Terrorism Commission May Target Your Rights
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
CAIR Action Alert
Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
1050 17th St., N.W., Suite 490
Washington, D.C., 20036
Tel: 202-659-CAIR (2247)
TERRORISM COMMISSION MAY TARGET YOUR RIGHTS
Mainstream Muslim organizations might be singled out
(WASHINGTON, DC – 9/18/98) CAIR is asking Muslims to contact leaders of a House-Senate conference committee urging them to amend or eliminate new legislation that would create a National Commission on Terrorism. The bill (originally H.R. 4536) was approved September 17 as an amendment to a $16 billion package to fund U.S. aid programs worldwide. The conference committee will convene within the next week to reconcile the House and Senate bills. Key conferees include the chairs of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees.
Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA), who was a driving force behind the much-criticized Freedom from Religious Persecution Act, recently introduced the seemingly benign legislation that would create the commission. CAIR is concerned about the objectivity of the proposed commission because of Wolf’s legislative history, his apparent focus on Islam and Muslims and the backgrounds of several individuals proposed as members of the commission.
A number of these proposed members are associates of Muslim bashers who have targeted the American Muslim community as a threat to this society. A biased commission could also be used to target American Muslims and Arab-Americans in the same way that earlier counterterrorism legislation allowed
secret evidence to be selectively applied to our communities.
Proposed commission members include: Ed Badolato, executive director of the International Association for Counterterrorism & Security Professionals and associate of so-called “terrorism expert” Steven Emerson. A recent
article in a journal published by Badolato listed nearly all national American Muslim and Arab-American organizations under the headline “Domestic Groups Which Support Middle Eastern Terrorism.” The list included, among many others, major mainstream organizations such as ISNA, ICNA, AMC, CAIR, MPAC, and ADC.
Other Emerson associates proposed for commission membership are Steven Pomerantz and Daniel Pipes. Pipes has made racist comments about immigrants and questioned Muslim religious ties to the city of Jerusalem. According to media reports, Pomerantz has ties to representatives of Israel’s
intelligence and military establishment. In 1990, Pipes said: “Western European societies are unprepared for the massive immigration of brown-skinned peoples cooking strange foods and maintaining different standards of hygiene.” (National Review, November 19, 1990)
Other proposed members of the commission include Fouad Ajami and Riad Nachef. Ajami once commented that the difference between the two major branches of Islam is that “the Sunnis are homicidal and the Shiites are suicidal.” (Newsday, March 24, 1993) Nachef was indicted by a federal grand jury last year for conspiracy to commit extortion. Another count
charged Nachef with using firearms during a crime of violence. He is due to be sentenced on one remaining count in October. Nachef is allegedly a leader of a Lebanese group called Al-Ahbash.
IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUESTED: (As always, be FIRM, but POLITE.)
The text of the legislation is now available at:
http://thomas.loc.gov/home/thomas2.html (Type in “National Commission on Terrorism” at “Search By Word/Phrase.”)
1) Contact the committee chairs listed below to ask that they amend or eliminate the Wolf legislation.
2) Contact committee members from your state to repeat that request. Search the committee web sites to see if your representatives are members or call CAIR for a list.
3) Send CAIR copies of your correspondence.
HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE
Rep. Bob Livingston (R-LA), Chair
2406 Rayburn Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
E-MAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org (Stan Skocki handles
Appropriations Committee issues for Rep. Livingston.)
SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE
Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK), Chair
522 Hart Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
E-MAIL: email@example.com http://www.senate.gov/committee/appropriations.html
1) American Muslims support any balanced and objective efforts to combat terrorism in this country or around the world.
2) The conference committee should fully consider this amendment to make sure it is free of political and religious agendas.
3) Because of its sponsor’s history and the background of individuals recommended for membership on the commission, we believe this particular amendment may result in the targeting of legitimate political activism by American Muslims. It may also be used to silence the voice of the American Muslim community.
4) Legitimate representatives of the American Muslim and Arab-American communities should be consulted and appointed to any such commission. These representatives would make sure that policies will not result from bias and prejudice.
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