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U.S. Muslims Urge End to Fighting Near Iraqi Shrine

A prominent national Islamic civil rights and
advocacy group today said a U.S. attack on the Imam Ali Shrine in the Iraqi
city of Najaf would harm America's image in the Muslim world and called for
negotiations to end the fighting.

Marine commanders say they are preparing a final assault on an Iraqi
militia group holding out in Najaf, where the Imam Ali Shrine, its
associated educational institutions and an ancient cemetery are located.
Any American assault would likely involve attacks on and possible damage to
the shrine, a site revered by millions of Shia Muslims in Iraq and around
the world.

SEE: "U.S. Forces, Close to Attack in Najaf, Suddenly Pull Back"
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/08/11/international/middleeast/11CND-IRAQ.html

In its statement, the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said:

"An attack by U.S. forces on the Imam Ali shrine, and the inevitable damage
and civilian casualties resulting from such an attack, would only serve to
further harm America's image in Iraq and throughout the Muslim world. We
call on all parties to the ongoing conflict in Najaf and elsewhere in Iraq
to respect religious sensitivities, remove weapons from religious
institutions, avoid any actions that might threaten damage to holy places,
and seek negotiated settlements to outstanding political disputes."

The statement noted that Iraq's Deputy President Ibrahim Jaafari is urging
U.S. troops to leave Najaf. "I call for multinational forces to leave Najaf
and for only Iraqi forces to remain there," said Jaafari.

An article in today's Washington Post indicated that the fighting in Najaf
has already resulted in widespread damage to that city's cemetery.

SEE: "Cemetery Fight Haunts Some U.S. Troops"
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A53557-2004Aug10.html

CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 28 regional
offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada.

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CONTACT:
Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;
Rabiah Ahmed, 202-488-8787 or 202-439-1441, E-Mail:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Arizona Muslims Meet with Law Enforcement Officials

The Arizona office of the Washington-based Council on
American Islamic Relations (CAIR-AZ), the ASU Muslim Student Association,
and leaders from seven valley Musjids met Tuesday with the FBI's Phoenix
Division to discuss ways to promote better relations between law
enforcement and the state's Muslim and Arab-American Communities.

Officials from the Phoenix Police Department, Tempe Police Department, Mesa
Police Department, Chandler Police Department, Tucson Police Department,
University of Arizona and Arizona State University Police, U.S. Attorney's
Office, Arizona Attorney General's Office, and Maricopa County Prosecutor's
Office also took part in the meeting.

Special Agent in Charge Charlene Thornton informed CAIR-AZ that her office
will not tolerate any hate crimes against the Muslim community and stressed
that Americans of all faiths have the right to enjoy freedom and must work
together to protect America.

Participants agreed in principal to attend town hall events with the Muslim
community and law enforcement agencies throughout Arizona. CAIR-AZ and
other Islamic organizations represented at Tuesday's meeting pledged to do
their utmost in helping to make Arizona and America more secureā€¦

CONTACT: Deedra Abboud, 602-262-2247 OR This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

CAIR-Canada Seeks Probe of Anti-Muslim Posters at University

The Canadian Council on American-Islamic
Relations (CAIR-CAN) today called on the administration of Ryerson
University and Toronto police to investigate a second hate incident this
summer targeting Muslims at the university.

Reports indicate that flyers were found on bulletin boards at four
locations last week. One of the flyers reportedly said: "The Islamic
infidels have no belonging in Toronto and in the world at all . . . we ask
that whenever you spot a Muslim . . . that you beat them and cause harm to
them. Kill these Islamic infidels."

Earlier this summer, the multi-faith room at Ryerson University was sprayed
with the words "Die Muslim Die" and Stars of David. A notice found last
week and signed by a group called "Full Blooded Israeli Brigades" claimed
responsibility. The group stated, "...While this may be considered a hate
crime or a despicable act, it is not. We are just getting back at the
Muslim faggot that vandalized Jewish property and wrote anti-Semitic
graffiti. We assure the Muslim students at Ryerson University that we will
continue to send messages and that this incident is only the first of many.
We want to let them know that no
Muslim student will be safe and that security isn't going to stop us."

In a statement issued today, CAIR-CAN wrote:

"The latest hate incident at Ryerson University, the second this summer, is
chilling and a cause for great concern to all people of conscience. We are
calling on the Toronto police to treat this crime with the utmost
seriousness and work with all diligence to bring the hate-mongers who
perpetrated it to justice.

"We are also calling on Ryerson University to explain what measures, if
any, have been taken to address this very serious pattern of hate
incidents. Not only do we expect to see a clear, unequivocal message that
such hate crimes will not be tolerated, we need to see concrete action. The
safety of all students should be the university's highest priority."

Since September 2001, CAIR-CAN has documented hate-activity against 17
Islamic institutions and mosques, including attempted arson, destruction
and defacement of mosque property, and graffiti threats.

CONTACT: Riad Saloojee at 613-254-9704 or 613-795-2012

 

CAIR-Houston Offers Training to First Responders

The Houston office of the Council on
American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Houston) recently provided sensitivity and
diversity training to health care professionals and first responders at
that city's Ben Taub Hospital.

The CAIR-Houston presentation covered basic Islamic beliefs and practices,
as well as specific information about Muslim perspectives on illness,
medical treatment, gender relations, and the sanctity of human life.
Attendees received copies of CAIR's booklet, "A Health Care Professional's
Guide to Islamic Religious Practices." (The booklet may be requested by
e-mailing: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

"Today's presentation was one of the best events that we have sponsored,"
said Chaplin Paul Stephenson, Director of Spiritual Care. "We have already
received several requests to replicate the event and materials, and we plan
to incorporate your presentations into our Chaplin's residency curriculum."

"We believe that misrepresentations of Islam today are most often the
result of ignorance and reluctance on the part of Muslims to clearly
articulate their beliefs," said CAIR-Houston Executive Director Iesa Galloway.

Galloway said CAIR-Houston training is available to clubs and other
organizations. (Speaker requests may be submitted online at:
http://www.cairhouston.org/speaker.htm )

CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 28 regional
offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada.

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CONTACT: CAIR-Houston, Iesa Galloway, 713-838-CAIR-(2247),
E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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