By Katie Schneider, Calgary Sun
Last Updated: 9th January 2010, 5:27am
Getting to know diverse ethnic groups, including Calgary`s Muslim community, is among a list of items on the to-do list Alberta`s new U.S. consul general.
On Wednesday, Laura Lochman will meet with members of the Muslim Council of Calgary at the Akram Jomaa Islamic Centre to learn more about the community and their faith.
The council represents the city`s 60,000 Muslims.
At a Sun editorial board meeting yesterday, Lochman said she hopes to meet with other groups and organizations in the city during her three-year term.
"The volume of people and organizations to visit is incredible, so this is really part of my priority," she said.
"One of my priorities is outreach to the Muslim community and to other ethnic groups in Calgary.
"Certainly, I`m very interested in getting to know the leaders of that community and engage them in dialogue."
In June, then acting U.S. Consul General for Alberta Daniel Fennell met with local Muslims, who offered praise to President Barack Obama for his speech in Cairo endorsing tolerance as the basis of Islam and denouncing extremists who use violence.
"The relationship ... is something that will be ongoing," said Lochman, who was appointed about six months ago.
The Muslim Council of Calgary invited Lochman to the Akram Jomaa Islamic Centre to continue to build that relationship with the U.S., said spokesman Kashif Ahmed.