On Sunday, December 16, 2012 CAIR-Chicago Executive Director Ahmed Rehab, and Staff Attorney Rabya Khan participated in the Community Commemoration and Press Conference of Illinois House Resolution 1193 (HR 1193) addressing hate attacks on religious minorities including Sikh Americans and Muslim Americans, and denouncing hateful political rhetoric.
Attacks on these communities include the shootings at a Sikh Gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin and a number of hate crimes against Chicago Muslims and Muslims nationwide during their holy month of Ramadan in August of this year.
The commemoration took place at the SRS Gurdwara Sahib in Palatine, Illinois. The event was organized by Ami Gandhi, executive director of the South Asian American Policy & Research Institute (SAAPRI) and Rajinder Singh Mago, who serves on the Public Relations Committee of the Sikh Religious Society (SRS).
The program consisted of a speaking portion addressing the Gudwara congregation, followed by a question and answer session with media and community members. The speakers included Rehab, Gandhi, Illinois House Representative Daniel Biss, a chief co-sponsor of HR 1193, Illinois House Representative Michelle Mussman, a co-sponsor of HR 1193, Illinois State Senator Matt Murphy, Chicago Alderman Ameya Pawar, and Greg Bales from Sen. Durbin’s office, and was moderated by Amrith Aakre, an Assistant State Attorney with the Cook County State Attorney’s office.
Alderman Pawar introduced a similar anti-hate resolution in Chicago this past September, which was approved unanimously.
The congregation also observed a moment of silence for the victims of the December 14 school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. Following the speaking portion, Rep. Biss, Rep. Mussman, Sen. Murphy and Alderman Pawar addressed questions from the media and community members on ways to combat hate crime. The event ended with a langar, a community kitchen vegetarian meal at the Gurdwara.
SEE local media coverage:
American Turban: South Asian community commemorates state anti-hate resolution