Muslim Delegation Meets Governor Patrick
By Parwez Wahid

Boston, Mass: On October 17, 2008, a delegation of Muslim community leaders, comprising individuals from various heritage and cultures as well as those indigenous to Massachusetts, was invited to the Massachusetts State House to meet with Governor Deval Patrick. Muneeza Nasrullah,  President of the Pakistan Association of Greater Boston, was also a member of the delegation.

The meeting was organized by the Muslim Democratic Leadership of Massachusetts (MDLM), a coalition of Muslims serving in the Massachusetts Democratic Party.  The coalition’s Chair, Mushtaque Mirza, of Cambridge, lead the discussion with Governor Patrick and the Assistant Secretary for Access and Opportunity Ronald G. Marlow.  Mr. Marlow discussed ways the Muslim community can better participate in government.

The major talking points covered address issues of civil rights, inclusion of Muslims in the Governor’s Administration, forming economic partnerships with Muslim nations and reaching out to international Muslim students to attract them to schools in Massachusetts.  Also discussed was the subject of the Governor having further outreach with the Muslim community and possibly hosting an Iftar gathering next year during Ramadan in the State House.

Governor Patrick was very receptive to the delegation, answering questions and offering suggestions where possible.  He pointed out that the Massachusetts State House is a public building that the Muslim community (as with all people) is welcome to fully utilize.

The hour-long meeting included introductions of the MDLM and delegate members, many of whom raised topics of concern to them or their constituents.  While the meeting could not cover all topics of interest to the delegation it is hoped that an on-going dialog can be continued with the Governor's office and the Muslim community via a liaison that Governor Patrick can appoint at his discretion.



Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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