Muslims Disclose Sense of Apathy Toward Confab

Local Muslims have few plans to participate in protests against the
Republican National Committee Convention in New York City this month,
according to a sampling of area mosques.

Imams and administrators at Islamic institutions across New York City said
their communities are generally apathetic toward the convention.

"The people from our mosque are generally not the ones who will be
demonstrating," said Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf, a leading spokesman for the
Muslim community and a spiritual leader of Masjid al Farah mosque on the
Upper East Side of Manhattan.

Imam Abdul Rauf said Muslims have traditionally found themselves more in
alignment with the Republican Party because of "its personal values and its
family values."

He said many Muslims find themselves caught between a loyalty to those
values and a disagreement with Bush administration policies "since 9/11,"
such that "the winds have been more toward the Democratic side."

His sentiment is consistent with the perspective of Mubashir Ahmed, one of
two Muslims working closely with United for Peace and Justice to develop a
massive protest in New York City prior to the convention. The group was a
primary organizer of the anti-Iraq-war protest in the city last year that
drew an estimated 500,000 attendees


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