Press Releases

U.S. Muslim Leaders Call for Release of Journalist in Iraq

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful



(WASHINGTON, D.C., 1/19/2006) – A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today issued a joint statement by dozens of American Muslim leaders, scholars and organizations* calling for the release of journalist Jill Carroll who was abducted recently in Iraq while on assignment for the Christian Science Monitor newspaper.

The joint declaration, coordinated by the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), states:

“We, the undersigned representatives of the American Muslim community, call for the immediate and unconditional release of Jill Carroll, a journalist with a well-documented record of objective reporting and respect for both the Iraqi people and Arab-Islamic culture.

“We ask that her captors show mercy and compassion by releasing her so that she may return to her family. Certainly, no cause can be advanced by harming a person who only sought to let the world know about the human suffering caused by the conflict in Iraq.”

Carroll’s kidnappers threaten to kill her by Friday unless U.S. military authorities release all Iraqi women in their custody. (Iraqi officials say that six of the eight women being held by coalition forces in Iraq will be released.)

A CAIR delegation is on its way to Iraq to make a public appeal for Carroll’s release. The delegation will hold an initial news conference today in Amman, Jordan. A second news conference will be held in Baghdad on Friday.

SEE: American Islamic Group Heads to Middle East to Plead for Journalist’s Release

Earlier today, CAIR held a news conference in Michigan, Carroll’s home state, at which local Muslim leaders called for her immediate release.

SEE: Michigan Group Appeals for Release of Kidnapped Journalist

“We hope that the combined efforts of all those who are concerned about Ms. Carroll’s safety will result in her immediate and unconditional release,” said CAIR Board Chairman Parvez Ahmed. “The American Muslim community is committed to doing its part in helping to win her freedom.”

In December, CAIR held a news conference at its national headquarters in Washington, D.C., to call for the release of members of the Christian Peacemakers Teams also taken hostage in Iraq.

In 2004, CAIR launched an online petition drive, called “Not in the Name of Islam,” designed to disassociate Islam from the violent acts of a few Muslims. (SEE: ) Millions of American television viewers have seen CAIR’s public service announcement (PSA), based on the petition drive. (To view the PSA, go to: )

Last year, CAIR coordinated the release of a fatwa, or Islamic religious ruling, against terrorism and religious extremism issued by the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) and endorsed by hundreds of U.S. Muslim groups, leaders and institutions. SEE:

CAIR 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. SEE:

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CONTACT: Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail:; Rabiah Ahmed, 202-488-8787 or 202-439-1441, E-Mail:

* PARTIAL LIST OF STATEMENT SIGNATORIES: (More names are being added. To add your name or that of your organization to the list, e-mail: )

* Imam W. Deen Mohammed, Director of The Mosque Cares
* Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi, Chairman Shura Council of Southern California
* Sayyid M. Syeed, Ph.D., Secretary General, Islamic Society of North
* America (ISNA)
* Imam Sayed Moustafa Al-Qazwini, Founder and Director of the Islamic Educational Center of Orange County, California
* Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid, Chairman of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago
* American Muslim Association of North America
* Asma Hanif, Chairperson, Coordinating Council of Muslim Organizations of Greater Washington Area
* Imam Mohamed Magid, Imam and Executive Director, All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS)
* Rizwan Jaka, President, All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS)
* Sheikh Mohammed Alhanooti, Mufti of Washington, D.C.
* Dr. Ahmed Sakr, Director of the Islamic Education Center
* Imam Zaid Malik, Islamic Center of Northeast Florida
* Shaykh Mohammad Ali Al-Halabi, Al-Mahdi Library
* Imam Waleed Basyouni, Clearlake Islamic Center, Houston, TX
* Mukit Hossain, President, Virginian Muslim Political Action Committee
* American Muslim Center, Dearborn, MI
* Imam Gary Al-Kasib, Masjid Wali Muhammad, Detroit, MI
* Samina F. Sundas, Executive Director, American Muslim Voice
* Ziad Taha, President, Islamic Community of Tampa
* Imam Haitham Barazanji, President, Islamic Society of Tampa Bay Area
* Imam Dr. Muhammad Sultan, Islamic Society of Tampa Bay Area
* Farouk Fakira, President, Council of Sacramento Valley Islamic Organizations
* Palm Beach Mosque
* Islamic Center of South Florida
* Miami Gardens Masjid
* Masjid Al-Ihsan
* Masjid An-Noor
* Nur Ul Islam
* Islamic Center of Boca Raton
* Islamic Jaffaria Association
* Masjid Shamsuddin
* Islamic Foundation of South Florida
* Masjid Al-Faizal
* Masjid Miami
* Masjid Jama Al Mumineen
* Masjid Al-Ansar
* Masjid Muttaqeen
* Masjid Al-Hijrah
* Masjid Al-Iman
* As-Salaam Center
* Masjid-al-Muslimiin
* Masjid Noor Ul-Huda
* Al-Huda Islamic Center, Athens, GA
* Islamic Speakers Bureau of Atlanta
* Masjid Al-Hedaya, Marietta, GA
* Islamic Society of Augusta, GA
* Hadayai Majeed, 1000 Peace Women
* Islamic Center of Marietta, GA


Council on American-Islamic Relations
453 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003
Tel: 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726
Fax: 202-488-0833



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