Sunday, April 30, 2006

CAIR Asks Why No Muslim Groups to Speak at Darfur Rally

Here's a significant new development on the pro-war rally today. The Council on American-Islamic Relations belatedly realizes that it's been had:
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today questioned why no representatives of major American Muslim groups are listed as speakers at the Save Darfur Coalition "Rally to Stop Genocide" this afternoon in Washington, D.C.

To view the list of speakers, go to:

CAIR and other American Muslim groups, including the Islamic Society of North America, the Islamic Circle of North America, the Muslim Public Affairs Council, and the Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation, are members of the coalition. But no representative from these, or any Muslim coalition member, is listed on the latest rally program. (Several Muslims will speak, but they do not represent Islamic groups that are coalition members.)

The Washington Post reported that rally organizers "rushed this week to invite two Darfurians to address the rally after Sudanese immigrants objected that the original list of speakers included eight Western Christians, seven Jews, four politicians and assorted celebrities -- but no Muslims and no one from Darfur."

Earlier this month, after noticing the lack of Muslim speakers on the program, CAIR wrote to rally organizers asking to have a representative speak at the rally. The Save Darfur Coalition never replied to CAIR's letter, despite the fact that the Washington-based Islamic civil liberties group is an original signatory of the coalition's founding "Unity Statement."

"It is unfortunate that the Save Darfur Coalition chose not to list any mainstream American Muslim groups in the rally program," said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad. "This disturbing omission calls into question the coalition's true agenda at the rally." Awad said rally participants would have benefited from hearing American Muslim leaders offer support for those suffering in Darfur and in neighboring areas. (Council on American-Islamic Relations, "CAIR Asks Why No Muslim Groups to Speak at Darfur Rally: Lack of Muslim Speakers Calls Into Question Rally's 'True Agenda'," Press Release, 30 April 2006)

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