CAIR Condemns Murder of American in Saudi Arabia

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today condemned the murder of American civilian Paul M. Johnson Jr. in Saudi Arabia who had been held since last week by kidnappers linked to Al-Qaeda.

In its statement, the Washington-based Islamic civil rights and advocacy group said:

"We condemn this act of senseless violence and repudiate all those who believe such murderous behavior benefits the faith of Islam or the Muslim people. We call for the swift apprehension and prosecution of the perpetrators."

CAIR recently launched an online petition drive, called "Not in the Name of Islam," designed to disassociate Islam from the violent acts of a few Muslims. Individuals and organizations representing more than 600,000 Muslims worldwide have already signed the CAIR petition.


The "Not in the Name of Islam" petition states:

"We, the undersigned Muslims, wish to state clearly that those who commit acts of terror, murder and cruelty in the name of Islam are not only destroying innocent lives, but are also betraying the values of the faith they claim to represent. No injustice done to Muslims can ever justify the massacre of innocent people, and no act of terror will ever serve the cause of Islam. We repudiate and dissociate ourselves from any Muslim group or individual who commits such brutal and un-Islamic acts. We refuse to allow our faith to be held hostage by the criminal actions of a tiny minority acting outside the teachings of both the Quran and the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him."

CAIR extends its condolences to the family of the victim.


U.S. Muslims Meet with Powell on Foreign Policy

Representatives of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and several other Muslim and Arab-American groups met today with Secretary of State Colin Powell to discuss issues related to American foreign policy.

The discussion focused on topics such as the Middle East peace process, the
war in Iraq, efforts to promote democratization and reform, America's image
in the Muslim world, and the role American Muslims can play in helping to
formulate polices that will improve that image.

"We appreciate Secretary Powell's willingness to hear what American Muslims
have to say about foreign policy issues and to learn more about how we can
serve as a bridge of understanding to the Islamic world," said CAIR
Executive Director Nihad Awad, who participated in the meeting. "America's
international image can only benefit from public dialogue with American
Muslims and from the implementation of domestic policies that protect civil

Muslim groups represented at the meeting included the Center for the Study
of Islam & Democracy (CSID), the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA)
and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC).

Along with Secretary Powell, Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs Richard
Boucher and Assistant Secretary William Burns also took part in the meeting.

CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, is headquartered in
Washington, D.C., and has 28 regional offices and chapters nationwide and
in Canada.


CAIR Launches 'I am an American Muslim' Campaign

The Council on American-Islamic Relations
(CAIR) today launched a nationwide television and radio public service
announcement (PSA) campaign, called "I am an American Muslim," designed to
help reduce anti-Muslim discrimination and stereotyping.

To view the PSAs, go to:

CAIR's 30 and 60-second PSAs feature American Muslims of European,
African-American, Hispanic, and Native American heritage. Each person in
the spots states how they and their families have served America and ends
by saying, "I am an American Muslim."

Both PSAs will be distributed by satellite to television public service
directors this afternoon from 2:15 p.m.-2:30 p.m. ET (11:15 a.m. -11:30
a.m. PT), on C-BAND, Intelsat Americas (IA) 6, Transponder 15, D/L: 4000 V.

"Our experience shows that Islamophobic stereotyping and bias are most
often based on ignorance and unfamiliarity with the American Muslim
community," said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad. "Tolerance and mutual
respect will flourish if Americans of all faiths get to know each other as
real human beings, not as religious or ethnic stereotypes."

Awad said the PSAs are a result of growing demand for accurate and
objective information about Islam and Muslims in America. Other CAIR
projects designed to meet that demand include sending Islam-related
materials to public libraries ( and publishing ads in newspapers nationwide (

Today's PSA campaign kick-off also ties into CAIR's recent "Not in the Name
of Islam" online petition drive designed to disassociate the faith of Islam
from the violent acts of a few Muslims.


The PSA launch comes following release of CAIR's annual report on the
status of American Muslim civil rights that revealed a disturbing 70
percent increase in anti-Muslim incidents nationwide during 2003. That
report blamed Islamophobic stereotyping for much of the sharp jump in
discrimination cases.


CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, is headquartered in
Washington, D.C., and has 28 regional offices and chapters nationwide and
in Canada.

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