|New York, January 23, 2009 |
(Jamaica, NY) - The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) today, in a press statement welcomed the new policies of President Barack Obama.
The text of the statement is as follows:
"The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) is pleased at the decisions taken by the new President Barack Obama. ICNA feels that these decisions, which include:
- Closing of Guantanamo Bay in 1 year
- Suspension of the Military trials
- Closing of all overseas CIA detention and torture centers
- Stopping the use of torture
- Appointment of new Middle East envoy
Will send a positive message not just to Americans but to the whole world. These important decisions will hopefully bring back in our administration the golden principles of Justice and Equality for all.
President of ICNA, Dr. Zahid Bukhari said, "We hope that the new envoy Mr. George Mitchel will do his best in bringing Peace in these trouble regions of the world. The Gaza invasion of Israel has left a severe humanitarian crises. The shortage of food, water, medicine and shelter is causing a great deal of human suffering. We hope that the administration will take long term measures so that the Palestinian people will be able to enjoy life as free citizens of Palestine."
Press Contact: Naeem Beig
Islamic Circle of North America
Office: (718) 658-1199
Cell: (917) 202-2118
MUSLIM AMERICANS WELCOME PRESIDENTIAL EXECUTIVE ORDERS RESTORING THE RULE OF LAW AND HUMAN DIGNITYJanuary 22, 2009
Muslim Americans Welcome Presidential Executive Orders Restoring the Rule of Law and Human Dignity
The Islamic Society of North America congratulates President Barack Obama for acting swiftly to restore the rule of law and human dignity with the four executive orders he signed today. In ordering the closure of the Guantanamo detention facility and the implementation of a just process for the detention and prosecution of those held there, the President reaffirms the American commitment to due process. The order that all interrogations must conform to the US Army Field Manual restores the dignity of the person by prohibiting torture and harsh and degrading treatment.
In signing the orders, the President reiterated his belief, stated in his inaugural address, that America cannot continue with a "false choice" between our safety and our ideals. Muslim Americans agree that our strength as a nation is rooted in our commitment to our constitutional principles and the rights and dignity of all people. We agree that America's moral standing in the world will improve with the implementation of the executive orders.
The Islamic Society of North America, a founding member of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (www.nrcat.org), has been a strong advocate for the prohibition of torture. ISNA's President, Dr. Ingrid Mattson, is also a member of the Leadership Group of the US-Muslim Engagement Project (www.usmuslimengagement.org) whose recommendations for improving relations with global Muslim communities are in consonance with the steps President Obama has taken in his first days in office. ISNA is committed to furthering understanding and good relations between our country and Muslims in other parts of the world.
Mohamed El-sanousi, firstname.lastname@example.org, cell: 317-506-2853
Thank President Obama for Keeping His Promise to Shut Gitmo Down
January 22, 2009
President Barack Obama today signed an executive order ordering the Guantanamo Bay detention facility to be shut down within a year, banning the use of "enhanced interrogation" methods, and ending the CIA's secret overseas prisons. The Muslim Public Affairs Council heralded the announcement as a "victory for the rule of law and human rights."
SEE: "Obama Orders Secret Prisons and Detention Camps Closed" (New York Times)
"For seven years, Guantanamo Bay has undermined our national commitment to human rights and soiled America's image abroad," said MPAC Executive Director Salam Al-Marayati. "President Obama is demonstrating his commitment to renewing our nation's ability to fight terrorism while sticking to the principles that define us."
Obama was flanked by 16 retired generals and admirals who have fought for months for a ban on coercive interrogations, as he signed the order. On Tuesday night, Obama also ordered an immediate halt to the military commission proceedings for prosecuting detainees at Guantanamo until a broad assessment of detention policy can be undertaken.
The Attorney General, Secretary of Defense and Director of National Intelligence will now be tasked with exploring what should happen to the remaining detainees, whether the Army Field Manual should remain the only standard for interrogators, and reviewing the practice of extraordinary rendition.
The order also calls for an immediate assessment of the detention center to ensure detainee conditions meet the humanitarian requirements of the Geneva Convention.
MPAC has repeatedly urged government officials to close Guantanamo, prohibit the use of torture in interrogations, and has opposed the Bush administration's decision to try the detainees using military tribunal rules. Military tribunal rules do not guarantee an independent trial court, do not provide for impartial appellate review, and do not prohibit the use of coerced testimony despite extensive evidence that coercive interrogation techniques have been used at Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere. In August 2007, MPAC joined a coalition of public interest and religious groups to file a joint friend-of-the-court, amicus brief with the Supreme Court in support of basic Constitutional rights.
Since it was opened in 2002, Guantanamo Bay held as many as 750 men and today holds 248 prisoners. At least four detainees have committed suicide, and dozens of others have carried on extended hunger strikes protesting their treatment. Many detainees, some as young as 14 years old, have been held for more than six years without access to any court, legal counsel or family visits. Many of these detainees allege they have been subjected to torture or other cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment, according to an Amnesty International Report entitled "Guantanamo: Lives Torn Apart."
Call the White House switchboard and thank President Obama for renewing America's commitment to human rights and the rule of law.
Online Contact: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/
|Action Alert #565: Thank Obama for Order to Close Guantanamo Prisons |
|Posted 1/22/2009 6:12:00 PM|
|(WASHINGTON, D.C., 1/22/09) - CAIR is calling on American Muslims and others concerned with maintaining our nation's ethical standards to thank President Obama for signing an executive order today to close down the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay within a year.
That order was one of three the President signed today. Another formally bans torture by U.S. interrogators, and the third establishes an interagency task force to set policies for the "apprehension, detention, trial, transfer or release of detainees."
SEE: A Look at Obama's Latest Executive Orders (AP)
SEE ALSO: Obama Signs Executive Order to Close Guantanamo Bay (CNN)
Obama's executive orders today follow a statement from his inaugural address in which he said: "As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals."
SEE: CAIR Welcomes Obama's ‘Encouraging' Statement to Muslim World
"We are pleased to see President Obama following through with his promises to end some of the shameful practices that have harmed our nation's moral authority in the world in recent years," said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad. "These executive orders are an important first step to restoring the rule of law and aligning our security policies with traditional American values."
Awad noted that CAIR has urged for years that the prisons at Guantanamo be shut down.
SEE: CAIR Renews Call to Close Gitmo Prison Camp (6/11/2006)
SEE: CAIR Capitol Hill Panel Calls for Gitmo Closure (6/27/2006)
ACTION REQUESTED: (As always, be polite and respectful.)
1. THANK PRESIDENT OBAMA for taking decisive action to close the prison camps at Guantanamo Bay, to ban torture as an interrogation technique and to establish policies for the ethical treatment of detainees.
White House Comment Line: 202-456-1111, Fax: 202-456-2461
E-Mail: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org://www.cair.com/ArticleDetails.aspx?mid1=763&&ArticleID=25685&&name=n&&currPage=1
MIM: ISNA and numerous faith groups wrote a letter to President Obama for his "immediate action to end U.S. sponsored torture.