CAIR Welcomes President's Call for Resignation of Syrian Leader
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 8/18/11) -- A prominent national Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization today welcomed President Obama's demand that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down following months of brutal repression of nonviolent pro-democracy protesters. Human rights organizations estimate that al-Assad's forces have killed more than 2,000 unarmed protesters since demonstrations began in March.
The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) also welcomed an executive order by the Obama administration freezing assets of the Syrian government subject to U.S. jurisdiction and prohibiting American citizens from taking part in any transaction involving that government.
Since the beginning of the peaceful protests in Syria and throughout the Arab world, CAIR has called on the Obama administration and Congress to support those exercising their universal human right to freedom of political expression.
In a statement, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said:
"We welcome President Obama's firm stance in support of freedom for the Syrian people and urge other nations to follow his lead in demanding that Bashar al-Assad step aside. Only when the Syrian people are free from armed attack, torture and other forms of repression will they be able to choose a new government that reflects their hopes and aspirations."
Awad noted that British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel also called for Assad to step aside. In a joint statement, the European leaders said al-Assad must "face the reality of the complete rejection of his regime by the Syrian people."
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.