MARCH 4, 2003
Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726,
Ms. Hodan Hassan, 202-488-8787 or 202-439-1441,
GOP Asked to Condemn Walkout during Muslim
Washington State Lawmaker Says Action 'An Issue
- March 4 - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today
called on state and national Republican leaders to condemn a walkout
by two members of that party during a Muslim prayer opening Monday's
session of the Washington State House of Representatives.
D.C.-based Islamic civil rights and advocacy group said Republicans
Louis McMahan and Cary Condotta went to the back of the chamber
during the invocation by Imam Mohamad Joban of the Islamic Center
of Olympia. Condotta said he "wasn't particularly interested"
in the prayer. McMahan said she did not remain in the chamber
because: "It's an issue of patriotism...The Islamic religion is
so...part and parcel with the attack on America. I just didn't
want to be there, be a part of that...My god is not Mohammed."
SEE: "2 LAWMAKERS
SPURN MUSLIM'S PRAYER" http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/110881_prayer04.shtml
"How many times
must American Muslims ask Republican leaders to repudiate Islamophobic
hate within their own ranks? Americans must not allow the actions
of a few, whatever their positions of authority, to divide our
nation along religious and ethnic lines. Such divisive actions
by elected leaders can only serve to increase discrimination against
ordinary American Muslims and harm our nation's image and interests
worldwide," said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad.
state and national Republican leaders to repudiate the lawmakers'
walkout and to apologize to Washington's Muslim community.
In his prayer,
Imam Joban stated: "We open this session of the House of Representatives
in the name of Allah, the one God of Abraham, God of Moses, God
of Jesus, and God of Mohammed, peace be upon them all...We ask
Allah or God to bless the state of Washington so it may continue
to prosper and become a symbol of peace and tranquility for people
of all ethnic and religious backgrounds. We pray that Allah may
guide this House in making good decisions for the people of Washington...At
this time, we also pray that America may succeed in the war against
terrorism. We pray to God that the war may end with world peace
to the walkout, Imam Joban said: "As a Muslim we have to respect
what people believe and...we have to forgive something because
of ignorance The Holy Quran says that (one should) always respond
to bad action with good and those who used to be enemies become
America's largest Islamic civil liberties group. It is headquartered
in Washington, D.C., and has 15 regional offices nationwide and
in Canada. Since its founding in 1994, CAIR has defended the civil
and religious rights of all Americans.
Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-MAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org;
Ms. Hodan Hassan, 202-488-8787 or 202-439-1441, E-MAIL: email@example.com
offers an e-mail list designed to be a journalist's window to
the American Muslim community. Subscribers to the list, called
ISLAM-INFONET, receive news releases and other materials dealing
with American Muslim positions on issues of importance to our
to ISLAM-INFONET, go to: http://cair.biglist.com/islam-infonet/
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