On Thursday December 15th, 2011 – the 220th anniversary of the signing of the Bill of Rights into law – CAIR-Chicago’s deputy director Sufyan Sohel, along with members of the interfaith community, spoke at a rally in Federal Plaza in downtown Chicago to oppose new provisions introduced as part of the National Defense Authorization Act. The new provisions in the NDAA are a cause of great concern as the act allows for the indefinite detention without trial of U.S. citizens.
The members of the interfaith community that came together to oppose the new provisions included Rev. Larry Greenfield, Executive Director of Northern Baptist Church, Michael McConnel, of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), Asaf Bar-Tura of the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs (JCUA), Imam Rufai, Razan AbuHashish, and Amal Ali of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago (CIOGC), Alie Kabba, Executive Director of the United African Organization and board president of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, and Maaria Muzaffar of the Muslim Bar Association.
The speakers at the rally discussed their shock and disappointment in the new provisions and used the opportunity to read and reaffirm the Bill of Rights. In a speech given by CAIR-Chicago’s deputy director, Sohel stated that “The National Defense Authorization Act goes against the Constitution of the United States, taking away the due process rights that were guaranteed by our founding fathers.” Sohel explained that the bill “clearly violates our Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights.”
While the new provisions in the bill erode the civil liberties granted to U.S. citizens by the nation’s founding fathers, CAIR-Chicago is calling on American Muslims as well as other Americans of conscience to contact President Obama to ask him to veto the National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 1540) if it contains provisions which allow for the U.S. military to arrest and indefinitely detain American citizens without charge or trial.
To take immediate action against these new provisions, please see CAIR-Chicago’s action alert: http://www.cairchicago.org/2011/12/15/action-alert-ask-president-obama-to-veto-indefinite-detention-of-u-s-citizens/