US Muslim, Arab groups pen letter to Biden before mass Washington rally for Gaza
A letter signed by dozens of Muslim and Arab groups in the US has been shared publicly with the aim of pressuring US President Joe Biden to call for a ceasefire in Israel's war in Gaza.
The letter, sent by the American Muslim Task Force on Palestine, and signed by 80 Muslim-American, Arab-American and Palestinian-American groups, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations, says that Biden's policy on Israel has "severely damaged" his ties with their communities.
"In advance of this weekend's March on Washington for Gaza, we - the undersigned Muslim American, Arab American and Palestinian American leaders and organizations - implore you to end your support for the Israeli government's genocidal war crimes against Palestinian civilians in Gaza today," the letter to Biden read.
It went on to remind the president that Arabs and Muslims were among his strongest supporters when he was running for office in 2020.
"Your administration must change course on its handling of this crisis, which has severely damaged your standing with many Americans, especially Muslim and Arab communities who had been strong supporters of your presidency," the letter said.
"When you took office, your swift action to repeal the Muslim and Africa Bans and appoint racial and religious minorities to a record number of positions were positive steps that signaled the potential for a better relationship with the American Muslim community than any prior administration," it added.
"Yet your handling of policy towards Israel and Palestine has been a persistent point of concern that has now reached the breaking point."
The letter then admonishes Biden for promising to make human rights the focus of his foreign policy, and then questioning the death toll of civilian casualties in Gaza and bypassing the congressional review process for arms transfers to Israel. The letter ends by imploring Biden to end his support for the war.
"For the sake of justice, peace, your legacy, and your relationship with our communities and the broader American public, please end our nation's support for this violence today. The demonstration, which takes place," the letter said.
The demonstration, which takes place on Saturday, is expected to draw hundreds of thousands to the US capital.