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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                            September 25, 2003

AMV welcomes introduction of the Benjamin Franklin
 True Patriot Act to Remove Unchecked Government Powers

The American Muslim Voice (AMV) welcomes introduction of the Benjamin Franklin True Patriot Act to Remove Unchecked Government Powers from the Law. 

Ms. Samina Faheem, the AMV Executive Director, said that the Patriot Act violates basic constitutional rights and used by the government to target the Muslim and Arab communities in the name of security.

Ms. Samina Faheem referred to the statement of Mr. Pete Stark that confirms her assertion. In a statement on the introduction of the new legislation Mr. Pete Stark said: “Many of my constituents, especially those who are Arab and Muslim Americans, are afraid of losing their rights and being racially profiled and harassed by the government.”

The legislation was introduced in the house on September 24, 2003 by Rep. Pete Stark (D-Fremont), Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) and Bay Area Representatives George Miller, Barbara Lee, Mike Honda, Lynn Woolsey and Sam Farr to repeal provisions of the USA Patriot Act that violate basic Constitutional protections and civil liberties. 

Among the many changes it would make to the USA Patriot Act, the Benjamin Franklin True Patriot Act would repeal sections of the law giving government expanded policing powers, such as use of roving wiretaps, secret sneak and peak searches of confidential records and secret surveillance of citizens at bookstores, libraries, and of political organizations and religious institutions.  

The Benjamin Franklin True Patriot Act would also bar federal law enforcement from obtaining search warrants from the top-secret FISA Court (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court) to investigate American citizens rather than a criminal court where the nature and scope of a search is more narrowly defined and the warrant is a matter of public record. It would also strip sections of the Patriot Act that allows federal law enforcement to detain legal residents and legal immigrants indefinitely without probable cause, access to legal counsel, or judicial review. It would override several executive orders by the Bush Administration, including one allowing for the monitoring by law enforcement officials of private attorney client conversations. 

In recent weeks a number of San Francisco Bay Area cities have passed resolutions condemning the Patriot Act. The American Muslim Voice played an important role in passing resolutions in the cities of Hayward, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Santa Clara and San Jose.

American Muslim Alliance
Palo Alto, CA 94306  -  650-387-1994
Email:
amvoice@amuslimvoice.org
Website: www.amuslimvoice.org