Knowing how and when to seek legal advice is often essential in protecting yourself and your community.
DALLAS – Oct 10, 2016 – More than 150 Muslim community leaders from nearly 30 states traveled to Dallas this weekend to participate in the first national law conference designed for American imams and mosque leaders.
The three-day conference, titled Leadership Conference for Justice: Strong Communities for a Strong America, kicked off on Friday, October 7, with a special screening of the groundbreaking documentary “(T)ERROR” that was followed by a panel discussion with David Felix Sutcliffe, one of the filmmakers, and Trevor Aaronson, author of The Terror Factory: Inside the FBI's Manufactured War on Terrorism.
Attorneys from Dallas-based Constitutional Law Center for Muslims in America and guest presenters from Florida, Texas, California, Illinois, Pennsylvania, District of Columbia and Washington gave more than 21 hours of presentations on topics related to day-to-day mosque operations. Subjects included engaging with law enforcement, family law, accommodating LGBT community members, employment law, immigration, law, tax code, child protection, prisoners’ rights, mental health, international humanitarian aid, banking regulations and watchlists.
Dallas-based Muslim Legal Fund of America, a nonprofit that funds legal work to defend constitutional rights for Muslims in America, organized the conference.
“The response from Muslim community leaders has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Khalil Meek, executive director of MLFA. “I’ve received calls from leaders all over the nation asking us to bring the conference to their city next year, and we are seriously considering taking the conference on the road.”
Meek said that his organization is planning to make the conference an annual event, but they haven’t decided on a location for 2017, yet. His organization plans to continue working with attorneys at CLCMA to develop new and updated material each year.
Attorney Charles Swift, director of CLCMA, said that law literacy is important for the Muslim community, especially in a society that is hostile toward Muslims and other minorities.
“With a basic understanding of the law and how the legal system works, community leaders are better able to know what questions they need to ask when confronted with an issue,” said Swift. “Knowing how and when to seek legal advice is often essential in protecting yourself and your community.”
The full conference program is available online at mlfa.org/conference.
The Constitutional Law Center for Muslims in America, Inc., is a nonprofit law center dedicated to defending the civil liberties and legal rights of Muslims in American courtrooms and litigating issues that are important to the Muslim community. CLCMA is funded by a generous grant from the Muslim Legal Fund of America.
Muslim Legal Fund of America is a national civil liberties legal fund that defends the U.S. Bill of Rights by supporting legal cases involving civil liberty encroachments. Established in 2001, MLFA has defended freedom of speech, freedom of religion, right to a fair trial, due process of law and many of our nation’s civil liberties. Learn more at mlfa.org.
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Photo Credit: Khaled Habash