An Iowa legislator who heads the American Muslim Alliance is assuring Des Moines Jewish leaders the organization wants peace for Israel and will focus on human rights after controversy developed over the group's plans to move to Iowa.

"The American Muslim Alliance is not anti-Jewish; it is not anti-Israel," said state Rep. Ako Abdul-Samad, D-Des Moines, who chairs the organization. "We look at the Palestinian and Israeli conflict, and we would love for it to end peacefully."

Abdul-Samad said that the alliance, which was established in 1994, will move its headquarters to Des Moines in 2018, and that he plans to hold its national conference here next spring or summer. The organization's website says it has 98 chapters in 31 states, but Abdul-Samad said that the alliance has been inactive in recent years and that he is leading a rebuilding initiative.

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