Source: The Columbus Dispatch
On January 1, 2002, The Columbus Dispatch reported that "members of the Ohio chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations have been trying to teach people about Islam since long before the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States... They say more education is needed because Muslims have not been represented properly in the news media... 'We are the first to say that terrorism is against our religion, so why is it I have to prove my patriotism?' said Ahmad Al-Akhras, president of the Ohio chapter... To curb ignorance about the religion, the group has committed itself to teaching the community, improving relations with the news media and protecting the civil rights of Muslims... 'We are similar to a Muslim NAACP,' said Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the group based in Washington. The organization was formed in 1994 and has chapters in California, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Texas and Canada, Hooper said. 'We try to focus on domestic issues and mobilize the Muslim community,' he said. 'We've had tremendous success.'"