Muslims Encouraged to Get Involved in Politics

October 1, 2000

Source: Los Angeles Times

On October 1, 2000, the Los Angeles Times reported that "American Muslims gathered Saturday in Irvine to brainstorm ways to increase their clout in the U.S. political system and the November elections. A bipartisan slate of speakers--from U.S. Rep. Tom Campbell (R-San Jose) to California Democratic Party Chairman Art Torres--encouraged Muslims to register to vote, volunteer on campaigns, donate money and forge personal relationships with elected officials. In the daylong conference, Muslims debated political strategies, including organizing a bloc vote for the presidential election focused on California and 13 other states with many Muslim residents. 'What we're hoping to accomplish is our full rights of citizenship,' said Agha Saeed, a UC Berkeley political science professor and head of the American Muslim Alliance, which sponsored the gathering. The alliance is promoting the goal '2000 for 2000,' aimed at finding 2,000 Muslim candidates to run for office this year. In six years, Saeed has built the group into a national political organization of 7,000 members in 93 chapters in 31 states. He also helped establish the American Muslim Political Coordinating Committee, an alliance of four major Muslim organizations that expects to deliver the community's first presidential endorsement two weeks before the election."