SHAFAQNA (Shia News Association) — As Democrats hold their annual convention in September to choose their candidate in this year’s presidential election, US Muslims plan a series of events to discuss their rights in the United States.
“We hope our people will leave feeling rewarded about who they are and what their issues are and have a candidate checklist,” Jibril Hough, a local Muslim activist and spokesman for the nonprofit Bureau of Indigenous Muslim Affairs, told the Charlotte Observer on Tuesday, July 3.
BIMA will host a series of events on August 31, on the sidelines of the Democratic National Convention in September to discuss issues of American Muslims.
The events, themed “One Community, One Islam, One Voice, Answer The Call”, will start with the weekly Friday prayers.
“Thousands of Muslims are going to perform the Friday ritual prayer,” Hough said.
The three days of events will also include a conference on Islamic issues, a banquet and a cultural festival.
More than 20,000 Muslims are expected to attend the events.
Muhammad Jaaber, executive director of the BIMA, said smaller events are planned for the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., in late August.
The Democratic National Convention is scheduled to take place in Charlotte, North Carolina, from September 3-6.
There were 1,200 nonofficial convention-related events during the DNC in Denver in 2008.
Charlotte expects about 1,000 this year, said Suzi Emmerling, spokeswoman for the host committee Charlotte In 2012.
Emmerling said the host committee will publicize events for those groups that want their events to be made public.
“The host committee is trying to keep track of all events and also let our partners at CMPD know what’s going on so that they can allocate their resources appropriately,” she said.
The events will discuss anti-terror laws, which Muslims have taken their full brunt.
These laws include the Patriot Act, a law passed after the Sept. 11 attacks that expanded anti-terrorism surveillance.
Last year, US President Barack Obama signed into law a four-year extension of controversial anti-terror powers under Patriot Act.
The law had drawn fire for granting the government too much power and infringing on individual liberties.
Muslims and Arabs have taken the brunt of the Patriot Act and other federal powers applied in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.
The events will also discuss the spying scandals of New York Police on Muslims.
Last year, the Associated Press revealed that the NYPD sent out undercover officers into ethnic communities to track their daily life and monitor mosques as well as Muslim student organizations.
It also revealed that the NYPD intelligence had established so-called Demographics Unit using plainclothes police officers to monitor ethnic groups in the metropolitan region.
The AP also found that the NYPD kept secret files on businesses owned by second- and third-generation Americans specifically because they were Muslims.
Since 9/11, US Muslims, estimated between six to seven million, have become sensitized to an erosion of their civil rights, with a prevailing belief that America was stigmatizing their faith.— www.shafaqna.com/english/