Latino-Muslim Coalition Supports McCloskey’s Campaign for Congress
By Hazem Kira

Newark, CA: Announcing a common stand on civil liberties and immigration, representatives of the American Muslim Alliance (AMA), a civic education organization with 101 chapters, and the Mexican American Political Association (MAPA), the largest grassroots organization of Latino-Americans in the United States, joined hands in opposing HR 4437 and supporting Pete McCloskey, a candidate “who supports civil liberties and a humane immigration policy.”
The May 28 coalition meeting, attended by sixty activists from many cities including Morgan Hill, Lodi, Tracy, Dublin, Danville, San Ramon, and adjacent cities, was organized by Raana Faiz, Tashie Zaheer, Adnan Rasheed, Sagir Ahmed, and Irshad Rana with support from Dr. Waheed Siddiqi, Waseem Sufi, Rahman Soomro, Athar Siddiqi and Dr. Ali Zaki.


Speaking on behalf of MAPA, Juan Castro told the audience, “I am here to represent MAPA’s national president Nativo Lopez. We are delighted to work with our Muslim brothers and sisters in getting Mr. McCloskey elected. We believe that minorities can only succeed by participating in the political process and by exercising their priceless privilege of voting in the elections. Working hand in hand with the American Muslim Alliance, we plan to turn out the largest number of Latino, Arab and Muslim voters. Richard Pombo has an atrocious voting record on almost every important issue ranging from civil liberties to immigration and from environment to economy. Therefore, we need to bring honest and efficient people like McCloskey in the Congress.”
Mr. McCloskey, a decorated war-veteran-turned-peace-activist, said, “I was the first Republican to call for the impeachment of Richard Nixon, I campaigned throughout the United States against the Vietnam War, I stood for a fair and even-handed policy toward the Middle East, and I have always supported a independent Palestinian state.
“Today”, he said, “the Republican Party has lost is character because as Lord Action has correctly said, ‘Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.’ My party has been in power for twelve years and its officials have become arrogant and corrupt. I am running to help restore honesty in the Party and the Government.”
Later, answering a question Mr. McCloskey said, “History is replete with stories of empires like Athenian, Roman, Egyptian, and Persian that collapsed having overextended themselves. Today the US is at risk of going the same route.”
Prof. Agha Saeed said, “Latino-Americans and Muslim-Americans are natural allies because, historically, in the United States any attack on civil liberties has invariably been accompanied by attack on immigration of Third World people. The draconian National Security Act of 1950, introduced by Sen. McCarran, led in 1952 to the Eurocentric and anti-Third World McCarran-Walter Immigration Act. On the other hand, passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964 led to first non-racist immigration act of 1965. The passage of the USA PATRIOT ACT is now accompanied by HR 4437, which seeks to criminalize 11 million undocumented workers and implicate priests, teachers and social workers who may try to help them exactly the same way as those helping run-away slaves.”
The coalition meeting was organized to mobilize Latino and Muslim communities in support of congressional candidate Paul “Pete” McCloskey. Mr. McCloskey was elected to the House of Representatives in a special election in 1967 and was re-elected seven times representing the San Francisco Peninsula area. He initiated the effort to repeal the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution in 1969, and made the first House speech suggesting the impeachment of Richard Nixon for obstruction of justice in June, 1973.
Mr. McCloskey has been endorsed by many groups and organizations including the Los Angles Times, which has editorialized: Pete McCloskey is “the best thing that could happen for the district, the state, the nation and possibly the Republican Party.”



Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
2004 . All Rights Reserved.