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CAIR Says Bush Speech Grants Extremists ‘Undeserved Legitimacy’

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful



(WASHINGTON, D.C., 9/5/06) – A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group said today’s address by President Bush on the status of America’s war on terrorism “grants undeserved legitimacy to extremists.”

SEE: Political Season Opens With Focus on Security (NY Times)

In a statement responding to the president’s speech before the Military Officers Association of America, the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said:

“By focusing almost exclusively on the views of groups like Al-Qaeda and failing to address the concerns of the vast majority of Muslims worldwide who reject terrorism, President Bush grants undeserved legitimacy to extremists and marginalizes true moderates.

“Rather than focus on the negative messages of Al-Qaeda, the President ought to work with mainstream Muslims at home and abroad to isolate terrorists and promote a positive vision of hope, mutual respect and diplomacy.

“CAIR and other national American Muslim groups stand ready to help build bridges of understanding between America and the Islamic world.”

Last year, CAIR coordinated a fatwa, or Islamic religious ruling, against terrorism and religious extremism issued by the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) and endorsed by hundreds of U.S. Muslim groups, leaders and institutions.

In 2004, CAIR launched an online petition drive, called “ Not in the Name of Islam,” designed to disassociate Islam from the violent acts of a few Muslims.

A CAIR-sponsored national public service announcement (PSA) campaign rejecting terrorism and extremism reached some 10 million viewers.

CAIR, America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 32 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the 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: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail:


Council on American-Islamic Relations
453 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003
Tel: 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726
Fax: 202-488-0833


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