Sarwat Husain

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Sarwat Husain is the founding president of the San Antonio chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and a national board member of CAIR.

Ms. Husain also serves on the San Antonio Interreligious Council and the Texas Media Empowerment Project. She is a founder of the San Antonio Muslim Council and a member of the San Antonio Council for International Visitors. She formerly served on the FBI Regional Advisory Council and was selected to serve on the board of the San Antonio Mayors Commission under Mayor Garza.

Ms. Husain publishes Al-Ittihaad Monthly, the largest American Muslim newspaper in Texas, and is a frequent guest columnist for the San Antonio Express News.

Ms. Husain works to encourage political engagement in Texas, conducting regular voter registration drives and trainings on how to become delegates, precinct chairs and judges. She helped found the American Muslim Youth Association and the Muslim Boys Scouts of America Pack 786, and acts as an advisor to both. She is extensively involved in interfaith dialogue and regularly offers diversity trainings on Muslim beliefs and practices at businesses, universities, churches and law enforcement agencies.

Ms. Husain has been profiled in The Face Behind the Veil: The Extraordinary Lives of Muslim Women in America and in articles published in the San Antonio Current, ColorLines, PressTime, and the San Antonio Express News.

She holds a master’s degree in nutrition from the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas. She has owned and operated alternate care facilities for the elderly and a child development center, and has worked as a nutritional consultant to hospitals and nursing homes.[1]

CAIR against ACT for America

On Thursday, February 23 2017, the San Antonio, Texas, chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR - San Antonio) will join progressive, interfaith organizations* and elected officials at a news conference to condemn an anti-mosque event hosted that evening by the hate group ACT for America.

WHAT: Interfaith Coalition/Progressive Groups to Condemn Hate Group’s Anti-Mosque Event

WHEN: Thursday, February 23, 5:30 p.m.

WHERE: Outside Village Parkway Baptist Church, 3002 Village Parkway, San Antonio, TX 78251

CONTACT: CAIR - San Antonio President Sarwat Husain, 210-378-9528.

SPONSORS: Council on American-Islamic Relations San Antonio chapter (CAIR-San Antonio), Jewish Voice for Peace of San Antonio (JVP-SA), Indivisible 21, Iraq Veterans Against War, San Antonio (IVAR-SA), Move-SA, Refugee and Immigration Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), San Antonio Peace Center, Vets Against Islamophobia in Common Defense PAC.

SPEAKERS: Sarwat Husain: President CAIR-SA.

Statements will be read from Congressman Joaquin Castro: Dist. 20, Congressman Lloyd Doggett Dist. 35, and Rep. Diana Arevalo Dist. 16.

Other Speakers include: Manuel Medina: Chair Bexar County Democratic Party, Judith Norman: JVP, Trish Florence: Indivisible 21, Sheikh Said Atif, MCECC.[2]

Immigration rally

Disdain for Arizona's tough new immigration law united an enthusiastic crowd of more than 600 people at the fifth annual May Day march through downtown streets Saturday May 1 2010.

“I know there is tremendous frustration in Arizona about immigration,” Mayor Julian Castro told the crowd. “And in many cases that frustration with federal policies is justified. But that is not an excuse to pass a bad law.”

May Day marches were held across the country, with large crowds gathering in reaction to the Arizona law signed last week by Gov. Jan Brewer that many fear will lead to racial profiling.

Supporters of the law — which requires law enforcement officers to detain and demand proof of citizenship from people they suspect are in the country illegally — cite federal authorities' failure to secure the border.

“If someone sees someone crossing the fence illegally, they should grab them right there and then,” said Antonio Diaz with the Texas Indigenous Council. “But they should not stop all of us. We call it racial profiling, and that should not be allowed under the Constitution.”

While the overwhelming sentiment was outrage at Arizona, the fact the Spurs' next playoff opponent is the Phoenix Suns added a touch of levity to the event. Marchers chanted “Si, se puede,” or “Yes we can,” followed by “Go Spurs Go!”

“It's folks in San Antonio who have an opportunity to do something to those people in Arizona,” Rabbi Barry Block reminded the crowd.

“The strength of our nation is in the men and the women who have come to this country from other parts of the world, from all parts of the world, to build a more perfect union,” Block said. “Let each and every one of us speak out against the injustice being perpetrated in Arizona.”

“I think it's a really, really bad idea,” Police Chief William McManus said before the march. “If a bill like this were to pass (here), crime would go unreported, and it would destroy the relationship that we've worked to build with you and that you've worked to build with us. We don't want to see that happen.”

The parade began with a rally at Milam Park and ended with another outside San Fernando Cathedral after a parade that followed Houston, Alamo and Commerce streets. Before it began, a letter of support from Archbishop Jose Gomez was read.

Concern over Arizona's law wasn't limited to Hispanics.

“It's going to affect anybody who looks any different,” said Sarwat Husain, president of the San Antonio chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. “And especially a person like me who has brown skin and an accent.”

Castro noted, “One of the ways we always sell San Antonio is we say that this city is a city where over the centuries people have come from different places, different countries, different cultures, different religions, backgrounds, perspectives — to build up the city that is economically successful.”[3]

IWD event

Approximately 250 marchers participated in a march and rally in observance of International Women’s Day, 2004, in San Antonio, emphasizing themes of equality, peace, education and dignity. The march route was about two miles long, beginning at Elmendorf Park and ending at Plaza Guadalupe on the city’s west side, where a number of speakers and dance performers took their turns on stage.

Local folksinger, teacher, and city councilwoman Patti Radle began the rally by leading the crowd in a sing-along of a song she penned titled, “No People Over Profits,” in which she criticizes corporate injustices ranging from the bias of the local daily newspaper to Nike shoes. Afterwards, four of her students gave an abridged theatrical presentation of Sojourner Truth’s famous speech, “Ain’t I a Woman?” which criticizes the hypocrisy of abolitionists who were against suffrage.

Other speakers included Sarwat Husain of the San Antonio chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations, Maria Luisa, coordinator and co-founder of Austin-based Inmigrantes Latinos En Accion, Grace Botello, a health care worker, Patricia Castillo, who served as emcee for the program, announced that Councilman Richard Perez of District 4 recently secured funds for the Peace Initiative, a program that earmarks money for education about violence in teen dating. Linda Tippins of San Antonio Fighting Back, Nadine Saliba of the Arab and International Women’s Association identified patriarchy as a common factor between the U.S. occupation of Iraq and the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

The event was organized by a coalition of peace and women’s groups, including Gemini Ink, The Peace Center, The Battered Women’s Shelter, San Antonio Fighting Back, Fuerza Unida and the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center.[4]

References

  1. https://cair.com/about-us/cair-national-board-and-key-staff/sarwat-husain.html CAIR website, Sarwat Husain - National Board Member 21 July 2014
  2. [1]
  3. [Finley, Don My San Antonio, Link: https://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local_news/article/Anger-over-Arizona-law-unites-May-Day-marchers-787543.php Anger over Arizona law unites May Day marchers By Don Finley - Express-News Saturday, May 1, 2010]
  4. [http://www.peoplesworld.org/texans-observe-international-women-s-day/ , PW, Texans observe International Womens Day Print Email to a Friend by: SUMADI CHEN march 19 2004]