The Muslim Public Affairs Council
Statement on the arrest of
On October 6, 2003 MPAC Releases the Following Statement on the Arrest of Abdel-Rahman Al-Amoudi who was arrest on Sept. 28, 2003 at Dulles International Airport in Virginia after a flight from London:
1. MPAC is disturbed by the arrest of Mr. Al-Amoudi, an American Muslim and one of the founders of the American Muslim Council (AMC). He was taken into custody for violations of the law that were unrelated to the War on Terror or to any alleged involvement with terrorism. According to media reports, he was found to be in possession of large sums of money that he received from the government of Libya in exchange for lobbying the US government.
2. Even before 9/11, but certainly afterwards, American Muslim institutions and American Muslim leaders have a duty to diligently make available all financial records. American Muslim institutions must adhere to the highest levels of transparency in bookkeeping and must make those books available to all members of their organization, to their donors, and to all of their directors. In the current climate, charges of dual loyalty can only be answered effectively if there is no financial connection between independent American Muslim groups and foreign funding sources, even if this has a negative impact on the ability of these groups to function.
3. While all Americans have an obligation to behave in a lawful and civilized manner, leaders who purport to
represent the views of an entire community have an even greater responsibility to act in a lawful and exemplary manner. Individuals who claim a leadership status in the American Muslim community should not misrepresent their associations, missions, or goals to that community. Individuals who fails to adhere to these standards are not qualified to lead.
4. The targeting of individuals or organizations by law enforcement should not be politicized, and the alleged crimes of one individual should not be allowed to taint an entire community. Biased pundits motivated by personal agendas, with the support of some in the government, have exploited the tragedy of 9-11 to marginalize the voices of American Muslims, and to prevent the emergence of an effective and independent American Muslim leadership. The FBI should be free to pursue investigations based on
criminal activity and behavior, and not be pressured from private ideologically motivated "terrorism experts" or television pundits to pursue their political opponents.
5. MPAC reiterates that Al-Amoudi's arrest was not connected to charges of terrorism, and calls on the Justice Department to make that clear in its public pronouncements regarding the case. If Justice believes otherwise, they should produce the basis for a such a conclusion so that the public may judge for itself.