August 26, 2011
Dear Mr. Mashal:
We write to you during this holy month of Ramadan as Muslim-American leaders and scholars across the United States. As Muslims around the world reflect upon their faith and strive for an elevated level of devotion during this blessed month, we urge you to act upon our higher calling to charity and compassion by releasing Israeli Corporal Gilad Shalit.
We believe Hamas’ harsh treatment and five-year detention of Shalit is wrong. On many occasions Hamas has stated its opposition to unjust imprisonment. It has said that Israel’s detention of thousands of Palestinians, including women and children who have been held for months or years, sometimes in harsh conditions or without access to genuine due process, is unjust. As Muslims we are guided by the tradition of the Prophet (peace be upon him). He teaches us to follow a higher ethical and moral code, and to set an example of justice and mercy, even against enemies and prisoners of war. In Surat Fussilat, Ayah 34, we are told that “the good deed and the evil deed are not alike,” and we are instructed to “repel the evil deed with one that is better.”
The struggle for Palestinian human rights and self-determination must be based on this ethical and moral code. Hamas’ inhumane detention of Shalit undermines the Palestinian people’s legitimate aspirations for human rights and a state of their own, existing in peace and security beside Israel.
On the occasion of Ramadan, we urge you to recall that the Holy Qur’an teaches us that “Whoever pardons and makes reconciliation will receive his reward from Allah.” We urge you to act upon these words by releasing Shalit immediately.
Thank you for considering this request.
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