AMV Executive Director’s interview
on ABC Channel 7 San Francisco
Samina Faheem Sundas, Executive Director of American Muslim Voice was interviewed on the ABC Channel 7 San Francisco on June 20, 2004, about the situation in Saudi Arabia after the beheading of Mr. Paul Johnson, an American contractor.
“First I would like to offer my deepest and heartfelt condolences to Mr. Johnson's family. I want to assure them that all the peaceful Muslims of the world are with them in condemning this senseless crime against Mr. Johnson. They are in our prayers and we share in their grief. May God give them the courage to bear the loss of their loved one. Ameen.
She was asked that the State Department is advising all Americans to leave Saudi Arabia but the Secretary of state, Collin Powell, is asking Americans not to panic, stating that “we have invested many years in Saudi Arabia building friendship.”
Q: In your opinion what should we do?
A: I believe in building and nurturing good relationships but if American lives are in danger we must preserve life before relationship.
Q: Al-Quaeda members are justifying their act?
A: There is never any justification in killing an innocent man, in my opinion these people are not Muslims and they are not practicing Islam. They don't have any regard for life, if they did, they will think about how their act is going to affect 7 million Muslims in America. They have their own agenda that has nothing to do with Islam and Muslims.
Q: Have you been feeling the heat since the beheading of Mr. Johnson?
A: Yes, we receive hate messages, threats and hate crimes against Muslims have increased. Actually we (American Muslims) receive anger from both sides. How? for example when AMV sent out the statement condemning the beheading, we received an email from UK asking us to send a copy of that statement to Bush and we will get an award.
Since 9/11 Muslims have been the targeted community.