By Adil James, MMNS
Bloomfield Hills–June 13–AMPECâ€™s political empowerment dog & pony show made a second appearance on Friday the 13th at the Bloomfield Muslim Unity Center in Bloomfield Hills.
Present were approximately 25 people who came to listen to the explanations of the political process given by several experts in the area.
Masood Rab, a TMO reporter, spoke briefly on the results of an AMPEC poll on Muslim political beliefs, arguing that in fact the â€œMuslim community is no different than any other community in the U.S.â€
While in general the speeches remained the same as the previous meeting, covered here 2 weeks ago in The Muslim Observer, major difference from the previous AMPEC meeting at IONA in Warren was the presence of the Republican Chuck Moss (R-40th) from the Michigan House of Representatives.
Rep. Moss is the representative of the district in which the BMUC is located. Ghalib Begg– a veteran political actor and organizer of masjids and other Muslim institutions in his own right–introduced Rep. Moss as a friend of Muslims who stood up for Muslims in the difficult time after 9-11.
The theme of Mossâ€™s speech on political involvement was to â€œget involved at the smallest possible level.â€
Moss explained that the course of getting involved in politics is not to start by trying to become a U.S. Senator or Representative, but by slowly building a political resume by gradually higher levels of political involvement.
â€œYou live in a neighborhood–get involved with the Homeownerâ€™s Association. Volunteer to help with the picnic. Be a secretary, take notes for the association.â€ By these actions, â€œyou are a full-fledged community activist,â€ he explained.
â€œWork at the school board,â€ he argued. â€œYou will become on expert on schools. Meet parents, teachers.â€ By these means, he explained, a person becomes a politically active part of the community.
â€œThe price of entry into politics,â€ he argued, â€œis how much work you have done, how much have you served.â€
â€œJust get involved, then when big issues come up, you can have more leverage on those issues.â€
He echoed the arguments of veteran political expert Farhan Bhatti and local politician Ghalib Begg–â€It is more important to have people than moneyâ€ when getting involved in politics.
Moss also expounded on his views regarding economic development by welcoming â€œcrazy menâ€ like Henry Ford and Herbert Dow of Dow Chemicals–people with ideas ahead of their time.