Today, October 22, 2002, the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago issued a position statement expressing serious concern over the Bush administration’s proposed war on Iraq. The statement is attached and included below for your convenience. The Bush administration’s proposition carries grave risks and impacts all Americans, including of course, American-Muslims, so please take a few moments to review the Council’s statement, and urge other Americans to consider all the risks and make informed choices on this critical issue.
If you have any questions, please contact the Council’s office at 630.629.7490 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago
330 East Roosevelt Road, Suite G5
Lombard, Illinois 60148
Tel: (630) 629.7490
Fax: (630) 629.7492
VISIT US ON THE WEB: www.ciogc.org
October 22, 2002;
Contact: Kareem M. Irfan, Esq., Chairman; (847) 867-4304
CHICAGO MUSLIM-AMERICANS SPEAK OUT AGAINST ANY U.S. WAR ON IRAQ
The Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago, an umbrella organization representing over 400,000 Muslims throughout Chicagoland, expresses grave concern over the escalating war rhetoric and plans for military actions against Iraq. Chicago’s Muslim-Americans remain united in expecting that President Bush exhaust every available means for peaceful resolution, including diplomacy, resumption of weapons inspections, negotiations, mediations and collaborative efforts with the international community and the United Nations, before considering the waging of war.
Given the continuing absence of convincing justification for pre-emptive action, unilateral aggression against Iraq would be morally indefensible by subjecting already suffering millions of innocent civilians, especially children, to the ravages of war. For over a decade, millions of innocent Iraqi civilians have suffered the devastation and after-effects of the Gulf war and the ensuing strangle-hold of international sanctions - over 1.2 Million Iraqis have died, over 5,000 children perish each month and millions more suffer immeasurably under long-term effects including the lack of even basic food and medical necessities. Although the oppressive actions of the despotic Saddam Hussain regime are reprehensible, our nation should not itself act unconscionably by undertaking destructive military action.
Our country’s radical deployment of preemptive war would not only set a dangerous precedent in global relations and run afoul of International Law, it could destabilize the Middle East, exacerbate the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and risk the use of weapons of mass destruction in the region. This war would cost billions of dollars and put at grave risk countless innocents including our own soldiers and Iraqis, as well as the Israeli and Palestinian peoples likely to suffer from ramifications of our military action.
Speaking out against unilateral U.S. military strikes on Iraq, Council Chairman Kareem Irfan said: “It is time for our nation to adopt the moral high ground and pursue every conceivable avenue of peaceful and diplomatic resolution before unleashing the destructive forces of war. Such a cautious and wise approach would align us with international community consensus, raise America’s stature deservedly on the world stage, and avoid imperiling so many innocent lives, including those of the brave sons and daughters who protect our nation. The Council commends the many respected leaders and religious congregations across America voicing strong opposition to military action. We firmly believe that, under the current circumstances, the sensible, moral and undeniably patriotic stance for Americans is to unequivocally say ‘NO’ to war against Iraq. We trust that President Bush and Congress will hear and abide by this emphatically clear message from Americans of all faiths. ”