(ATLANTA, GA, 10/10/2023) On Thursday, October 12, 2023, the Georgia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Georgia) held a press conference at the Georgia State Capitol with interfaith community members to respond to recent events in the Middle East and to urge the U.S. government to arrange a ceasefire.
In a statement, CAIR National Deputy Director Edward Ahmed Mitchell said:
“Killing innocent people, targeting civilians, is wrong. It doesn’t matter whether they’re Palestinian, Israeli, American, or any other nationality. Killing innocent people is wrong. We have no problem saying that. The problem is that we’re not hearing that same condemnation from everyone else. We are hearing great sympathy for Israeli victims of horrific violence, but we’re not hearing our government, our political leaders, our media, our corporations, express any sympathy or acknowledgement of the suffering of the Palestinian people who are, as we speak, being indiscriminately bombed in the Gaza Strip.”
Ibrahim Awad Esq., owner and founder of the Awad Law Firm, said:
“We know what happens when we are emotionally engulfed in warmongering rhetoric: the erosion of civil liberties in the US; the illegal invasion of other countries, that have led to over 1 million deaths; then, several years later, an apology is made admitting that was a mistake and shame is felt for the mass punishment of an entire people for something that they had no hand in.”
Ayeola Omolara Kaplan, a Jewish abolitionist artist, said in a statement:
“I want to stand here in solidarity with the Palestinians
, in particular , to counterbalance the overwhelming, one-sided support for Israel that I have been witnessing in the Jewish community. To say simply ‘I stand with Israel’ or that your heart goes out to Israel alone, is to perpetuate the violence against Palestinians.”
Ari Bee, a Jewish community organizer, said:
“As an American Jew, I am called to speak up about the fact that several billion U.S. dollars are being earmarked to go support Israel committing genocide and war crimes. Israel is broadly targeting a trapped civilian population in Gaza. That is not okay.
As Jews we say: not in our name.”
Ghada Elnajjar , the daughter of Palestinian Refugees, talks about the loss of five of her relatives, four of them children, in Gaza in the recent indiscriminate Israeli airstrikes. She emphasizes:
“Collective punishment is illegal under all international law. The world is witnessing a genocide, and it must end immediately with ending the occupation.”
Renee Al Noubani , President of the Georgia Tech Muslim Student Association, reiterated the inhuman conditions being imposed on the Palestinian people of Gaza. She shared how students are responding to these events:
“Many of us feel the pressure not to speak up about what we are seeing and, in some cases, are being harassed. We are the voice of the Palestinian people, and we will not be silent.”
CAIR-Georgia’s mission is to protect civil rights, promote justice, empower American Muslims, and enhance the understanding of Islam.