Muslim Organization Reactions to Death of Osama Bin Laden

May 5, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

TMO Editor’s Note:  In a raid conducted in Abbottabad Pakistan  early Monday morning, four helicopters carrying Seal Team Six killed Osama Bin Laden.  This closes an important chapter in the post-9/11 world and many Muslim organizations put out press releases in response.  Below are several of the press releases.

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ISNA

Islamic Society of North America Welcomes Justice For 9/11 Victims  

(Plainfield, IN: May 2, 2011) The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) joins all Americans in thanking President Obama for fulfilling his promise to bring Osama Bin Laden, leader of al-Qaeda, and perpetrator of the 9/11 attacks, to justice.

We hope his death will bring some relief to all the families, of every faith and walk of life, who lost loved ones on 9/11 and in every other terrorist attack orchestrated at the hands of Osama Bin Laden. 

Over the past decade, ISNA has stood firm on our stance that ISNA and Muslims in America condemn the actions of Bin Laden on 9/11 and all acts of terror at the hands of Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and all others who spread fear and hate through violence.  We have repeatedly condemned the calls of Bin Laden and others like him for mass bloodshed and the attacking of innocent lives across the world. 

As the President pointed out in his address to the nation, the ideology of Bin Laden is incompatible with Islam:  “Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims.  Indeed, al Qaeda has slaughtered scores of Muslims in many countries, including our own.  So his demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity.”

President Obama marked his hope that today, Americans will “think back to the sense of unity that prevailed on 9/11” and remember that “on that day, no matter what God we prayed to, we were united as one American family.” 

osama-bin-laden32805N“ISNA joins President Obama and prays that as the nation continues to heal from the devastation inflicted upon them at the hands of Bin Laden, we will turn to each other today, united, and emerge tomorrow with an even stronger resolve to take every action necessary to protect the precious ideals of our nation that Bin Laden attempted to destroy on 9/11: peace, tolerance, respect, and freedom for all,” said ISNA President Imam Magid.

CAIR

CAIR: Bin Laden Death Leads to Maine Mosque Vandalism

‘Osama today, Islam tomorow (sic)’ painted on Muslim house of worship

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 5/2/2011) — The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called on Americans of all faiths to remain unified after the killing of Osama bin Laden apparently led to the bias-motivated vandalism of a mosque in Portland, Me.

CAIR also called on state and national law enforcement authorities to investigate the incident as a hate crime.

Portland police are investigating the anti-Islam graffiti, which included “Osama today, Islam tomorow (sic),” “Long live the West” and “Free Cyprus,” painted on the exterior of the Maine Muslims Community Center sometime between late Sunday night and this morning.

SEE: Graffiti on Portland Mosque Under Investigation

Portland Mosque Vandalized in Wake of bin Laden Death

“We ask Americans of all faiths to reject intolerance and to send a message of national unity to the rest of the world,” said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. “We urge state law enforcement authorities and the FBI to investigate this incident as a hate crime.”

Earlier today at a news conference in Washington, D.C. CAIR and other national Muslim organizations welcomed the announcement of the elimination of Osama bin Laden as a threat to America and the world. CAIR chapters nationwide issued similar statements.

CIOGC

CIOGC welcomes the end of a dark era and bringing justice to the victims of Sept. 11, 2001

(Chicago, IL – 5/2/11) — The Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago (CIOGC) welcomes the end of a dark era and the bringing of justice to the victims of 9/11 with news of the death of Osama bin Laden.

“This is a historic moment not only to the families of the victims of 9/11 but for the whole world. A mass murderer who served as the face of global terrorism is gone,” said Kiran Ansari, Communication Director of CIOGC. “We pray that his death will bring a measure of relief to the families who lost loved ones on 9/11 and to everyone, from every faith and walk of life, who has suffered from Al-Qaida’s terrorist attacks.”

“His actions and those of Al-Qaeda violate the most fundamental teachings of Islam, the sanctity of human life, and his repeated acts of terror have been met with moral outrage by Muslims worldwide,” said CIOGC Chairperson Dr. Zaher Sahloul. “We thank President Obama for overseeing this operation and his reiterating that ‘the United States is not – and never will be – at war with Islam’”.

The operation that led to the death of Osama bin Laden is one of the most important achievements of President Obama and his national security team. We are also hopeful that the “Arab Spring,” the widespread movements in the Middle East of peaceful protestors demanding democracy and freedom, has signified the death of Al-Qaeda’s ideology of violent extremism. However, as the President noted in his statement, we must continue to be vigilant in the fight against extremism. The Council will continue to play its part.

“We stand together with our fellow Americans, as part of one family, in remaining vigilant against any and all threats to our country and we will continue to work hand in hand with our friends and neighbors to protect the values upon which our nation was founded: peace, tolerance and freedom,” said Ahlam Jbara, the Associate Director of CIOGC.

PAKPAC

US Forces Capture and Kill Osama Bin Laden

Washington DC May 2nd 2011: PAKPAC congratulates the Obama administration and our men and women in uniform for successfully carrying out an operation against Osama Bin Laden.   Bin Laden’s attack on 9/11 defined the previous decade – and our entire approach to national security.   Bin Laden’s abhorrent and heinous acts of terrorism led to wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and many other covert operations around the world.   These wars cost the lives of countless American soldiers, and scores of civilians of all nationalities and faiths.   His death is a victory for the civilized world. 

We have not yet defeated terrorism and its ideology, but today marks a significant step forward.  Moreover, PAKPAC agrees with President Obama when he stated that the, “..US is not, and never will be, at war with Islam… bin Laden was not a Muslim leader, he was a mass-murderer of Muslims.” and that, “it is important to note that our counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan led to his capture.”   PAKPAC hopes for continued cooperation between Pakistan and United States.

Now with the Arab awakening, and democracy taking hold in the Middle East, PAKPAC is confident that Al-Qaeda and its ideology will be relegated to the dust bin of history.

Today, we remember the 3000 men and women who lost their lives on 9/11.  Today, their souls have a measure of justice.  Today, no matter our political leanings, we are all Americans, united, as one nation.

For more information write to ed@pakpac.net or call 202 558 6404.

ACCESS

Jaber: Bin Laden’s death marks a turning point

Hassan Jaber Numerous news organizations including the Detroit Free Press and USA Today quoted ACCESS Executive Director Hassan Jaber this week regarding the death of Osama bin Laden and where our nation and our community go from here. Following is Jaber’s full statement to the media:

“For the past decade, the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, have been what defined our country, both at home and abroad. The death of Osama bin Laden thankfully closes out this long winter of political upheaval, social turmoil and economic disparity – so much of it precipitated by 9/11. We commend the Obama Administration and the U.S. security and intelligence agencies for their work in bringing this painful chapter to a decisive close, and in doing so, helping the families of the 9/11 victims and those of the first responders who also suffered and died, to find closure.

“This is, indeed, a new day in America. Osama bin Laden is dead. We must not allow his legacy to live on by continuing to divide us. Extremism of any type demands our ongoing vigilance and our attention as a nation. At ACCESS, we believe the best way to counteract it is to put our shoulders to the work of healing from within to build our strength as a nation – to stand together rather than separate. We can start this process first by learning to accept one another for all our differences, for the vibrancy which makes us stronger. This is the first step in helping to heal the rifts in our fragile economy and the paralysis of our tattered political system, to demand governance that supports the well-being of all Americans and stands as a model of democracy to the rest of the world.”

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Israel Attacks Humanitarian Ship, Hijacks Crew

July 2, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

By Susan Schwartz, MMNS

Editor’s note:  This event occurred in 2009.  If you are looking for the attack that occurred in June of 2010, please look at the following posts:

http://muslimmedianetwork.com/mmn/?p=6280 (Erdogan’s Speech to Turkish Parliament)

http://muslimmedianetwork.com/mmn/?p=6279 (Paintballs to pistols, Israel admits ship blunders)

http://muslimmedianetwork.com/mmn/?p=6278 (Turkey calls for punishment of Israel for killings)

http://muslimmedianetwork.com/mmn/?p=6277 (Egypt Opens Gaza Border After Israel Clash)

While sailing from Cyprus to Gaza on a humanitarian mission as part of the Free Gaza Movement, the SS Spirit of Humanity, an unarmed vessel with only civilians aboard, was attacked and boarded by Israeli Naval forces and its passengers and crew kidnapped. Prior to this the Humanity had been surrounded by ships of the Israeli Navy. The Israelis had jammed the ship’s navigation system, its GPS, and its radar. This took place in international waters, and the initial hostile action from Israel put the ship and its passengers and crew in grave danger.

Early Monday morning (June 29, 7:30 am local time) , the SS Spirit of Humanity left the Cyprus port of Lenarca to sail to the beleaguered nation of Gaza. Aboard are 21 human rights activists from 14 countries. The ship also carries three tons of medical supplies, crayons and coloring books for the children of Gaza and reconstruction kits for 20 homes to be rebuilt in Gaza.

Former Congresswoman, Cynthia McKinney, a vocal proponent of the rights of the people of Gaza, is aboard. Ms McKinney attempted to make the trip in December 2008, a trip that was interdicted by an attack from the Israeli Navy. Also aboard are Huwaida Arraf and Adam Shapiro, a husband and wife team who founded the International Solidarity Movement and Mairead Maguire, a Nobel Prize winner.

The destruction in Gaza inflicted by the Israelis during Operation Cast Lead (December 2008-January 2009) resulted in the loss of over 2400 family dwelling places, educational and medical centers, cement factories and charitable establishments.

The Humanity is carrying kits which attempt to compensate in arenas of need destroyed by Israel and that have, thus far, been closed off to aid from outside forces. These arenas include, but are by no means limited to: agriculture, education, electricity, water and sanitation. While billions in aid was pledged by other nations, only a trickle of money has come to Gaza, none of it for the acutely needed rebuilding efforts.

This past Thursday the Humanity and its sister ship, the SS Free Gaza, were both poised to depart for Gaza. They were unable to leave Cyprus  when they were denied departure credentials by Limasol, the Cyprus Port Authority. The activists learned from a source in the government of Cyprus that the Israelis applied pressure to prevent the departure. Strangely, the letter of refusal was dated two days before the actual inspection was made.

The Free Gaza Movement was created to break the siege of Gaza by sailing ships into its port via Gaza’s Mediterranean border. In August 2008, two ships, the SS Free Gaza and the SS Liberty accomplished this and became the first ships to enter Gaza by sea in 41 years. This current voyage is the eighth attempt. Two attempts were thwarted by the Israelis. One ship, the SS Dignity, left Cyprus in December 2008 and was rammed by the Israeli Navy. But for the ability of the captain and crew, it would have sunk with the probable loss of life of all aboard. In January 2009, subsequent to the Israeli invasion of Gaza, the SS Spirit of Humanity attempted to make the journey was forcibly turned back by the Israeli Navy.

The SS Free Gaza, one of the ships that made the first voyage, and the SS Spirit of Humanity had between them 36 passengers and crew from 16 nations and were carrying 15 tons of cement,  three tons of medical supplies and crayons and books for children. Gaza desperately needs cement for rebuilding, but Israel has denied it to them. The cement being carried by the activists is but a token, a small percentage of what is needed. Crayons and books are also forbidden to the people of Gaza by the Israelis.

The organizers of this trip include Greta Berlin, an internationally known human rights activist and a veteran participant in the International Solidarity Movement; Huwaida Arraf , Mary Hughes Thompson, another veteran of humanitarian activity in Gaza, and Ramzi Kysia, an American of Lebanese descent.

Past voyages have seen the activists tour hospitals, in critical condition even prior to the Israeli invasion. They have watched patients fight for their lives when necessary electronic equipment could not function as Israel did not permit a constant supply of electricity. They have accompanied fishermen into the Mediterranean beyond the limit permitted by Israel so that they could pursue their livelihood. They have helped farmers plant olive trees. They have brought hope and friendship to the world’s largest outdoor prison.

Two recent incidents have highlighted the danger posed to the brave people of the Free Gaza movement. Free Gaza activist, Hedy Epstein, an 84 year old Holocaust survivor was brutally attacked in St Louis on her way home. She required a hospital visit for her injuries. Ms Epstein has been an active supporter of the rights of Gaza and has been the recipient of numerous telephone and email threats.

Recently the SS Dignity suffered damage during a storm and sunk to the bottom of the Mediterranean while in port in Cyprus. Shortly before this happened, two men made a threat regarding the boat. It has still not been determined whether the force of the storm resulted in its destruction or whether the storm provided a convenient cover.

The travelers have made promises to the people of Gaza. They promised to return, they promised to exit with residents of Gaza who yearned to be re united with family and residents of Gaza who had secured acceptance in colleges outside of Gaza but whom Israel would not permit to leave. And, they promised to carry to the rest of the world the story of Gaza under siege.

A Gaza volunteer gave a poignant account of her experiences in Gaza where brave and resilient people struggle to obtain the basics of existence. “I’ve done work in prison” she said “This is worse than being in prison.”

The public is urgently asked to contact the following groups:

Israeli Ministry of Justice; tel  +972 2646 6666 or +972 2646 6340; fax +972 2646 6357.

Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs;      tel +972 2530 3111; fax +972 2530 3367

Red Cross Israel; tel +972 3524 5286;      fax +972 3527 0370.

Also readers and members of the public should contact the White House and their Senators and Congresspersons.

Free Gaza may be accessed at: www.freegaza.org.

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Chicago Muslim Student Remembered

December 13, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

Amadou Cisse, who was murdered Monday morning.

CHICAGO, IL–When it came to helping others, Amadou Cisse pulled many times his own weight. Cisse once helped International House Director William McCartney unload 1,000 pounds of weights for the I-House exercise room.

“He was very well-liked by residents and someone who was always quick to help others,” McCartney said.

Cisse, a Muslim Ph.D. student in chemistry at the University and native of Dakar, Senegal, in Africa, was shot and killed early Monday morning.

“He was an extremely gentle person, a very caring person,” said Czerny Brasuell, Director of Multicultural Affairs at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. Cisse worked closely with Brasuell during his four years as a student at Bates College. Cisse graduated from Bates College in 2001 with a B.S. degree in chemistry, physics and mathematics.

“He was very concerned with injustice, especially injustices regarding children,” Brasuell said. “He was committed to doing good in this world, particularly as it related to his country and the continent of Africa. I am horrified at the senseless nature of this act that has removed from the world someone who would have done so much good.”

Cisse, 29, had successfully defended his doctoral dissertation on Nov. 1. The University will award him the Ph.D. posthumously at graduation on Dec. 7.

“He was a diligent researcher and very committed to his science and colleagues,” said his faculty adviser, Steven Sibener, the Carl William Eisendrath Professor in Chemistry. “He was incredibly happy last week. He smiled ear-to-ear and just sat back and enjoyed his accomplishment.”

For his Ph.D. research, Cisse studied how molecules diffuse and migrate through films made of large molecules called polymers. “He gave us a new way of measuring diffusion in thin films. That’s quite an accomplishment,” Sibener said.

Cisse and Sibener were interested in the purely scientific aspects of the process. This is also an important problem in the technological world, where thin films act as protective layers for materials and food.

As a teaching assistant for general chemistry, Cisse impressed fellow graduate student Miriam Freedman with his concern for his students. “I think working with students was one of the things he most enjoyed,” Freedman said. “He was always talking about how to improve his students’ understanding of the material and rooting for their success.”

Fellow students also recalled Cisse’s habit of quietly singing or humming as he went about his work. “Amadou loved Senegalese music so much that he recorded it onto tapes from Senegalese radio online,” said Nataliya Yufa, graduate student in chemistry. “That’s why he still had a Walkman. He was planning to get an iPod after graduation. His whole life was on hold til after graduation.”

Lieve Teugels, a graduate student in chemistry, recalled Cisse’s gentle smile, with graduation now in his sight. “I remember how happy he was right after his thesis defense a couple of weeks ago, talking about how he hadn’t told his family he was defending so they wouldn’t worry.”

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