Press Releases

CAIR Condemns Murder of Margaret Hassan


(WASHINGTON, D.C., 11/17/04) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations
(CAIR) today condemned the apparent murder of British-Iraqi aid worker
Margaret Hassan.

Hassan was kidnapped Oct. 19 in Baghdad, where she was the local director
of the relief group CARE International. A video released to the Al-Jazeera
satellite network showed what was purported to be Hassan’s execution by her

In its statement, the Washington-based Islamic civil rights and advocacy
group said:

“We condemn this cold-blooded murder and repudiate all those who commit
such acts of mindless violence. We offer sincere condolences to Ms.
Hassan’s family and once again call on people of all faiths and cultures to
work together for peace and reconciliation, not continued war and destruction.”

In October, CAIR held a news conference in Washington, D.C., at which a
number of American Imams issued a statement calling for the release of all
hostages held in Iraq. Their declaration stated in part: “As leaders of
American mosques and as representatives of the American Muslim community,
we call for the immediate and unconditional release of all civilian
hostages currently being held in Iraq, whatever their nationality or faith.”


Also in October, CAIR sent a letter of support to CARE International
Secretary General Denis Caillaux. The letter read in part: “It is beyond
contempt that anyone would attempt to thwart the humanitarian work of CARE
International and human rights advocates likes Mrs. Hassan”¦We hope that
this terrible ordeal will soon be over and Mrs. Hassan can return to her
family and her wonderful work helping the people of Iraq.”

CAIR recently launched an online petition drive, called “Not in the Name of
Islam,” designed to disassociate Islam from the violent acts of a few Muslims.


The “Not in the Name of Islam” petition states:

“We, the undersigned Muslims, wish to state clearly that those who commit
acts of terror, murder and cruelty in the name of Islam are not only
destroying innocent lives, but are also betraying the values of the faith
they claim to represent. No injustice done to Muslims can ever justify the
massacre of innocent people, and no act of terror will ever serve the cause
of Islam. We repudiate and dissociate ourselves from any Muslim group or
individual who commits such brutal and un-Islamic acts. We refuse to allow
our faith to be held hostage by the criminal actions of a tiny minority
acting outside the teachings of both the Quran and the Prophet Muhammad,
peace be upon him.”

CAIR, America’s largest Muslim civil liberties group, is headquartered in
Washington, D.C., and has 29 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada.
Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue,
protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions
that promote justice and mutual understanding.

– END –

CONTACT: Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail:;
Rabiah Ahmed, 202-488-8787 or 202-439-1441, E-Mail:


Share on facebook
Share on twitter