(Tulsa, OK 11-10-15) The Islamic Council of Oklahoma, Oklahoma’s statewide council of mosques, Islamic schools and Muslim organizations, says on behalf of its member organizations that it is time to recognize our veterans with due respect.

    Sheryl Siddiqui, ICO Chairperson, says about the Council on American Islamic Relations Oklahoma Chapter, “CAIR-OK deserves our thanks for their courage in this charged political climate for doing the right thing with their float for veterans in Wednesday’s Tulsa Veterans Day parade- for giving Oklahomans the chance to honor the veterans of all backgrounds who trained together, served together and had each other’s backs as they defended our Constitution, our freedoms and American interests.”

    Oklahoma Muslims are remembering their ancestors who fought in the American Revolution and all the wars since then.  Muslims are recognizing their family members with recent service to our country and the men and women who still serve. Muslims honor not only the Muslim soldiers who served under General George Washington and every President who followed but also every person who has dedicated their time and risked their lives for our country. That’s why they attend the Veterans Day Parades, tear up at the sight of the Blue Angels and Thunderbirds and support our military personnel by working for the Veterans Administration, the once active Tulsa “Mayor’s Jobs for Vets” program and for social service agencies.

    CAIR-OK was founded by Oklahomans in 2006 with no money from overseas. It has not fundraised outside of Oklahoma. Among the founders and board members are teachers, social workers, physicians, attorneys and people who have served honorably in the US military. It has defended the civil rights of Oklahomans, defended the Constitution, and worked to make Oklahoma a safer and more prosperous state. It has promoted human rights for all people and worked on humanitarian causes- like arriving first on the scene to help Oklahoma’s tornado victims, sponsoring blood drives and working at the state’s food banks. It has cooperated with and reached out to law enforcement at all levels and is active in the interfaith and social justice communities. While a few radicalized voices might make allegations, the people who know CAIR-Oklahoma best are those who work with them, day in and day out, in good times and times of crisis.  That is a broad range of partnering organizations.

    On Tuesday, Oklahoma City Imam Dr. Imad Enchassi visited the graves of the American Muslim veterans buried at Mercy Muslim Cemetery where he prayed for them. He called the veterans’ spouses and they prayed together. He asks Oklahomans, “How come one American can die for his country and be denied simple respect and thanks from those for whom he sacrificed everything when the people he served alongside are appropriately honored?”

    Tulsa Imam John Ederer said, “Let’s not turn our backs on any of America’s veterans. They all deserve our respect.”

    About the Islamic Council of Oklahoma

    The Islamic Council of Oklahoma (ICO) is a council of Oklahoma mosques, Islamic schools, and Muslim organizations serving more than 35,000 Muslims in Oklahoma. The council works to promote improved communication, cooperation and best practices among Islamic organizations to improve the everyday lives of Muslims and all Oklahomans.


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