National Task Force Rallies the Muslim Vote

March 1, 2004

Source: The New York Times

On March 1, 2004 The New York Times reported, "The melodic syllables of Arabic recitation mingled with the din of traffic on Third Avenue in Manhattan and with the chatter of merchants selling books and beads from sidewalk tables outside the Islamic Cultural Center mosque. The main weekly prayer session was coming to a close. As Muslim men and women drifted from the carpeted mosque into a cold winter day, pausing to rummage for the shoes they had left in piles at the door, religion suddenly collided with politics. 'As the election comes, our constitutional rights and religious rights are being trampled on,' came a voice, speaking in a mixture of English and Arabic, over the mosque loudspeaker. 'We don't have clout. And so it is very important for all of us, God willing, to register.' The announcement came from Ghazi Khankan, the executive director of the New York branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, an advocacy group. The council is among nine Islamic groups that have formed a national task force intended to rally Muslims to register to vote before the 2004 presidential election."