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American Muslim

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                          March 16, 2004

Alameda County passes resolution against the Patriot Act

March 16, 2004: The American Muslim Voice today congratulated the Alameda County for passing a resolution against the USA Patriot Act.

The Alameda County Board of Supervisors unanimously (5-0) passed the resolution today after a public hearing at which 12 civil rights activists argued against the Patriot Act. Mark N. Zanides, Asstt: Attorney and Anti-Terrorism Coordinator for Northern District of California was the only defender of the Act.

Mr. Zanides said that the Patriot Act has not been abused by the Justice Department and does not affect the citizens as claimed by the anti-Patriot Act groups.

The Alameda County is the 265th community/city of the nation that passed a resolution against the Patriot Act that was passed by the U.S. Congress on Oct. 24, 2001, shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks. It has been assailed by critics as compromising critical civil liberties granted to Americans in the Bill of Rights.

The 12 activists speaking against the Patriot Act included:

Don Spark,  Refuse and Resist
Harry Scott, South Alameda Justice & Peace
Moina Shaiq, Fremont citizen
Reshma Yunus, Fremont citizen
Samina Faheem Sundas, Executive Director, American Muslim Voice
Synthia Moores, Save Our Rights

Ms. Samina Faheem Sundas said that the Patriot Act’s broad-brush approach has failed to enhance national security, resulting in ineffective policy that casts suspicion on communities, primarily the communities of American Muslims, Arab Americans and South Asian Americans.