FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III met today with representatives of several national Muslim and Arab-American groups to discuss issues of concern to their communities.
Topics of discussion at the meeting included the progress of the post September 11 investigation, the status and treatment of Muslims and Arabs detained following the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, the many incidents of backlash against Muslims and those who appeared to be "Middle Eastern," and the civil liberties implications of using ethnic and religious profiling as a tool of law enforcement.
Meeting participants also discussed Attorney General John Ashcroft's published remarks that "Islam is a religion in which God requires you to send your son to die for him."
"Today's meeting offered an excellent opportunity for dialogue on a number of important issues. We look forward to other positive interactions in the future," said Council on American Islamic-Relations (CAIR) Executive Director Nihad Awad, who participated in today's meeting.
Awad presented Mueller with a summary of anti-Muslim incidents reported to his group since September 11. CAIR received more than 1700 such reports, including a number of possibly bias-related murders. CAIR Governmental Affairs Director Jason Erb also attended today's meeting.
Groups represented at the meeting included CAIR, American Muslim Council, Muslim Public Affairs Council, Islamic Institute, Arab American Institute, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, along with a Sikh advocacy organization.
Believe it or not, but it’s that time of the season again. What season? Election season, and now, more than ever, it is critical that all eligible Muslim Americans make sure that their name is on their state’s voter registration list. CAIR will be leading the drive in ensuring that all Muslim citizens of the US over the age of 18 know their rights as a voter, and exercise those rights to their fullest come November 5th, 2002. Our goal, insha’Allah, is to register more than 100,000 new Muslim voters over the next eight months.
Why Should I Vote?
1)The Muslim community must work to enjoin the good and forbid the evil. Voting plays an essential role in doing so in this society. Electing to support or oppose a candidate based upon his or her opinions or actions can play a tremendous role in the making of government policy at all levels: policies that can affect your local community and the entire Muslim ummah worldwide.
2)Muslims in America share a set of common values and interests which they should support and make known to others. By backing candidates that share our interests and concerns, you can help improve the moral, social, and economic environment of this great land.
3)Too often in the past, Muslims have not exercised their right to vote thereby weakening their negotiating power with elected officials at all levels of the government. Politicians only help those who helped vote them into office. Even if they did not vote for that candidate, their vote demonstrates that they are interested in their country and committed to helping make it a better place, something all Americans respect.
4)You pay taxes. Whether you vote or not, the government still takes a large share of your yearly income to pay for programs that you may or may not support. Why let them spend money on things that you don’t want them to?
5)The 2000 Elections. Despite whatever thoughts you may have about the outcome of that election, it is clear to almost everyone that George W. Bush won due in part to the overwhelming support that he received from the Muslim voters. As in all tight elections every vote counts, and if Muslims vote en masse, their numbers may be enough to tip the balance in favor of the candidates that they support.
What Do I Do Now?
It’s quite simple. Please fill out the form below and indicate whether or not you are a registered voter. Eligible voters who have not registered will be contacted soon with the instructions for registering in their own state. Voters who have already registered will be sent materials about this year’s elections and how they can help in making sure that their friends, families and neighbors are registered too. In either case, CAIR will be providing all those who fill out our form with a free one year membership to the organization as our way of saying thank you for helping us reach our goal.
The Transportation Department is foolish to tell airport screeners not to consider some racial and ethnic factors when screening passengers, Keating said.
The department has instructed "if someone is speaking Arabic or reading the Koran or praying, that is not to be a factor at all," Keating said. "Well, that's reckless in my view…"
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