By Adil James, TMO
The Emcee, Attorney Muna Jondy, speaks to the CAIR audience.
Sunday April 13, 2014–Livonia Michigan–CAIR Michigan held another successful annual fundraiser Sunday afternoon at Burton Manor, with 1,000 invitees enjoying wonderful food, an inspiring speech by the keynote speaker and others, a glimpse into the last yearâ€™s accomplishments of CAIR Michigan, and a chance to donate and support CAIR, to the tune of approximately $100,000.
The theme of the banquet was â€œFaith in Freedom,â€ however the unspoken theme seemed to be â€œthe rise of the Muslim lawyers,â€ as CAIR Michiganâ€™s work agenda seems to have shifted from media damage control in the wake of 9/11 and other terrorist events, over to a defense of the legal rights of Muslims in the courtrooms of Michigan.
Lawyers were in evidence throughout the CAIR fundraiser, with Emcee Muna Jondy, the new president Haaris Ahmad, and absolutely not least the staff attorney Lena Masri, who has really been the star of CAIR Michigan in recent months, with numerous immigration victories on behalf of Syrian asylum seekers (with an incredible 100% success record across 70 Temporary Protected Status applications).
Even more importantly, Masri has had success in filing a lawsuit by CAIR-MI against US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in response to their abusive practices against Muslims trying to cross the border.
CAIR MI also filed and then settled a lawsuit on behalf of a Muslim inmate who had been denied a halal diet request. They settled a lawsuit on behalf of a Muslim convert who was fired from her job after she began wearing hijab.
CAIRâ€™s political influence was on display as well at the event, as numerous elected officials at local, state and federal levels either attended or sent letters of support.
The keynote speaker, UK journalist Mehdi Hasan, spoke at length about the American Muslim community–an underlying theme of his speech was that Muslim Americans, while certainly under pressure from anti-Muslim forces–are also the Muslims in the West with the greatest opportunity–with more wealth than their Muslim counterparts in any other Muslim nation, more clout, more education, living in the most vibrantly diverse country in the world, and living in the most faithful country in the West.
CAIR also announced a new program entitled Safe Spaces, designed to proactively go out and in a non-confrontational manner communicate to government agencies, schools, and businesses, the needs of Muslims. This Safe Spaces program has already met with many schools, businesses, and government agencies.
CAIR MI also showed a brief video celebrating the ISNA conventionâ€™s coming to Detroit this year.
Late in the evening, the fundraising count for the event was approximately $112,000 including pledges and donations–enough to fund CAIR MIâ€™s work for another year.