Thursday, November 12, 2009

Arab American Action Network Defends Arabs and Muslims from Illinois GOP Attacks

Issued by AAAN:

The Arab American Action Network (AAAN) denounces a recent Illinois Republican Party press release attacking the Illinois Coalition for Immigration and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) for its longtime partnership with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). As a member of ICIRR, which works with multiethnic communities against hate and discrimination, the AAAN is deeply troubled by the baseless accusations the Illinois GOP has leveled against a fellow coalition member.

Since 2004, CAIR has been widely respected for its civil rights work by both Muslims and non-Muslims. Unlike what the Illinois GOP alleges, CAIR has time and time again condemned all forms of discrimination and violence, regardless of the perpetrator. And unlike what this smear campaign implies, Arab and Muslim organizations have worked closely with U.S. elected officials, law enforcement, and other organizations to promote peace, justice, and mutual understanding. Illinois Republicans want people to believe that CAIR was alone in rallying against the Israeli massacre of over a thousand innocent Palestinian civilians in Gaza earlier this year, but the reality is that there was widespread condemnation across the globe for Israel's actions; for the Illinois GOP to stifle freedom of speech and legitimate dissent with accusations of anti-Semitism is unconscionable.

The AAAN joins its friends and colleagues at ICIRR and CAIR, calling upon the Illinois Republican Party to concern itself with real issues, especially comprehensive immigration reform, and stop engaging in misinformed and hateful attacks.

Contact Hatem Abudayyeh at 773-436-6060 for more information.

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