Muslim Offers Personal Perspective On Rick Lazio

November 3, 2000

Source: The New York Times

On November 3, 2000, the New York Times profiled Dr. Faroque A. Khan, a physician, a Long Island mosque official and a grass-roots political leader. Khan said he views this election as "a second defining moment for Muslim Americans." He said that the first was the Oklahoma City bombing. "That was a wake-up call...This is the second one, a kick in the back. This is telling us, 'Get your act together or you'll be marginal forever.' " Khan is responding to Lazio's accusation that the New York State's American Muslim Alliance's $50,000 contribution to Hillary Clinton's campaign was "blood money." Lazio said it came from people who "tacitly supported terrorist acts like that against the destroyer Cole." Khan is putting his efforts into mobilizing New York's Muslim vote against Lazio. Up until now, Khan says that his main role with the alliance was to encourage Muslims to register to vote, not to tell them how to vote. "But this time he's making an exception." Khan also said he finds it curious that "Lazio's outrage over the alliance's June fund-raiser for Mrs. Clinton didn't surface until last week, just after the Muslims endorsed Bush." Khan also has a personal fight which he said he believes is political. After a dozen years as chairman of the department of medicine at Nassau County Medical Center, his contract was not renewed in 1999. "He says there were rumors that his position at the alliance was a factor." He has filed a lawsuit against the hospital of discrimination and wrongful dismissal.