Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

An Open Letter to the American Muslim Community

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

An Open Letter to the American Muslim Community

Article excerpt

By the American Muslim Political Coordination Council

Assalamu Alaikum (peace be with you) brothers and sisters, fellow American Muslims,

As we reflect on how the fruits of hard work truly have made this country the land of opportunity, we know that our nation is still an experiment, a work-in-progress, and that American Muslims must play an instrumental role in making it even better.

Our challenges are many, both from within and without. We are a relatively young community in the U.S., ethnically and culturally diverse, and still "learning the ropes" when it comes to the realm of politics. We are challenged by the aftereffects of 9/11, erosion of civil rights, and the general tone of anti-Muslim sentiment emanating from Washington, DC and some elements in the media.

While our challenges are great, even historic, rising to such challenges is a hallmark characteristic of our collective history, and we will, insh'allah, do no less in current times. Besides, what we face today is nothing when compared to the daunting challenges faced by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Learning from his shining example, we American Muslims must fulfill our duty to our religion, in part by fulfilling our duty to our nation.

With a sense of God-consciousness, the American Muslim Political Coordinating Council, AMPCC, believes American Muslims must defend our country intellectually, spiritually, and physically. We must defend America against terrorism and violence. We must defend its civil liberties and its religious pluralism, and coalesce the Islamic and American spirit of respect and tolerance. We must do so in the best of forms-through kindness, care, harmony, healing, and love.

Many of us already are exemplifying the spirit of our faith in our day-to-day interactions with co-workers, neighbors and friends. But to truly become a recognized and influential community, American Muslims must organize and fully participate in the democracy in which we live. Practically speaking, we must vote!

For us to take our voting rights for granted, or to give in to a sense of political apathy or fear and not vote altogether, would be an irony of historic proportions. This will only hearten those who seek to exclude us from the American mainstream.

Beyond that, we live at a time where our very civil rights are at risk. With the passage of the "USA PATRIOT Act" in 2001, and the pursuits of the U.S. Justice and Treasury Departments, AMPCC has focused its efforts on a "Civil Rights-Plus" agenda. By this we mean we will seek to defend not only the civil rights of the American Muslim community, but of all Americans. As this process is helping us expand our mental and moral horizons, we will also be engaged in issues pertaining to education, homelessness, economic recovery, environmental and ecological concerns, electoral reform, crime, and global peace and justice.

How AMPCC Is Working for You

Although AMPCC is an umbrella organization-comprising the American Muslim Alliance, AMA; American Muslim Council, AMC; Council on American-Islamic Relations, CAIR; and Muslim Public Affairs Council, MPAC-we recognize American Muslims are not a homogenous group. Alhamdullilah, we differ in thought and opinion on a variety of matters. To that end, AMPCC has worked hard in establishing criteria and a process for candidate endorsement.

Election 2004 Taskforce

The AMPCC board has developed a special taskforce for the 2004 elections. …

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