Rameen Mosref Javid did not bother voting in the 2000 elections.
Back then, the 35-year-old Afghan was more interested in Far Eastern
politics. He didn't consider himself a minority, and he didn't feel any
persecution or fear.
Then came the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, and the American Muslim world
"After 9/11, we became a target," said Javid, a Flushing resident, who said
he has been "selected" for random airport checks each of the nine times he
has flown since the attacks.
He now plans to vote for the first time - and hopes other Muslims will do
"A lot more is at stake for this community," said Javid, who two months ago
began registering voters in front of area mosques after Friday Jumah services.
A flurry of voter activity drives is underway in Muslim and Arab enclaves
throughout the city. A patchwork of organizations is hitting the streets to
galvanize Muslims into what they say could become a potent voting bloc...
"There are so many Muslims who are disillusioned out there and that might
show at the polls," said Wissam Nasr, the New York director of the Council
on American-Islamic Relations. The council has set up a voter information
booth in front of the Islamic Cultural Center of New York - the city's
largest mosque - on E. 96th St. and Third Ave..