Islamic Congress sends message of sympathy to Palestinians everywhere

11 November 2004

The Canadian Islamic Congress has sent a message of sympathy to the Palestinian Authority representative in Ottawa Dr. Baker Abdel Munem and to Palestinians everywhere, following the announcement that their President, Yasser Arafat, died in a French military hospital today. The message said the late leader's record is now in the annals of history and his spirit in the hands of his Creator.

For nearly 40 years Arafat was the most visible leader of the Palestinian people under occupation. During his career, he escaped death on several occasions. One time was in July 1981, when Israeli aircraft bombarded his headquarters in Beirut, and again in 1982 when they bombed the same city for 10 weeks, pounding buildings in which he was thought to be hiding. In 1986, Israeli fighter planes flew from Tel Aviv to bomb his headquarters in Tunis, reducing it to rubble and killing most of those inside. And in 1992 his plane crashed in the desert, killing the entire crew. No trace could be found of Arafat, as he did change his departure plans at the last minute.

Political analysts are still divided over the possible repercussions of Arafat's death on the continuing Israeli-Palestinian conflict and on world peace. In remembering Yasser Arafat, the Canadian Islamic Congress hopes and prays that peace with justice returns, sooner rather than later, in the land to which he devoted his life. Amen.

Mrs. Wahida Valiante, (905) 881-8024, e-mail:
For French media:
Dr. Mohamed Nekili,
(519) 885-8140

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