July 12, 2003 | From Times Wire Services
PHILADELPHIA — At a convention of about 15,000 U.S. Muslims here this week, leaders said they hope to rally millions of fellow believers to oppose the USA Patriot Act and a government requirement that men who are recent immigrants from many predominantly Muslim nations register their whereabouts.
The conference was co-sponsored by the Islamic Circle of North America, based in New York City, and the Virginia-based Muslim American Society.
Hundreds of participants stood near Philadelphia’s Liberty Bell and read aloud the Bill of Rights to rally support.
Since the federal registration order, about 144,000 men from targeted countries have registered, according to the U.S. Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Enforcement, formerly the Immigration and Naturalization Service. More than 13,000 have had deportation procedures started against them.
Today marks the 20th anniversary of the tragic events of September 11, 2001. It serves as both a reminder of one of the most traumatizing occurrences to unfold on American soil and as a testimony to the resilience of every community living here in America.