The American Muslim Taskforce on Civil Rights and Elections (AMT) has issued a statement praising President Obama’s address to the Turkish Parliament on Monday in which he said that the U.S. “is not and never will be at war with Islam.” According to the statement, carried on the website of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR):
The American Muslim Taskforce on Civil Rights and Elections (AMT), a coalition of major national Islamic organizations, today applauded President Obama’s Monday address to the Turkish parliament. A statement issued today at a press briefing at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., read in part:
“We applaud President Obama’s remarks and hope that they are a sign of improved relations between America and the Muslim world. In his speech, President Obama rightly said that the United States ‘is not and will never be at war with Islam.’ This is a position that needs restating at every opportunity. “We also agree with the president’s statement that better relations with the Muslim world are vital in ‘rolling back a fringe ideology that people of all faiths reject.’ “We appreciate that the president noted the contributions of American Muslims and recognized that many Americans ‘have Muslims in their family, or have lived in a Muslim-majority country.’ “Turkey is a key player in the region and is well-placed to assist the United States in reaching out to nations such as Iran and Syria and to help achieve a just and comprehensive resolution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. We also support President Obama’s backing of Turkey’s entry into the European Union. “The American Muslim community believes President Obama’s new policy of dialogue and mutual respect will serve our nation and the cause of world peace and stability much better than past policies of unilateralism and confrontation.”
At today’s briefing, AMT representatives also called on President Obama to address domestic issues such as the rising level of Islamophobic attitudes in the United States, the deteriorating relations between the FBI and American Muslims, the dissemination of inaccurate and agenda-driven information by DHS-recognized “fusion centers,” and Muslims’ concerns about Justice Department guidelines implemented in December 2008 that allow race and ethnicity to be factors in opening an FBI probe.
It should be noted that according to its website, the AMT is made up of all the major U.S. Muslim Brotherhood organizations including CAIR. The AMT supplanted an earlier electoral coalition known as the American Muslim Political Coordination Council (AMPCC). According to its website, In 2004, national news described the founding of the AMT as follows:
The leading Muslim organizations have been so outraged over the USA Patriot Act (search) that they have banded together as the American Muslim Taskforce (search) to make civil rights their top issue in the presidential race.
AMT activities appear to be similar to those of the AMPCC although consistent with the groups ostensible civil-rights agenda, the organization has defended high-profile terror suspects such as Sami Al-Arian.
As a previous post has noted, it appears that CAIR, under increasing pressure as a result of the FBI decision to sever relations with the organization, is increasingly using the AMT as a surrogate spokesman.