Cameron University’s annual Constitution Day celebration to examine religious liberty

Cameron University will join colleges and universities across the nation to celebrate Constitution Day on September 17 with a discussion of religious liberty in Oklahoma. The event takes place in CU's CETES Conference Center at 11 a.m. and is open to the public at no charge.

The keynote address will be presented by Muneer Awad, Executive Director, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) - New York. While serving as executive director for CAIR’s Oklahoma chapter, he filed a lawsuit to stop the state from implementing a constitutional amendment to ban Sharia Law on the grounds that it violated the First Amendment. On November 29, 2010, the Federal district court ruled for Mr. Awad, temporarily blocking the amendment. That ruling was appealed; subsequently, the 10th Circuit Appeals Court unanimously upheld the ruling that blocked implementation of the amendment.

Awad has also organized Islamophobia workshops for the largest media institutions in Oklahoma and  arranged discussions about civil rights and American Muslims at universities and law schools across the nation. In 2011, he was the recipient of the Tulsa Metropolitan Ministries Russell Bennett recognition, which recognizes people who provide courageous social justice leadership in Oklahoma. Earlier this year, Awad was a fellow of the American Muslim Civic Leadership Institute at the University of Southern California.

Cameron’s observance of Constitution Day is sponsored by the School of Liberal Arts, the Department of History and Government, and the Lawton Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Constitution Day commemorates September 17, 1787, a key point in U.S. history, when the 39 delegates to the Constitutional Convention signed the document that defined and separated powers of the federal government. Voting, debating the issues, gathering to meet in public and in private, criticizing or praising your government, observing a religion of choice and pursuing an education and a career are just a few of the pursuits guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution.

For more information about Constitution Day, go to www.constitutioncenter.org.

For more information about this event, contact Richard Longoria, 580-581-5550, rlongori@cameron.edu or Jeffrey Metzger, 580-581-2494, jmetzger@cameron.edu.

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September 7, 2012 PR# 12-137