Muslim civil rights group condemns all politically-motivated violence
WASHINGTON, Feb. 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) tonight called the apparent airborne suicide attack on an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) office in Austin, Texas, an act of "terror."
Before taking off in the light plane that he allegedly used to attack the IRS office, Joseph A. Stack reportedly set fire to his own home and posted an anti-government screed on the Internet that was signed "Joe Stack (1956-2010)." At least 13 people were injured in the attack. Two of the victims are reported in critical condition. Stack is presumed dead.
"Whenever an individual or group attacks civilians in order to make a political statement, that is an act of terror," said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. "Terrorism is terrorism, regardless of the faith, race or ethnicity of the perpetrator or the victims. We pray for the speedy recovery of those injured in the attack."
SEE: Joseph Stack and Right-Wing Terror: Isolated Incidents or Worrying Trend?
He said the USA PATRIOT Act defines terrorism as any action "intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population, (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion, or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping, and (C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S."
SEE: How the USA PATRIOT Act redefines "Domestic Terrorism"
Awad noted that if a Muslim had carried out the IRS attack, it would have surely been labeled an act of terrorism.
To read about CAIR's past anti-terror initiatives, go to:
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
SOURCE Council on American-Islamic Relations