(LATHRUP VILLAGE, MICH. - 6/15/2000) - Michigan Muslims who face discrimination or bias now have a local organization to turn to for help. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Washington-based Islamic advocacy group, today announced the opening of a regional office in Lathrup Village, Mich. That opening is a sign of growing American Muslim interest in politics and grass-roots advocacy.

"We look forward to defending the civil rights of Muslims in this important community," said CAIR-Michigan Executive Director Muthanna al-Hanooti. "Our office will also participate in the work of political activism at the local, state and national levels."

"Our office will work closely with local media professionals to project a positive image of Islam in this state," said CAIR-Michigan Communications Director M. Kay Siblani. "It is our experience that, given the opportunity, people of other faiths are very receptive to the accurate information about Islam."

Together, al-Hanooti and Siblani bring more than 40 years of experience in activism and communications to the new office.

Al-Hanooti added that community members in Michigan should report incidents of civil rights violations to CAIR-Michigan. He also asked Michigan Muslims to send their contact information to his office so that they may receive updates on future events and activities.

CAIR-Michigan is located on Southfield Rd., south of 12 Mile Rd., in Lathrup Village.

CAIR was founded in 1994, and has since grown to include a Washington, D.C., headquarters and a number of regional offices and chapters in both the United States and Canada.

Michigan is home to an estimated 500,000 Muslims. There are an estimated six million Muslims in this country and some 1.2 billion worldwide. Islam is one of the fastest growing religions in America.

WASHINGTON CONTACT: Ibrahim Hooper at 202-488-8787 or 202-489-5108.
CAIR-MICHIGAN CONTACT: Tel: 248-569-2203, Fax: 248-569-9748