DEARBORN — Democratic Congressman Gary Peters has been making his rounds to meet with Arab and Muslim American leaders and groups over the past few weeks. Peters is a candidate for U.S. Senate and competing in the race to for U.S. Sen. Carl Levin’s seat.
Peters paid a visit, last Tuesday, Aug. 27, to The Arab American News office, where he met with the paper’s publisher, Osama Siblani, who discussed with the crisis in Syria with Peters, urged him to do all he could to prevent a U.S. strike on the country.
|Peters with members of the ACRL.
On that same day, he attended an event, hosted by the American Arab Chamber of Commerce at Byblos Banquet Hall, where according to representatives from Peters’ office, he talked to community members about issues surrounding small businesses. He also met with members of the Arab American Civil Rights League (ACRL) at the organization’s office in Dearborn, along with Executive Director of the Council on American Islamic Relations Dawud Walid. Peters also met with Imam Mohammad Elahi from the Islamic Institute of Knowledge, and other members of the Arab and Muslim communities. Elahi asked Peters to do all he could to prevent U.S. intervention in Syria and to use dialogue and diplomacy for a democratic transition in Syria.
The Congressman spoke about the complicated nature of the conflict in Syria and recognized the difficulty in dealing with it. He said he would do all he could to reduce the suffering of Syrians, through humanitarian help.
Dawud and members of the ACRL discussed civil rights issues, pertaining to the Muslim American community, with Peters and asked for his support to the End Racial Profiling Act (ERPA) 2013.
The ERPA Bill, which was introduced May 23, 2013, aims to eliminate racial profiling in local and state law enforcement, or government agencies. It would require agencies to have policies and procedures in place to protect against racial profiling.
Racial profiling has become a hot-button issue, from cases ranging from the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, religious questioning of American Muslims who travel across the U.S.- Canada border, to the recently introduced “stop-and-frisk” tactics brought to the Detroit Police Department, which branched off of New York Police Department procedures.