By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – On Monday, March 2, the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations Oklahoma (CAIR-OK) will host its sixth annual Oklahoma Muslim Day at the Capitol in Oklahoma City. The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
More than 200 Oklahoma Muslims and their interfaith supporters are expected to take part in a day of education, engagement and advocacy.
“We are expecting a great turn out this year for our Muslim Day at the Capitol,” said CAIR-OK Government Affairs Director Lani R. Habrock.
“Our goal this year is to help attendees feel more comfortable in advocating for the issues they are passionate about. We want everyone to leave the capitol that day feeling like they have a voice in the outcome of issues affecting themselves and their families.”
This years’ Muslim Day at the Capitol focuses on local level civic engagement with a keynote address from Norman Mayor Breea Clark and an advocacy training talk by Kyle Lawson of Oklahoma Policy Institute.
Attendees will enjoy a catered lunch, followed by and an Islamic prayer and meetings with legislators.
“Six years ago, when we held our first Oklahoma Muslim Day at the Capitol, our goal was to lay the foundation for civic engagement for the Oklahoma Muslim community,” said CAIR-OK Executive Director Adam Soltani.
“We now see Muslims walk the halls of the Capitol, advocate for issues important to them and have confidence in their vote. It is our hope that in future years this annual event will inspire members of the Oklahoma Muslim community to run for public office.”
In earlier years, CAIR-OK’s Muslim Day at the Capitol brought hundreds of attendees — as well as dozens of protestors — to its Capitol Day event. In response, the Interfaith Alliance of Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Conference of Churches have volunteered to escort participants to and from the Capitol building, providing a “human shield” against demonstrators and forming a corridor of love to welcome attendees.
“It is important for all people to feel welcome in their places of governance,” said Habrock. “Our goal this year is to help our members think about what issues are important to them and to advocate for these issues with their elected officials.”
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.