CAIR-St. Louis: ADVANCING UNDERSTANDING AFTER INCIDENT OF HATE
On May 7, the St. Louis chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations handed the FBI office in St. Louis a letter it received 10 days prior that contained extreme hate messages and threats to Muslims in the United States and abroad. The letter is part of a campaign that targeted CAIR chapters in at least three states. One letter contained a threat to the life of CAIR officials in Florida.
CAIR of St. Louis is aware that fundamentalists with violent tendencies unfortunately are an element in all religious ideologies and that letters of hate and the opinions expressed in them do not represent the majority of Americans. We encourage a dialogue that would advance understanding among different religions in our country and help reduce the ignorance of "the others" that underlies the intolerance and the ill-feelings among different subgroups in the society.
Encouraging dialogue and empowering moderates in all faiths and beliefs to be vocal against hate and intolerance would be a positive outcome born out of the ugliness and darkness expressed in the letter we received. Another positive outcome would be to shed more light on the political agenda behind the relentless negative campaign against Islam and a lot of the unjustified negative feelings against Muslims.
Confusing political and religious agendas only can harm all of us.
CAIR of St. Louis is appreciative of the swiftness with which local FBI officials handled this case. We encourage anyone with knowledge of this hateful campaign to contact the FBI.
Khaled M Abdel-Hamid, St. Louis
Civil Rights Coordinator, St. Louis CAIR Chapter