A prominent national Islamic civil rights and
advocacy group today announced that it is teaming up with the American
Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to offer free legal advice and support to
Muslims who are approached by the FBI for voluntary interviews.
The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) says it
will work with ACLU offices nationwide to provide access to local attorneys
for those targeted during the FBI's current round of counter-terrorism
"CAIR's partnership with the ACLU will help Muslims who are unaware of
their legal rights or who just have concerns about being approached by the
FBI," said CAIR Civil Rights Director Engy Abdelkader. She added that if
anyone is aware of actual terror-related activities in their community,
they should immediately contact the nearest FBI Field Office.
Abdelkader said American Muslims who wish to obtain free legal advice,
SEE: "ACLU OFFERS MUSLIMS LEGAL HELP"
CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 28 regional
offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada.
- END -
CONTACT: Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail:
NOTE: CAIR offers an e-mail list designed to be a journalist's window to
the American Muslim community. Subscribers to the list, called
ISLAM-INFONET, receive news releases and other materials dealing with
American Muslim positions on issues of importance to our society.
The following is a letter received by the Florida office of the Council on
American-Islamic Relations in response to a recent incident of anti-Muslim
"I am writing on behalf of the leaders of the Woodlawn Presbyterian Church
who at their most recent session meeting voted unanimously to send this
letter of encouragement to you and the families of the Community Education
"We are saddened that students and staff of the school were the victims of
a crime and an act of hate earlier this month, when someone scrawled
terrible messages on the walls of your Islamic educational center in Lutz.
"Please know that we condemn this awful behavior and it does not represent
the values of the majority of our community. We condemn bigotry and hate
in all its forms. Our Christian beliefs compel us to speak out against this
As Christians and Americans we believe in freedom of religion and firmly
believe that all Americans should be able to worship God as they choose
without concern for intimidation and threats. We believe that the acts of
vandalism and hate were cowardly acts by people who do not understand nor
practice the true values of our country.
In response to this incident, you were quoted in the St. Pete Times as
saying, 'Our faith does not teach violence.' We agree and add that our
faith, also, does not teach violence. We call upon all people of faith to
stand together in Tampa Bay for peace and justice for all. People of faith
must speak up for freedom of religion in our own community, our country and
in the world. We pray that some good will may be a positive outcome
following this unfortunate and terrible incident."
US Rep. Mike Honda (D-San Jose) today announced that the
Inspector General (IG) of the US Department of Defense has agreed to his
formal request for an investigation into the US Army's court martial of
James Yee, the Muslim chaplain who resigned from the Army on August 2 after
being subjected to months of questionable military legal procedures.
"Chaplain Yee's treatment by the US Army clearly warrants an investigation
into the handling of his entire case, including whether his detention was
supported by adequate evidence and appropriate legal charges," Congressman
Honda said. "I have grave concerns about the government's track record of
unsubstantiated charges - most notably in the case of Wen Ho Lee - and
Chaplain Yee's case raises serious questions about the way the military
Citing "irreparabl[e] injur[ies]" to his personal and professional
reputation due to the Army's "unfounded allegations," Chaplain Yee on
August 2 submitted a letter of resignation to the Army, requesting formal
discharge as of January 7, 2005.
The issue stems from the September 10, 2003 arrest of US Army Chaplain Yee,
a commissioned officer of Islamic faith whom Army officials held in
solitary confinement for 76 days on a variety of charges ranging from
treason to mishandling classified documents. The Army later dropped all
criminal charges, opting to pursue a non-judicial punishment that Chaplain
successfully fought on appeal before his full reinstatement.
In response to allegations that the Army denied Chaplain Yee the military
courtesies commensurate with his rank and targeted him because of his
religious affiliation with Islam, Rep. Honda publicly called for an
investigation into the matter to ensure that the Army complies with
accepted rules of law…