California Muslim Community Makes Political History: 28 Muslim Delegates Elected to California Democratic Party

This past weekend, California Muslims made political history when 28 Muslim candidates were elected by Democrats as delegates and alternate delegates to the California Democratic Party (CDP). This constitutes the largest number of Muslims ever elected as delegates in California.

The CDP held statewide elections for delegates to represent each of the state’s 80 assembly districts.
This encouraging achievement was reached with the help of CAIR-CA PAC, an independent political organization. In an effort to promote American Muslim political engagement, CAIR-CA PAC closely worked with candidates and organized voters to support them.

Among the hundreds of other candidates, at least 36 California Muslims ran for delegate positions. Twenty-eight were elected (five as executive board members and two as alternate delegates), and eight lost their races.  This is an incredible step for Muslims to become more involved in the political process and make a difference for the Muslim community and in their districts.

CAIR-CA PAC is proud of every candidate that ran whether they were elected or not, because it takes a lot of effort and commitment to present oneself as a candidate and run in a fairly competitive race.

The California Democratic Party is governed by the Democratic State Central Committee (DSCC) which has approximately 3000 delegates.  Some delegates are appointed by elected officials, but about one third are elected every odd numbered year through elections divided by assembly district.  Twelve individuals (six women and six men) from each assembly district are elected as delegates to serve a two year term to the DSCC.

An elected delegate is able to vote on candidate endorsements, help shape the platform of the CDP, approve the rules by which the CDP functions, vote on resolutions of concern to various communities, and choose CDP representatives to the Democratic National Party. Delegates are also responsible for attending the annual statewide convention.

Additionally, one representative from every 12 delegates is voted to the executive board.  The executive board (E-Board) has all the duties and powers of the CDP when it is not in session (at the Democratic National Convention). E-Board members are required to attend three quarterly E-Board meetings each year, as well as the statewide convention.

FBI documents reveal profiling of N. California Muslims

SAN FRANCISCO–Reports obtained by the ACLU show agents gathered intelligence under the guise of outreach programs and shared it with other agencies. A legal expert calls the practice ‘outrageous.’

Federal agents routinely profiled Muslims in Northern California for at least four years, using community outreach efforts as a guise for compiling intelligence on local mosques, according to documents released Tuesday by the American Civil Liberties Union.

From 2004 to 2008, agents from the San Francisco office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation regularly attended meetings and services, particularly in the Silicon Valley area, “collected and illegally stored intelligence about American Muslims’ First Amendment-protected beliefs and religious practices … and … disseminated it to other government agencies,” the ACLU said in a written statement.

The ACLU of Northern California, the Asian Law Caucus and the San Francisco Bay Guardian filed a Freedom of Information Act request in 2010 and a lawsuit in 2011 after the groups received repeated complaints from the Muslim community about intrusive FBI activity, ACLU attorney Julia Harumi Mass said.

Many of the FBI documents released Tuesday by the ACLU are titled “Mosques Liaison Contacts.” In their original form, they contained names and phone numbers of Muslim Americans affiliated with centers of worship from San Francisco to Seaside, Calif. Those names have been redacted.

US attorney general invokes state secrets privilege in suit Calif. Muslims filed against FBI

LOS ANGELES — U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has invoked state secrets rules to prevent information from being released in a lawsuit filed by Southern California Muslims who claim the FBI monitored their activities solely because of their religion.

In a legal declaration filed late Monday, Holder makes a rare assertion of the state secrets privilege, arguing that it could cause significant harm to national security if the government is forced to reveal the subjects of a mosque-surveillance operation in 2006 and describe how the monitoring was carried out.
The FBI has said it does not initiate counterterrorism operations based solely on a group’s religion.