Richmond - Muslims in Virginia are poised to play a sizable role in next month’s election, with nearly 60,000 registered Muslim voters in the state, according to a local political organization.The picture caption reads as follows:
Mukit Hossain, president of the Virginia Muslim Political Action Committee, said his group is working to mobilize voters to get out and vote Democratic. In a Senate race as tight as the one between Democrat Jim Webb and incumbent Republican George Allen, 60,000 voters can be the difference between a win and a loss.
Population estimates show Virginia’s Muslim population at about 300,000. Most reside in Northern Virginia.
“I think we can make sizeable impacts,” Hossain said. “I think we made a difference in the gubernatorial race” between Tim Kaine and Jerry Kilgore. The group supported Kaine, the winner of the race by just more than 113,000 votes.
Hossain said the group does not have a political affiliation and attempts to be nonpartisan. He said the PAC is endorsing Webb and the Democratic House candidates in Northern Virginia based on their views on civil liberties, human rights, immigration, foreign policy, health care and education.
One issue especially important to the group was local enforcement of federal immigration laws. The Herndon Town Council’s decision to train local police to enforce these laws was especially troubling, Hossain said.
“That’s the sort of mechanism we believe would be extremely dangerous for the Muslim community,” he said. “You are handing over a degree of power that is not necessarily warranted and can be abused, especially given the skimpy training [Herndon police] are going to receive.”
(Brig Cabe/Examiner)Here at Northern Virginiastan, I have previously blogged about Mukit Hossain. See THIS and THIS.
The Mustafa Center is a Muslin mosque near the intersection of Braddock and Backlick roads in Annandale.