Walid: Our major concern is the erosion of human and civil rights

http://www.investors.com/editorial/IBDArticles.asp?artsec=16&issue=20080825

From story titled “Muslim Outreach Proves A Tricky Issue For A Campaign Lauded As Multicultural” written by Sean Higgins on 8/25/08:

With polls showing a tight race with Sen. John McCain, Obama has reason to soothe Muslim concerns. The exact number of Muslim Americas often is disputed. A 2007 Pew survey put it at 2.35 million. There are substantial populations in swing states such as Michigan, Ohio and Virginia.

In 2000, George W. Bush is believed to have won a slight majority of the Muslim vote via aggressive outreach. Since 9/11, they have shifted and now identify about 2-1 Democratic. Many cite war on terror policies, claiming they have been unfairly singled out.

“Our major concern is the erosion of human and civil rights,” said Dawud Walid, a Michigan activist. He said he wants to see an Obama administration revisit the Patriot Act and warrantless wiretapping.

Walid, a former John Edwards fan, now supports Obama but rather tepidly: “I don’t think the Muslim community has any reason to doubt (Obama’s) commitment.”

Ellison and Carson, the only Muslims in Congress, tried to reassure the audience. They noted Obama endorsed and did ads for both of them in their recent campaigns.

Ellison also noted that “this is the first time ever that Muslim Americans have gathered together as a group at a Democratic convention.”

Yet he also had a word of caution.

“I’m a liberal Democrat and proud to be one but don’t forget that parties are vehicles,” he said. “The Muslim community cannot be captured by any one party.”

Many heads in the audience nodded along.

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