FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Muslims around the world must unite to condemn attacks on Christians
Washington, DC (December 30, 2011) – The American Islamic Leadership Coalition, a group of diverse American Muslim leaders released the following statement regarding the awful tragedy that struck Christian communities in Nigeria on Christmas Day.
“The radical Islamist organization Boko Haram, which murdered and maimed innocent Nigerian Christians on Christmas Day, does not represent the majority of Muslims around the world. Boko Haram is a radical Islamist group (“boko haram” means “Western Education is Sinful”) that attacked churches last year as well and has vowed similar attacks in the future. Their actions should be condemned by all Muslims, especially by Muslim leaders.
Islamist groups like Boko Haram want to create an Islamic state based on their interpretations of shariah (Islamic jurisprudence). The Christian presence in Nigeria is perceived as a great impediment to this mission (48 % of the Nigerian population is Christian). The choice Christmas Day to perpetrate their wanton violence illustrates the hateful fascistic sectarian state Boko Haram seeks to impose upon the Nigerian people.
Boko Haram is guided by militant Islamism and its medieval notions of society. For them, full citizenship is limited to those who share their religious beliefs and affiliation, and their Christmas Day act demonstrates the depravity to which they will stoop in realizing that grim vision. The Nigerian government has thus far been unsuccessful in preventing attacks on its Christian citizens, despite a crackdown against the militant group by paramilitary agencies.
The Vatican and secular Western leaders have rightly condemned the attacks on Nigeria’s Christians as heinous, evil, and cowardly. We would like to hear unequivocal denunciations of Boko Haram and other radical Islamist groups terrorizing Christian and other minority communities from every respectable Muslim leader in the free world. Muslim scholars, activists, politicians, and community leaders must respond forcefully to the murderous and supremacist tendencies of Muslim extremist groups, and support the enforcement of the rule of law against such groups. The world must not tolerate or excuse carnage against fellow citizens on any day in any country. All Muslims, and all civilized governments around the world, must put an end to the madness and hatred expressed in brutal acts such as the Christmas attacks in Nigeria.
We hereby declare our total condemnation against the supremacist Islamism which feeds groups like Boko Haram, and call upon all our Muslim brothers and sisters to stand for pluralism, freedom, and the unyielding and equal respect of universal human rights for all people, especially in Muslim majority nations.”
About the American Islamic Leadership Coalition (AILC)
The American Islamic Leadership Coalition (AILC) is a diverse coalition of liberty-minded, North American Muslim leaders and organizations. AILC’s mission advocates for defending the US Constitution, upholding religious pluralism, protecting American security and cherishing genuine diversity in the faith and practice of Islam. AILC provides a stark alternative to the Islamist organizations that claim to speak for what are diverse American Muslim communities. For more information on AILC, please visit our website at http://www.americanislamicleadership.org/.
AILC Coalition Signatories
Golam Akhter, Bangladesh-USA Human Rights Coalition Inc., Washington, DC
Bahman Batmanghelidj, Founding Member, Alliance for Democracy in Iran, Virginia, USA
Abdirizak Bihi, Somalian Community Activist, Minnesota, USA
Khurshed Chowdhury, PhD., Silver Springs, MD
Arif Humayun, Circle of Peace, Vancouver, Washington
Hasan Mahmud, Free Muslim Coaltion, Toronto, Canada
Raquel Evita Saraswati, activist and journalist,www.raquelevita.com
Behrooz Sarshar, Virginia, USA
Jalal Zuberi, MD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics,Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA
MEDIA CONTACT: Gregg Edgar
Gordon C. James Public Relations