American Muslims ask Congress to hear both sides of Mideast conflict

CONGRESS ASKED TO HEAR BOTH SIDES OF MIDEAST CONFLICT

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 2/13/07) - A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today called on the House Foreign Affairs Committee to invite experts from both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to speak at a subcommittee hearing Wednesday.

Speakers at the Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia hearing, “Next Steps in Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process,” currently represent only pro-Israel views.

SEE: http://foreignaffairs.house.gov/hearing_notice.asp?id=762

One of the speakers, Daniel Pipes, is best known for his position that the only goal of the Israelis should be “getting the Palestinians to give up.” He also says Israel must convince the Palestinians “that their quest for an independent homeland is futile.” (Pipes has also stated on his web site: “Yes, I do support the internment of Japanese Americans in World War II.” 12/28/04)

SEE: Israel’s Existence is in Peril, Expert Tells Crowd at Temple (Miami Herald)
http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/16569176.htm

Both of the other listed speakers have a long history of pro-Israel advocacy.

“If America is to play a credible role in Middle East peacemaking, we must listen to representatives of all sides in the conflict, not just to those who represent the Israeli Apartheid lobby,” said CAIR National Legislative Director Corey Saylor.

“We appeal to Americans of all faiths to call on Congress to preserve our moral standing in the international arena by upholding principles of justice and fairness,” said CAIR Board Chairman Parvez Ahmed. “This one-sided hearing will be viewed as upholding some current U.S. policies that have lead to the lowest poll numbers about America across the Muslim world.”

Ahmed cited polls indicating that a just resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a top priority for Muslims worldwide.

Former President Jimmy Carter recently wrote: “The clear fact is that Israel will never find peace until it is willing to withdraw from its neighboring occupied territories and permit the Palestinians to exercise their basic human and political rights.”

SEE: A New Chance for Peace? (Washington Post)
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/17/AR2007011701712.html

CAIR, America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 32 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.


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