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Bonamici Invites Washington County Muslim Leader as State of the Union Guest

January 8, 2016
Press Release

Islamic Society of Greater Portland President Salma Ahmad Promotes Understanding of Muslim Community

WASHINGTON, DC [01/08/16] – Today, Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) announced that Salma Ahmad, President of the Islamic Society of Greater Portland, will be her guest at the President’s State of the Union address on Tuesday, January 12.

“Freedom of religion is one of the fundamental principles of our great country,” said Congresswoman Bonamici. “It has been disturbing to see offensive rhetoric fuel hatred and divisiveness around Oregon and the nation. Equally disturbing are the reports of violence against Muslim Americans and their places of worship. During this year’s State of the Union address, I hope the President will affirm that all Americans have the freedom to worship as they choose, and inspire us to build bridges that transcend our differences. I’m honored to have Salma as my guest because of her exemplary work to promote understanding of the Muslim faith in Oregon, and her many contributions as a Muslim American to the broader community.”

“Since I came to this country 49 years ago, the United States—my adopted country—has given me everything a human being aspires for,” said Salma Ahmad. “Thank you America for adopting me and providing every American protection and assurance of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness and may I add—PEACE. It is an honor to be invited to attend the State of the Union with Congresswoman Bonamici. Never in my dreams did I think I would have the chance to hear directly from President Obama.”

Ahmad is the President of the Islamic Society of Greater Portland, the oldest Muslim organization in Oregon. In 2009, Ahmad was awarded the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director’s Community Leadership Award. She earned the honor for her work increasing the FBI’s understanding of and communication with the Muslim community in Oregon. Ahmad serves on the board of the Human Rights Council of Washington County, on the advisory board of the World Affairs Council of Oregon, and on the advisory board of the Muslim Educational Trust.