A prominent national Islamic civil rights and
advocacy group today condemned bombings at five churches in Iraq that left
at least 11 people dead and many more wounded. The attacks were carried out
during Sunday evening services.
The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said:
"We condemn these vicious attacks in the strongest terms possible. The
identity of the perpetrators is not known, but their motive of creating
religious divisions is obvious. Harming those engaged in worship violates
the principles of all faiths. Religiously and historically, Islam mandated
the protection of churches and synagogues. The Prophet Muhammad and his
successors sought to protect houses of worship and the communities they
serve. We offer condolences to the families of those killed and injured,
and call for increased security measures at all religious sites in Iraq."
CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, is headquartered in
Washington, D.C., and has 28 regional offices nationwide and in Canada.
The Arizona office of Council on American-Islamic
Relations (CAIR-AZ) and representatives from the Islamic Center of Tucson
(ICT) met with FBI officials on Thursday to discuss issues of mutual
concern, including protection against anti-Muslim hate crimes, the FBI's
counterterrorism efforts and ways of increasing cooperation between law
enforcement and the American Muslim community. Suggestions about how to
improve communication between law enforcement and the Muslim community were
The meeting included two top officials of the Tucson Resident Agency of the
FBI, Assistant Special Agent in Charge Roland J. Mignone and Supervisory
Special Agent Brian D. Filbert of the Joint Terrorism Task Force.
The meeting was one of many CAIR-AZ is conducting with various law
enforcement agencies to build constructive relationships and to voice the
Muslim community's concerns. CAIR-AZ plans hold town hall meetings between
the Muslim community and the FBI throughout Arizona.
CONTACT: CAIR-AZ, 602-262-2247, 602-790-9319
The Florida office of the Washington-based Council
on American Islamic Relations (CAIR-FL) met Wednesday with the FBI's Miami
Division to discuss ways to promote better relations between law
enforcement and the state's Muslim and Arab-American Communities.
Officials from the Miami-Dade Police Department, the Broward Sheriff's
Office, U.S. Attorney's Office, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement,
and the Intergovernmental Bureau of Homeland Security also took part in the
Acting Special Agent in Charge Mike Clements informed CAIR-FL that his
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.
There was a broad agreement at the meeting that Muslim advocacy
organizations like CAIR-FL must be more involved in providing cultural and
sensitivity training to law enforcement officials. CAIR-FL and other
Islamic organizations represented at Wednesday's meeting pledged to do
their utmost in helping to make Florida and America more secure.
"We welcome the opportunity to do our share in protecting America," said
CAIR-FL Executive Director Altaf Ali. "Security need not be achieved at the
expense of civil liberties."
In a letter to CAIR-FL, City of Miami Police Department Commander Mario A.
Garcia wrote: "I would like to take the opportunity to thank you for the
educational experience which you and the rest of the Muslim Americans
provide me with at yesterday's meeting. I was impressed with your
presentation, your convictions as well as the loyalty and devotion which
you and the rest displayed not only towards the Muslim faith but also your
love for America."
"In this period of heightened security because of an increasing terrorism
threat, the FBI is convinced that the cooperation of all Americans, of all
faiths, is vitally important to preventing the next act of terrorism
against our homeland. That cooperation must be based on mutual respect and
understanding," said FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Frank Figliuzzi.
CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 28 regional
offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada.
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Representatives of CAIR's Kentucky office (CAIR-KY) recently met with the
Lexington FBI and the Chief of Lexington Police. The meetings focused on
how CAIR-KY can help protect and safeguard the community and what concerns
Muslims have about a variety of issues.
Participants in both meetings agreed in principal to attend a town hall
event with the Muslim community and law enforcement agencies in Kentucky.
CONTACT: CAIR-Kentucky, Abdul Quayyum, 859-221-9081