—FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—
JAMAICA, New York (February 2, 2011) – In a press release issued today, the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) expressed its deepest concern for the people of Egypt. The announcement follows eight days of protests in numerous cities across the country and general unrest in the Middle East and Arab world.
In mid-January, Egyptians called for an uprising to protest against poverty, government corruption, police brutality, inflation and unemployment under the 30-year rule of authoritarian President Hosni Mubarak. Events peaked on January 25, the “Day of Rage,” when thousands of Egyptians took to the streets in peaceful protest and were met with tear gas and water cannons fired by riot police. An estimated 200 deaths and over 1,030 injuries have been reported in the last eight days.
ICNA wholeheartedly supports the people of Egypt and believes they should be ensured their basic right to freedom of expression, as well as unrestricted access to the Internet and mobile phones.
While we appreciate the US administration’s continuous efforts to speak with President Mubarak, we urge President Obama and his administration to facilitate and support a representative government with full representation of key opposition groups. As Mohamed ElBaradei notes, this representation must extend to the Muslim Brotherhood, as “they are part of the Egyptian society.”
ICNA is hopeful that the Obama administration will take a principled stance in regards to authoritarian governments throughout the region. We urge President Obama to demand that President Mubarak listen to the people of Egypt and restore Internet and mobile phone services.
We appeal to the people of Egypt, young and old, rich and poor, Muslim and Christian to have patience and persevere. The thoughts and prayers of American Muslims are with you in this difficult time.
“And to the people of Madian, we sent their berother Shuaib. He said, O my people serve Allah; you have no deity other than He. Do not give short measure and weight. Though I see you in a state of prosperity, I fear for you the scourge of a day that will encircle you. And O my people give full measure and weight justly and do not defraud of their goods and do not spread mischief in the land. The residue (after giving full measure) is best for you, if you are believers. Any how I am not a guardian over you. “They replied, O Shuaib, Does your salat teach you this that we should give up all those deities whom our forefathers worshipped or that we should have no right on our goods to dispense with them as we please. Indeed you are the only generous and righteous man (left in the land).” (Hud: 84-87)
When Prophet Shuaib insisted that they should give up their corrupt ways, they said bitterly:
“They answered, “O Shuaib, We do not understand much of what you say. Indeed we see that you are a powerless man among us. Had it not been for your family, we would have stoned you to death long before this for you are not strong enough to prevail over us.”(Hud: 91)