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Congressman Kirk Unresponsive to Constituents'Concerns

November 11, 2005

ACTION REQUESTED:

(CHICAGO, 11/11/05) - The following is the latest update on the controversy generated by Congressman Mark Kirk’s recent public comments sanctioning discrimination against Young Arab males from “terrorist-producing countries.”

27 Diverse Organizations Issue Formal Statement:

A coalition of 27 organizations led by CAIR-Chicago and the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant & Refugee Rights (ICIRR) has issued an official public statement in response to Congressman Kirk’s comments. The organizations span a wide range of religions, national backgrounds, professional disciplines, and organizational missions. But they all share common outrage at comments that compromise our American values.

“Congressman Mark Kirk’s comments which sanction large-scale, systematic discrimination as a viable way to bring about security are both irresponsible and misguided.

In the United States of America, it is illegal to practice discrimination on the basis of religion, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or national origin. No foreign threat should ever lead a publicly elected representative to sabotage this fundamental pillar of our democracy, nor to sanction measures that are outlawed by our very constitution.

Across-the-board security measures along with targeted intelligence, and not shots in the dark, are the surest ways to thwart terror.

We demand that Congressman Mark Kirk 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 consists 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.

Click here to view full statement: CHICAGO AREA GROUPS UNITE IN CONDEMNING CONGRESSMAN KIRK'S RECENT CALL FOR DISCRIMINATION

Media Update:

CAIR-Chicago officials have spoken publicly against Congressman Kirk’s insensitive comments on FOX32, NBC5, and ABC7 and in the following Newsprint Stories:


Formal Request for Meeting:

CAIR-Chicago faxed a formal request to meet with Congressman Kirk on Wednesday. Executive Director, Yaser Tabbara has left messages on his voice mail. As of yet, no response has been received from his office.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE LETTER

CALL FOR ACTION:

Please continue to call Congressman Mark Kirk and demand that he meets with us. If you live outside of the 10th district, please call your congressional representative and demand that s/he follow Senator Obama’s suit and issue a statement criticizing Kirk’s comments.

Washington, DC Office
Phone: 202-225-4835, Fax: 202-225-0837

Waukegan Office
Phone: 847-662-0101, Fax: 847-662-7519

Deerfield Office
Phone: 847-940-0202, Fax: 847-940-7143.

As always, be polite but firm.

For details please view: http://www.cairchicago.org/actionalerts.php?file=aa_kirk11082005



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