American Muslim groups will welcome next week's inauguration of President Barack Obama with a symbolic release of "peace doves" on Monday at a mosque in the nation's capital followed by an open house at the Capitol Hill headquarters of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) on Inauguration Day.
"As part of our nation's rich religious heritage, American Muslims are looking forward to celebrating the inauguration of President Obama and are hopeful that his presidency will bring peace, prosperity and reconciliation in America and worldwide," said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad.
On Monday, January 19, the American Muslim Taskforce on Civil Rights and Elections (AMT), a coalition of 12 major Islamic organizations, will release 44 doves, one for each American president. The dove release is intended to symbolize the American Muslim community's desire for a more peaceful world and to highlight the key role a president plays in achieving peace based on justice and freedom. Event participants will also use the occasion to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his legacy of peace.