U.S. Muslims form election task force
A nationwide coalition of Islamic organizations today announced the formation of a task force designed to encourage community-based Muslim political participation and to defend against the erosion of civil liberties in a post-9/11 social environment.
The new group, called the “American Muslim Taskforce on Civil Rights and Elections (AMT),” will concentrate on helping Muslims become “full partners in the development and prosperity of our homeland,” defending the civil rights of all Americans and developing alliances “on a wide variety of social, political, economic, and moral issues.”
Task force organizers say they will put forward a “civil rights plus” agenda for the 2004 election cycle in which civil rights is the most important issue, but not the only issue. The AMT election plan states: “We remain equally committed to (the issues of) education, homelessness, economic recovery, environmental and ecological safety, electoral reform, crime, and global peace and justice.”
“Our vote is the best guarantee of our civil rights and the best expression of our citizenship,” said AMT Coordinator Agha Saeed. “We will mobilize American Muslim voters at the local, state and national levels, with a primary focus on those states and races that may have the most impact in the coming elections.”
AMT co-sponsors have committed to organize voter education and registration drives, encourage Muslims to work in political campaigns, host candidates’ town hall meetings, issue candidate scorecards on issues of importance to the Muslim community, and to form coalitions with like-minded groups.
The American Muslim Taskforce on Civil Rights and Elections 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 of North America (MANA), Muslim American Society (MAS), Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), Muslim Student Association – National (MSA-N), and Project Islamic Hope (PIH).
CAIR, America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group, is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and has 25 regional offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada.