Angered and alarmed by recent events in which Iranian-Americans were questioned for hours at a border crossing, the Council on American Islamic Relations Washington and the Somali Health Board have teamed to bring more than 150 Muslims to Olympia, the capital of the Evergreen State, for the annual Muslim Day on Monday in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The organizations will address civil rights issues, including technology surveillance and labor rights.
“Especially with what we saw happen at the border a couple of weekends ago, CBP(Customs and Border Protection) interrogating and detaining Iranian Americans, it is more important than ever that our communities –Muslim, Somali, communities of color immigrants—show up and show our elected officials that we’re here and we demand to be heard,” said Masih Fouladi, executive director of CAIR Washington. “We’re pulling up a seat to the table rather than being on the menu.”
CAIR members became angry after some 60 Iranians and Iranian Americans returning to the United States from a concert in Vancouver, Canada, were stopped and questioned for hours at the border in Blaine, Washington, by Customs and Border Protection agents.
They were stopped following the high-profile killing of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani. A Trump ordered U.S. Air strike killed General Soleimani in early January.
In Olympia, the groups will meet with state officials to learn about legislation that could affect their communities.
They also will have to chance to hear the governor and Lt. governor speak. In addition, they will tour the capital and network with community leaders and local organizers.
CAIR also has found success in urging Muslims to run for office. Many have been elected to office.