Coalition Awaits Response from U.S. Rep Mark Kirk
November 14, 2005
More organizations are signing on to the statement released by CAIR-Chicago condemning Congressman Kirk’s statements that he is “OK with discrimination against young Arab males from terrorist-producing states,” and demanding that he apologize. The coalition is also seeking a meeting with the Congressman.
Twenty-seven Chicago-area prominent organizations from diverse backgrounds have so far endorsed the statement released jointly by the Council of American-Islamic Relations - Chicago (CAIR-Chicago) and the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant & Refugee Rights (ICIRR).
“I think that when we look at the threat that’s out there, young men between, say, the ages of 18 and 25 from a couple of countries, I believe a certain amount of intense scrutiny should be placed on them,” said Kirk, adding, “I’m not threatened by people from China. I’m not even threatened by people from Mexico. I just know where the threat is from. It’s from a unique place, and I think it’s OK to recognize that.”
The press statement calls on Congressman Mark Kirk to “retract his endorsement for what is an illegal policy and issue an apology to members of his constituency who were compromised by his comments.”
The Coalition currently consist of the following 27 organizations:
The Chicago Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Chicago); the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant & Refugee Rights (ICIRR); the Chicago Chapter of the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC); the Arab-American Action Network (AAAN); the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs (JCUA); United Power for Action and Justice; the Archdiocese of Chicago - Office of Hispanic Ministry (Vicariate I); Korean American Senior Center, Lake County, Mt. Prospect and Chicago; Korean American Community Services; Korean American Resource and Cultural Center; United Methodist Church - Northern Illinois Conference; Indo-American Democratic Organization; Muslim Bar Association of Chicago (MBA); Arab-American Bar Association of Illinois; Holy Family Catholic Church in Waukegan; Asian American Bar Association of Chicago; National Arab-American Medical Association of Illinois; South Asian Progressive Action Collective; Filipino Civil Rights Advocates (FilCRA)- Chicago chapter; City of Chicago Mayor’s Advisory Council on Arab Affairs; The Chicago Commission on Human Relations; the Syrian American Medical Association (Midwest Chapter); and the the Leadership Council for Metropolitan Open Communities.
As of yet, Kirk has remained unresponsive to requests to meet with representatives from CAIR-Chicago, ICIRR, and the ADC.
CAIR-Chicago officials have spoken publicly against Congressman Kirk’s comments on FOX32, NBC5, and ABC7, as well as in newsprint stories in the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, and the Daily Herald.
CAIR-Chicago and other committed organizations will continue to request Kirk to apologize for his statements and are urging responsible citizens to write or call Congressman Kirk’s office to demand that he meets with CAIR-Chicago.