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Released 20 February 2007  By The American Muslim Taskforce for Civil Rights and Elections (AMT)


WASHINGTON, DC - Feb. 18, 2007: The American Muslim Taskforce for Civil Rights and Elections (AMT), a coalition of major Muslim organizations, today called for a worldwide "rolling fast" in support of Dr. Sami Al-Arian. Al-Arian is the former Florida professor who has been on a hunger strike since January 21 to protest his detention and treatment by federal authorities.

AMT is asking Muslims and other people of conscience around the world to fast every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for as long as Al-Arian continues his hunger strike.

Al-Arian, who has been imprisoned for almost four years, began a hunger strike after being given an additional sentence of up to 18 months for refusing to testify before a grand jury in Virginia. He and his attorney say an earlier plea agreement freed him from further cooperation with the government. Al-Arian's supporters say the government's actions are a form of harassment.

SEE: Family Says Inmate's Hunger Strike Not Near End (AP)

In 2005, a Florida jury rejected federal charges that Al-Arian operated a cell for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Al-Arian later pleaded guilty to a lesser charge and was scheduled for release and deportation in April.

AMT is requesting that those participating in the rolling fast e-mail:

The Muslim coalition is urging local communities to host information sessions at houses of worship and on college campuses to educate the public about Dr. Al-Arian's case.

AMT is also asking that letters of support for Dr. Al-Arian be faxed to:

* Honorable Judge Gerald Lee - Fax Number: (703) 299-3339
* Attorney General Alberto Gonzales - Fax Number: (202) 307-6777
* Congressman John Conyers, Jr; - Fax Number: (202) 225-0072
* Senator Patrick Leahy - Fax Number: (202) 224-3479

AMT members and affiliates endorsing this statement include: American Muslim Alliance (AMA), Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA), Muslim American Society (MAS), Muslim Student Association-National (MSA-N), Muslim Ummah of North America (MUNA), Project Islamic Hope (PIH), and United Muslims of America (UMA).

CONTACT: Dr. Agha Saeed, Ph: 510-299-9313,

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