News Release

Ramadan: Interviews Available

JEANNE BUTTERFIELD
Executive director of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, Butterfield said today: “The administration has taken a number of unprecedented actions which target the Muslim and Arab communities in the United States. They have denied the right to open hearings, the right to a day in court, the right to counsel. The government is not simply engaging in legitimate law enforcement profiling, but in ethnic and religious profiling.”
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DR. LAILA AL-MARAYATI
Founder of the Muslim Women’s League, Al-Marayati is a physician and is on the board of Kinder USA, a new charity founded by Muslim medical professionals. She said today: “During Ramadan, charitable giving is a religious obligation for Muslims. To many, that means providing much needed humanitarian assistance to innocent Muslims who are suffering around the world, especially in places like Iraq, Palestine and Chechnya. Unfortunately, the U.S. government is intimidating the Muslim community in a variety of ways, including making the establishment and functioning of Muslim charities more and more difficult. The ‘war on terrorism’ is having effects against totally legitimate activities here and is interfering with the very practice of our faith.”
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RABBI ARTHUR WASKOW
Director of the Shalom Center, Waskow has helped organize a “Multi-religious Call to Fast for Peace” with 100 leaders of the Muslim, Christian and Jewish communities.
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YVONNE HADDAD
Professor at the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University and author of numerous books including Muslims in the West, Haddad said today: “The Muslim population in the U.S. has extensive contacts with the Muslim world, and can explain to them what’s good about the United States. Muslims in the U.S. can also explain to the rest of us what’s wrong with our policies. Unfortunately, Muslims in the U.S. are not represented in the administration and have little access to it. The Muslim community feels terrorized and is largely reluctant to speak up. For many of them, the U.S. is beginning to feel like some of the repressive countries they left.”
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INGRID MATTSON
Professor of Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations at Hartford Seminary, Mattson said today: “Ramadan is a time for hundreds of millions of Muslims around the world to practice self-restraint. An obvious benefit of fasting is that those with material wealth might understand what the poor go through. But in Islam even poor people have to fast. The poor and oppressed are equally responsible to God. Hardship is not an excuse to take any means necessary to improve your situation.”
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FAISAL ALAM
Founder and director of Al-Fatiha, Alam said today: “We try to help Muslims reconcile their sexual orientation with their religion. We frequently see people dealing with multiple levels of oppression: Islamaphobia in the mainstream and queer community, and homophobia in the Muslim community. People end up ‘coming out’ in many different ways.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167