February 22nd, 2011 19:52 EST
Obama to Support United Nations No-Fly and Naval Exclusion Zones for Libya?
A prominent national Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization today called on the Obama administration and Congress to support United Nations military no-fly and naval exclusion zones to protect Libyan civilians from attack by the regime of Muammar Qaddafi.
The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) says reports coming out of Libya indicate that air and naval forces are being used to target peaceful protests by civilians seeking freedom from Qaddafi`s dictatorial rule.
Hundreds have already been killed by Libyan forces, which have been accused of using fighter planes, attack helicopters and ships to bombard peaceful protesters.
Qaddafi today threatened protesters and vowed to "fight to the last drop of my blood."
SEE: Libya`s Gadhafi Vows to Fight On, Die a Martyr
In a statement, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said:
"The most important and immediate step the international community can take to save the lives of innocent civilians would be to impose United Nations air and sea military exclusion zones that would prevent the Libyan military from attacking its own people. Military and paramilitary forces of the Qaddafi regime must also be prohibited from operating in urban areas.
"We call on President Obama and members of Congress to use whatever influence they have to ensure that the Libyan people`s quest for freedom is not thwarted through the military crackdown that appears to be underway."
CAIR is America`s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. 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.
CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, 202-488-8787, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, E-Mail: email@example.com