Friday, July 30, 2004

Bush Losing the Arab Vote

In the Detroit Free Press, Guest Columnist Derrick Jackson reveals Why Bush is losing ground with Arab Americans

Hashim Raza...This year, he will vote for Democrat John Kerry. "After 9/11, things started adding up," he said at a reception Tuesday for Muslim attendees to the Democratic National Convention hosted by the Islamic Society of Boston. "Muslims were unfairly targeted; we were presumed guilty; Ashcroft, Rumsfeld, and Cheney acted like they have no use for Muslims. The Republican Party has become a refuge for far right religious extremists.

now anything about being a delegate to the convention. Before 9/11, he and many of his professional friends were never involved in politics. But the aftermath of the terrorist attacks, when many Muslims were detained, made him concerned. "America is the best country in the world, but it's not easy to be a Muslim," he said.

The invasion of Iraq, which Gafur said was unnecessary, pushed him and other South Asian Muslims to register 1,000 voters and elect delegates to district, state and national delegations. Of the about 5,000 delegates to the convention, about 40 are Muslim and six are from Texas, including himself.

"Sometimes, on Middle East policy, Kerry seems to come across as Bush Lite," Gafur said. "But on domestic policy, with the Patriot Act and the racial profiling of Muslims, the Muslim community was awakened to the fact that we had to get involved."

It is trouble because families like the Khan family of Toledo have felt the sting of Bush's post-9/11 policies.

Quick get ready for the terrible sting:

Husband Abdul Hafeez and wife Meena Khan [and] Their two daughters, Zeenat, 29, and Zeba, 23, were with them at the reception. . . .They all originally supported Dennis Kucinich of Ohio for president.

Bush must have lost their vote if they're going from supporting Kucinich to Kerry. But wait, the sting of Bush's post-9/11 policies is still coming:

All four members of the family say they have been singled out for antiterrorism searches in airports. Abdul Hafeez, Meena and Zeba missed their flight to Boston because the father was pulled out of line and was not cleared until their flight was closed.

Oh, post 9/11 policies where is thy sting? They missed a flight because they didn't clear security in time? You mean they weren't beaten, detained or deported? Does anyoine think we would not have these security procedures in place after 9/11 under ANY President?

"In 35 years in this country I never had this experience," Abdul Hafeez said. Zeenat said, "When you can nullify the Bill of Rights, the current administration is out of control." Meena said, "All of the things America stands for -- freedom, charity, rights -- these are Muslim values, same as Christian values. But with all that's going on, how can you call this a Christian country?"

Well it hasn't been 35 years since 9/11 and lets face it, you're from the population from whence the terrorists came, so don't be surprised that you need to clear security just like anybody else. I love the appeal to Christian valuses and claiming that Muslims have the same values - where is freedom and rights in the Koran? In any Islamic country?.

None of the attendees or delegates were naive that Kerry completely supports their views. Kerry has angered Arab Americans for agreeing with significant parts of Bush's Israel/Palestine policy and his vote authorizing Bush to invade Iraq. What they hope is that Kerry's pledge not to be a unilateralist will mean he will at least listen to Muslims before acting.

Yet another reason to vote for Kerry - under him both the French and Muslims will get a veto on our future actions.

Gulten Ilhan, 38, a philosophy professor at St. Louis Community College and a Missouri delegate, said, "After there were no weapons of mass destruction, after it was clear we were not there to liberate Iraqis, Bush has lost many Arab Americans. We have no choice but to stay in Iraq now. But Bush cannot stay as president."

A philosophy professor no less. No weapons of mass destruction? How about all those Sarin and mustard gas shells that have been found?

I guess according to him the Iraqis have been enslaved by Haliburton, as deposing Saddam didn't "liberate Iraqis". Philosophically he probably preferered them to still be living under Hussein.

Yet another reason for you to vote for Bush in the election - make up for the loss of the Arab American vote.

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