(Toronto, Canada - Sept. 15 2003) - CMCLA is today calling on all Canadians to demand that the rights of Canadian Muslims and Arabs are protected when travelling to the US.
This follows the detention and harassment of two prominent Imams at the hands of American authorities on Friday.
Imam Ahmad Kutty and Imam Abdool Hameed were arrested and interrogated for 16 hours in Fort Lauderdale while on their way to Orlando to attend seminars. The Canadian government has been unable to obtain any reason for their detention, but one US official told Imam Abdool Hameed that they had chosen "a bad day for travel".
IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUESTED (Be polite, but firm):
1) CONTACT Prime Minister Jean Chrétien and Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham to demand they act to ensure that the rights of Canadian Muslims and Arabs are protected. Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, Tel: 613-992-4211, Fax: 613-941-6900, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bill Graham, Tel: 613-992 5234, Fax: 613-996-960, E-mail: Graham.B@parl.gc.ca
Ask Mr. Graham to bring up the issue with U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and the head of Homeland Security, Tom Ridge.
2) CONTACT your local MP and demand that they take up this issue urgently in the House of Commons. The most effective way to communicate with your MP is to meet in person at his/her constituency office. The next best method is to call the office of your MP and register your concerns. You can also email your concerns to your MP. Obtain the name and full contact information of your Member of Parliament by calling (613) 992-4793, or by typing your postal code at: www.parl.gc.ca/information/about/people/house/PostalCode.asp?Source=SM
3) WRITE a letter to the editor of your local newspaper to express your concerns over the unjust detention and harassment of Imams Kutty and Abdool Hameed citizen by US authorities. Newspapers and TV stations have given extensive coverage to their ordeal.
Toronto Star: See www.torontostar.com and search for "Kutty"
Send letters to: email@example.com
The Ottawa Citizen: Send letters to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Montreal Gazette: Send letters to email@example.com
Calgary Herald: Send letters to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Globe and Mail: See www.globeandmail.com and search for "Kutty"
Send letters to: email@example.com