WASHINGTON, D.C., 6/3/05) – A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group said tonight that the Bush administration must address the “climate of abuse” at U.S. detention centers worldwide following a new revelation that an American jailer at the Guantanamo Bay prison splashed urine on a Quran. The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said a Pentagon statement released late today detailed that incident and others in which guards kicked, stepped on or defaced a Quran, Islam’s revealed text. SEE: “Jailers Splashed Koran with Urine – Pentagon” http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=817991 “President Bush must address the climate of abuse that seems to prevail at U.S. detention centers worldwide,” said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad. He said it is not enough to merely issue reports outlining abuse or to punish low-level personnel.
“Those at the top must be held responsible for the actions of the men and women they command,” said Awad. CAIR recently launched two initiatives in response to reports of prisoner abuse and desecration of Qurans by U.S. military personnel. On the first anniversary of the revelations of abuse at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison, CAIR and other groups called for the formation of an independent bi-partisan commission to examine the use and instigation of torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment (CID) by American military, security and intelligence personnel worldwide. SEE: “Coalition Calls for Torture Commission” http://www.cair-net.org/antitorture/ Following allegations that Guantanamo guards desecrated Islam’s holy text, CAIR launched a campaign to provide free Qurans to Americans of all faiths. Thousands of people across the nation have already taken advantage of that offer. SEE: “Thousands of Americans Request Free Qurans” http://www.cair-net.org/default.asp?Page=articleView&id=1602&theType=NR
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
CONTACT: CAIR-LA, Sabiha Khan, 714-776-1847 or 714-390-0334, E-Mail: email@example.com; CAIR-National, Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Rabiah Ahmed, 202-488-8787 or 202-439-1441, E-Mail: email@example.com
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/