• June 2, 2009

Groups Lobby President Ahead of Speech

Groups Lobby President Ahead of Speech

The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) released an open letter to “President Obama and the Muslim World” today which offers a “Muslim perspective on what governments, leaders and individuals can do to improve the prospects for international peace and prosperity.” The letter, signed by Nihad Awad, the National Executive Director of CAIR, calls on the president to back up his rhetoric with concrete policy initiatives such as holding governments in the Muslim world accountable to high democratic standards including “full political participation in systems of government that abide by the separation of powers and are held in check by independent judiciaries”. The letter also calls on Muslims to foster all inclusive internal dialogues and to offer themselves as “personal examples of the Islamic values of compassion, tolerance and moderation”.


Ten Republican house members also sent a letter to President Obama in which they make a number of recommendations to the president concerning his upcoming speech. In their letter they assert that “The Middle East has historically been a place of religious pluralism and cultural diversity” and call on the President to “urge Middle Eastern governments to relentlessly lend their support to the marginalized, weak, and oppressed segments of their societies by recognizing the universal importance of basic human dignity.” They call on the President to support democracy in Lebanon while calling for Hizbullah to disarm, advocate on behalf of individual dissidents who sit in prison, and “advocate for the region’s struggling religious minorities”. They also call on Obama to highlight the contributions Americans have made to Muslim majority states, such as in response to the Indonesian tsunami, the 2005 earthquake in Pakistan, and efforts to prevent Muslim massacres in the Bosnia and Kosovo conflicts


 


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