Contact Attorney General Ashcroft to demand due process of law
At this time of Eid ul-Fitr, CAIR is calling on Muslims nationwide to contact Attorney General John Ashcroft and demand that we receive the same civil, religious and legal rights as any other Americans.
Within the last week, three of the largest Muslim charities (Holy Land Foundation, Global Relief Foundation and Benevolence International Foundation) have been shut down without any judge making a ruling or anyjury hearing evidence of criminal behavior. These actions against American institutions were taken through administrative procedures that would normally apply to foreign entities.
Our community's zakat and sadaqah are now being held by the government, instead of going to poor and hungry Muslims in Palestine, Kosova, Afghanistan, and other areas afflicted by deprivation.
In the past three months, American Muslims have been subjected to secret detentions without legal recourse, denial of basic due process of law and widespread racial and religious profiling.
More than 1,000 people were detained in sometimes humiliating circumstances. Little information has been revealed about these detentions. To date, only one detainee has been charged with any crime related to the terrorist attacks. Some 5,000 legal Muslim visitors to this country are currently being singled out for questioning based on their religion and national origins.
Many Muslims have been thrown off airplanes merely because they had an Islamic name or appeared "Middle Eastern." CAIR also recorded more than 1400 incidents of anti-Muslim backlash since September 11, including several murders.
American Muslims are now under a cloud of suspicion produced by a drumbeat of anti-Muslim rhetoric from those who are taking advantage of the 9-11 tragedy to carry out their agenda of silencing our community and its leadership once and for all. (President Bush has set a tone of respect for Muslims and Islam, but his call for tolerance is being overshadowed by virulent attacks from extremist Islamophobic groups and individuals.)
While we have been patient, knowing that the crime that prompted these abuses was so horrific and understanding that the war against terrorism will require sacrifices by all Americans, we are now coming to a time when we must again assert out full legal and civil rights.
ACTION REQUESTED: (As always, be POLITE and RESPECTFUL.)
Contact Attorney General John Ashcroft to demand that we receive the same rights as any other Americans. We will not stay silent as we are relegated to second class status in this society. We will speak up in defense of our rights and in defense of the Constitution on which they are based.
Ask that he:
1) Allow those Muslims charities who have been shut down to immediately have their day in court before a judge and jury who can hear evidence and determine whether any laws have been broken.
2) Provide information about the number of Muslims detained, the conditions under which they are held and the status of their future release.
3) Put an end to the widespread use of racial, religious and ethnic profiling.
CONTACT: (Letters are best, followed by calls and then e-mails.)
Attorney General John Ashcroft
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001
TEL: 202-353-1555 (Public Comment Line), 202-514-2001 (Attorney General's Office)
FAX: (202) 307-6777