Press Releases

Muslims Ask Congress to Send Torture Ban To President

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful



(WASHINGTON, D.C., 10/06/05) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today urged American Muslims and other people of conscience to contact their elected representatives and ask that a ban on torture by U.S. military personnel be sent to President Bush for his signature.

The Senate voted 90-9 on Wednesday to back an amendment to a $440 billion defense appropriation bill that would prohibit the use of “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” against anyone in U.S. government custody anywhere in the world. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), a former prisoner of war in North Vietnam, sponsored the amendment.

SEE: “Senate Adds Ban on Torture to Bill”

A similar House bill does not have the anti-torture language. The two versions will now go to a joint House-Senate committee that will work to reconcile the differences.

“The McCain anti-torture amendment will help to correct the negative perception of our nation created by abuse scandals in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay,” said CAIR Government Affairs Director Corey Saylor.

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell wrote a letter to Sen. McCain in support of the anti-torture amendment. Powell wrote:

“Our troops need to hear from the Congress, which has an obligation to speak to such matters under Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution. I also believe the world will note that America is making a clear statement with respect to the expected future behavior of our soldiers. Such a reaction will help deal with the terrible public diplomacy crisis created by Abu Ghraib.” Twenty-eight other senior retired military officers expressed their support for McCain’s amendment.

SEE: “Letter from General Colin Powell to Sen. McCain”

Earlier this year, CAIR and other groups called for an independent 9/11 commission-style investigation into the use of torture by American military personnel. SEE:

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:

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CONTACT: CAIR Government Affairs Director Corey Saylor, 202-646-6039 or 571-278-4658, E-Mail:; Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail:; Rabiah Ahmed, 202-488-8787 or 202-439-1441, E-Mail:

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 or UNSUBSCRIBE from this list, go to:

To reach the list moderator, send a message to:


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