(WASHINGTON, D.C., 01/05/06) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today urged American Muslims to register to vote at events nationwide next week marking the Eid ul-Adha holiday. CAIR’s Eid voter registration drive is part of a major non-partisan Muslim political mobilization effort to be conducted during the 2006 election cycle.
The effort will include in-person and online voter registration drives, candidate forums, production of voter guides, get-out-the-vote campaigns, conducting research on and surveys of American Muslim voters, and other grass-roots activities. CAIR will also be calling on Muslim students to volunteer in political campaigns.
On January 10, Muslims in America will mark the end of the yearly pilgrimage to Mecca, or Hajj, with communal prayers and celebrations at locations around the country. The prayers, and the holiday that follows, are called Eid ul-Adha (EED-al-ODD-ha), or “festival of the sacrifice.” Eid ul-Adha commemorates the Prophet Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael at God’s command. The holiday is celebrated with prayers, gifts for children, distribution of meat to the needy, and social gatherings.
“We call on Eid event organizers to set up voter registration booths after prayers and during other holiday activities,” said CAIR Government Affairs Director Corey Saylor. “If all eligible American Muslims are registered to vote, and then go to the polls on election day, our community’s voice will be heard and our issues will be addressed by elected officials.”
Saylor noted that the entire U.S. House of Representatives and one-third of the U.S. Senate will be up for re-election in November. He said each state has its own voter registration rules and that CAIR will provide assistance to Muslim activists who wish to organize voter drives. (SEE: National Mail Voter Registration Form)
For information about holding an Eid ul-Adha voter registration drive, contact CAIR Government Affairs Director Corey Saylor at 202-488-8787 or 571-278-4658, or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Muslims first participated in a bloc vote during the 2000 presidential election. During the 2004 elections, Muslims showed increasing organization through major get-out-the-vote drives in key states such as Ohio and Florida. CAIR also conducted exit polls to track Muslim voting trends.
CAIR, America’s largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 31 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.