(WASHINGTON D.C., 8/10/06) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today issued the following statement at a news conference in Washington, D.C., in response to the arrests of 21 individuals for allegedly plotting to use liquid explosives on passenger flights traveling from the United Kingdom to the United States. (NOTE: CAIR’s news conference was taped for later broadcast by C-SPAN.)
In its statement, CAIR said:
“American Muslims have consistently condemned all acts of terrorism, whether carried out by individuals, groups or states. We repudiate anyone or any group that plans or carries out a terrorist act. We welcome early actions by law enforcement authorities against credible threats to the safety of the traveling public.
“The American Muslim community has always been dedicated to the protection of our national security. It is also important that our fellow Americans understand that Muslims are law-abiding citizens who should not be targeted or singled out because of their faith or national origin.
“We have been contacted by federal law enforcement authorities who are taking steps to ensure that there is no backlash against the American Muslim community. We commend them for their pro-active efforts. We ask local Muslim communities to step up security measures at mosques and other Islamic institutions. We also urge local law enforcement agencies to coordinate with Muslim leaders to deter hate crimes.
“It is important, based on past counterterrorism cases that did not lead to terror convictions, that we withhold judgment until all the facts of this case come to light. We also ask public officials and commentators to avoid using stereotypical and ill-defined terminology when referring to this and similar cases.
“As the largest American Muslim civil rights and advocacy group, it is our religious and civic duty to reach out to all Americans to reaffirm Islam’s teachings of peace, justice and tolerance for all.”
CAIR, America’s largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 32 offices, chapters and affiliates nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
– END –
CONTACT: Ahmed Rehab, Executive Director (847) 971-3963 or (312) 212-1520 firstname.lastname@example.org