Project MAPS: Muslims in the Public Square

Project MAPS: Muslims in the Public Square

Jul 31, 2001

Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

July 31, 2001 | C, Delinda

Georgetown University hosted the first full-day Muslim-American leadership conference on May 9 to promote the exchange of ideas between Muslim groups. Some of the leaders summarized what they had discussed. American Muslim Alliance director Dr. Agha Saeed talked about the need for Muslim leaders to get together regularly to share information and minimize disagreements. After presenting a post-election strategy earlier in the day, he talked with leaders about some of the mistakes that were made in the historic Muslim bloc vote in the 2000 elections. He promised to rectify inadequacies and build on the community’s strengths.

Now that the elections are finally over, Muslims are working on many fronts. They are seeking appointment of qualified Muslim Americans, working to rectify U.S. laws like those allowing secret evidence and profiling, and continuing the civil rights struggle. Muslims also are teaming up with other groups to work on campaign finance reform. Building on the success of the bloc vote, Muslim already are working on the 2002 elections. They will continue to take a critical look at President George W. Bush’s record to decide if the valuable Muslim vote will be used to make him a one- or a two-term president.

Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) executive director Nihad Awad talked about organizing Muslims electronically, on the Internet, as well as spiritually. By sending action alerts and supporting each other, Muslims can have a real impact on domestic and international issues.

Eric Vickers discussed the importance of Muslim women, who are highly educated, having more positions of leadership in the Muslim community. American Muslim women deserve to participate fully.

Dr. Muzammil Siddiqui (Islamic Society of North America), Dr. Zulfigar Ali Shah and Dr. Muhammad Yunus (Islamic Circle of North America), Imam Talib Abdur-Rashid (MANA), Dr. Souhail Ghannouchi and Sheikh Shaker Elsayed (Muslim Americn Society), Salam al-Marayati (Muslim Public Affairs Council), Aly Abuzaakouk and Dr. Yahya Mussa Basha (American Muslim Council), Abdalla Idris Ali (Universal Foundation), Altaf Husain (Muslim Students Association of U.S. and Canada), Imam Hassan Qazwini (Islamic Center of America), Imam Fadhel Al Sahlani (Al-Khoi Foundation), Imam Asim A. Rashid (Imam Jamil al-Amin Community), Khalid Turaani (American Muslims for Jerusalem), and Imam Yahya Hendi (Georgetown University) gave brief remarks.

Dr. Zahid Bukhari (Project Muslims in American Public Square or MAPS) and Howard University’s Dr. Sulayman Nyang talked about the MAPS project to define Muslims in America. Nyang is optimistic that American Muslims will have an important moral influence in America, so that America becomes more just for all. Every American has come from another place, Nyang concluded. Muslim leaders no longer talk about the “myth of return.” America is home and Muslims are here to stay –Delinda C. Hanley

Article Courtesy: wrmea.com

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