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****  PRESS RELEASE  ****

- For Immediate Release & Distribution -


(Chicago, IL 12/08/06) - The Chicago office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Chicago) today issued a statement in reaction to the arrest of a 22-year-old Rockford man accused of plotting to set off grenades in a local shopping mall.

In its statement, CAIR-Chicago Executive Director Ahmed Rehab said:
"We commend law enforcement authorities for their efforts in intercepting the alleged 'lone-wolf' plot to commit a random act of violence in a Rockford mall.

"According to the FBI, the suspect was acting alone and without accomplices or ties to the American Muslim community. We urge the public not to associate the alleged criminal acts of an individual with the Muslim community or the faith of Islam.

"We also take this opportunity to reiterate the Muslim community's consistent condemnation of religious extremism and acts of terrorism committed in the name of Islam.

"Last year, CAIR coordinated the release of an anti-terrorism fatwa - or Islamic religious ruling - issued by the Fiqh Council of North America and endorsed by more than 300 American Muslim organizations.

"That fatwa stated: 'Islam strictly condemns religious extremism and the use of violence against innocent lives. There is no justification in Islam for extremism or terrorism. Targeting civilians' life and property through suicide bombings or any other method of attack is haram - or forbidden - and those who commit these barbaric acts are criminals, not martyrs... It is the civic and religious duty of Muslims to cooperate with law enforcement authorities to protect the lives of all civilians.'

"CAIR has also produced and distributed an anti-terror public service announcement, called 'Not in the Name of Islam,' viewed by some 10 million television viewers nationwide. The PSA campaign followed CAIR's 'Not in the Name of Islam' online petition drive designed to disassociate the faith of Islam from the violent acts of a few Muslims."

To view CAIR's PSA, go to:

NOTE: CAIR-Chicago is available for interviews at the CAIR-Chicago office between 5pm and 8pm today

- END -

CONTACT: CAIR-Chicago Executive Director Ahmed Rehab at (312) 212-1520 / (847) 971-3963 / E-Mail:



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