(WASHINGTON, D.C., 5/19/08) – A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today welcomed an apology from the U.S. military in Iraq after a soldier there was disciplined for shooting a copy of the Quran as target practice.
SEE: US Military: Soldier Shot at Quran for Practice (AP)
SEE: US Soldier Removed from Iraq for Shooting at Quran (AP)
SEE: Video: U.S. Army’s Apology to Iraqis (CNN)
The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said it has an ongoing educational project, called “Explore the Quran,” that offers a free copy of the Quran with English translation and historic notes to Americans of other faiths who are interested in reading it.
The “Explore the Quran” project was launched in response to allegations of Quran desecration by U.S. military personnel at the prisons in Guantanamo Bay. CAIR says it hopes the campaign will help fight common misconceptions about Islam’s holy book.
Those who wish to request a copy may click here. CAIR is asking American Muslims to sponsor copies of the Quran to be donated to those who request them. Click here to sponsor a copy of the Quran.
In a statement, CAIR said:
“Because the actions of our men and women in uniform reflect on the U.S. government and people, such incidents contribute to damaging America’s image around the world.
“We repudiate this individual’s hateful act, recognizing it is an isolated incident that does not represent our men and women in uniform, the overwhelming majority of whom serve our nation with honor and respect.
“We commend the U.S. military’s swift investigation and the apology by commanders in Iraq. In an effort to prevent such disturbing incidents from happening again, we call on the military to revisit its cultural training policies.”
CAIR, America’s largest Islamic 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 Strategic Communications Director Ahmed Rehab, 202-870-0166, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, E-Mail: email@example.com