Philadelphia Muslims Call on Bush to Protect Relatives

President Urged to call for cease-fire, send humanitarian relief.

(PHILADELPHIA, PA, 7/24/06) – On Tuesday, July 25, the Philadelphia Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Philly) will hold a news conference with members of the local Muslim and Arab-American communities who have relatives under attack in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip.

At the news conference, community members will ask President Bush to call for an immediate cease-fire by all parities in the Middle East conflict and urge that humanitarian relief be sent to areas devastated by Israel’s bombing campaigns.

WHAT: CAIR-Philly News Conference with Those who Have Relatives in Lebanon, Gaza

WHEN: 1:00PM, Tuesday, July 25, 2006

WHERE: Liberty Bell

CONTACT: CAIR-Philly Communications Director, Adeeba Al-Zaman, 267-515-6710

There are an estimated 25,000 American citizens in Lebanon, and many American citizens, both Christian and Muslim, have relatives in Lebanon and Gaza. Despite the fact that many civilians have already been killed in Israeli attacks on the civilian infrastructures of both areas, President Bush has rejected calls for a cease-fire.

Plans to evacuate American citizens from Lebanon have been criticized as too slow. The U.S. government will also bill each evacuee for the cost of their transport out of Lebanon.

“We are concerned that our government’s refusal to even request a cease-fire to end humanitarian suffering in Lebanon and Gaza creates the perception that Muslim and Arab lives are somehow less valuable than Israeli lives,” said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad. “Targeting civilians to achieve a political goal is terrorism, whether the target is a pizza parlor in Tel Aviv or an apartment building in Beirut.”

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