VIDEO: CAIR REP WELCOMES APPOINTMENT OF U.S. ENVOY TO OIC
CAIR Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper on Fox’s ‘Special Report with Brit Hume’ discusses President Bush’s recent decision to appoint a special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), a world body made up of 57 Muslim-majority nations.
Fox News: Special Report with Brit Hume, 6/27/07
HUME: President Bush today reached out to Muslims in the U.S. and around the world and urged them to speak out against terrorists who claim to represent them and their faith. To that end, Mr. Bush announced a creation of a new diplomatic post for a coalition of Muslim nations.
Chief White House correspondent Bret Baier reports.
BRET BAIER, FOX CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In a speech marking the 50th anniversary of the Islamic Center of Washington, President Bush, shoeless while standing inside the mosque, announced he will create a special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference that represents more than 50 Islamic states.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is an opportunity for Americans to demonstrate to Muslim communities our interest in respectful dialogue and continued friendship.
BAIER: The move marks the first time a U.S. president has made an appointment to the Islamic Conference. And it comes as the war in Iraq, now in its fifth year, continues to spark anti-American sentiment in the Muslim world. The president made a personal appeal for cooperation.
BUSH: I have invested the heart of my presidency in helping Muslims fight terrorism and claim their liberty and find their own unique paths to prosperity and peace.
BAIER: The president said while the principles of religious freedom have expanded elsewhere in the world, the Middle East has seen a rise of extremism.
BUSH: The enemy falsely claims that America is at war with Muslims, and the Muslim faith, when in fact it is these radicals who are Islam’s true enemy.
BAIER: Ibrahim Hooper, with the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, an organization that often criticizes the administration, praised today’s effort.
IBRAHIM HOOPER, CAIR: Our policies in the Muslim world are causing hostility and resentment and that we need to take a different tact to try and mitigate some of the problems that we are seeing in the Muslim world. And appointing an envoy to the OIC is a very positive first step.
BAIER: In his speech, the president called for moderate Muslims to speak out against radical extremists, suicide bombers, and organizations that use Islam to support and fund acts of terrorism. While it is clearly not evident across the Muslim world, Hooper insists more moderates are speaking up.
HOOPER: American Muslims have issued a fatwa condemning terrorism and religious extremism. So we are taking action. Sometimes these actions are not being noticed, but that doesn’t mean they are not there.
BAIER: The president singled out Iran and Syria, accusing the leaders of the two countries of religious and political repression and choosing to address their citizens.
BUSH: You plea to silence no longer, the free world hears you. You are not alone. America offers you its hand in friendship. We work for the day when we can welcome you into the family of free nations.
BAIER: The president called the Muslim Center the perfect place to deliver a message of freedom to the Iranians and the Syrians, because the mosque is just down the road from a synagogue, a Lutheran church, a Catholic parish, a Greek Orthodox chapel, and a Buddhist temple. Residents there can worship as they choose, he said, without intimidation — Brit.