CAIR: Muslims Welcome Arrest in Times Square Bomb Plot

For Immediate Release

Council on Islamic-American Relations (CAIR)
Contact: 

CAIR-NY Civil Rights Director Aliya Latif,
212-870-2002, 732-429-4268,
E-Mail: alatif@cair.com

CAIR: Muslims Welcome Arrest in Times Square Bomb Plot

WASHINGTON - A prominent national Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization
today welcomed the arrest of a suspect in connection with last weekend's
failed car bomb attack on Times Square. (View video of today's news conference.)

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The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations
(CAIR), along with several other national and regional Muslim groups,*
said the alleged actions of the Pakistani-American suspect are not
representative of the nation's Muslim community and urged fellow
citizens not to allow the incident to be exploited to advance growing
anti-Islam sentiment.

In a statement released this afternoon at a news conference in
Washington, D.C., CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad
said in part: (View video of today's news conference.)

"On behalf of the American Muslim community, we condemn the
attack in Times Square and thank all those who reported their
suspicions, disarmed the bomb or are participating in the current
investigation. We welcome the arrest of a suspect and hope that anyone
involved in the attack will be apprehended and prosecuted to the full
extent of the law.

"American Muslims repudiate all acts of terrorism and will
continue to work with local, state and federal law enforcement
authorities to keep our nation safe and secure. We ask anyone who has
information about this attack to contact local police and the FBI. Any
person who is afraid to contact the authorities directly should contact
CAIR. We will then assist these individuals in contacting relevant
authorities.

"In no way, shape or form does this attack represent American
Muslims or what they stand for as a faith community. We must also, as a
civil rights group, remind everyone that we are a nation of laws and
that in our system of justice, every suspect is innocent until proven
guilty.

"We urge that our fellow citizens and our nation's leaders
reject the inevitable exploitation of this incident by those individuals
and groups devoted to demonizing Islam, marginalizing American Muslims
and feeding the unfortunately growing Islamophobic sentiment in our
society."

SEE: Local Pakistani Residents Concerned About Fallout After
Arrest

Awad said he has asked CAIR's New York and Connecticut offices
to work with local Muslim communities to offer all possible assistance
to investigators.

He also urged American Muslim individuals and institutions to
protect against any possible backlash by reviewing advice on security
procedures contained in CAIR's "Muslim Community Safety Kit."

* Other speakers at today's news conference included:

  • Imam Mahdi Bray, Executive Director,
    Muslim American Society (MAS) Freedom
  • Asma Hanif, Chairperson, Council of Muslim
    Organizations (CCMO) in the Greater Washington, D.C., Area
  • Alejandro Beutel, Government Liason, Muslim
    Public Affairs Council (MPAC)

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.

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