American Muslim Taskforce on Civil Rights and Elections – Political Action Committee (AMT-PAC)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Agha Saeed (510) 299-9313
WASHINGTON, D.C., 10/21/04 – Following careful consideration of overall U.S. interests, interaction with presidential campaign officials and extensive input from the Islamic community, the American Muslim Taskforce
on Civil Rights and Elections – Political Action Committee (AMT-PAC) is calling on Muslims nationwide to cast a protest vote for Sen. John Kerry.
AMT-PAC is an affiliated political action committee of the American Muslim
Taskforce on Civil Rights and Elections (AMT). AMT is an umbrella
organization representing American Muslim Alliance (AMA), Council on
American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA),
Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), Muslim Alliance in North America
(MANA), Muslim American Society (MAS), Muslim Ummah of North America
(MUNA), Muslim Student Association-National (MSA-N), Project Islamic Hope
(PIH), and United Muslims of America (UMA). SEE:
Muslims are a potential swing-voting bloc in key battleground states such
as Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. There are an
estimated seven million Muslims in the United States.
In its statement, AMT-PAC said:
“We believe that our vote is the best guarantee of our civil rights and the
best expression of our citizenship.
“Unfortunately, the Bush administration has been insensitive to the civil
liberties and human rights of American Muslims, Arab-Americans and South
Asians. Today, American Muslims are being treated like second-class citizens.
“American Muslims are also disappointed with a number of domestic and
foreign policies instituted by the Bush administration since the 9/11
“AMT-PAC appreciates the outstanding role of Ralph Nader in highlighting
the denial of civil liberties to religious and ethnic minorities.
“We acknowledge the considerable outreach to our community by Sen. Kerry’s
campaign, particularly by his campaign co-chair Sen. Edward Kennedy. We
also appreciate the ongoing dialogue with Muslim leaders about problems
posed by the USA PATRIOT Act.
“While the Kerry campaign has critiqued a number of Bush administration
polices, it has so far failed to explicitly affirm support for due process,
equal justice and other constitutional norms. We are also disappointed that
his campaign has shied away from expressing unambiguous support for
principles enshrined in the U.S. Constitution that prohibit use of ex post
facto laws, secret proceedings and secret evidence.
“Because pluralism is based on partial agreements, support for Sen. Kerry
is premised on our overall effort to help restore liberty and justice for all.
“Mindful of disagreements with Sen. Kerry on some domestic and
international issues, including the war in Iraq, we are willing to work
with him to help restore due process and equal justice in accordance with
the U.S. Constitution.
“AMT-PAC therefore urges American Muslim voters and their allies in the
struggle for civil rights to focus on the real issues: civil liberties,
human rights, international peace and justice, jobs, education, health
care, economic development of inner cities, and sound foreign policy. It is
vital for the protection of our liberties to vote together, in high
numbers, and for a common purpose.”