(WASHINGTON, D.C., 5/24/05) - A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today called on Americans of all faiths to respond to an anti-Muslim message displayed outside a North Carolina church by obtaining and reading a free copy of the Quran, Islam's revealed text. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) says the a sign outside the Danieltown Baptist Church states, "The Koran needs to be flushed," an apparent reference to the recent controversy over allegations that U.S. military personnel desecrated a Quran by flushing it down a toilet. SEE: “Church Sign Sparks Debate” http://www.thedigitalcourier.com/articles/2005/05/24/news/news01.txt
"Christians often ask themselves, 'What would Jesus do?'” said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. “I don't think Jesus, who is loved by Muslims and mentioned frequently in the Quran, would use such hate-filled and divisive rhetoric." He called on Americans of all faiths to take advantage of CAIR's recent offer of a free Quran for anyone interested in learning the truth about Islam and Muslims. CAIR's campaign, called "Explore the Quran," is designed as a positive response to the recent controversy over desecration of the Quran. To request a free copy of the Quran, go to: http://www.cair-net.org/explorethequran/ For more information about the campaign, or to request a copy of the Quran by phone, call 1-800-78-ISLAM (1-800-784-7526).
[To hear CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad explain the significance of the Quran to Muslims, go to: http://www.c-span.org/ Click on “Washington Journal” under the “C-SPAN Series” heading and then on “Washington Journal Entire Program (05/22/2005).” The segment featuring Awad begins at 2:20:45. (Twenty minutes into the third hour of the program.)] Hooper added that while the church's pastor has the right to free speech, his actions harm Christian-Muslim relations and do damage to America's international image. He also called on mainstream religious and political leaders to repudiate the sign's bigoted message and urged church members to enter into dialogue with local Muslims.
The council in America's largest civil liberties group, with 31 regional offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. To read CAIR's mission and vision statement, go to http://www.cair-net.org/default.asp?Page=About
CONTACT: Rabiah Ahmed, 202-488-8787 or 202-439-1441, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: email@example.com.