Muslims call raids "Fishing Expedition"
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Washington-based Islamic advocacy group, today said raids Wednesday on a number of Islamic institutions and homes in Virginia and Georgia were a "fishing expedition" that will only serve to intimidate law-abiding Muslim citizens.
In a statement issued at a packed Capitol Hill news conference, CAIR Governmental Affairs Director Jason Erb said: (Representatives of some 25 local, national and international media outlets attended the news conference.)
"The Muslim community is deeply concerned about what appears to be a fishing expedition by federal authorities using McCarthy-like tactics in a search for evidence of wrongdoing that does not exist.
"Unfortunately, investigators are well aware that in the current climate of fear and prejudice, few people will ask the tough questions about why these respected individuals and groups were targeted. Vague and unsubstantiated references to 'links' or 'ties' to infamous names and organizations should not be a substitute for credible evidence.
"As in past incidents targeting American Muslim institutions, no one is being given their day in court to confront accusers or refute allegations. Where then does one go to retrieve a reputation damaged by an irresponsible and out-of-control investigation?
"All Americans have a justifiable desire to feel secure in this time of international crisis. But security need not be gained by destroying the civil liberties and standards of due process that we all hold dear."
Groups represented at or endorsing today's news conference included CAIR, American Muslim Council, Islamic Circle of North America, Islamic Institute, Islamic Society of North America, Muslim Alliance in North
America, Muslim Public Affairs Council, and Muslim American Society.