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****  PRESS RELEASE  ****

- For Immediate Release & Distribution -


AMERICAN-MUSLIM COMMUNITY MOBILIZES FOR ELECTION DAY


(Chicago, IL 11/06/06)- The Chicago office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations announced today that as a part of election activities, to encourage staff, interns, volunteers and community members to vote, the office will be closed on Election Day. It will also pull down its highly-visited website and replace it with a single splash page with the text, "We Vote."

"We hope that this will send out a strong message to our community about civic engagement," said Sadiya Ahmed, CAIR-Chicago Governmental Relations Coordinator.

In addition to closing the office, Community Organizer Haady Taslim, as part of the New Americans Democracy Project (NADP), will be mobilizing the American-Muslim community in the southwest suburb of Bridgeview and the surrounding areas. The New Americans Democracy Project (NADP) is organized by the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) and is co-hosted by CAIR-Chicago.

"November 7th will be a wake-up call for all American-Muslims living in our area, and throughout the United States," stated Taslim. "It is a call for the community to unite, but it will also be a message to our representatives that the American-Muslim voice can no longer be ignored."

Volunteers registered 1,055 new voters since the project’s launch in July 2006, according to Ahmed. In addition to completing voter registrations, volunteers have been placing hundreds of phone calls each night to voters, reminding them about November 7th.

Volunteers and interns will be at the campaign headquarters—the Mosque Foundation in Bridgeview, Illinois—for the entire day. "We will make phone calls, knock on doors, distribute CAIR-Chicago’s Voter Education Guide, and encourage voters to get out to the polls," said Ahmed. Haady Taslim and Sadiya Ahmed are scheduled tonight and tomorrow, respectively, as guests on Radio Islam 1450 AM at 6 pm to rally voters to show their civic strength.

Last month, CAIR-Chicago started distributing the CAIR-Chicago 2006 Voter Education Guide. The guide lists the candidates, their biographical information, the voting records of incumbents, and responses to a questionnaire that CAIR-Chicago distributed to the candidates. According to the organization, the Voter Education Guide is meant to provide constituents with data they need in order to make informed decisions about the candidates.

"We hope that with this election, we can mobilize more people to the polls than we did during the last election, so that we can work toward a long-term American-Muslim presence and political engagement," said Ahmed.

Contact: Sadiya Ahmed, Governmental Relations Coordinator, (312) 212-1520 or (847) 962-8449 / gov.relations@cairchicago.org


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