Working together, Korean and Muslim American officials in Los Angeles are appealing to both Afghan and Taliban leaders to push for the release of the remaining 21 South Koreans being held hostage by Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan.
In a letter hand-delivered by a representative of the Muslim Public Affairs Council on Monday to the Embassy of Afghanistan in Washington, community leaders urged forgiveness of the South Korean Christian aid workers for "holding the Bible on Afghan soil" and their return to their families.
Salam Al-Marayati, executive director of the Los Angeles-based Muslim Public Affairs Council, said his organization was making arrangements to meet with an Embassy of Afghanistan official this week to discuss what could be done to free the hostages.
The four-page letter was written by the Los Angeles-based Concerned Citizens for Korean Hostages in Afghanistan. The group was recently established by Steven Kwon, a Korean American nutrition scientist who has worked in Afghanistan since 2003 to help malnourished women and children by helping farmers cultivate soy.
Kwon also sought the help of L.A.'s Muslim community.