Election 2000

October 23, 2000

Source: The Boston Globe

On October 23, 2000, The Boston Globe reported on Imam Hassan Qazwini. The article reported that Imam Qazwini, an Iraqi-born Muslim, recently urged his students at the University of Michigan-Dearborn to vote in the upcoming election. "How else can they persuade the U.S. government to reduce its support for Israel? To halt the alleged singling out of Muslims and Arab-Americans for interrogation at U.S. airports? To stop the use of secret evidence to justify the detention of suspected terrorists? 'We should pursue our rights in a society we choose to live in...If I keep myself excluded, I am not influencing anybody.'" Some of the students in the class disagreed with the Imam, saying that the Koran forbids voting. "'God forbids any Muslim from participating in the legislation of a non-Islamic state,' argued Danny Agemy...a marketing major..." After the class, Agemy stood by the door passing out brochures which called voting "treason against Islam." "Qazwini dismissed many of the students' concerns as the exuberance of youth. He insisted that the Koran does not prohibit voting and that practical concerns require it. 'There are some young, heated, vigilant boys and girls who are very upset about what's going on in the Middle East...I am angry, too, but to be passive and negative is not the way. When you participate, you will force them to listen to you.'"