Given the lamentable state of our nation’s international image, it is imperative that American Muslims analyze the situation and advocate solutions that will help remove the perception that we, as a nation, are at war with the faith of Islam…The statement is telling because CAIR leaders have made numerous statements asserting that the U.S anti-terror efforts are, in fact, directed against Muslims. For example, following the December 2002 arrest of two terror suspects, the same CAIR/Dallas office issued a press release stating
Lastly, we are concerned that these charges result from what appears to be a ‘war on Islam and Muslims’ rather than a ‘war on terror.’
DFW Muslim Leaders Issue Statement Regarding Elashi Family Arrests
Posted @ 13:35 PST
(DALLAS, TX 12/19/02) We the leaders of the Dallas/Fort Worth Muslim community express our shock and dismay at yesterday's arrest of four prominent, respected members of our community. Several questions remain unanswered from law enforcement agencies, specifically the FBI, regarding these arrests. These questions are as follows:
1) What was the reason for choosing December 18th for the arrests? What new evidence caused the urgency to act on the long-standing allegations listed in the indictment? It is no secret that Muslims nationwide have been publicizing this day for months. It was the day that the documentary about the life of the prophet Muhammad on PBS was scheduled to air nationwide. We hoped to defuse some of the bigoted remarks about Islam made by many hateful prominent figures, including the US Attorney General himself!
2) Why did the FBI arrest these men in such a humiliating manner with utter disregard for their families? The children involved witnessed demeaning treatment of their fathers during the pre-dawn raid on their homes.
3) How did some news media become aware of the pre-dawn raids before hand and were available on hand to film one of the men arrested in handcuffs while being escorted by FBI agents out of his house in his pajamas? This shameful scene added to the humiliation and lack of decency by law enforcement officials.
4) How does the arrest of these four men make America safer? The significance of these arrests is clearly exaggerated for political purposes. One is left wondering whether these arrest orders were issued from Tel Aviv or Washington, D.C!
The Dallas/Fort Worth Muslim community holds much respect and regard for Ghassan, Bayan, Basman, Hazim, and Ihsan Elashi. They are well-liked, honorable, and well-respected members of the Richardson and Dallas community. Our hearts and prayers are with these men, their wives, and their children in this trying time. We hope that their civil liberties, including their right to due process, is preserved. We hope all evidence will be presented in the open - not as secret evidence which we believe is unconstitutional. Secret evidence will not give these people a fair opportunity to respond to the false allegations.
Lastly, we are concerned that these charges result from what appears to be a "war on Islam and Muslims" rather than a "war on terror." Recent actions by the Department of Justice have brought into question the intention of arrests such as these. We, as American Muslims are facing an uphill battle in defending our own government's foreign policy, as well as the, so-called, war on terrorism, while being targeted by our own law enforcement agencies.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Elashi family in this trying time.
Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) - Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter
Islamic Association of North Texas
Muslim Legal Fund of America