(Donna Anderson) As part of his Executive Order to increase participation of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Federal Programs, President Obama has scheduled a series of Muslim Outreach Summits to find out how to make it easier for Muslims to assimilate into American society. Aside from the obvious, there’s one big problem here – there is no mention of the word “Muslims” in the executive order.
Obama’s executive order states: The purpose of this order is to establish a President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and a White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Each will work to improve the quality of life and opportunities for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders through increased access to, and participation in, Federal programs in which they may be underserved. In addition, each will work to advance relevant evidence-based research, data collection, and analysis for AAPI populations and subpopulations.
But a request for quote looking for someone to write the annual report for the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) states: The report must reflect the work and recommendations of the Commission, as well as the findings and recommendations gleaned from the Muslim Outreach Summits.
In a response to questions from contractors, there is no separate legislation to cover the Muslim Outreach Summits, it’s part of the AAPI EO and “The Muslim Outreach will cover Muslims that are part of the AAPI Community.”
The Muslim Outreach Summits are already scheduled. The first will be in Chicago on June 15, followed by San Francisco on Jun 22 and New York on June 29. The town-hall meetings will discuss was to “remove barriers to AAPI access.”
According to the “Overview & Objectives” document accompanying the request for quote, participants in the AAPI and Muslim summits will learn about federal resources and programs that can assist their constituency base,” and they’ll be able to engage directly with federal representatives from a broad range of federal service and federal aid agencies.
In the 2004 and 2008 elections, nine out 10 Muslim Americans voted for Democratic candidates. In the 2012 election the numbers dipped a little. Only 68 percent of Muslims said they’d vote for Obama, and 25 percent were undecided.
According to a 2012 HuffPo article, Muslim Americans “continue to place high importance on civil rights and foreign policy,” but they’re also concerned about the economy, jobs, education and health care.
“We came to this country for the opportunities it offered us, and we need to be focused on domestic issues that impact all Americans because now this is our home,” said New Yorker Zeba Iqbal, an Obama supporter and former executive director of the Council for the Advancement of Muslim Professionals.