(ANAHEIM, CA – 12/24/04) – Representatives of the Council on
American-Islamic Relations – Southern California (CAIR-LA) and the Muslim
Public Affairs Council (MPAC) met yesterday with senior officials from the
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its largest investigative arm,
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
The meeting was designed to develop dialogue and communication between the
American Muslim community and both government agencies. Concerns addressed
at the meeting included the perceived lack of openness by ICE and DHS
officials, targeting of Muslim immigrants and ways to enhance the nation’s
security without undermining civil liberties.
Although DHS and ICE officials declined to discuss specific cases, the
Muslim community’s concerns about the detentions of Imam Wagdy Ghoneim and
Abdul Jabbar Hamdan were brought to their attention.
The recent detentions of these local religious leaders and the dozens of
complaints of harassment filed by American Muslim travelers, which include
being unable to remove their names from the ‘No Fly List,’ repeated stops
and interrogations at airports, exclusion from entry to the United States,
and revocation of visas to enter the country for no stated reason (such as
in the cases of Yusuf Islam and Dr. Tariq Ramadan) have been of concern to
the Islamic community.
Future meetings to address these issues are being planned with Muslim
organizations, religious and community leaders, DHS, ICE, and the
Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
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.
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CONTACT: Omar Zaki, CAIR-LA Director of Governmental Relations, 714-776-1847;
Sabiha Khan, 714-776-1847 or 714-390-0334, E-Mail: email@example.com
NOTE: CAIR offers an e-mail list designed to be a window to the American
Muslim community. Subscribers to the list, called CAIR-NET, receive news
releases and other materials dealing with American Muslim positions on
issues of importance to our society.