April 7th, 2009 12:27 EST
President Obama Address in Turkey Has Muslims Rejoicing
The American Muslim Taskforce on Civil Rights and Elections (AMT), a coalition of major national Islamic organizations, today applauded President Obama`s Monday address to the Turkish parliament.
SEE: In Turkey, Obama Stresses Partnership, Peace (Washington Post)
SEE ALSO: Muslims Voice Support for Obama`s Message (OC Register)
A statement issued today at a press briefing at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., read in part:
We applaud President Obama`s remarks and hope that they are a sign of improved relations between America and the Muslim world. In his speech, President Obama rightly said that the United States "is not and will never be at war with Islam.` This is a position that needs restating at every opportunity.
We also agree with the president`s statement that better relations with the Muslim world are vital in "rolling back a fringe ideology that people of all faiths reject.`
We appreciate that the president noted the contributions of American Muslims and recognized that many Americans "have Muslims in their family, or have lived in a Muslim-majority country.`
Turkey is a key player in the region and is well-placed to assist the United States in reaching out to nations such as Iran and Syria and to help achieve a just and comprehensive resolution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. We also support President Obama`s backing of Turkey`s entry into the European Union.
The American Muslim community believes President Obama`s new policy of dialogue and mutual respect will serve our nation and the cause of world peace and stability much better than past policies of unilateralism and confrontation. "
At today`s briefing, AMT representatives also called on President Obama to address domestic issues such as the rising level of Islamophobic attitudes in the United States, the deteriorating relations between the FBI and American Muslims, the dissemination of inaccurate and agenda-driven information by DHS-recognized "fusion centers," and Muslims` concerns about Justice Department guidelines implemented in December 2008 that allow race and ethnicity to be factors in opening an FBI probe.
SEE: Poll: Most Back Outreach to Muslim Nations, but Suspicion and Unfamiliarity Persist
SEE ALSO: Muslims Fear FBI Spies on Mosques
On March 17, AMT announced that it is considering suspending outreach relations with the FBI, citing recent incidents in which American mosques and Muslim groups have been targeted.
To date, 38 organizations and 117 community activists and scholars have endorsed AMT`s statement.
SEE: U.S. Muslim Coalition Considers Suspending Relations with FBI
To endorse the AMT statement online, click here.
AMT is an umbrella organization that includes American Muslim Alliance (AMA), American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA), MAS-Freedom, Muslim Student Association-National (MSA-N), Muslim Ummah of North America (MUNA), and United Muslims of America (UMA). Its observer organizations include the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) and the Islamic Educational Center of Orange County (IEC).
CONTACT: AMT Chair Dr. Agha Saeed, Tel: 510-299-9313, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org