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March 2011


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Pakistani-American Cultural Society <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 29 Mar 2011 13:35:35 -0400
Pakistani-American Cultural Society <[log in to unmask]>
ehsan ahmed <[log in to unmask]>
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---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: ISNA Action Alert <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Tue, Mar 29, 2011 at 12:40 PM
Subject: Thank Sen. Durbin & Sen. Graham for Protecting Muslim Civil Rights
and Religious Freedom in America
To: [log in to unmask]

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          [image: Newsletter

*Thank Sen. Durbin and Sen. Graham* *for Protecting Muslim Civil Rights and
Religious Freedom in America*

Source: ISNA<>

(Plainfield, IN: March 29, 2011)This morning, the Senate Judiciary
Sub-Committee on the Constitution held their hearing on the status of Muslim
civil rights in America.  The hearing was led by Committee Chairman Sen.
Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Ranking Member Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).  ISNA
applauds the bi-partisan leadership shown by Sen. Durbin and Sen. Graham
this morning to protect the moral foundation of America built by our
founding fathers and the values of equality and respect that foundation was
built to support.

In the last year, anti-Muslim rhetoric and actions have spiked tremendously,
leading Congress to take action today and investigate this disturbing
trend.  ISNA urges all community members to contact Sen. Durbin and Sen.
Graham to thank them for holding these hearings.  Join ISNA as we thank them
for their moral leadership and ability to cooperate across the party line to
unite our country towards a better future.

*CONTACT: *Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), 202-224-2152, or email

               Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), 202-224-5972, or email


To view written testimony submitted by ISNA in this hearing, please click
You can also view the recent work by ISNA to protect diversity and combat
extremism here<>.


In case you were unable to view the hearing, here are some excerpts from
Sen. Durbin, Cardinal McCarrick, Sen. Graham, and Sen. Leahy on the
importance of uniting our nation and protecting religious freedom for all.

   - "American Muslims are facing discrimination; the attorney general had
   it right when he said 'anti-Muslim rhetoric is a civil rights issue.'  It is
   our government's responsibility to prevent and prosecute these kinds of
   discrimination...and make it clear that defending the civil rights of our
   Muslim neighbors is as important as [defending the rights of] our Christian,
   Jewish, and non religious neighbors.  Those of us in public life have a
   responsibility to choose our words carefully; we must condemn anti-Muslim
   bigotry," said Sen. Durbin.

   - Cardinal Theodore McCarrick (Archbishop Emeritus of Washington)
   commended ISNA and ICNA for uniting with the faith community to protect
   religious freedom in America.  "They [ISNA and ICNA] have stood with us
   [Catholic community] as trusted allies in speaking out against violence and
   in solidarity.  Solidarity with all religions is respect for religious
   freedom.  The common commitment to religious freedom is at the heart of
   American life.  As other countries wrestle with how to treat religious
   minorities, let them look to our nation, as we ensure our Muslim sisters and
   brothers are treated with dignity.  Let them see that here people are
   blessed with full religious freedom and respect for all religions.

   - Sen. Graham highlighted the importance of respect for difference,
   stating, "What does it mean to practice religion in America? It means I have
   to stand up for your right to practice your religion and you will stand up
   for mine.  It is ok to argue, but there are lines you cannot cross."

   - Sen. Graham also highlighted two issues he felt the hearing should
   address today, protecting the civil rights of Muslim Americans and uniting
   with them, rather than marginalizing them, in the struggle against radical
   extremism. "There are some real issues to be dealt with [today].  Can we
   stand up for the rights of Muslim Americans?  Yes, we must; if any one group
   suffers, we all suffer.  The biggest victim of radical Islam is fellow
   Muslims; we are all in this together.  Muslims who are trying to separate
   themselves from radical Islam need our help."

   - "If you protect diversity, you protect democracy. We must never forget
   this [history of religious persecution and violence of all religions] when
   we consider religious freedom in America; ALL Americans deserve religious
   freedoms provided in the constitution.  This freedom extends beyond the
   first amendment; it continues on to ensure due process and protections.
   American Muslims must be protected like all Americans," stated Sen. Patrick

Sarah Thompson
Communications Coordinator
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Ehsan Ahmed
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