AMV holds first annual convention
American Muslim Voice (AMV) held its first annual convention on October 3, 2004 at the Chandni Restaurant, Newark, CA. Theme of the convention was "United we stand for liberty and justice for all.” The convention attracted a large crowd.The speakers will include, Fremont Mayor Gus Morrison and Erin Callahan, western regional Director Amnesty International USA. Congressman Pete Stark, who was unable to attend the convention due to his engagements in Washington, sent a special message that was read by his representative .
The convention had three panel discussions:
Election 2004 – Protection of Civil Rights in the light of human rights – Bush or Kerry, will there be any difference.
Moderator: Samina Faheem Sundas because scheduled moderator, Abus Sattar Ghazali, was unable to attend the convention because of hospitalization.
Panelists: Alberto Torrico, Newark Vice-Mayor; Dave Meserve, Councilman, Arcadia, CA; Syed Mahmood, Muslim Political leader; Cecilia Chang, Founder/President Justice for New Americans; Mutahir Kazmi, President ACLU Sacramento Chapter
Mandatory Draft – Why do we need it, who will be effected by it and how do we feel about that?
Moderator: Steve Mserve, Member of the Santa Clara Valley Chapter of ACLU Board of Directors.
Panelists: Mary Jane, Not in Our Name, Adeel Iqbal, AMV Campus Connection, UC Berkeley, Nosheen Khan, Chapter President AMV Chico, Sadia Mohsin, AMV Campus Connection, UC Davis, Omar Saeed, Muslim Youth activist
Women’s roles and rights in Islam – are Muslim Women oppressed?
Moderator: Zia Mohsin, political activist
Panelists: Sister Shakira Lundie, Scholar; Anees Ghani, Regional Director, Republican Women’s Club Tracy; Sulaiman Gali, President of Islamic Society of San Francisco; Amal Khan, AMV Campus Connection; Imam Bilal of San Jose.
Another feature of the convention was an award ceremony. The AMV has instituted the Martin Luther King Community Service Award for distinguished community service. Other awards were given for unbiased media reporter of an institute ( TV, radio, newspaper); for a just public official for everyone and not for selected groups and for an organization which has done improvident work to defend the rights of Muslim, Arab and South Asians.
1: Martin Luther King community service award: Jim McEntee, Director of the Office of Human Relations for 27 years. AMV was proud to honor him and hope that many would follow his footsteps to serve humanity.
2: Unbiased media reporter: Mr. Jonathan Curiel, San Francisco Chronicle: Even though it has become acceptable and fashionable to criticize and criminalize Muslims and Islam post 9/11 era, Jonathan took the time to look deeper to do justice with his finding about Muslims and Islam.
3: A just public official for all constituents: Honorable Congressman Pete Stark has been very access-able and supportive of all groups. He is truly a congressman for All.
4: An organization defending human rights for all: Amnesty International USA has effectively helped in protecting human rights for all. Their latest nationwide Racial Profiling Study has been invaluable for all human beings.
The colorful convention program ended with music and cultural show: Waheed Siddiqui – Sitar & Tabla; Adnan Chaudhry – Muslim hip hop; Solo by Mica “Imagine all the people;” Spanish poetry; Vietnamese-Chinese group presentation and Chinese traditional dance.
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