Letter to Muslims in America
September 15, 1992
TO: PALESTINIAN AMERICANS, ARAB AMERICANS AND MUSLIM AMERICANS
DEAR BROTHERS AND SISTERS: Assalamu Alaikum: A week ago, I had the opportunity to address in Los Angeles the West Zone Conference of the Islamic Society of North America. I reminded the 500 people present about the American popular saying – “The squeaky wheel gets the grease” in other words if you want your voice to be heard, you have to participate in the Democratic System of our Government, which is a basic right for every American, to speak freely and to try to influence the political process. The only way to do it is to vote and make contribution. I told them that registration to vote take~ one minute, you have to give your name, your address, your birthdate, and Social Security No. and contribution could be money, no matter how small it is, or time which might not exceed one hour a week.
I challenged them that every body can do both, and if they are not participating, they are doing a disservice to themselves, to their community and even to their religion. I could see the pain in their faces and the anguish in their hearts about what is happening to their brethren in Bosnia—Herzegovina, the West Bank and the Garza Strip, to the Children of Iraq. I could sense their concern and their frustration with our governments inaction about the human rights violation back home in the Arab and Muslim world, the cancellation of free Democratic elections in Algeria by the military. I told them had they been politically active, had they demonstrated and picketed members of Congress, etc. The U.S. Administration would have moved quickly and decisively to prevent or at least to minimize this massive brutality and that action would have helped more than their tears and prayers.
As I enter the race for U.S. Senate I am fighting against incredible odds. Which include my name and my background, but at the same time I have many positive points to offer — my qualifications, my experience, my commitment and courage, and above all my down to earth personality that convince and persuade people and nothing is more illustrating than the following facts: since I became involved with the Washington State Democratic Party in the last 8 years, as a delegate and a platform member, our party had passed the following resolutions:
1. It is the first State and the only on in the Nation to call for Self Determination and Statehood for the Palestinians with negotiations under international conference — an not direct negotiations — between the Arab and the Israeli.
2. It is the first and only one in the Nation to condemn the Israeli brutality against Palestinians.
3. It is the first and only one in the Nation to call for suspension of Foreign Aid to Israel — pending their respect of Palestinian Human Rights and their acceptance of UN Resolutions 242 and 338.
4. It is the first and the only one in the nation to pass the Harkin Amendment — tying Foreign Aid to Human Rights.
5. It is the first and the only one in the Nation to ask the State Department to invite President Yasser Arafat to come to the U.S.
6. It is the first and the only one in the Nation to call for tying the loan guarantee to a total freeze of settlements.
7. It is the first and the only one in the Nation to call for a Middle East free of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.
8. It is the first and the only one in the Nation to call for lifting the economic embargo against Iraq —— and to support Democracy in the Arab world.
9. And most important, it Is the first and the only one in the Nation to declare Jerusalem — East and West ——to be an international City, opposing its annexation by Israel or to be its Capital.
This is just an example of what we can accomplish if you are active, articulate and do your home work.
I am in urgent need of $50,000 for my campaign, which is one tenth of what my two opponents had collected——this contribution will greatly enhance my chances for winning. In order to reach the voters I used the most cost effective methods, that is to write to the Activist, to the hard core of the Democratic party and then to the News Media. This week and until election day, I will be on the road campaigning Friday, Saturday and Sunday, while treating my patients on the other days of the week.
My wife, Nadia, my children—Yasser, 15, Noor Falasteen, 13, and Hashem, 11, will be helping. I am very optimistic, I feel I have a moral obligation to speak out about many issues which are truly American——to present your case and speak your voice like many other groups——and you have the moral obligation to support me, to send your contributions, to make and pass this printed material to your friends and families, to get involved by registering now to vote, to run for any public office in the future. It is a must in order to survive and be somebody.
Mohammad Said, M.D., Ph.D.