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Friends of Charities Association (FOCA) Friends of Charities Association (FOCA)

FOCA Condemns Killing of Humanitarian Worker

Actions Run Counter to Human Decency and Islamic Teachings, November 16, 2004

Washington, DC-The Friends of Charities Association (FOCA), composed of leading faith-based charities providing humanitarian relief work all over the world, condemns the brutal murder of Mrs. Margaret Hassan, President of CARE International in Iraq.

Islam forbids the targeting of innocent civilians, even during war. No political cause can justify this treatment of a distinguished humanitarian worker, stated FOCA Spokesman Wendell Belew. For those in the field of charitable services her compassion and hard work for the suffering of everyday Iraqis shall never be forgotten, he added.

Humanitarian work is inherently dangerous, with workers and officials called into action in the most extreme of conditions affected by conflict and natural disaster. Mrs. Hassan answered the call of the Iraqi people and has given selflessly for over three decades. To kidnap her and use her as a political pawn is not only the worst possible crime but also a grave violation of Islamic principles, stated Asim Ghafoor, FOCA attorney.

Humanitarian work is cherished in Islam. Her family in Iraq and the United Kingdom can take solace in the tremendous rewards offered to those engaged in selfless work such as Mrs. Hassan. According to a teaching of the Prophet Muhammad, an act of kindness to a needy person is equivalent to fasting the entire month and praying for the entire year.

FOCA conveys its heartfelt sympathies to the family of this remarkable woman. To her colleagues at CARE International, FOCA also expresses its utmost regrets to the tragedy that has befallen the local and world community of humanitarian workers.

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