CAIR: Muslims Will See Bush 'Green Light' for Assassination

American Leaders Must Promote America's Interests, Not Israel's

Apr 17, 2004, 01:00 ET from CAIR

    WASHINGTON, April 17 /PRNewswire/ -- A prominent national Islamic civil
 rights and advocacy group said today's assassination of Palestinian political
 leader Abdel Aziz Rantisi will create the impression throughout the Muslim
 world that President Bush gave a "green light" for the killing.
     Rantisi died following an Israeli missile strike on his car Saturday, just
 days after President Bush met with Ariel Sharon in the White House. At that
 meeting, President Bush overturned decades of American diplomacy to side with
 Israel on issues, such as the removal of settlements and the Palestinian right
 of return, that had been viewed by past Republican and Democratic
 administrations as subject to bilateral negotiations.
     In its statement, the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic
 Relations (CAIR) said:
      "Once again we see Ariel Sharon thumbing his nose at America's image and
      interests. Sharon surely knew that this assassination, which has been
      universally condemned by the international community, would create the
      impression that President Bush gave him a 'green light' at their recent
      meeting in Washington. The State Department's meek response to yet
      another act of state terrorism by Israel merely serves to confirm that
      "Until our leaders act in America's interests, and not just those of a
      foreign state or its domestic lobby, we will continue to be viewed
      worldwide as a party to oppression, not as a force for freedom or
     World leaders have been uniform in their condemnation of Rantisi's
 assassination. British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw called it "unlawful,
 unjustified and counterproductive." European Union Foreign Policy Chief Javier
 Solana said, "Actions of this type are not only unlawful, they are not
 conducive to lowering tension." A spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General Kofi
 Annan said: "(Annan) reiterates that extrajudicial killings are violations of
 international law and calls on the government of Israel to immediately end
 this practice."
     America's allies in the Muslim world are also expressing outrage at the
 attack and linking it to Sharon's meeting with President Bush. Yemeni Foreign
 Minister Abubakr Al-Qirbi said: "The United States bears the responsibility
 for what happens, since after every visit by Sharon to Washington he commits
 more terrorism and assassinations."
     CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, has consistently
 condemned all terrorist acts, whether carried out by individuals, groups or
     CONTACT: Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail:
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