Christina Wilkie

Posted by Christina Wilkie on August 30, 2010 in News Clips

Members of the Congressional Muslim Staff Association (CMSA) will convene a panel discussion on Tuesday in response to the recent controversy over a proposed Islamic cultural center in lower Manhattan.

Billed as a discussion of "Muslims in America: Myths and Realities," the three-member panel will be made up of Arab American Institute president Dr. James Zogby, Muslim Public Affairs Council president Salam Al-Maryati, and Dr. Azizah Al-Hibri, founder of KARAMAH: Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights.

The panel will be moderated by a former member of the Bush administration, Suhail Khan, now a fellow at the Institute for Global Engagement.

According to a release from the CMSA, the panel will "expose the myths and shine a light on the realities of the American Muslim community in the wake of the Park 51 controversy."

51 Park Place is the address in Lower Manhattan of a proposed Islamic Cultural Center. The center's proximity to Ground Zero has sparked intense controversy in recent weeks. Last Tuesday a Muslim taxi driver in New York City was stabbed in what police say may have been a hate crime.

Founded in 2006, the CMSA welcomes any Muslim congressional employee of any office, committee, or service within the House of Representatives, Senate, Library of Congress, Congressional Budget Office, Congressional Research Service, and Capitol Police.

Congressional staffers are welcome to attend Tuesday's panel, which runs from 10-11:30 a.m. in room 2325 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

CMSA spokesman Mouaz Moustafa said that he expects a crowd of around 40 people, and that most of them will not be CMSA members. There will be also be Q&A during the panel discussion.

To sign up for the free event, click here.

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