— Muslim Alliance of Indiana

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Muslims from across Indiana met with community and government leaders at the second annual Muslim Day at the Statehouse on April 9, 2015. Those in attendance included interfaith leaders, members of Council of Indiana Muslim Organizations, and students from local universities and Islamic schools.

The day’s events comprised of presentations by representatives from the Indiana legislature, meetings with state officials, and discussions about several proposed pieces of legislation that directly impact faith communities.

A major focus of discussion at MDSH 2015 was Indiana’s “Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” then a proposed bill in the Indiana Senate. A panel of experts spoke on the bill, led by Bill Blomquist, Dean of the IUPUI School of Liberal Arts and Indiana constitution expert; Katie Blair, director of advocacy at the American Civil Liberties Union; and Hazem Bata, Executive Director of the Islamic Society of North America. Audience members actively participated in the conversation about the ramifications of the RFRA, and its ability to either further, or hinder, the religious freedom of Muslims in Indiana.

House Democrat Greg Porter talked about his proposed hate crimes statute, House Bill 1330, and was joined by House Repbulican Ed Clere for a discussion of hate crimes legislation and the current climate of Islamophobia.

State Superintendent Glenda Ritz and Indiana Senate Minority leader Tim Lanane also spoke at the event.

The Muslim Alliance of Indiana is proud to see increasing participation in civic engagement events, such as MDSH 2015, from both the Muslim Hoosier community and Indiana politicians. We were particularly encouraged by the presence and enthusiastic contribution of Muslim youth in these important discussions.

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