CAIR's Daily Whine-o-Email came through with this "news" item. (All emphases mine)
CAIR: MUSLIM CONGRESSIONAL AIDES TAKING STAND - TOP
PAULINE JELINEK, Associated Press, 6/2/06
WASHINGTON -- At midday on Fridays, Muslims gather to pray in a basement room of the U.S. Capitol. Kneeling on sheets they've spread over the floor and facing east toward Mecca, they are members of the Congressional Muslim Staffers Association, about two dozen congressional aides who are part of a small but growing minority in America and in the halls of government.
At first just a prayer group, later a Muslim support group, the association is now looking outward to change what many see as woeful ignorance about Islam on Capitol Hill and beyond, said Jameel Aalim-Johnson, a black Muslim and chief of staff for Democratic Rep. Gregory Meeks of New York.
Some 100 non-Muslim congressional colleagues attended an association luncheon and the showing of part of a documentary on Islam in America. Visiting Imams from the Middle East recently met with association members.
The congressional chaplain's office consulted them about offering classes on Islam on Capitol Hill, said association member Nayyera Haq, daughter of Pakistani immigrants and spokeswoman for Rep. John Salazar, D-Colo.
"We're excited and hopeful," Haq said of the group's new mission. "It's nice to be Muslim and feel hopeful about the future."
That's not always easy to do.
Though there's no official count, the association says the number of congressional staffers who identify themselves as Muslim is little more than 20 out of some 10,000 employees at the Capitol complex.
There also is a smattering of Muslims at other Washington agencies, and some departments have consulted American Muslims for help with the counterterror war. Muslims have served as state legislators, but there is no member of Congress who identifies himself as a Muslim, said Corey Saylor, government affairs director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. (MORE)
Here is some more, not put in the CAIR synopsis.
[Commenting on some "anti-Islam" comments made by some legislators, the spokesman] Haq, "You wonder: What am I doing here, working for an institution that insists on viewing me as an outsider?"
In fact, getting Americans to think of Islam as a U.S. rather than foreign religion is a big part of the challenge, said John Voll, a Georgetown University professor of Islamic history and expert on Muslim-Christian relations.
Aalim-Johnson said the majority of the congressional group is Indo-Pakistani, with others whose backgrounds are Turkish, Iranian and African American.
"For a lot of Muslims who are first generation such as myself, when our parents immigrated here, they were working hard at trying to make a better life for their kids," not focused on politics, said Amina Masood, of Pakistani descent and legislative assistant to Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y.
"Now our generation is grown and realizing we are American ... part of this community and we need to be more active," she said. "I'm a staffer, but I'm also a Muslim and I care about Muslim issues ... things that affect us and that we have to take notice of and be a part of it."
If anyone cannot interpret the foregoing into plain, truthful English, then they are either completely and self-inducedly ignorant about Islam--or, they are Bushies.