Muslims Say Legislation Would Target Palestinians

Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, February 28, 2001 | Go to article overview

Muslims Say Legislation Would Target Palestinians


MUSLIMS SAY LEGISLATION WOULD TARGET PALESTINIANS

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) on Dec. 4 urged Muslims to contact the House Judiciary Committee about legislation that would require the Justice Department to set up a special office exclusively targeting Palestinians. The Justice for American Victims of Terrorism Act of 2000 (H.R. 5500), introduced by Rep. Robert Andrews (D-NJ), would "require the attorney general to establish an office in the Department of Justice to monitor acts of international terrorism alleged to have been committed by Palestinian individuals or individuals acting on behalf of Palestinian organizations and to carry out certain other related activities."

An inevitable result of the bill's passage would be government monitoring of nonviolent critics of Israel in this country, CAIR president Nihad Awad said. "It is unconscionable to propose legislation that targets a specific religious and ethnic group," he said, adding, "Any Justice Department office created by the bill should also monitor the documented torture of American citizens in Israeli prisons and the use of American weapons to kill Palestinian civilians."

One of the bill's three co-sponsors is Rep. Rick Lazio (R-NY). During his unsuccessful Senate campaign against Hillary Rodham Clinton, Lazio attempted to link American Muslim leaders and groups to acts of violence in the Middle East. …

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