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September 09, 2010

Muslimah Writers Alliance Director Commends U.S. Officials for Speaking Out Against Quran Burning

"Hail to the Commander-in-Chief for upholding that which is right and abhorring that which is inherently wrong," stated MWA Director, Aishah Schwartz.

PRLog (Sep 09, 2010) – WASHINGTON, D.C. (MWA-NET) – Muslimah Writers Alliance Director, Aishah Schwartz, commends U.S. President Barack Obama for "standing up for that which is right and abhorring that which is inherently wrong," on receiving the news that Gainesville, Florida Pastor Terry Jones had called off the previously scheduled September 11 event organized to burn copies of the Qu'ran.

Earlier today on ABC's "Good Morning America" Obama, speaking both to an audience of millions and to Jones in particular, said that: "I hope he listens to those better angels and understands that this is a destructive act that he's engaging in."

The President further asserted that Saturday's planned protest on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks was a dangerous "stunt" that could imperil U.S. troops abroad and incite suicide bombers on American soil.

Obama, framing his remarks "as commander in chief of the Armed Forces of the United States," further stated "I just want him to understand that this stunt that he is talking about pulling could greatly endanger our young men and women in uniform who are in Iraq, who are in Afghanistan."

On September 7, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addressed the Quran burning issue during an Iftar held at the U.S. State Department calling the plan a "disrespectful, disgraceful act."

Also warning against the event was top U.S. military commander in Afghanistan, General David Petraeus and NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

General Petraeus said on Monday, Sept. 6, that the event 'could endanger troops and it could endanger the overall effort in Afghanistan," CNN reported.

It has also been reported that FBI agents met with the Rev. Terry Jones.

In a follow-up issued by the Detroit Free Press earlier this evening after cancellation of the event was announced, metro area religious leaders applauded the news, "It would have been a travesty for him and his 50 members to burn the holy Quran," said the Rev. Kenneth Flowers, pastor of Greater New Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church in Detroit. "Whether you are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, you do not burn another faith's holy books."

Added Schwartz, "This serves as yet another example in the recent history of our nation, including the Park51 debate, wherein although the U.S. Constitution protects even unpopular speech and the right of religious freedom, just because one has the right to do something, doesn't necessarily mean in all cases that adamantly insisting upon exercising that right in defense of potentially dangerous and harmful decisions, is always the right thing to do."

"The Quran burning issue further exacerbates the Park51 triggered backlash against Muslim community members, noted by an alarming increase in reports nationwide of local governing agencies attempting to excessively scrutinize development plans of Muslim community members by invoking alleged zoning ordinance stipulations that Federal law was designed to shield against," stated Schwartz.

On September 1, Schwartz urged President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder in an open letter published at Politics, to uphold and enforce federal law regarding freedom of religion and freedom of worship based on not only the U.S. Constitution, but also the Republican backed 2000 lesser-known law, U.S. Code Title 42, Chapter 21C, the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (RLUIPA).

The Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act states that, "No government shall impose or implement a land use regulation in a manner that imposes a substantial burden on the religious exercise of a person, including a religious assembly or institution," unless it meets very strict conditions.

Nor may any government inflict a regulation that discriminates "on the basis of religion or religious denomination." Thus, it is clearly designed to protect individuals and houses of worship from discriminatory and unduly burdensome zoning regulations, and protects the religious exercise of all Americans.

"It is, therefore, the responsibility of the U.S. Federal Government and the Department of Justice to enforce this law," added Schwartz.

AP reported on September 6, that the Department of Justice is currently investigating anti-Muslim incidents in four states, including the stabbing of a Muslim cab driver in New York City.

Justice Department spokesman Matthew Miller added that in the past eighteen months it has also prosecuted cases in Tennessee, Massachusetts, Alabama, and others, citing that "violence against individuals or institutions based on religious bias is intolerable and the department will bring anyone who commits such crimes to justice."

On Saturday, September 11 from 2:00PM-3:00PM, 9/11 Freedom Coalition organizers, Muslimah Writers Alliance (MWA), Muslims for Progressive Values (MPV), United for Pluralism, and Responsible for Equality and Liberty (R.E.A.L.), will hold a rally at Freedom Plaza, Pennsylvania Ave., N.W. between 13th and 14th Streets N.W. in Washington, D.C. in response to events associated with the current wave of hate-filled rhetoric, bigotry and acts of violence against Muslim Americans nationwide, including reports of efforts by others seeking to block the legal rights of Muslim Americans to exercise their right of religious freedom in building houses of worship.

Further details are available through Jeffrey Imm (R.E.A.L.) at (301) 613-8789, or by email addressed to: Directions and additional information are also available online at

911 Freedom Coalition Launches Petition Calling on President to Enforce Religious Land Use Act
Muslimah Writers Alliance Director Requests Federal Action Against Islamophobia (Also here)
Online Petition to President Obama and Attorney General Eric H. HolderMuslimah Writers Alliance Announces 'The Non-Islamophobic Muslim News' on Facebook
Park51: Law Passed Ten Years Ago Trumps Religious Freedom Debate

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Established in 2006, MWA is an internationally-based collaboration of Muslim women writers and advocates working together to counter negative and inaccurate perceptions regarding members of the Muslim community and the Islamic faith.

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