MA: Muslims Confer on Politics, Rights


The leader of a Muslim organization said Muslims made a costly error in supporting George W. Bush for president in 2000 and cautioned American followers of the Islamic faith that the current field of presidential candidates is filled with closed-minded racists.

“After 9-11, there is a new America and new challenges for us (Muslims) to face,” said Agha Saeed, founder and chairman of the American Muslim Alliance, Saturday night at the organization’s East Coast regional conference at the Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites.

Mr. Saeed, a professor of political science and sociology at the University of California at Berkeley, did not identify the candidates with alleged racial prejudices but urged conference attendees to closely examine the track records and rhetoric of presidential hopefuls who espouse security, immigration and other policies that would impinge on the civil rights of Muslims.

He said Muslims must educate themselves about the American political system and must forge partnerships with African-American and other minority groups in a bid to protect their liberties. Mr. Saeed also warned conference participants of candidates seeking the support of evangelical groups.

“You can’t ask Muslims to be secular, when almost every candidate is waving a Bible,” he said.


 


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