AMV’s first annual convention on Oct. 3, 2004
As most of you know we are celebrating our first successful year.
We dreamed of a better world and divided that dream into a three-phase project with achievable goals in each phase.
1: To educate our fellow Americans and media about the plight of Muslims, Arabs and South Asians post- 9/11.
We have provided dozens of workshops, have delivered hundreds of educational speeches in forums, schools, colleges, universities and have organized many press conferences to educate our fellow Americans and media about the plight of Muslims post 9/11. ( Ongoing )
2: To protect and preserve civil liberties and constitutional rights for all.
We are working nationwide with mainstream organizations to strength our voice. We have assisted two counties and nine cities to pass a resolution against "The USA Patriot Act." We have organized press conferences, rallies and demonstrations against the erosion of civil liberties and disappearing constitutional rights. We have lobbied against these policies in Congress and Senate. (Currently working against "The Clear Act") Details on website.
3: To establish genuine coalitions with like-minded organizations & individuals, Peace & Justice and interfaith groups.
In only fourteen months we have achieved that goal beyond our expectations. See our stories regarding AMV' s inauguration, the solidarity dinner and what others say about AMV. We are enjoying the support and strength of many organizations who are fighting for immigrant rights, human rights, civil liberties and constitutional rights for all,( ongoing nationwide)
4: Keeping our community informed about new legislations and executive orders that will have an impact on their life.
We were able to gain the support and resources of the thirty-five national main stream organization during our " Stop the INS Special Re- Registration Campaign." On November 19th,2003, we held press conferences and rallies nationwide and played a key role in suspension of that program. ( Upcoming Mandatory Draft from ages 18 to 26, males & females )
5: To educate fellow Americans about Dr. Sami Al- Arian's plight.
We have educated our fellow Americans about his case in meeting, forums, schools, collages, universities, conferences, press conferences, conventions, rallies, Senate and Congress. ( Ongoing )
6: We wanted to take the interfaith dialog to the next level by forming lifelong friendships with our fellow Americans. We can change the negative image of Islam and Muslims in America, one person at a time. ( at a grassroots level )
Again we are pleasantly surprised at our fellow Americans' openness and eagerness to gravitate towards our goal. I am so thankful to all of my new friends who have provided support, guidance and manpower, and to those who have created numerous opportunities for us to educate more and more of our fellow Americans. So many of them call themselves my white brothers & sisters and truly are very protective of me. They are spending their time and resources to fight for our rights. I salute all of you. I am very proud to have all of you as my colleagues, friends, brother and sisters.
And yes they know that Muslims are peace loving people, kind, hard working, hospitable, family oriented people and an important part of this country.
1: Our goal was to search for six sincere, hard working community builders during our first year.
We are truly fortunate to have found all of our community building team members. Again the result is beyond our expectations. We are on our way to make a positive difference in our communities and for the benefit of humanity at a grassroots level.
2: Our goal was to educate, involve and mobilize youth, young adults, women and all ethnic groups to mainstream politics.
We have been registering voters, providing civic education, leadership training and organizing multi-ethnic group candidate forums.
Empowering and encouraging Muslims to become part of mainstream politics. We will have many fellow Americans willing to not only vote for Muslim candidates but also support them too. ( Ongoing )
This is going to be a historical election and there are so many different suggestions and confusing and discouraging messages for Muslims and Arabs. At AMV we feel very strongly that not only should all of us vote and encourage others to vote but we should be more involved in the whole political process. Politicians only look at who votes, who contributes and who supports. Even if politicians are not paying attention to Muslims and Arabs now, they will if they know we are serious about becoming full partners in the country we choose to call our home.
In the 2000 election year, we opened a door by voting as a block and we are not about to shut that door. We will continue to open new doors until the US Senate and House become a representative of all of us. Until then we will continue to educate, involve and mobilize all ethnic groups.
We have completed a model wherein if we ( Muslims) desire, we can have wonderful and meaningful relationships with all of our fellow Americans, who are eager and willing to stand by us, willing to fight for our civil liberties & constitutional rights and educate others about who we are. We are already enjoying the fruits of our efforts.
1: Now we need to present the model and the 3nd phase of our project to Muslims, encouraging them to provide our fellow Americans firsthand experience to get to know Muslims and Islam. So when the media and our administration calls us terrorists they can say, "No, we know our Muslim brothers and sisters and will stand by us to fight for justice and will provide us their support.
This is where we need your help.
AMV makes activism safe & easy
We are encouraging you to please start volunteering in your local communities. Even two hours a week will cause a positive ripple effect and you will become part of this grand change. You will help change the negative image of Islam and Muslims to a positive one. Just two hours of your time will create such a roar that the media will be forced to write about the positive contributions of Muslim. we will enjoy the support and strength of our fellow Americans and will truly become partners in building stronger and safer communities. But we will have to do that collectively with a purpose.
Please join AMV ( Free membership )and be part of this much needed project. Individually, we can not make a difference but our collective efforts will create a culture of hope, understanding, mutual respect, friendship, peace and harmony. Together we can make a positive difference.
Please check our simple projects and campaigns. www.amuslimvoice.org.
Here are few steps that will ensure our success.
1: Please join AMV ( Free membership )
We offer shared leadership, shared responsibilities and shared ownership.
2: Choose a mainstream institute to volunteer
in your local communities where you will enjoy working and sowing some seeds of friendship.
( Here are few examples, schools, libraries, soup kitchens, hospitals, senior centers, public official's offices, city councils and mainstream nonprofit organizations etc etc)
3: please make this simple statement
I am an American Muslim and a member of AMV, "I would like to volunteer to build a safe & strong community. I want to be part of my community."
4: Simply two hours weekly
Meet new friends, invest in your communities and then see how quickly we can achieve our goals. We will enjoy the support and strength of each other and as a added bonus, witness the negative image of Islam and Muslims change into a positive one.
This is not a quick fix but a dream that can be achieved if all of us dedicate some of our time towards building a brighter future for all especially for our generations to come.
We need your moral, emotional, physical and financial support.
Every little bit helps. Please become a contributing member of AMV. You will be very happy that you have invested in AMV's and your next generation's future.
Samina Faheem Sundas
American Muslim Voice
Sept. 10, 2004 Convention flyer