(WASHINGTON, D.C., 4/13/16) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called on federal and state law enforcement authorities to offer protection to American Muslims, includingCAIR’s National Executive Director Nihad Awad, on a hit list of Muslim leaders in the West published today by the terror group ISIS.
In the latest issue of its online magazine Dabiq, ISIS lists a number of Muslim leaders and activists in the United States, Canada, the UK, and Australia to be targeted. CAIR’s Awad is pictured in the article about the hit list, but is not named specifically.
Awad may have come to the attention of ISIS because of CAIR’s repeated condemnation of the terror group and because he coordinated the release of a 2014 open letter signed by more than 120 international scholars of Islam and Muslim leaders refuting ISIS’s ideology.
CAIR, along with the Fiqh Council of North America and a number of national and local Muslim scholars and leaders, released that letter at a National Press Club news conference in Washington, D.C.
In a statement reacting to being pictured on the ISIS hit list, Awad said:
“Our life and death are in the hands of God.
“I believe this threat is a reflection of the outstanding work CAIR does in opposing the anti-Islamic message and brutal actions of ISIS and other terror groups.
“The best response to such threats is to continue challenging extremism, whether it is espoused by organizations like ISIS or by Islamophobes who seek to demonizeIslam based on that group’s brutality.
“When extremists of all stripes attack our efforts to promote tolerance and mutual understanding, we know our work is having a positive impact.
“It is incumbent on state and federal law enforcement authorities to provide protection to American Muslim leaders who seek to counter ISIS’s message of hate.”
Awad said CAIR has reached out to appropriate government agencies.
CAIR and other American Muslim organizations have consistently and repeatedly condemned terrorism in all its forms, including that carried out by ISIS.
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. 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.
To request legal assistance from CAIR’s Civil Rights Department, fill out the intake form at:https://www.cair.com/civil-rights/report-an-incident/view/form.html