Muslim coalition offers qualified Kerry endorsement


AMT-PAC calls for 'protest vote' as guarantee of civil rights 

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).

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 terror attacks. 

"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." 

American Muslim Taskforce


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Older Comments:
BASHIRI AL-TIJANI FROM USA said:
Such an unavoidable stance is essential if we are to have a political voice in this country.
islam is more than rituals, religious injunctions and khutbahs.

the Ummah in the West must learn from the Civil Rights Movement, and New Africans must make a substantial contribution to this process.

As we embrace democratic principles on behalf of the Ummah, let us not stop without looking at the man in the mirror. Look closely at the structure of our jamats, our treatment of our women, leadership roles of Americans in the jamats( American refers to all racial groups)...
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HESHAM ISMAIL FROM USA said:
Asalamalaikum,
"TERRORISM" EXISTS BECAUSE OF US OPPRESSIVE ACTIONS AGAINST ALL MUSLIMS IN THE MIDDLE EAST. BOTH BUSH AND KERRY WANT TO CONTINUE OCCUPATION OF IRAQ AND SUPPORT ISRAEL IN ITS RELENTLESS ABUSE OF PALESTINIAN CIVILIANS. 14,000 INNOCENT IRAQI MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN HAVE DIED BECAUSE OF BUSH'S WAR FOR OIL AND GOD KNOWS HOW MANY PALESTINIANS (may god bless them upon death for the miserable oppression they lived through and punish the murderers for their unforgivable sins of disbelief in God, his revelations and murder without any just cause)YES, KERRY IS THE LESSER OF THE TWO EVILS BUT THEY BOTH HAVE NO REGARD FOR HUMAN LIFE, WHETHER MUSLIM OR AMERICAN AND THEY HAVE THE SAME STANCE ON FOREIGN ISSUES OF IMPERIALISM OF MIDDLE EAST AND ISRAELI SUPPORT. WE MUST VOTE FOR THE ONLY PERSON WHOS POLITICAL OPINIONS ARE NOT INFLUENCED BY BIG BUISNESSES, RALPH NADER. HE IS NOT THE PERFECT CANDIDATE, BUT HE IS THE ONLY PERSON WHO IS STANDING UP TO THE INJUSTICE THAT EXISTS OVERSEES. HE WILL NOT WIN, BUT AT LEAST BY VOTING FOR HIM WE ARE SHOWING THE US THAT MUSLIMS ARE NOT BLIND IN POLITICS AND THEY SEE VERY CLEARLY WHAT IS GOING ON.

DEMOCRACTS SAY THAT A VOTE FOR NADER IS A VOTE FOR BUSH, NO!! THEY ARE JUST THREATENED BY NADER BECAUSE HE POSES A RISK TO KERRY'S PRESIDENCY AS HE DID FOR AL GORE IN FLORIDA IN 2000. ONLY BY SUPPORTING RALPH NADER IN THIS TIGHT ELECTION CAN THE DEMOCRATS SEE OUR DEMANDS FOR HUMANITY.
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AHMED ASGHER FROM BAHRAIN said:
It is good to see that Muslims are learning to unite in order to produce the results that not only benefit their lot in America but the whole world through the US's powerful foreign policy. God knows we need balance in the Middle East.

However, we should never employ the underhand tactics of orgs like ADL and AIPAC. Learn from them but stay on the 'straight path'. Justice for ALL, not only Muslims and speak the truth even if it not in your interest. "kuntum khaira umaaten ukhrijat illa al-naas." Or "wa ja'alnakum ummatan wasitah". We are the people of the "Middle Path". thus elimiating extremism in all quarters of life.

It is time to show that our way is THE WAY thro action not speach. That is we live the way of truth and fear non but Allah swat.

May God be with you all, Peace.
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RIAZ LODHI FROM USA said:
I hate Kerry. But I think for the sake of the world i will close my nose and vote for him on Nov. 2.

A qualified vote is all he is getting from me.
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ANWARALI BODAL FROM USA said:
Yes, the lesser of the two evils is a wise choice for now - serious consultations with serious American Muslim leaders by Sen. Kerry, on crucial domestic and foreign policy issues, will benefit the US as well as the rest of the world
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SAMER HAMDI FROM USA said:
Finally, our Muslim political organization are becoming sophisticated. Unconditional support cheapen our value at a time when Kerry has a lousy record on many issues of concern to our community. And a no endorsement sends the wrong message that we could not see a difference bewteen Bush and Kerry. And that would not be accurate.

Kudos to the Taskforce leaders. Now let's all pray Kerry wins!
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DR HAMALAWY FROM EGYPT said:
We were always concerned about the Jewish voters in the USA and how they influence the main stream politics, Is the Increasing unity of the American Moslems going to be some how influential, I certainly hope so. Undoubtedly God have un-noticable men. I wish the American moslems help restoring some fairness here in the middle east because what grief Palestinian and Iraqies are suffering are intolerable. May Allah help you and wish you all success.
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NAZIM HAQQANI FROM US said:
I believe this is an EXCELLENT ENDORSEMENT and an astute decision made by the AMT.

If Sen. Kerry didn't want to proclaim his opposition to the unAmerican, unPatriotic, and civil rights infringing PATRIOT ACT; and if Sen. Kerry didn't want to stand with the American Muslim community for whatever reasons THEN it is perfectly WISE to conditionally support him.

If he can't give Muslim Americans 100%, why should we give him 100%? It is not just a mere matter of going against Bush anymore, it is what Sen. John Kerry can do for us.

Therefore, Sen. Kerry the support that you'll get from me as well as 700,000 Muslim voters will be NOT BECAUSE OF YOU, BUT BECAUSE OF OUR OPPOSITION TO INTERNATIONAL LAW FLOUTING, CRIMINAL BUSH.
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SANI FROM USA said:
Muslims or anyone voting for Kerry in the Bush states can swap their votes for Nader, for Naderites to vote for Kerry in the swing states.
Please enroll @ www.votepair.com
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