Arab-American and Muslim Groups Express Concerns at Meeting with Bush - ADC

Arab-American and Muslim Groups Express Concerns at Meeting with Bush

Arab-American and Muslim Groups Express Concerns at Meeting with Bush

  • October 8, 2002
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WASHINGTON, DC — A number of Arab-American and American Muslim groups, including the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), met today with President George W. Bush to share the national remembrance of the Sept. 11 attacks and to express their concerns.
The delegates thanked the President for taking the lead in speaking out against hate crimes and discrimination following the attacks, and expressed their concerns about US policies in the Middle East, especially Palestine and Iraq.
In his opening remarks, ADC President Ziad Asali, who served as the meeting’s facilitator, told the President “Our nation is reliving today the profound pain and grief we all experienced as a result of the dastardly terrorist attacks of last September 11.” Dr. Asali thanked President Bush for “asserting your moral leadership in telling the world that this country will not tolerate discrimination against any of its citizens because of their ethnicity or faith.” He also said that “the time has come to restate these vital understandings.” Dr. Asali expressed concerns about the gravity of the situation regarding Iraq, and the need to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Members of the delegation voiced concerns to the President on issues including civil liberties, Palestine, Iraq, the perception of Islam in the United States and the role of Arab Americans as a bridge between societies. Dr. Asali reminded the President that “you have spelled out a vision of peace based on the creation of a State of Palestine alongside Israel based on United Nations resolutions. We feel that this is an indispensable element in establishing peace in the whole world.” President Bush expressed his appreciation of the significance of the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for the sake of world peace.
The President also indicated his commitment to consulting with other nations on US policy towards Iraq. He expressed his under-standing of the gravity of any decision to use military force and said that war was not his preferred option. He reiterated his belief that Islam is a religion of peace, and his commitment to civil rights for all Americans. The President expressed concerns about displays of intolerance towards Arab Americans and American Muslims. (See President Bush’s comments here)

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