Skip to comments.American Muslim Runs for U.S. Congress
Posted on 05/07/2002 1:27:06 PM PDT by swarthyguy
NEW JERSEY, May 7 (IslamOnline) - In a country with only six Congressional Representatives of Arab descent, and none Muslim, Akram Yosri is campaigning to be the first American Muslim member of the U.S. Congress.
Yosri, a 40-year old, Egyptian-born Muslim currently serving as a professor of Information Technologies and Business at New York University (NYU), is seeking to win the Republican congressional seat for New Jersey's Fifth District. He has lived in Bergen County, New Jersey, for 20 years.
Yosri is currently running as a "moderate Republican" according to his Chief of Staff, Diala Pharaon, against three other Republicans in the primaries. He is considered fiscally conservative and a social moderate.
"He has a very good chance of winning," Pharaon went on to tell IslamOnline.
Yosri is running in a district where 91% of the constituents are affluent white Americans. Only 9% of the voters in the Fifth District are minorities and only 1% of those are Muslim. But Yosri asserted that his goal is to ensure that American Muslims have a voice in Congress.
Previously asked whether his ethnicity and faith were obstacles to his being elected to Congress, Yosri said, "I am an American. And I will fight for issues in the Congress that are important to my fellow Americans. The people of my district care about improving our economy, making our schools the finest in the world, offering the best healthcare for the elderly, and ensuring homeland security. And this is what my candidacy is about. America has given me so much. It's time for me to give back."
"And, frankly, I see my ethnicity and faith as an asset because as an immigrant, I am uniquely qualified and would be uniquely credible in communicating the beauty of America to the rest of the world, particularly the Middle East," he asserted.
He did go on to tell IslamOnline that the Muslim community has a unique window of opportunity to have a voice in Washington, D.C. He also stated that he sees a new pro-activity among the younger American Muslim generation.
"The younger college students are excited about my candidacy. They are coming to the campaign office and getting involved."
He stated that he hopes he would serve as an example to other American Muslims, specifically the younger generation. "If I succeed, chances are they will succeed too."
Yosri's platform currently rests on three factors: the economy, education and senior citizens. Yosri seeks to eliminate capital gains, make the cost of higher education tax-deductible and to extend health coverage for women - as well as to reform Medicare so that senior citizens would have their prescription costs covered.
He is also regarded as a proponent of empowering women and has won the endorsements of the largest Republican women's organization in the region, as well as the support of the former head of the Division of Women in New Jersey, which are to be announced at his fundraising dinner Tuesday.
Yosri is set to attend a fundraising dinner held in his honor Tuesday in New York. The event is set to serve as a "meet and greet" where members of the community can donate badly needed funds and support to help Yosri's campaign.
Yosri is also known to support the overthrowing of Saddam Husseins regime in Iraq, and asserted to IslamOnline that one of his goals is to foster democracy in the Middle East, as well as to lift the sanctions on the Iraqi people.
"My view has been very clear. The sanctions have been in place for over a decade and they have not worked and not produced the desired results.
"[We] must restore dignity to Iraqi people by removing the tyrant regime. And we must bring Iraq back into the international community and alleviate the suffering of the Iraqi people," Yosri continued.
"Make no mistake about it. I want to spread the seeds of democracy of democracy in Iraq, the entire Middle East and the world."
He also reiterated that the American Muslim community must become more proactive in the political arena. "In order for someone like me to be elected to Congress, the [American Muslim] community has to step up. We have a unique opportunity to have a voice in Congress. We need to become involved and support our candidates, financially and otherwise, in order to help us gain that voice."
There are several Muslims representing their communities at the state level. If elected, Yosri would become the first Muslim congressional representative on a national level.
But seems like the arab countries could use his electoral platform more than us.Perhaps, but he's a US citizen and therefore one of us, not one of them.
The incumbent is Marge Roukema. Isn't she somewhat of a RINO?
One of the other Arabs in Congress is Dan Issa, a Republican from California (and a target of an alleged bomb plot by Irv Rubin of the JDL). Arabs and non-black Moslems seem to lean strongly Republican, we're idiots if we excoriate them for what wacko radical terrorists or nations do.
That's a good question. IMHO there is something in Islam that is contrary to the Constitution and cannot be reconciled.
And predominantly Democrat.
Unfortunately I'm so ignorant and racist I'll never believe or trust a Muslim, regardless of what they say. As far as I'm concerned they are all active or passive members of the fifth column.
Sounds like a Democrat. Although its hard to tell the Republicans from the Democrats these days with touchy feely "W" in office
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