Dear Friends, As Salaam Alaikum (Peace be upon you),
As you may be aware, a terrible incident occurred yesterday in Fort Hood, Texas. A Muslim American soldier went on a shooting rampage at the military base and has killed 13 fellow Americans. Although a criminal incident, his motives are already being linked to Islam.
You may be asked to comment on this at your workplace or school. Please be calm, polite, and conduct yourself in the best of manners. The only way to break through stereotypes and suspicion is to carry oneself with the highest degree of character.
If you are approached by media for an interview or opinion, please consider the following talking points. Otherwise, please direct the media to CAIR-PA office and have them call 267-515-6710.
- Muslims all over America are condemning this act of cold blooded murder. This man who carried out the attack is a murderer first and foremost, and no religion can be used to defend his actions. This action is even more heinous in that it targeted our servicemen and women at a place where they should be safe. Our prayers go to the families who are grieving and suffering today.
- There are over 20,000 Muslims serving honorably in the US military. Many Muslims have given their lives for this country and are buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
- Holding Muslims suspect is not a productive criminal strategy. Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber, cited the first war in Iraq as his reason for bombing the federal building. The military needs to evaluate its policy on dealing with disaffected officers and deal with each incident on a case by case basis.
If you experience any backlash related to this incident, please email the Civil Rights Director or call our office. Backlash can be anything from a threatening comment, hate phone calls or emails and acts of discrimination. If your immediate physical safety is threatened, call the police immediately.
Moein M. Khawaja, Civil Rights Director – firstname.lastname@example.org
CAIR-PA Office Phone – 267-515-6710
For mosque and community leaders, here is a link to CAIR’s community safety kit: http://www.cair.com/ActionCenter/CommunityToolKit.aspx