(WASHINGTON, D.C., 5/29/05) – A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today called on Canadian authorities to apprehend and extradite two alleged con artists who targeted Muslims in the United States. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said the two men, Mohammed Agbareia and Zouhair Hissy, both live in Canada and were recently indicted by a federal grand jury in Mobile, Ala., for trying to bilk a local Islamic center out of $1500 using a scam that relied on the Islamic tradition of helping travelers in distress. SEE: “Canadians Indicted in Mobile Mosque Scam” http://www.al.com/printer/printer.ssf?/base/news/1117271850208770.xml
CAIR said it has been receiving reports about Agbareia’s scam for many years and had issued a number of alerts to the Muslim community in this country and worldwide. Agbareia, who is apparently an Israeli citizen seeking asylum in Canada, was arrested by Canadian authorities several years ago but was later released. SEE: “Con-Artist Who Defrauded Muslims Caught” http://www.cair-net.org/asp/article.asp?id=125&page=AA To view a 1993 police photo of Agbareia, go to: http://www.cair-net.org/downloads/conartist.pdf Last year, CAIR wrote to the commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) asking for his help in bringing Agbareia to justice. “We applaud the efforts of the FBI in bringing charges against those who defrauded Muslims in North America and worldwide for so many years,” said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad.
“Now it is up to the RCMP to do its part in apprehending both of these men and extraditing them to the United States.” Awad asked other victims of the “stranded traveler” scam to contact CAIR so that their information may be forwarded to proper authorities. CAIR, America’s largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 31 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. To read CAIR’s Mission, Vision Statement and Core Principles, go to: http://www.cair-net.org/default.asp?Page=About
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NOTE: CAIR offers an e-mail list designed to be a journalist’s window to the American Muslim community. Subscribers to the list, called ISLAM-INFONET, receive news releases and other materials dealing with American Muslim positions on issues of importance to our society. To SUBSCRIBE to ISLAM-INFONET, go to: http://cair.biglist.com/islam-infonet/