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Cardin Has Roundtable With Muslim Leaders

February 2nd, 2016 by WCBC Radio

U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, yesterday joined members of the Maryland Muslim community at Masjid Bait-us-Samad mosque for a conversation about strategies for overcoming challenges to building cultural awareness and community unity. 

“Our communities thrive when residents have respect and empathy for everyone around them, and those qualities are built through ongoing conversations,” said Senator Cardin. “Lately, there has been far too much inflammatory and inappropriate rhetoric about our Muslim neighbors emanating from the presidential campaign trail, which is why I feel that now is an important time to join together with leaders from across Maryland’s Muslim community to discuss shared concerns.”

“It is energizing to sit down with our political leaders to discuss the important issues surrounding the religion of Islam,” said Sean Stinnett, President of the Maryland Muslim Council. “It is the hopes of the Maryland Muslim Council that we will continue these type of dialogues, while educating non-Muslims on the contributions the Muslim community have made towards our society.” 

In the wide-ranging forum with Muslim leaders from throughout the state, Senator Cardin discussed numerous domestic and international issues, ranging from ways to reduce radicalization and hate in the U.S. to the promotion of stability abroad, specifically in the Middle East. Several participants and Senator Cardin spoke passionately about the need to combat the Islamic State and to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict in Syria, while alleviating the ongoing refugee crisis. Noting that he supported President Obama’s overall strategy in Syria and that he believed the solution to the country’s current conflict was not completely military in nature, Senator Cardin called for expedient regime change and an inclusive process that involves all stakeholders to determine the country’s future direction. Senator Cardin advocated a similar approach to promoting U.S. national security in the future.   

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