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Notes on fund raising dinner speech for David Bonior PDF Print E-mail

NOTES - JULY 25,1999

Honorable Congressman BONIOR, Distinguished guests , Ladies and Gentlemen. It is a great honor for me to address this gathering arranged to honor our friend Congressman Bonior - the second most powerful Democrat in the Congress - who has shown courage, integrity, judgment and vision in taking up some of the issues that concern the American Muslims. Today, our speakers have very eloquently touched on those and some other issues, and in the next rive minutes I will try to sum up the essence of their presentations.

Congressman Bonior, when we face an issue of concern, mostly we react with our mind but when the issue touches our heart it becomes more meaningful. So let me speak to you from my heart because it is with the heart that one sees rightly, what is essential Is invisible to the eye. I believe the heart is not only a simple pumping machine but there is a Divine Spark hidden in its mysterious makeup that we call as our conscience which illuminates our way in life and tells us what is right and what is wrong. You will recall that during the impeachment hearings the Republican majority took a moral high ground - they called it a matter of conscience - but they did not support President Clinton when he had already committed the American forces to the war in Kosova. By this act, Republicans brought themselves down to the lowest level. In contrast, President Clinton eventually admitted his human mistake in the Monica affair and apologized for it, but he stood like a man and led the NATO countries to defeat the evil forces of Milosevic. That was a real act of conscience.

American Arab and Muslim communities are concerned with many human rights issues but the Palestine and Kashmir issues are of main concern to them. The two issues have many common elements. Both are issues of occupation, oppression and human sufferings, and this has been going on for the last fifty years. Both are supported totally by the two big powers - Israel by the United States and India by Soviet Union / now Russia. Of course, the Soviet Union is no more in existence and the credit for its demise should be given to the Afghans and Chechens Freedom Fighters who defeated the mighty Red Army by their indomitable will and raw courage. Both Israel and India are a party to many United Nations Resolutions but they have never honored any of their commitments. Also, there has been no military intervention or economic sanctions imposed by the UN on Israel or India. It appears that the might has the right, but we should always remember that right also has might. Eventually God will inspire people like Congressman Bonior to bring justice and freedom to the peoples of Palestine and Kashmir, and I believe that time is very near now.

Congressman Bonior, you have often advised us to get involved in the American political System. You will be glad to know that rive Organizations - AMA, CAIR, AMC, MPAC and Coalition of Good Government (CGG) have formed an American Islamic Organizations Coordinating COUNCIL with Dr. Agha Sayeed as their first president. Also, in January, four Arab Organizations ADC, AAI, NAAA and AAUN joined the COUNCIL to form a larger apex body. Their common goal is to deal with issues like Future of Jerusalem, Civil and Human Rights, Arab and Muslim participation in the electoral process and access and inclusion in political structures. So, we sincerely thank you for giving us a helping hand during the process of our evolution in the American political system. May God bless you.

M. Khaliq Qureshi



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