CAIR: Even a Quick War Has Negative Consequences Say Muslims
U.S. Newswire
19 Mar 17:37

Even a Quick War Has Negative Consequences Say Muslims
To: National Desk
Contact: Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726,;
Ms. Hodan Hassan, 202-488-8787 or 202-439-1441,;
both of Council on American-Islamic Relations

WASHINGTON, March 19 /U.S. Newswire/ - A prominent national
Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today said the impending
attack on Iraq by the United States could result in long-term
negative domestic and international consequences, even if the
conflict unfolds as planned.

The statement by the Washington-based Council on
American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said: "As we approach the
start of a war with Iraq, we should all pause to examine the
potential negative and unintended consequences that may arise
from even a quick and successful attack.

"In the international arena, any attack on Iraq will almost
certainly lead to the unnecessary death of Iraqi civilians and
American military personnel, further destabilize an already
unstable region, harm long-standing international alliances and
treaties, and set a dangerous precedent for unilateral
intervention in the affairs of other nations. The chaos caused
by a war could also provide cover for even greater Israeli
oppression of the Palestinian people.

"An indefinite occupation of Iraq will fuel anti-American
sentiment and would thereby harm our nation's image and
interests in the Middle East and around the world. Such an
occupation could quickly turn into a political and military

"On the domestic front, a war and occupation will drain
much-needed financial resources from our struggling economy and
could fuel a backlash against innocent American Muslims,
Arab-Americans and those perceived to be 'Middle Eastern.' A
conflict could also be used to justify further erosions of our
civil and religious rights.

"No one in the American Muslim community supports the brutal
dictatorship currently imposing itself on the long-suffering
people of Iraq. But distaste for the Iraqi regime's murderous
policies is not sufficient justification for an invasion of that
country. "Nuclear, chemical and biological weapons constitute
a serious threat to humanity. The possible use of such weapons
by Iraq, North Korea, Israel, and other nations is of great
concern to all Americans. But the elimination of banned weapons
possibly held by Iraq should be dealt with through the United
Nations, not through precipitous unilateral action by the United

"It is clear that America has decided how it will prosecute
the war, but it is less clear that our nation has determined
what policies will be pursued on the day after the conquest of
Iraq. Real and lasting change in any society can only come from
within. Democracy cannot be imposed at the point of a gun."

CAIR is America's largest Islamic civil liberties group. It
is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and has 16 regional
offices nationwide and in Canada. Since its founding in 1994,
CAIR has defended the civil and religious rights of all

CAIR offers an e-mail list designed to be a journalist's
window to the American Muslim community. Subscribers to the
list, called ISLAM-INFONET, receive news releases and other
materials dealing with American Muslim positions on issues of
importance to our society.

/U.S. Newswire 202-347-2770/
03/19 17:37

Copyright 2003, U.S. Newswire