(WASHINGTON, D.C., 4/7/09) – A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today called for the immediate release of a Florida Muslim arrested yesterday by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) even though he was recently acquitted of federal charges.
The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) held a news conference this morning in Tampa to call for the release of Youssef Megahed, a former University of South Florida student who was found not guilty of explosives charges on Friday.
VIDEO: CAIR Seeks Release of Fla. Muslim Arrested After Acquittal
SEE ALSO: CAIR Seeks Megahed Release; Father: ‘No Freedom for Muslims’
Youssef Megahed Faces New Battle After Seizure by Immigration Officials
“While we applaud President Obama’s efforts to reach out to the Muslim world, his administration needs to address the growing concerns American Muslims have about different standards of justice being applied to them,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. “The un-American arrest of a legal permanent resident who has just been found not guilty by a jury of his peers damages the president’s encouraging message to Muslims in this nation and worldwide.”
Awad noted that just yesterday CAIR joined a coalition of American Muslim groups in applauding President Obama’s Monday address to the Turkish parliament in which he noted the positive contributions of American Muslims. At the news briefing expressing support for the president’s international outreach initiatives, the Muslim groups asked him to deal with domestic civil liberties and due process issues raised by cases such as the one in Tampa.
SEE: American Muslims to Obama: ‘Charity Begins at Home’
Video: CAIR Director Discusses President’s Outreach to Muslim World
CAIR, America’s largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 35 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.
CONTACT: CAIR-Tampa Executive Director Ramzy Kilic, Tel: 813-514-1414 or 813-486-2529, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: email@example.com; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787 or 202-341-4171, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org