(WASHINGTON, D.C., 10/29/04) – A number of American Imams today issued a statement calling for the release of all hostages currently being held in Iraq. The declaration by Muslim religious leaders, released at a Capitol Hill news conference hosted by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) stated: (The statement was read in English and Arabic.)
“As leaders of American mosques and as representatives of the American Muslim community, we call for the immediate and unconditional release of all civilian hostages currently being held in Iraq, whatever their nationality or faith.
“The targeting of civilians has always been prohibited in Islam. Those who kidnap and murder civilians are violating Islamic norms and deserve to be repudiated by Muslims in America, in Iraq and throughout the Islamic world.
As it states in the Quran, Islam’s revealed text: ‘If anyone slays a human being”¦it shall be as though he had slain all mankind, and if anyone saves a life, it shall be as though he had saved the lives of all mankind.’ (5:32)
“It is time for all parties to the tragic conflict in Iraq to end any actions that result in harm to the civilian population and the destruction of property. Reports now indicate that some 100,000 Iraqi civilians have died as a result of the invasion of Iraq. All human beings, whether
hostages or ordinary Iraqis, have a right to life and liberty that must be protected.”
SEE: “100,000 Iraqi Civilians Have Died in Coalition Actions, Study Estimates”
More than 150 foreigners have been kidnapped this year in Iraq and about
one-third of them have been killed. The most recent kidnap victims have
included a Japanese traveler, a Polish woman who has lived in Iraq for
decades, drivers from Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, and Margaret Hassan, the
director of a foreign relief organization working in Iraq.
CAIR, America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group, recently launched an
online petition drive designed to disassociate Islam from the violent acts
of a few Muslims.
SEE: CAIR’s “Not in the Name of Islam” Petition
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