(WASHINGTON D.C., 8/17/2021) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today welcomed a decision by the U.S. Department of the Treasury to release almost 750 pounds of decorative tiles with verses from the Quran destined for a Virginia mosque that were threatened with destruction.
READ THE TREASURY DEPT. LETTER RELEASING THE TILES:
Those tiles are to be used to decorate the new “mihrab,” a niche indicating the direction of prayer, of a mosque planned to be built by the Manassas Mosque in Manassas, Va. They were a gift from a mosque in Iran to the Virginia mosque and include verses from the Quran, Islam’s revealed text, such as: “Indeed, We see you [O Prophet Muhammad, PBUH] turning your face toward heaven. Now We will make you turn toward a direction of prayer that will please you. So turn your face towards the Sacred Mosque in Mecca — wherever you are, turn your faces towards it.” The Holy Quran, 2:144
There was an Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) hold on the tiles and mosque officials were told that they would be destroyed unless they were re-exported.
SEE: Sanctions on Iran Block Mosque from Claiming Religious Tiles (AP)
Earlier this month, CAIR called on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Department of the Treasury to release the tiles.
SEE: CAIR Calls on DHS to Release Quranic Tiles for Virginia Mosque Held at IAD, Threatened with Destruction
CAIR also issued an action alert and held a news conference with community leaders at the Manassas Mosque to repeat that request.
Video: CAIR, Partners to Call on DHS to Release Quranic Tiles for N. Va. Mosque Threatened with Destruction
Video: CAIR Director Nihad Awad Says Quranic Tiles for Va. Mosque are Not ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’
News Conference Video: CAIR Calls on DHS to Release Quran Tiles for Va. Mosque That are Threatened with Destruction
In a statement, CAIR National Deputy Director Edward Ahmed Mitchell said:
“We welcome this decision as a reaffirmation of our nation’s respect for religious freedom and diversity. Americans of all religious backgrounds should have access to the symbols of their faith, whatever the origin of those symbols.”
“Thank God the tiles were not re-exported and the verses of the Quran were not destroyed, and they were instead released for delivery to our mosque,” said Imam Abu Nahidian of Manassas Mosque.
CAIR’s mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.
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