Congressman says "arrest every Muslim that crosses the state line"
Rep. C. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), chairman of the House subcommittee on terrorism and homeland security and a candidate for the Senate, yesterday sought to play down remarks to Georgia law enforcement personnel suggesting they "just turn [the sheriff] loose and have him arrest every Muslim that crosses the state line."
In a letter to the Valdosta Daily Times, Chambliss contended that his comments were taken "out of context" and "should in no way be interpreted as my view of what should happen…If my remarks were offensive in any way, I apologize."
…Chambliss, according to sources in Valdosta, personally sought to persuade the reporter, Bill Roberts, to kill the story using his remarks, and asked the local sheriff to help block publication. An aide to Chambliss said he did not know what the congressman did in connection with the story.
Chambliss, in his letter to the Valdosta paper, said he agrees "wholeheartedly with remarks made by President Bush expressing the sentiment that this war is against terrorism -- not Muslims...I regret that any comments I made might have been misconstrued and misrepresented my true intentions and beliefs concerning this issue. Those of the Muslim faith or Arabic heritage are not our enemies. Terrorists are our enemy..."
Reach out to neighbors and co-workers during Eid ul-Fitr
As-salaamu alaykum (peace to you). As the blessed month of Ramadan moves to its end, we have an excellent opportunity to reach out to our neighbors and co-workers during Eid ul-Fitr.
FOR NEIGHBORS: Invite your neighbors on the day of Eid (or if not possible, the day after) for a light meal. The goal is to have an opportunity to build rapport with our neighbors through the sharing of food and a holiday. Alternatively, you can give some sweets, snacks and/or some other gift (Islamic decorations, books or other items) you believe reflect in some way our diverse Islamic culture. Coordinate with other Muslim families in your area.
FOR CO-WORKERS: As Eid will most likely fall on the weekend (December 15th or 16th), take some traditional sweets to work on the following Monday and put them on your desk for colleagues to sample. Let others in your office know about the availability of the sweets be e-mail. Once they come to your desk, be prepared to answer basic questions about the importance of Eid ul-Fitr and how it relates to Ramadan.
If you have Muslim co-workers, coordinate with them so that each of you takes care of a certain department or work group. The idea is to make the sharing personal, so it is best to limit efforts to a specific group and let your Muslim co-workers handle their own areas. If you want to announce something company-wide, get approval first.
Contact Attorney General Ashcroft to demand due process of law
At this time of Eid ul-Fitr, CAIR is calling on Muslims nationwide to contact Attorney General John Ashcroft and demand that we receive the same civil, religious and legal rights as any other Americans.
Within the last week, three of the largest Muslim charities (Holy Land Foundation, Global Relief Foundation and Benevolence International Foundation) have been shut down without any judge making a ruling or anyjury hearing evidence of criminal behavior. These actions against American institutions were taken through administrative procedures that would normally apply to foreign entities.
Our community's zakat and sadaqah are now being held by the government, instead of going to poor and hungry Muslims in Palestine, Kosova, Afghanistan, and other areas afflicted by deprivation.
In the past three months, American Muslims have been subjected to secret detentions without legal recourse, denial of basic due process of law and widespread racial and religious profiling.
More than 1,000 people were detained in sometimes humiliating circumstances. Little information has been revealed about these detentions. To date, only one detainee has been charged with any crime related to the terrorist attacks. Some 5,000 legal Muslim visitors to this country are currently being singled out for questioning based on their religion and national origins.
Many Muslims have been thrown off airplanes merely because they had an Islamic name or appeared "Middle Eastern." CAIR also recorded more than 1400 incidents of anti-Muslim backlash since September 11, including several murders.
American Muslims are now under a cloud of suspicion produced by a drumbeat of anti-Muslim rhetoric from those who are taking advantage of the 9-11 tragedy to carry out their agenda of silencing our community and its leadership once and for all. (President Bush has set a tone of respect for Muslims and Islam, but his call for tolerance is being overshadowed by virulent attacks from extremist Islamophobic groups and individuals.)
While we have been patient, knowing that the crime that prompted these abuses was so horrific and understanding that the war against terrorism will require sacrifices by all Americans, we are now coming to a time when we must again assert out full legal and civil rights.
ACTION REQUESTED: (As always, be POLITE and RESPECTFUL.)
Contact Attorney General John Ashcroft to demand that we receive the same rights as any other Americans. We will not stay silent as we are relegated to second class status in this society. We will speak up in defense of our rights and in defense of the Constitution on which they are based.
Ask that he:
1) Allow those Muslims charities who have been shut down to immediately have their day in court before a judge and jury who can hear evidence and determine whether any laws have been broken.
2) Provide information about the number of Muslims detained, the conditions under which they are held and the status of their future release.
3) Put an end to the widespread use of racial, religious and ethnic profiling.
CONTACT: (Letters are best, followed by calls and then e-mails.)
Attorney General John Ashcroft
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001
TEL: 202-353-1555 (Public Comment Line), 202-514-2001 (Attorney General's Office)
FAX: (202) 307-6777