RNA - On Saturday evening, leaders from around the state came together in Orlando for the Council for Islamic American Relations or CAIR Florida to celebrate their achievements in advancing justice and challenging hate at their 2016 annual banquet.
The event, hosted by Blogger, Host, and Columnist, Amani Al-Khatahbeh, featured special performances, remarks from nationally known speakers, and an awards ceremony to recognize the achievements of CAIR Staff and their partners in the community.
CAIR Florida’s mission of enhancing the understanding of Islam and encouraging a dialogue was more important than ever this year, when the Pulse Night club attacks that took place here in Orlando made the organization’s mission more important than ever, as part of a coalition that helped the community heal after the event.
“We exemplified, friendship, love and compassion with the entire Orlando community.” said Rasha Mubarak, CAIR Florida Orlando Regional Coordinator “We mourned as friends and more over as humanitarians. This is something that Muslims do. This is something that any religion of peace does.”
Over the past year, CAIR Florida has hosted over 100 community events, and provided over 3,400 hours of pro-bono legal volunteer work. The services provided to the community by CAIR are estimated to be worth approximately $7.5 million dollars.
“I think we need to realize how far your community has come. Socially, economically, and politically.” said Keynote Speaker, Dr. John Esposito, form Georgetown University, Alwaleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding “We have to recognize that Islam has become more prevalent than ever in America.”
Notable attendees included Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings, Orange County Tax Collector Scott Randolph, and Florida House District 49 candidates Carlos Guillermo Smith, as well as representatives from Senator Bill Nelson’s office and other local leaders.