Islam Online has reported that the North Carolina chapter of the Muslim American Society Freedom National (MASFN), described as the civic and human rights advocacy entity of MAS, recently held a Civic Townhall meeting in Cary, NC. Attending were representatives from the Presidential Campaign of Congressman Ron Paul, Former Congressman Walter Fauntroy, Senator Larry Shaw (D-NC), NC President of the League of Women Voters, Judy Burke, and state party representatives of the Democratic and Republican Parties. Representative Keith Ellison, America’s first Muslim congressman, appeared by video. The event was described as part of the campaign by the MAS, a part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood, to “mobilize Muslim voters as a unified voting bloc.” Mahdi Bray, Executive Director of MASFN, discussed the nature of the campaign which appears directed at the defeat of President Bush:
“In the previous election, Muslims didn’t vote as a bloc preventing them from playing a key role in the elections,” he recalled. Bray noted that the past elections also showed that Muslims tend to stay away from politics either out of fear or the lack of concern. “We must change this attitude.” He said Muslims must vote in 2008 on the basis of a serious and thorough political analysis, rather than shallow impressions. “What happened in 2000, when most Muslims voted for George W. Bush, shouldn’t happen again,” he said. We should cast our votes based on deep analysis and not on empty promises.” Since the 9/11 attacks, American Muslims have become sensitized to an erosion of their civil rights, with a prevailing belief that America was targeting their faith. The MASFN chief underlined the importance of organizing efforts from the inner most level. “We need to start from the grassroots base and explain to people that it’s their religious duty to be civically engaged,” he said. “This is the only way to impact policy and help elect Muslim representatives.”
A previous post has reported on the use by the Muslim American Society of Boy and Girl Scout troops in political campaigns last year. The MAS is the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood organization most active in direct political activities an issue which might have implications for their tax-status with the U.S. government.