign website, www.cair.com/Muhammad,
will be able to choose either a DVD of the PBS documentary
"Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet" or the book "Muhammad"
by Yahiya Emerick. The website will also feature a 13-minute
online clip from the DVD and excerpts from the book.
(NOTE: Requests for free material will initially be limited
to the United States and Canada, but the campaign is designed
to expand to Europe through cooperation with local Muslim
communities.) Along with the DVD and the book, CAIR's website
will also offer basic information about the Prophet Muhammad
and a database of his sayings (hadith).
In the campaign, CAIR will offer materials to help local
Muslim communities hold public screenings of the DVD, mosque,
open houses, panel discussions, essay contests, interfaith
events, and other educational grass-roots activities focused
on the legacy of the Prophet Muhammad. CAIR will also coordinate
a speaker's bureau of its staff, board members, and volunteers
CAIR is suggesting that communities hold the first educational
activities on February 24. A calendar of local activities
available on CAIR's website.