Muslim Organization Holds Voter Registration Drives

February 23, 2002

Source: The Atlanta Journal and Constitution

On February 23, 2002, The Atlanta Journal and Constitution reported that "at a Muslim festival marking the end of the hajj, the thousands of faithful who gathered in the capital's huge Armory were called to more than just prayer. They also were exhorted to go back to their communities and become voters... 'We've never heard this announcement here before,' said Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations [CAIR]... The call to the ballot box on what is called the 'feast of sacrifice' was part of the response by Muslim groups to what they see as unfair suspicion and racial profiling after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks... CAIR, a fast-growing national group founded in 1994 to promote Muslim interests, ran voter registration booths Friday at half a dozen religious gatherings across the country, including in Michigan, California and Ohio, as well as the District of Columbia... The organization hopes to pick up 100,000 new voters before November, to maximize the clout of the estimated 7 million Muslims living in the United States... CAIR plans to hold political candidates to a test on Muslim issues. The group has assembled a questionnaire asking candidates' views on racial profiling, on detaining Muslims on the basis of secret evidence and on a variety of foreign policy issues... CAIR's Awad said, 'This is only a first step in a long journey toward establishing ourselves as an important component of the American fabric.'"